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Thread: Matte Polyurethane

  1. #1

    Matte Polyurethane

    Hello - I am remodeling my house and have stripped and replaced most of the trim. All of it is white oak. Is there a matte polyurethane - or a product that will protect the wood and not give it a gloss finish?

    I have tried lots of different product and get a gloss on everything. I am not sure if it is the way I am applying it or the product itself. I have not found a product that says it is a matte polyurethane - at best I have found satin.

    When I had my floors sanded and stained they were able to make them matte? I asked the company how they did it and I replicated the process on the trim but it was still glossy. Any assistance would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Tim.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I used Minwax wipe-on poly in satin on all our windows when we replaced them and I was happy with the sheen. I used the Scotts shop towels (paper towels) that you can get at Lowes as an applicator and it goes really quick with minimal mess and cleanup.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I'm not sure you can find a "matte" finish. I am guessing you want something that has less shine than satin. To do that I think you are going to have to apply satin or similar and then rub it out either with sandpaper, steel wool, or pumice. Take some scrap wood and start experimenting. I would start with either steel wool or something like 400 grit sandpaper. Maybe someone else has a better idea.

  4. #4
    I think you are right Al. I will give it a try and let you know. Thanks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    General Finishes makes several waterborne varnishes with sheens of matte or flat. Homestead Finishes (www.homesteadfinishing.com) and Woodcraft (www.woodcraft.com) are vendors.

  6. #6
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    In addition, if you Google flat varnish you will find quite a few alternatives. I haven't used any of them but they are out there.

  7. #7
    Does a varnish provide the same protection as a polyurethane? Same maintenance?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Larr View Post
    Does a varnish provide the same protection as a polyurethane?
    "Polyurethane" IS varnish. Three basic types...alkyd, phenolic and polyurethane...each of these referring to the type of resins used to create the varnish. The only "advantage" that poly provides over these other formulas...and it's not extraordinary in degree...is more abrasion resistance. Poly varnish is great for floors, but not the best for fine woodworking projects as many polyurethane varnishes have less clarity than the alkyd or phenolic formulations. In most cases, an oil varnish of the other two varieties will provide every bit as good "durability" as poly will...and often with a much nicer look. But it sure does have fabulous marketing....
    “Never raise your hands to your children, it leaves your groin unprotected.” - Red Buttons

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  9. #9
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    Timothy-

    Waterlox satin, if stirred well, approaches matte moreso than satin. It is flatter than most satins I have used, anyway. It is just about as hard and resistant to chemicals and temperature as poly, but looks far better. It doesn't dry as fast as poly. Any satin finish, or matte, will come out glossy if the refractors aren't well distributed in the carrier solvent, which means stirring the dickens out of it, even while brushing it on.

    Let me ask the question. Why do you prefer a matte, which to me means total deadness in light refraction, finish on white oak? Or, maybe we see the term 'matte' differently.

    Jack
    Why eat natural foods when most people die of natural causes?

  10. #10
    Wow - old thread. I'm looking for this same information. I've built a cabinet which we've painted and antiqued. I tried putting Minwax Polycrylic Satin on a small sample area on the back to finish it, but my wife feels it is too shiny.

    I did some searching on the web for a matte product. Has anyone tried Behr Premium Plus with Style Crystal Clear Water-based Polyurethane Matte from Home Depot? Here is a link:

    http://www.homedepot.ca/webapp/wcs/s...k=P_PartNumber

    Any comments about the Behr product? (Notice that this is Home Depot Canada - is this even available in the US?)

    I also came across Modern Masters Dead Flat Varnish. Any comments about this product? I'm a bit concerned about the Dead Flat Varnish because one of the websites I looked at said this in the product description: "Be careful using this or any dead flat varnish over deep or rich colors as the flatting agent has a tendency to "fog" the color."

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meiser View Post
    I used Minwax wipe-on poly in satin on all our windows when we replaced them and I was happy with the sheen. I used the Scotts shop towels (paper towels) that you can get at Lowes as an applicator and it goes really quick with minimal mess and cleanup.
    I used min wax satin poly on my entertainment center. I like it also but it is far more glossy than a matt finish (As my wife complained) good product but not very flat.

  12. #12
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    Dead Flat

    I used a dead flat water borne poly. I used it over several coats of satin water poly. It came out nice. Basically, it almost looks like nothing is on the wood. It comes down to personal preference. Dead flat was designed to go over products like milk paint where additional protection was needed. I think it is a good product.
    Ed Gibbons

  13. #13
    The Behr product I mentioned above was not available at my local Home Depot (in California). It may not be sold in the US.

    I picked up a General Finishes product at the local Rockler store which was marked Satin. The salesperson recommended it as low sheen. Nope - that was a loser. It was higher sheen than the Minwax Polycrylic Satin that I tried first.

    The guy at the local paint store (who knows everything about paint, it seems - he has never steered me wrong) recommended Zar UltraMax Polyurethane in the Antique Flat finish. This is a water-based product that comes in 4 finishes: gloss, semi-gloss, satin, and antique flat. They had a sample board in the store and I had to agree that the antique flat had an extremely low level of sheen. (It wasn't zero sheen, but it was very low.)

    I'll post back in a week or two and let you know how this worked....

  14. #14
    Well....

    I brushed on a sample area of Zar UltraMax Polyurethane Antique Flat finish next to Minwax Polycrylic Satin on the back of my cabinet. To my eye, the sheen of both products looked pretty similar.

    In the end, l'm using the Minwax Polycrylic Satin. Krylon makes a spray-on matte finish product (#1311). You'll find it if you google "krylon matte." We'll spray the Krylon matte over the Minwax Poly Satin. This reduces the luster gradually with each additional coat of the krylon spray until the desired low level of sheen is reached.

  15. #15
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    The degree of "flatness" is largely dependent on the amount of flatting agent in suspension in the finish. If you let a can of any brand of satin varnish sit for awhile, the flatting agent (ground up sand) will settle to the bottom. Pour off about half of the finish, then stir up what's left, and you should have a very flat finish. Use the part you removed for the first few coats .. you only want to use the flat for the top coat or two .. too much of the flatting agent suspended in the finish will make it cloudy.
    FINISHING : NO ART & VERY LITTLE SCIENCE ... just a learned skill that requires a bit of practice and patience ... anyone can learn it.

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