Top notch Waterborne Finish

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Review by mckenziedrums posted 01-12-2010 01:48 AM 5974 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Top notch Waterborne Finish No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

When I moved into the new house I had to set up my “spray” area near to a hot water heater… That pretty much eliminated any chance I had of spraying flammable liquids. Since I don’t have a dedicated work shop I needed a water based finish I could count on. I’ve tried many of the brands you can get from the box stores and they always had that blue tinge to them that drove me nuts on naturally finished wood. Sure I can get away with blue drums but I didn’t want to start a whole line of them… A friend recommended I try Crystalac and I got pretty good results with that (incredibly fast dry time for a waterborne too…) but even that seemed to have a hint (barely) of the blue tint.

After trying the other products I’ve pretty much come to rely on Target’s Emtech series. It’s not the fastest drying finish so it’s not going to work for those of you that have fast production times but I can wait a week before wet sanding so it doesn’t really bother me. For a hobbyist finisher that isn’t in a rush and doesn’t want to spray high VOC finishes this is the ticket.

Pros: Crystal clear finish… Fairly inexpensive (~$70 a gallon)... GREAT product support by the company… Ready to spray out of the can

Cons: Slow cure time compared to traditional finishes.

I’ve tried a few other Target products like the Super Clear 9000 but I personally just love the hardness of the 9300 series. It’s probably overkill for most applications but drums take a beating so I need something that can hold up to it. The picture I’ve included is of a shell finished with 3 coats of Emtech 8800 sealer and 5 coats of Emtech 9300. It’s been wet sanded up to 2000 grit and buffed to a final finish. Incidentally I did accidentally buff a bit too long on this one originally and had to sand it all the way back down. Let me say this: Get your finish right the first time. It took me 3 sanding discs to sand through this finish. It’s tough stuff.

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121 posts in 3827 days

2 comments so far

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121 posts in 3827 days

#1 posted 01-12-2010 02:00 AM

Oh.. I should add this:

Waterborne still doesn’t get you that depth and glow of oil or traditional solvent based finishes. There is an easy cure for this though.

First coat: Waterlox Tung oil (or pick whatever modified tung you want to use… pure tung takes too long to dry)

Second coat: Zinnser Shellac Sealcoat (the best barrier coat on the market, period.)

Final coats: Whatever finish you want… in this case water borne top coats.

That method allows you to get the beauty of an oil/solvent based finish with the safety and slightly more ecofriendly waterborne products.

View CharlesNeil's profile


2501 posts in 4640 days

#2 posted 01-15-2010 09:07 PM

while I am a General Finish fan, your schedule with the waterlox and seal coat is dead on point… nice write

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