5 gallon finish - how to open and re-seal container?

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Forum topic by ELB posted 05-05-2017 12:22 PM 1331 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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11 posts in 1343 days

05-05-2017 12:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finish sw kemvar 5gal question


I’m a bit stumped on this one…

I just picked up 5 gal of SW Kemvar F3 Conversion Varnish. The metal container is sealed with a metal lid that is crimped on. In the past when I’ve used 5 gallon containers (SW lacquer, SW vinyl sealer, lacquer thinner, etc), the metal containers have always had a plastic spout cut into the top. This new container does not.

So, I’m sure I can pry the crimping loose and get the lid (top) off of the container, but how do I re-seal it, since I clearly won’t use all 5 gallons in one spray session….

How is this typically handled?


10 replies so far

View tomsteve's profile


988 posts in 1829 days

#1 posted 05-05-2017 01:13 PM

4 or 5 of these handled it for me

View ELB's profile


11 posts in 1343 days

#2 posted 05-05-2017 01:20 PM

Thanks for the reply.

Problem solved.
Even easier – I made a call to SW and they said stop in and they’ll swap it to the other style of lid, with the plastic pour spout built in.


View GR8HUNTER's profile


6834 posts in 1322 days

#3 posted 05-05-2017 01:29 PM

DITTO # 1 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1509 days

#4 posted 05-05-2017 01:49 PM

I just hammer the tabs back down.

View WhyMe's profile


1208 posts in 2171 days

#5 posted 05-05-2017 02:22 PM

For longer shelf life you’d be better off using the smaller cans as tomsteve suggested. The air gap is what spoils the varnish. Unless you use it up really quickly.

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1530 days

#6 posted 05-05-2017 05:29 PM


A little off topic, but I think as you do; the air space in an opened can of finish is what spoils the finish. Beyond just air, I suspect it is the oxygen in the air that ruins the canned finish. To that end, I have wondered whether spraying some carbon dioxide or nitrogen into a can of finish to displace the air just before replacing the lid would extend the life of the finish. Both gases are available in aerosol cans in the $10 price range. My understanding is that nitrogen gas is added to an opened bottle of wine to preserve the wine.

View ELB's profile


11 posts in 1343 days

#7 posted 05-05-2017 05:54 PM


I’ve often considered (and likely will) start ‘filling’ half-used finish containers with argon from my mig welder. Argon should be the perfect ‘covering’ for a half-used can of finish, being inert and heavier than air.

There’s also a commercial product called ‘bloxygen’ which essential is a small aerosol can of argon, marketed for this exact purpose.


View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1509 days

#8 posted 05-05-2017 05:56 PM

Just wondering if conversion varnish will spoil from the oxygen as regular varnishes do, since it takes catalyst to activate it ??

I never have that problem with any of my lacquers. I buy 5’s and I can go back to one 3 or 4,5 months later with no problems whatsoever. (I know lacquer is not conversion varnish though)

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1530 days

#9 posted 05-05-2017 07:03 PM


Thanks. I was unaware of the Argon in a can. I think I will pick some up and give it a try.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3766 posts in 3719 days

#10 posted 05-06-2017 03:32 AM

I learned something today! The Argon would sit on top of the finish, since it is heavier than air, so any eventual mixing (slow, since the air flow is really slow) would also be slow. I never checked into Bloxygen, though I had heard of it. Just a spritz is all it takes. I’ll have to get some!

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

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