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Thread: cherry with waterlox

  1. #1

    cherry with waterlox

    Im wondering if it would be good to help color up or pop the grain with an oil before using the waterlox. I dont want to "stain" it darker but wondering if any treatment before the waterlox would help add depth to it.
    Thanks
    Dan

  2. #2
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    Dan,
    Waterlox will pop the grain for you. My suggestion is to use a dewaxed shellac prior to applying the waterlox. Sometimes cherry can be finicky when finishing and the shellac will allow for a better overall finish and hopefully it will not blotch at all. I have used the spray can for 2 coats of de-waxed shellac and then wiped on 4-5 coats of waterlox.

    So far I have been very pleased with how my projects have come out.

    Post some pix of your project, I am sure we would all like to see.

    Greg

  3. #3
    any preferences on the dewaxed shellac? Im new to all this and dont want to get the wrong thing. What does the shellac do differently, does it penetrate more evenly or something?
    Thanks
    Dan

  4. #4
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    Dan,
    I believe that the shellac will create a barrier coat on the wood surface and allow more even penetration for the final finish. I may be speaking out of turn on that one though.

    I used zinsser dewaxed shellac. You can either get it in a spray can or the bulls eye seal coat is dewaxed. I used the spray can becuase it gives a more even coat. A few very light coats is all it takes.

    Greg

  5. #5
    so how does the wipe on of the waterlox work, would you dip a rag or use a foam applicator and then wipe off with a rag? Do you just try to leave a thin coat? what ive read said do2-3 coats then sand with 200-400 grit between following coats. I would like a satin finish can that be achieved by sanding the final coat with steel wool or do I have to use a satin product?
    Thanks
    Dan

  6. #6
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    you can wipe it, but just as easily brush it. i brush it with a regular ole china bristle oil paint brush.

    shellac is alot cheaper than waterlox . so using shellac as a sealer will save some money, that's for sure. otherwise it'll take more coats of the waterlox to build a film.

    their satin will be satin out of the can. i'd go with the satin if that's what you want. you can probably buff the semi-gloss to achieve satin, but rather than doing so, i'd buy a quart of the satin and just use it as a top coat, over the top of the semi-gloss, instead. that would achieve in all likelihood a better result in less time.

    i lay it on a bit thicker than you would normally lay down other finishes, which gives it plenty of substance to level itself with.

    you can use whatever shellac you want, as long as it's de-waxed.
    Last edited by Neal Clayton; 04-12-2009 at 9:09 PM.

  7. #7
    Howard or Steve will be along shortly to correct us all, but my experience:

    Waterlox original is quite glossy. You'll have to rub it down with abrasives after. Or you could use Waterlox's satin finish. My experience is that satin finishes are hard to wipe on. I have to brush or spray them.

    Personally, I don't see how a varnish topcoat will cause blotching on cherry. I've only had blotching during coloring. IMHO, the shellac is a wasted step. I think Waterlox pops the grain wonderfully as is.

    IF you wanted to shellac, you don't need to use dewaxed here. 'Waxed' (e.g., Zinsser Bullseye) will work fine under an oil-based varnish like WLox.

    My fave way to apply Waterlox is to brush it per their instrucs: brush on againstt the grain, then tip off with the grain.

    If you want to wipe it, my meager experience has taught me to that you gotta do it differently depending on how you want it to look:

    1) If you want it to build, then wipe it on thin and pass over finally with the grain. This leaves successive thin films.
    2) If you want no build, then you wipe on, and informally wipe off 98% of it (as if you were cleaning a counter with a spray cleaner and sponge). For each successive coat, you leave it on to 'soak' less and less. The 1st coat might soak in for 5-10 mins. The final coats are wiped off immediately.

    In either case, don't get bent out of shape if the sheen is uneven after a coat; it'll even up as the coats progress.
    Last edited by Prashun Patel; 04-12-2009 at 9:29 PM.

  8. #8
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    I think Neal hit it. The only thing I can add is that if you wipe waterlox on it will require more coats than if you brush it on. I think 4-5 wiped on coats will equal 2-3 brushed on coats.

    Shawn, waterlox original is a semi-gloss. They do make a satin and it probably would be better to go right with the satin if that is the look you are shooting for. I can't 100% speak for using waxed shellac. I believe that both Howard and Steve and Jim suggested to me a few years back to make sure I used de-waxed shellac. I guess that is just what I have used and been very happy with so that is what I also suggest. Wiping is very easy but you do need to have it at the right temp., should be about 70 deg., and have a good clear space with good ventilation. Just take a clean paper towel and dip it then wipe it on. Many thin coats works very well. It won't really look good wiping until you get to the 4th or 5th coat and then it will really pop. You don't need to sand between coats. You may want to hit it with 320 before the last coat if you have gotten any dust nibs but not required.

    If you do go with waterlox there are a few tricks you need to follow so you don't waste it. First I would buy a quart. I think I just paid about $25 - $30 for a quart here in Maine. Second I would transfer the quart to glass jars as soon as you open it up. Mason jars work great. You can keep it in the original container but it doesn't seal that great. Oxygen is waterlox's enemy. Get yourself some marbles and make sure you keep the top of the waterlox to the top of the container. Take out some waterlox put in some marbles. Another option is to use bloxygen. It is an inert gas that waterlox sells that you pump into the container when you use some. Waterlox does go bad quickly so keep it out of oxygen.

    Greg
    Last edited by Greg Cuetara; 04-12-2009 at 9:31 PM. Reason: Shawn posted at the same time.

  9. #9
    Hmm to shellac or not to. the reason I asked about sanding the gloss finish was somewhere I read that the satin finish was not as clear. How is the waterlox to work with as far as brushing. Will it run badly on vertical surfaces? I could lay it on its side and do one at a time horizontally but would really rather not, Id imagine just do nice thin coats and it wont be a problem. How long between recoats, will it hurt if not fully dried?
    THanks again
    DAN
    Oh yea one more Q If I dont shellac should I thin the first coat of waterlox?
    Last edited by Dan Hanson; 04-12-2009 at 9:38 PM.

  10. #10
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    Dan,
    i can't speak for the sheen. Maybe Howard will chime in and provide some good advice for you on that.

    As far as the coats. Follow the instructions. What I have done is wait 24 hours between coats. I don't think you really need to wait that long but it worked well for me because i would do a coat at night then go to work the next day and hit another coat the next night. If you are worried about it running you might want to wipe it on. I have had no problems with it running when i wiped it on. Just go with thin coats and you will be good.

    Greg

  11. #11
    It brushes REALLY well. But it'll run like any varnish on vertical surfaces. You can wipe yr vertical surfaces and brush your horizontals if you like.

    How long you wait is a function of how thick you coat. If you brush, then let it dry until scuff sanding produces dust - not gum. Putting on too many coats too quick prevents the undercoats from curing properly, and can cause a lot of probs from permanently soft surfaces to wrinkles or bubbles (DAMHIKT). But I can't tell you how long in hours to wait. In the summer, I've had brushed coats be ready in 6-8 hours. In my basement in the winter, I've had it take 24 hours.

    The exception to this is wiping. Here, you can wipe 2-3 coats in quick succession as soon as each coat doesn't leave a fingerprint when you touch it gently. Wiped coats are so thin, the bottom coat can cure through 1-2 thin layers on top of it.

  12. #12
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    Shawn,
    How do you brush it on? Do you use a foam brush or a high quality brush? Does it self level? I have never tried brushing it...only wiping so far. It would be nice to put on a few coats rather than 4-5.
    Greg

  13. #13
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    as shawn said, it does brush really easily. i use a plain jane purdy china bristle brush. wiping it on with a lambswool pad also works very well.

    yes it does self level very well. it's a good idiot-proof floor finish too for that reason.

    dan, the satin won't be as clear, that's the definition of satin...it has a flattener in it that clouds the result a bit.

    i find waterlox satin as easy to brush as the regular, with the caveat that you must keep it stirred at all times. as long as you keep it stirred up and don't let the flattener settle to the bottom of the can, it brushes just as easily as the original.
    Last edited by Neal Clayton; 04-13-2009 at 1:37 AM.

  14. #14
    I also have only used a Purdy china bristle (white) with it. Again, I'm no expert, but I have found it very hard to completely clean solvent-based finishes from brushes. With a waterbased finish, the sheer volume of water you can use gets brushes really clean, but with solvent, it's a combination of dry brushing, soaking, spinning which always leaves trace amts of residue on my brushes. I've found a < 100% cleaned brush makes it hard for me to leave a brushmark-less coat with varnish.

    All this is to say that if you're not adept at cleaning (as I'm not), then use new brushes when brushing varnish. Your glassy coat will thank you for it.

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