Reply by Fred Hargis

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Posted on Is My "BLO" D-R-Y?

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Fred Hargis

6428 posts in 3347 days

#1 posted 08-05-2016 09:39 PM

The water borne versus oil based discussion sometimes bring on strong emotions. I’m a big fan of oil based finishes, I see them as being more durable over time and in some cases better looking. A little over 2 years ago, Bob Flexner wrote an article where he described his belief that the oil based finishes were more durable (generally speaking) than their water borne counterpart. That said, there are some realities to face: water borne finishes are getting better every day, and the good one are just that: very good. Oil based finishes have some downsides, slow drying being a big one. But they are also getting harder to buy. With the “green” laws being passed (mostly aimed at professional users) the hobbyists market is drying up. My stat is not one of the most aggressive on banning the oil based finishes, yet they are mostly gone from common channels. In the aggressive green states they are impossible to find. Waterborne finishes still have a few things they haven’t solved: it must be a lot warmer for them to cure out, a real problem in areas that actually have a winter. Even so, there comes a day when that’s all we will have. A big problem I have with them is the labeling: calling them “poly” (which is meaningless in itself) or “lacquer” is just marketing BS. With very few exceptions, they are predominantly acrylic finishes, to call them anything else is just capitalizing on the lack of labeling standards.

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