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Top coat over gel stain

by PeteK
posted 09-02-2019 05:23 PM


21 replies so far

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

855 posts in 1615 days


#1 posted 09-02-2019 05:58 PM

For a kids table, I would have used a plastic laminate. However, My second choice would be oil based poly. Third would be a water based poly. There are probably more durable products but, some of them are more difficult to use for the typical hobby user like me. Boiled linseed oil will not provide much protection and takes a very long time to dry

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PeteK

35 posts in 1154 days


#2 posted 09-02-2019 06:10 PM

My wife is addicted to Fixer Upper so it had to be farmhouse style, so plastic laminate wasn’t an option. I’ve looked at the General Finishes Gel Topcoat and Arm-R-Seal. It’s hard to tell from youtube videos, but it looks like maybe the Gel Topcoat has a more satin finish.

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1102 days


#3 posted 09-02-2019 06:19 PM

I think Arm-R-Seal would be a good choice. The satin sheen will look great. It’s easy to apply by wiping or with a foam brush. Apply thin coats, and when you get the film built up that you like, you’re done.

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1461 posts in 3362 days


#4 posted 09-02-2019 06:43 PM

With 3 kids and many pieces that have survived the past 18 years I can succinctly and honestly tell you that $ for $ the WB Polycrylic from Shhhh. Minwax (sacrilege I know) is tough as nails. Most of the kid style furniture play stuff etc, was sold off on Craig’s List within 5 to 7 years of making it. The kitchen table however has survived 3 kids through all sorts of science fair projects girls with nail polish and all sorts of abuse and still looks damn good. There are more expensive finishes and I buy them for work that I expect my kids to fight over or the ones where a client pays the bill but other wise that $10 qt does a great job, is easy with a brush or a gun and just needs water and soap to clean up.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View PeteK's profile

PeteK

35 posts in 1154 days


#5 posted 09-02-2019 06:48 PM

I’m a bit of a newbie to woodworking, but is Minwax really considered sacrilege? The gel stain I used was Minwax….. (slouches down below bushes)

I’ve never heard of WB Polycrylic. I’ll have to look into it. Nowhere in town carries anything by General Finishes. But they have all things Minwax.

View bondogaposis's profile (online now)

bondogaposis

5542 posts in 2864 days


#6 posted 09-02-2019 09:42 PM

Minwax wipe on poly is a good product.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1461 posts in 3362 days


#7 posted 09-02-2019 10:27 PM


I m a bit of a newbie to woodworking, but is Minwax really considered sacrilege? The gel stain I used was Minwax….. (slouches down below bushes)
I ve never heard of WB Polycrylic. I ll have to look into it. Nowhere in town carries anything by General Finishes. But they have all things Minwax.
- PeteK

Pete we were all noobs once upon a time, and I’m sure we’ve all started in the finishes aisle figuring what the hell to start with. Many here have great amounts of experience and vast knowledge of many finishes I’ve never worked with but would like to one day, but you can consider Minwax the Pinto of brand names.

The higher end stores like Rockler and Woodcraft will have GF on the shelf, but I generally have to order it from Woodworkers Supply which is a great site and if you have any questions they have fantastic service over the phone.

Water Based polyurethane from Minwax is labeled with their Polycrylic brand name, its in the blue can Like I said above its pretty forgiving and easy to work with while not too expensive. Many dislike it because if you lay it on thick with many coats it can have a “plastic” look and feel. For me I use my compressor and $10 HF gun to shoot it straight out of the can, but you can get great results with a brush too if you apply it in thin coats and remember to apply it and then leave it alone, lots of re-brushng will mess up any poly. I get the piece coated and then” “Tip -Off the coat, see number 5. I use 320 to 400 to sand between the coats, and then after the final finish has cured for about 3 days, I use 0000 steel wool and paste wax to rub out the top which generally takes away the “plastic”

No matter what just remember you’ll make some mistakes but likely you’ll be the only one that sees them… Good Luck, remember to post your project and know that this is a great place to get help from some great woodworkers.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View Robert's profile

Robert

3541 posts in 1994 days


#8 posted 09-02-2019 10:37 PM

Urethane would be my choice

Any brand of poly is adequate for this project. You could vent consider a floor poly,

Personally I go with water based poly whenever possible. Much easier to apply, faster drying so I can build up several coats in one day. Do be sure to sand between coats.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View PeteK's profile

PeteK

35 posts in 1154 days


#9 posted 09-02-2019 10:40 PM

All I have near me is Lowe’s and Home Depot. I think Home Depot you can order General Finishes online and ship to store. I think my next project I will get some of their finish products. I’m thinking I may try the Minwax Polycrylic for this project though since I already used Minwax stain.

Thanks for the advice.

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

288 posts in 240 days


#10 posted 09-02-2019 10:56 PM

For a beginner, I would go with the Arm-R-Seal,
or I would check out the Bona wood floor finishes. If it’s good enough for a floor it’s good for a table. I’ve used the product on quit a few things and have been very happy with it.

I’ve used the Polycrylic, I wouldn’t waste my time and will just say that I wouldn’t use it again.

View PeteK's profile

PeteK

35 posts in 1154 days


#11 posted 09-02-2019 11:52 PM

I happen to have some Waterlox in my garage. I used it on a wood countertop a few years ago and it turned out nice. I guess I’m still unsure how the gel stain will react, since it goes on like paint basically. Would any penetrating oil ruin the stained finish?

View SMP's profile

SMP

1401 posts in 418 days


#12 posted 09-03-2019 03:03 AM

I’d also use arm r seal or minwax poly. The arm r seal satin isn’t as shiny as any of the minwax in my opinion i also really like minwax anyique oil finish but harder to find.

View tywalt's profile

tywalt

83 posts in 677 days


#13 posted 09-03-2019 10:22 PM



I think Arm-R-Seal would be a good choice.
- Rich

What Rich said.

-- Tyler - Central TX

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

361 posts in 2247 days


#14 posted 09-04-2019 01:05 PM

Just playing Devil’s Advocate here, but one of my past projects here is a kitchen built-in with an accompanying kitchen table.

My finishing schedule was water based dye, Zinser shellac based sanding sealer, Varathane gel stain (as a glaze), the sanding sealer again, then a few coats of Minwax polycrylic. I used a higher sheen, but it can be had in satin.

I did that project 6 years ago. Everything, including the “temporary” plywood tabletop is holding up well.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3987 posts in 1900 days


#15 posted 09-04-2019 02:22 PM


Minwax wipe on poly is a good product.

- bondogaposis

+1
If you can get the satin wipe-on Minwax Polyurethane, it is really easy to apply and hard to mess up. Brushing and spraying can be more difficult because you have to maintain wet edge or worry about runs or brush marks. WOP just takes more coats ( at least 3 but up to 5) for good durable protection, and has a relatively low gloss. A lot of people make their own wipe-on poly but for me it’s not worth the trouble. Minwax makes a water based WOP but I have never tried it.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

855 posts in 1615 days


#16 posted 09-07-2019 02:34 AM



I happen to have some Waterlox in my garage. I used it on a wood countertop a few years ago and it turned out nice. I guess I m still unsure how the gel stain will react, since it goes on like paint basically. Would any penetrating oil ruin the stained finish?

- PeteK


“Goes on like paint” disturbs me a bit. Did you lay it on thick and let it dry or rub it on, rub it off, and then let it dry. If the latter, you should be good to go with the Waterlox or any of the other products mentioned above. If the former, then you are going to have problems and probably need to remove it and start over.

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1102 days


#17 posted 09-07-2019 04:07 AM

Franky, Waterlox from “a few years ago” is a problem. If you stored it properly with the air removed, or used Bloxygen, then maybe, but still I’d buy fresh if I really cared about the quality of the finish.

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

53 posts in 110 days


#18 posted 09-07-2019 02:17 PM

I’ve been cranking out wood stuff professionally for a lotta years and I use Minwax all the time. I know it’s so Harry Homeowner, but you know what, it’s right down the street, it’s consistent and it’s pretty easy to work with… along with being well priced.

Sure, I’d love to be able to justify General Finishes (or better) on every one of my projects, but to get it, I gotta drive at least an hour… or, order it online and have it show up in a day or two. It’s more expensive as well. I like it better, and I have a stock of GF stuff, as well as some Behlen stuff and some other stuff that’s ‘higher end’. I do go to higher end paint stores for a lot fo stuff, and some of them even carry finer wood finishing products.

But, if i need to crank out some stuff for the (grand)kids, I go with waterbased Minwax or Varithane stuff. I know I’ll be able to match it, I know it works together and I’ve built a few things over the years that saw much kid-abuse with the waterbased poly that stood up ten times better than I expected.

For me, no shame in hitting the big box store for finishes, supplies or even wood to build stuff with.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

749 posts in 424 days


#19 posted 09-08-2019 12:37 AM

Depending on table top or cutting boards, table top or food safe usage. I think the finish coating are personal preferences on what they’re covering. We use primarily Minwax on our projects. Minwax oil based stain and wait 48 hours, then apply Minwax water base poly, normally 4 coats of poly. Sure a big difference in fumes with water base vs oil base, and able to light sand and apply additional coats quicker than the oil base finish. The choice of Matt, Satin, Semi-Gloss or Gloss is also a mater of personal preference. Have had good results with Minwax. When we have used a gel we used a gel/stain mix to rub on.

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1102 days


#20 posted 09-08-2019 07:10 AM


I ve been cranking out wood stuff professionally for a lotta years and I use Minwax all the time. I know it s so Harry Homeowner, but you know what, it s right down the street, it s consistent and it s pretty easy to work with… along with being well priced.

Sure, I d love to be able to justify General Finishes (or better) on every one of my projects…

- Axis39

I’m surprised that a professional woodworker would skimp on the finish. It’s such a small part of the cost of a project, even if there are shipping costs involved.

View PeteK's profile

PeteK

35 posts in 1154 days


#21 posted 09-09-2019 04:19 PM


I happen to have some Waterlox in my garage. I used it on a wood countertop a few years ago and it turned out nice. I guess I m still unsure how the gel stain will react, since it goes on like paint basically. Would any penetrating oil ruin the stained finish?

- PeteK

“Goes on like paint” disturbs me a bit. Did you lay it on thick and let it dry or rub it on, rub it off, and then let it dry. If the latter, you should be good to go with the Waterlox or any of the other products mentioned above. If the former, then you are going to have problems and probably need to remove it and start over.

- bilyo


I just meant it doesn’t penetrate the surface like regular stain. I wiped it on and wiped off the excess. It looked pretty nice with only 1 coat.

I ended up buying some GF Gel Top Coat Satin. I’ve only put 1 coat on so far. I plan on doing 3. It went on pretty smooth and was easy to work with.

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