Oops, I procrastinated! Suggestions for a finish process that can be ready in 2 days?

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Forum topic by William Shelley posted 12-15-2017 05:53 PM 2996 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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William Shelley

609 posts in 2244 days

12-15-2017 05:53 PM

I’m participating in a small pop-up craft fair / vending event in a few days, and I procrastinated and don’t have some pieces ready yet. D’oh!

I’ve got six book ends made from black walnut and cast iron, that need a clear finish that is completely cured within 48 hours. Suggestions?

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

8 replies so far

View builtinbkyn's profile


3009 posts in 1715 days

#1 posted 12-15-2017 05:55 PM

Laquer? Shellac? Water based poly?

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6245 posts in 3268 days

#2 posted 12-15-2017 09:52 PM

Those are about the only choices you have…lacquer…shellac, or a waterborne.

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

View Woodknack's profile


13392 posts in 3154 days

#3 posted 12-15-2017 10:05 PM

I would narrow that to shellac or waterbase. Lacquer dries quickly but takes weeks to fully cure and off-gases during that time, you’ll have the place smelling like lacquer thinner.

-- Rick M,

View runswithscissors's profile


3099 posts in 2799 days

#4 posted 12-16-2017 02:12 AM

I like Deft water based acrylic. Can be recoated in an hour (after a light sanding).

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Dark_Lightning's profile (online now)


4101 posts in 3883 days

#5 posted 12-16-2017 09:14 PM

I’ve had good luck with Minwax water based spar urethane. It flows out really nicely with a foam brush (does not crumble the foam!) and leaves a really smooth finish. I finished my latest tool chest with it in one day. Three coats.

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

View waho6o9's profile


8909 posts in 3351 days

#6 posted 12-16-2017 09:40 PM

Shellac and then wax

View DakotaHeirlooms's profile


14 posts in 1749 days

#7 posted 12-16-2017 11:09 PM

Ever try Zinsser Quick-15? It’s a fast-drying alkyd varnish that is excellent for interior use on all woods, cabinets, doors, trim, and metal. It dries in 15 minutes to a hard, durable finish; 3 coats can be applied in one day. I’ve used it on a few Pine projects, and I’ve seen projects that our local Paint Store professional sprayed it on.

-- Harry Sorenson Dakota Heirlooms

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

609 posts in 2244 days

#8 posted 12-19-2017 07:36 PM

Thanks all. I ended up going with a base coat of Arm-R-Seal to bring out the grain, wiped really thin, and then a couple coats of a water-based polyurethane (satin Varathane) from a rattle can, it looks great.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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