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View JohnMcClure's profile

Finishes to Swear By

by JohnMcClure
posted 07-17-2017 08:13 PM


20 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5499 posts in 2852 days


#1 posted 07-17-2017 08:21 PM

I’ll offer my opinion on the last question…shellac. I love the stuff, but it just isn’t durable enough for tables or such things that see wear, spills, or whatever tough things may happen. I have a set of end tables that needs the tops refinished since all I used was shellac. Once I o the repair I’ll top coat them with an alkyd resin varnish. Oil based alkyd/soya oil varnish is what i use most often, though I won’t call it a “go-to” finish. But my methods of applications vary somewhat from using it as a wiping varnish to brushed coats. I’ll sometimes want a “glass smooth” surface and will apply several coats, let it cure enough to wet sand and then sand it back a lot, repeat until the surface is glass smooth. Lastly, for outdoor use my go-to (appropriate in this case) is untinted oil base exterior paint; the tint base made for deep/dark colors. Coming very close to true marine spar varnish in durability and costing a lot less, also easier to use. That’s only when a clear finish is needed, though…otherwise my go-to exterior is paint!

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Rich's profile

Rich

4391 posts in 948 days


#2 posted 07-17-2017 08:57 PM

Great thread idea John. I’m really looking forward to discovering new things from it. Here are two that I like.

For any tabletop or countertop that needs to be extremely durable and water repellent, I can recommend from experience: Three coats of Waterlox Sealer/Finish, wiped on, not brushed. Followed by three coats of Waterlox urethane (I prefer satin), wiped on as well. Watch out doing the urethane in higher temperatures since it gets sticky quite quickly.

For a beautiful, natural look on fine hardwoods it’s hard to beat Tried & True products. They are just amazing. Be sure to follow the directions and the results are nearly foolproof. Start with their Danish oil and/or Varnish oil in as many coats as you have the patience for, then top it off with a few coats of their Original finish.

Another product I found that I really love isn’t a finish, but a polish for maintaining a finish, is by Mohawk and called Scratch & Mar Resister Polish. It leaves a beautiful sheen and, like wax, helps reduce scratching with its slick surface which makes it less likely that an object will dig in to the surface.

Of course, there are countless products and recipes for great looking finishes. These just happen to be two that I can absolutely guarantee good results with.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View Oakdesk's profile

Oakdesk

11 posts in 2506 days


#3 posted 07-18-2017 12:12 AM

My “go-to” finish is Target Coatings’ EM6000 water-based lacquer. Since it dries in 15-20 minutes, I can spray on 4-5 coats in a couple of hours. It’s brushable, but I find spraying to be much more efficient. I also use one or two coats of Target’s EM1000 sealer under the lacquer. If I want an amber tone, I just add some dye to the sealer.

If you need more durability, like for a tabletop, Target also makes water-based urethanes and varnishes, which I have not tried. I really do like the 5 or 10 minute cleanup of water-based finishes.

The only time I use shellac is as a barrier coat when I am unsure of the previous finish. Otherwise, it’s EM6000.

View pontic's profile

pontic

690 posts in 967 days


#4 posted 07-18-2017 12:13 AM

BLO

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2239 posts in 2348 days


#5 posted 07-18-2017 09:55 PM

Furniture – Target EM6000 lacquer sprayed
Table tops – Target EM8000 poly sprayed

Turnings – small stuff – shellac, CA glue larger stuff – ob poly show finish – Target EM6000 sprayed

Favorite wipe-on for any interior stuff – MW poly regular thinned 1:1 w/ms, tint with lockwood dyes
Use shellac a lot under wb finishes to provide chatoyance and prevent dye lifting

Methods – would require a book, for which I recommend 2:

Great Wood Finishes Jeff Jewitt Taunton Press
Understanding Wood Finishing Bob Flexner Reader’s Digest

For those who like BLO and various other oils, you might read this.

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

3206 posts in 2616 days


#6 posted 07-18-2017 10:45 PM

John, I am also a fan of Target’s products, but they are hard to find unless you order online and pay shipping. Also, I think OSU55 made a typo: he refers to EM8000 as poly, but the poly is EM9000 whereas the EM8000 is conversion varnish, but he may be right because he is more knowledgeable than I am.

-- Art

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1006 days


#7 posted 07-18-2017 11:46 PM

My go-to finish is boiled linseed oil, lots of sunlight, then a light coat of shellac topped with bee’s wax. I use this on all of my interior projects. This finish does require touch-ups from time to time.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2239 posts in 2348 days


#8 posted 07-19-2017 12:59 AM

Thanks Art my memory failed me EM9000 is the poly. FYI for those interested, while there may be some chemical differences between the 8000 and 9000, the performance according to Target is basically equal. 9000 dries water clear, 8000 dries to match solvent varnish, ie dog pee yellow. To reduce hobby inventory, I use the 9000 and add Transtint honey amber when I want that color.

View Lazyman's profile (online now)

Lazyman

3324 posts in 1746 days


#9 posted 07-19-2017 04:21 AM

+1 on the Tried and True finishes. They take a bit more time to cure than more modern finishes but the results are really great.

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

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

794 posts in 3209 days


#10 posted 07-19-2017 04:33 AM

I use Liberon Furniture Oil on more projects than any other finish.

-- Ken

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 4006 days


#11 posted 07-19-2017 04:38 AM

Shellac is pretty awesome for hobby usage.
Its failings in terms of alcohol resistance
are overstated. It’s not appropriate for a
bar, but for most other furniture it will
hold up for decades of normal household
use. It is easy to apply and forgiving.

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12772 posts in 2739 days


#12 posted 07-19-2017 05:57 AM

Dining table = varnish or poly
Just about everything else = shellac

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View DirtyMike's profile

DirtyMike

637 posts in 1260 days


#13 posted 07-19-2017 06:07 AM

System 23 for outdoor oak furniture, there may or may not any evidence online to support that. there isnt

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

347 posts in 2820 days


#14 posted 07-19-2017 01:11 PM

Osmo Oil- there is an article in FWW magazine about it this month, so easy and fabulous results.

View ClammyBallz's profile

ClammyBallz

449 posts in 1495 days


#15 posted 07-19-2017 09:00 PM

My go to routine finish for interior stuff is transtint dye (if the piece is to be colored), shellac (1lb cut sealcoat or garnet flakes) then Target EM8000 with crosslinker. I spray gloss, but if it calls for a satin finish, I’ll spray satin as the last coat.

Waterlox is a favorite of mine, if you can stand the smell during the long cure. I finished my oak floors with 4 coats about 15 years ago and it’s still holdiing up.

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4544 posts in 4101 days


#16 posted 07-19-2017 09:06 PM

I am a big fan of Linseed oil cured a week then several coats of Sherwin Williams Acrylic Laquer then wax.

I also like Tung oils – - and use Waterlox, followed by wax applied with steel wool then buffed out.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1271 posts in 2072 days


#17 posted 07-19-2017 09:17 PM

For things made of light colored timbers you do not want to get darker: Soap flakes. Read more here: https://blog.lostartpress.com/2015/09/11/my-first-time-using-soap-finish-notes-warnings/

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View gargey's profile

gargey

1013 posts in 1134 days


#18 posted 07-19-2017 09:25 PM

I like the Tried & True Original finish, but it does take a whole lot of patience. As a hobbiest I can deal with the wait.

It’s extremely slow drying time is what makes it the most fool-proof finish I’ve used to date. No need to worry about runs, drip, friction rub marks, or anything like that.

Its also nice that its food-safe/skin-safe, so I don’t have to worry as much about it from a safety perspective.

View WoodES's profile

WoodES

141 posts in 2049 days


#19 posted 07-20-2017 04:05 AM

This one I have used and abused…

Zar

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2692 posts in 3280 days


#20 posted 07-20-2017 08:37 PM

I make and sell small cedar boxes and I finish them with shellac then sand smooth (180) and apply gloss poly, thinned with naptha. I wipe it on.

-- No PHD just a DD214

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