White Finish that does not yellow & Fisheye problems

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Forum topic by DTSquared posted 11-20-2017 04:39 PM 690 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 961 days

11-20-2017 04:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: fisheye non-yellowing white painttopcoats

Hello all,

I am new to this forum and also fairly new to refinishing and was hoping to get some advice on a simple project.

First, I purchased an Earlex 5500 for painting all the interior doors and closets but thought why not give it a try for a new paint-grade maple table top that will get fairly heavy use as our kitchen table. Unfortunately there are a couple of problems we need to solve.

We wanted it a brighter white originally and was planning on using General Finishes Snow White Milk paint and topcoating it with their High Performance Top Coat. I have applied those products by hand previously on other small projects and all has gone well application wise except that with time, the HPTC did indeed yellow. So instead of white, we choose Driftwood gray. Unfortunately, it appears that the brand new top we ordered from a Vermont shop is contaminated with something. Since the top was new and ready for sanding, I gave it a quick knockdown with 220 grit. As I starting finishing it with the Milk Paint, there was an darker looking spot that sanded out evenly so I didn’t think much of it. Once I got to the HPTC though, it was apparent it was something more. I got fisheye.

I realize I will now need to strip it back bare, give it a deeper sanding and then seal with wax-free shellac (might do a white pigmented).

If I am going to go to all this trouble, I might as well get the white color we originally wanted. But, I don’t want it to yellow. On the GF website they are now saying their HPTC will yellow and recommend using their
Enduro White Pigmented Poly instead. Since I have the sprayer, not a problem.

So can you tell me if my process to eliminate the contamination will work? Are there other products for sealing in contamination better than shellac?

Secondly, from your experiences does the white pigmented poly from GF not also yellow? I know there are other waterborne finishes out there, but would not mind sticking to the GF line as it is fairly easy to get locally.

Thanks in advance.

6 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6243 posts in 3267 days

#1 posted 11-21-2017 02:13 PM

Lots of questions, and only one I will offer an opinion on. There is not a better sealer against contaminants than shellac, of course that’s only my opinion. But shellac is known as the great go-between in the finishing world, it sticks pretty much to anything and the reverse is also true. Bear in mind, that should be a dewaxed variety (Zinnser Bullseye Seal coat)..the waxy shellac often has a problem with waterborne finishes and urethane finishes adhering to it.

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

View OSU55's profile


2647 posts in 2763 days

#2 posted 11-27-2017 09:30 PM

The only thing I will add to Fred’s advice is to contact the shop and ask them what they did for surface prep and application of anything to the wood. It may or may not make any difference on how to procede.

View DTSquared's profile


6 posts in 961 days

#3 posted 11-27-2017 09:47 PM

Fred and OSU55, thank you. I am going to contact the shop. We were careful about clean hands, gloves, etc. when handling. However, the night before we sprayed some Advance on another piece and perhaps we could have cleaned the gun better. With Advance we have just been using soapy hot water and following the Earlex directions to the letter. I went to an Apollo demo and their rep said he always runs DNA through the gun just as precaution even if the product is water-based. On the bright side, I learned what fisheye is. I sometimes believe you have to learn these types of things first-hand to really understand. Just wish it was not this project right now. We are working on a lot of projects and it would be nice to have something completed.

I hope to use General Finishes Enduro White pigmented as that is not supposed to yellow. I don’t think the Advance would be a good topcoat for a heavy use kitchen table.

After I strip it, I will clean the surface with denatured alcohol then use either the dewaxed Seal Coat or the BIN Shellac white based primer. I am hesitant to clean with mineral spirits as I plan on doing a water based finish again.

View JR545's profile


24 posts in 1961 days

#4 posted 11-27-2017 10:23 PM

DTS, you’re good to go with the GF pigmented poly. Very nice product and doesn’t yellow.
I’d apply two coats of Seal-Coat and allow to dry over night before the poly is applied.

View DTSquared's profile


6 posts in 961 days

#5 posted 11-27-2017 11:03 PM

With the GF pigmented poly the dry time between coats is 30 minutes to 2 hours. Should I clean out my gun between the three coats they recommend? I am worried that since it is so quick to dry, particularly as winter approaches and humidity is low, that the gun will clog. I am using the Earlex 5500.

View OSU55's profile


2647 posts in 2763 days

#6 posted 11-28-2017 01:06 PM

The BIN shellac white primer is what I would use. I use a conversion gun vs turbine, but you should not need to clean between coats. Wipe off the gun tip with dna after spraying a coat, then check it before next coat.

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