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Thread: Final Top Coat Procedure

  1. #1

    Question Final Top Coat Procedure

    I am in the process of finishing a choice Pine bookcase. I started with General Finishes Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner followed by 1 coat of GF Seal-A-Cell Clear. The I went straight to to top coats with GF Arm-R-Seal Gloss. 3 coats, sanding lightly with 0000 steel wool in between coats. The last coat dried very smooth, but was a tad rough in places. I have heard mixed responses in my research into how to handle the final layer. So, how do you all finish the last coat? Should I lightly buff with steel wool as I did with the other layers? Should I just let the final coat dry and not touch it as the can says? Or is there another method? Thanks!
    Stephen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Shoreline, CT
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    Roughness probably means you need another coat or two. Three coats of a wipe on finish is roughly equal to one coat of full strength varnish.

    I would use 320 grit sand paper on a resilient block between coats. Steel wool just scuffs, which is needed for adhesion, but it doesn't do a very good job of removing roughness. Whether you rub out the final coat depends on the look you want and how the that coat looks.

    Usually there are at least a few dust nibs to be removed. That is better done with sand paper than with steel wood. Steel wool gives a satin finish. To go back to gloss finish, sand with 600 grit, and progress to about 1200 or 1500 grit. Then buff with a polishing compound or with rottenstone lubricated with parafin oil. Rubbing out varnish is best done after it has fully cured--a process which takes about a month.

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