Reply by CaptainKlutz

  • Advertise with us

Posted on Anyone used Waterlox finish over Crystalac grain filler?

View CaptainKlutz's profile (online now)


1740 posts in 1970 days

#1 posted 03-17-2018 01:45 AM

I have used Crystalac with a different oil based top coat (Arm-R-Seal) on Walnut several times. Works fine.
Have not seen any issues using mineral spirits to wipe down Crystalac coated surfaces, and zero issues with top coating.

General comments:
- Crystalac behaves like I mixed some white glue and shellac with clear filler. 1st coat of Crystalac seals pores, and removes need to use a sanding sealer first. If your sanding sealer is shellac based, then Crystalac will soften it.

- Crystalac will soften and can be removed with alcohol, so brushing a shellac on top can lift filler out of pores. If you insistent on using a shellac seal layer on top, you must spray shellac and use light layers.

- One thing I noticed about Crystalac,; it seals pores but not completely; so you get a fairly even color addition across the wood, if need to add color that was stolen by steamed and kiln dried processing done on Walnut.
Dye stain can be applied on top of Crystalac to add color, but solvent based wood stain is less difficult to apply. Since commercial dye stains are acetone/alcohol/water solvent blend; need to minimize amount of wiping to avoid rubbing filler out of pores. Spraying dye stain, with minimal wiping to equalize color worked for me. It is far easier to wipe on little gel stain. I only go trouble to use dye stain when coloring figured walnut as oil based stains are not as transparent.

I find Crystalac can be frustrating to use, and is not my favorite grain filler. Must be patient and learn how to use it.
If you rush time between application and ‘scrap across grain and remove excess’ process; you end up scooping filler out of pores. This means you end up applying it several extra times. If you wait till it almost seems dry to scrape excess, seldom need more than 1-2 coats. At same time, you can not rush drying time before sanding. Even with Arizona low humidity levels, have to let Crystalac dry overnight before sanding. Otherwise it is “soft” and you scoop out filler when using ROS sander.
With any grain filler, be sure to scrub the filler deep into grain from all directions. Burlap works great, but any course textured fabric works to push filler into pores. With patience and some practice can reduce the required number of Crystalac applications significantly.

Best Luck!

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics