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View Carloz's profile

Only use gloss finish. Myth?

by Carloz
posted 07-19-2017 06:38 PM


26 replies so far

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

3067 posts in 1786 days


#1 posted 07-19-2017 07:25 PM

Polyurethane uses added siilca sand to achieve the “low gloss” and “satin” sheens. The added silica reflects some of the light. If you build up many coats with this mix, the added layers begin to obscure the wood, think of it as a cloudy finish.

By using only the “clear” finishes as undercoats, the transparency is not diminished.

Does it really matter?

I can see the difference on some woods with lots of coats, but I have to be looking for it. In my opinion, unless the finish layers are really thick, no need to worry.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5838 posts in 3057 days


#2 posted 07-19-2017 07:41 PM

I only use gloss, even when I wind up with the satin or semi (or whatever) I’ll use them without stirring to leave the silica on the bottom of the can. I’ve been told by someone who is knowledgeable on such things that the sheen will get even flatter over time with those that have the flattening agents. The explanation is that as the finish cures, it will shrink very slightly. As this shrinkage occurs, the surface gets more rough (reducing sheen) due to the silica. So I use gloss, and if I want it less shiny I work it down with an abrasive (from pumice to a brown paper bag) to get the appearance I want.

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

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2451 posts in 2553 days


#3 posted 07-21-2017 03:32 PM

I agree with splinter. My own testing showed that with several thick coats, and having pieces side by side for comparison, I could see some very slight difference. None of the 1/2 dozen observers said there was any difference, until I told them they were different. 2 said yes, I see a little, 4 said they still look the same. So, I dont worry about it unless I do a really thick film finish, which rarely happens.

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

1147 posts in 1155 days


#4 posted 07-21-2017 04:38 PM

That is really helpful to know, thanks !


I agree with splinter. My own testing showed that with several thick coats, and having pieces side by side for comparison, I could see some very slight difference. None of the 1/2 dozen observers said there was any difference, until I told them they were different. 2 said yes, I see a little, 4 said they still look the same. So, I dont worry about it unless I do a really thick film finish, which rarely happens.

- OSU55


View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12945 posts in 2943 days


#5 posted 07-21-2017 05:46 PM

It’s about convenience, you can achieve any finish from gloss to flat from a single can.

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

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1153 days


#6 posted 07-21-2017 06:19 PM


It s about convenience, you can achieve any finish from gloss to flat from a single can.

- Rick M

Just because you can doesn’t mean that you should. Manufacturers formulate their products to a particular sheen, so let’s say you take a can of satin topcoat with a sheen of 35 to 45 and use or pour 25 or 30 percent of it off the top without stirring. Now, when you stir that product you have something closer to flat or dead flat, or anywhere in between. You just don’t know. Maybe you’re fine with that, but I put too much work into my projects to just wing it on the finish.

As to the original subject of the thread, I’ve found what Splinter and OSU55 said to be true for me as well, so I don’t sweat it.

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4600 posts in 4306 days


#7 posted 07-21-2017 07:21 PM

My thinking is along what Rich said.

I was taught to use gloss for all coats. Not e.g. Satin as the final coat.
This was about Repairability and repeatability in other pieces.
The ammount of ‘flattening agent will be different with every stirring, or one time you need to add Floetrol, or Blush control… so it is always a changing recipe.

So the recipe for a satin sheen was – hand sand wood with 320… coat with gloss, (de-nib with paper bag) 2 more coats. Then rub with 0000 steel wool (liberon) and then paste wax or briwax.

6 months later a repair, or a matching chair is needed. No problem to get an identical piece again the steel wool will blend a repair better than struggling with trying to get refelction to 75 vs 85. you set the sheen by hand, not chemistry.

gloss was same initially but then rub out with automotive rubbing compound if you wanted ‘grand piano gloss’

I a no master finisher, but that is how I was taught.

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

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

1147 posts in 1155 days


#8 posted 07-21-2017 09:46 PM


So the recipe for a satin sheen was – hand sand wood with 320… coat with gloss, (de-nib with paper bag) 2 more coats. Then rub with 0000 steel wool (liberon) and then paste wax or briwax.
- DrDirt

Sure with the coat of wax the sheen can be very nice and not too glossy. However it has a big downside of being not durable, so we are talking about pure polyurethane finish here.

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1153 days


#9 posted 07-21-2017 11:05 PM

So the recipe for a satin sheen was – hand sand wood with 320… coat with gloss, (de-nib with paper bag) 2 more coats. Then rub with 0000 steel wool (liberon) and then paste wax or briwax.
- DrDirt

Sure with the coat of wax the sheen can be very nice and not too glossy. However it has a big downside of being not durable, so we are talking about pure polyurethane finish here.

- Carloz

He said coat with gloss, de-nib and add two more coats. It’s not a wax-only finish he was talking about. That’s the way I was taught to do it too. The advantage is that the gloss topcoat can be any film — poly, shellac, etc — and the sheen is not dependent on the product, but on your technique. These days, unless I’m using oil, I just go with products like Mohawk pre-cat lacquer that have a range of sheens you can choose from.

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12945 posts in 2943 days


#10 posted 07-21-2017 11:58 PM


It s about convenience, you can achieve any finish from gloss to flat from a single can.

- Rick M

Just because you can doesn t mean that you should. Manufacturers formulate their products to a particular sheen, so let s say you take a can of satin topcoat with a sheen of 35 to 45 and use or pour 25 or 30 percent of it off the top without stirring. Now, when you stir that product you have something closer to flat or dead flat, or anywhere in between. You just don t know. Maybe you re fine with that, but I put too much work into my projects to just wing it on the finish.

As to the original subject of the thread, I ve found what Splinter and OSU55 said to be true for me as well, so I don t sweat it.

- RichTaylor

Your tone suggests disagreement but nothing you said contradicts me. Maybe you misread my post.

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

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12945 posts in 2943 days


#11 posted 07-22-2017 12:05 AM



My thinking is along what Rich said.

I was taught to use gloss for all coats.

- DrDirt


Rick, not Rich. I’m the one who suggested gloss. Rich is the one who brought up satin.

Sure with the coat of wax the sheen can be very nice and not too glossy. However it has a big downside of being not durable, so we are talking about pure polyurethane finish here.

- Carloz

It isn’t the wax that gives you the satin finish, it’s sanding with 320 sandpaper. It scatters the light rays.

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

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1153 days


#12 posted 07-22-2017 12:19 AM


Your tone suggests disagreement but nothing you said contradicts me. Maybe you misread my post.

- Rick M

Misread it? It was a single sentence…lol. On the contrary, I think you misread mine since I didn’t say you were wrong, I said it was a dumb idea. If you’re OK with random, unpredictable sheen on your project, that’s your business. I’m not.

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1153 days


#13 posted 07-22-2017 12:25 AM

Rick, not Rich. I m the one who suggested gloss. Rich is the one who brought up satin.

Goodness. A little touchy, are we? :) I was actually talking about sheen, as was DrDirt, but that seems to have gone over your head.

It isn t the wax that gives you the satin finish, it s sanding with 320 sandpaper. It scatters the light rays.

- Rick M

Again, you misread his post and missed the part about the 0000 steel wool. That, combined with the wax is what gives you the softer sheen. Sanding the wood to 320 before applying three coats of gloss won’t scatter anything.

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12945 posts in 2943 days


#14 posted 07-22-2017 12:50 AM

What is it that you think is a dumb idea exactly? It’s pretty clear that you misunderstood my post.

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

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1153 days


#15 posted 07-22-2017 01:02 AM



What is it that you think is a dumb idea exactly? It s pretty clear that you misunderstood my post.

- Rick M

LOL. Let it go.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

24120 posts in 3247 days


#16 posted 07-22-2017 01:02 AM

Rick and Rich….are you two trying to get this post locked down by Cricket? Sounding like this is over in the Coffee Lounge section…

As long as the CUSTOMER is happy with the results…does it really matter which of you two are “right” or “wrong”, now does it?

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12945 posts in 2943 days


#17 posted 07-22-2017 01:16 AM


What is it that you think is a dumb idea exactly? It s pretty clear that you misunderstood my post.

- Rick M

LOL. Let it go.

- RichTaylor

That what I thought. ;)

@bandit, if you think I’m out of line, report me.

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

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

24120 posts in 3247 days


#18 posted 07-22-2017 01:30 AM

You are doing that quite well on your own….

Calling each other “dumb” or whatever, does nothing to help the OP’s question. Save it for Monday’s Kindergarden class…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12945 posts in 2943 days


#19 posted 07-22-2017 03:40 AM

I answered the question so I’m not sure why the drama but to reiterate, the reason it is suggested to use only gloss is because you can cut back the finish to any desired sheen. By “cut back,” I mean abrade the surface to scatter light. There is nothing wrong with using store bought satin, flat, or whatever; but the point is you don’t have to. That isn’t dumb, it’s smart and often recommended.

Calling each other “dumb” – bandit571

Neither of us called the other dumb.

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

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1153 days


#20 posted 07-22-2017 03:54 AM


I answered the question so I m not sure why the drama but to reiterate, the reason it is suggested to use only gloss is because you can cut back the finish to any desired sheen. By “cut back,” I mean abrade the surface to scatter light. There is nothing wrong with using store bought satin, flat, or whatever; but the point is you don t have to. That isn t dumb, it s smart and often recommended.

- Rick M

Well then, apparently I did misunderstand your post. There was a previous post referring to using the gloss component of a can of satin without stirring. I assumed you were following up on that. I was mistaken.

There are a lot of dumb folks hanging around on the Internet, but you’re not one of them.

Edit: P.S. That’s a pretty freaky profile pic you switched to. I liked the NC one better.

Edit Edit: Maybe it’s time to bury the hatchet, Rick. I’m willing if you are.

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12945 posts in 2943 days


#21 posted 07-22-2017 04:07 AM

I’m glad we sorted it out. I often reply on mobile so my answers are sometimes terse and don’t come through as well as I’d like.

That’s Gil Gerard from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century doing a 70’s O-face. Which, if I worked around Erin Gray back then, I would have been doing a lot of O – faces.
edit; spelling

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

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1153 days


#22 posted 07-22-2017 04:13 AM



I m glad we sorted it out. I often reply on mobile so my answers are sometimes terse and don t come through as well as I d like.

That s Gil Gerard from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century doing a 70 s O-face. Which, if I worked around Erin Grey back then, I would have been doing a lot of O – faces.

- Rick M

To further hijack the OP, I have enjoyed your comments on my posts, and I respect your input on here, period. Erin is definitely O-face material…lol.

Anyway, to repeat myself and others on this thread, the OP shouldn’t sweat it. Maybe if you’re doing a 1/4” build it might matter. Even then, I’d call it chatoyance and move on.

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

1147 posts in 1155 days


#23 posted 07-24-2017 10:30 AM

Did you try it? I sand with 320 between coats and I definitely would not like the appearance on the final product. Applying wax fixes it as if fils in the scratches.

My thinking is along what Rich said.

I was taught to use gloss for all coats.

- DrDirt

Rick, not Rich. I m the one who suggested gloss. Rich is the one who brought up satin.

Sure with the coat of wax the sheen can be very nice and not too glossy. However it has a big downside of being not durable, so we are talking about pure polyurethane finish here.

- Carloz

It isn t the wax that gives you the satin finish, it s sanding with 320 sandpaper. It scatters the light rays.

- Rick M


View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4600 posts in 4306 days


#24 posted 07-24-2017 10:02 PM


Did you try it? I sand with 320 between coats and I definitely would not like the appearance on the final product. Applying wax fixes it as if fills in the scratches.

- Carloz

Tempting not to enter anything here… indeed I had referred to the Gloss method of Rick and wrote Rich by mistake. Sorry to stir that up between you guys.

Carloz – - I am not following what your procedure is, that you would not like the appearance of in the final product.

I try not to sand between coats, unless I get a run, which I usually shave off with a razor blade then level by wet sanding with a cork block and 600grit with a little soap. I know some poly needs the mechanical adhesion between coats, particularly if there has been a long cure since the prior coat. I seldom use any poly. I like Lacquer… it dissolves into the previous coat. I have never had Lacquer nor shellac peel.

I certainly don’t use 320 on the top coat.
I sand the WOOD to 320. the satin sheen is from steel wool, which will look chalky without the wax. But also ALL 0000 steel wool isn’t the same. I use this stuff from liberon, and although the same ‘grit’ as the pads you find at the home center, it almost feels like steel flannel on a roll.

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

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12945 posts in 2943 days


#25 posted 07-24-2017 11:52 PM



Did you try it? I sand with 320 between coats and I definitely would not like the appearance on the final product. Applying wax fixes it as if fils in the scratches.
- Carloz

You don’t stop at 320. Come on, do you not understand how abrasive work? Have you never ground a bevel on a chisel and then used finer grits to polish it, and noticed that the scratches get smaller and finer until you get a mirror polish? Or you can start with a high polish and dull it with abrasive. Do yourself a huge favor and buy a good book on finishing, like Flexner or Jewitt. And next time you ask for help, don’t look for ways to play gotcha.

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

View Kelly's profile (online now)

Kelly

2536 posts in 3508 days


#26 posted 07-25-2017 01:07 AM

I stay with gloss, but can’t pass up a bargain. For example, a paint store was moving out quarts of Daley’s at a buck a quart, so I bought everything. However, if it’s not a bargain, I always buy gloss. If the customer wants less, I buff back using, for example, 0000 wool. Example:

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