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Blemishes/spots in arm r seal finish

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Forum topic by Goodsh posted 03-28-2018 02:12 AM 939 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Goodsh

89 posts in 2343 days


03-28-2018 02:12 AM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut finish finishing

Update: With pictures. I put pictures in and they showed up when I did a preview but the actual post cut them out and cut off half of my message. Trying again…

Any thoughts on what is causing this? Walnut coffee table finished with arm r seal. I did several coats to build up the finish and then rubbed it out with wet sandpaper and steel wool to a smooth finish. It did not have these spots after I was done. They’ve slowly developed over the last year. The table does get a little beaten up by the kids (along with pretty much everything else in the house…) so maybe they’ve worn through the finish by climbing on it and playing with toys on it.

Thoughts on how to fix? Can I just add more coats on top? Should I just do these spots or the whole thing?


12 replies so far

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ScottM

737 posts in 2569 days


#1 posted 03-28-2018 12:14 PM

Pictures would help. No idea what you’re describing.

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Goodsh

89 posts in 2343 days


#2 posted 03-28-2018 01:24 PM

I did have pictures in there. Not sure what happened. Will repost

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jonah

2075 posts in 3721 days


#3 posted 03-28-2018 01:31 PM

Adding more finish will not solve the problem. It’s hard to tell, but it looks like the finish is indeed wearing away in those spots, though I’m skeptical of that as an explanation because I don’t see scratches or what I’d expect to see if it were wearing away due to use. It could be the angle and the light that’s preventing me from seeing those.

Arm-R-Seal is not a finish you can just seamlessly blend the new with the old, unfortunately. It builds up in distinct, separate layers, unlike something like lacquer which is pretty homogeneous throughout and can thus be repaired quite easily.

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ScottM

737 posts in 2569 days


#4 posted 03-28-2018 01:46 PM

I looked back at your original post of the project and you mentioned rubbing the finish out too much causing discoloration along with “soapy” spots that required “heavy sanding”. Are these the same spots? Maybe those spots are just a lot thinner than the rest and have worn quicker??

Nice looking table, though.

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Ripper70

1292 posts in 1331 days


#5 posted 03-28-2018 01:50 PM

Is that wear from the top down through the clear coat? It looks more like haze from beneath the finish in those pics.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

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WyattCo

93 posts in 527 days


#6 posted 03-28-2018 05:04 PM

To see if it’s on the surface or beneath the surface, wipe the table top down with mineral spirits. If the problem areas go away until the MS dries, you’ll know all you need to do is coat it with finish (poly or whatever).

View Rich's profile

Rich

4583 posts in 1012 days


#7 posted 03-28-2018 05:12 PM


To see if it’s on the surface or beneath the surface, wipe the table top down with mineral spirits. If the problem areas go away until the MS dries, you’ll know all you need to do is coat it with finish (poly or whatever). As mentioned, arm r seal is not a finish.

- Fthis

No, Arm-R-Seal definitely is a finish. Read Jonah’s complete sentence. He didn’t say it’s not a finish, he said it’s not a finish that will blend easily with existing layers, like lacquer and shellac. It can be done, but it will take a lot of know how.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2892 posts in 2771 days


#8 posted 03-28-2018 05:17 PM

I have a couple of desks with large tops that are finished with Arm-R-Seal. The only time I’ve seen light discoloring like this on walnut was when I didn’t get all of the glue wiped off and sanded out before I started applying Arm-R-Seal. Any chance you got something on the raw wood that sealed it off in those places? Still, I would expect to see that kind of discoloration immediately, not after a year.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View WyattCo's profile

WyattCo

93 posts in 527 days


#9 posted 03-28-2018 05:21 PM


To see if it’s on the surface or beneath the surface, wipe the table top down with mineral spirits. If the problem areas go away until the MS dries, you’ll know all you need to do is coat it with finish (poly or whatever). As mentioned, arm r seal is not a finish.

- Fthis

No, Arm-R-Seal definitely is a finish.

I edited right after submitting. I wasn’t thinking about their top coat.

View Goodsh's profile

Goodsh

89 posts in 2343 days


#10 posted 03-31-2018 01:48 AM

Thanks for the responses. I don’t recall if it’s he same spots that were cloudy when I first finished it. Too long ago. A couple questions:


Is that wear from the top down through the clear coat? It looks more like haze from beneath the finish in those pics.

- Ripper70

What would cause haze from below?

To see if it’s on the surface or beneath the surface, wipe the table top down with mineral spirits. If the problem areas go away until the MS dries, you’ll know all you need to do is coat it with finish (poly or whatever). As mentioned, arm r seal is not a finish.

- Fthis

No, Arm-R-Seal definitely is a finish. Read Jonah’s complete sentence. He didn’t say it’s not a finish, he said it’s not a finish that will blend easily with existing layers, like lacquer and shellac. It can be done, but it will take a lot of know how.

- Rich

Hmmm… I have limited know how. Would sanding and doing new coats over the whole thing work or do I need to fully strip it down. When I look closely and run my hand on it it doesn’t look or feel like he finish is rubbed through but maybe I just don’t know what to look for.

View Goodsh's profile

Goodsh

89 posts in 2343 days


#11 posted 03-31-2018 01:49 AM


I have a couple of desks with large tops that are finished with Arm-R-Seal. The only time I ve seen light discoloring like this on walnut was when I didn t get all of the glue wiped off and sanded out before I started applying Arm-R-Seal. Any chance you got something on the raw wood that sealed it off in those places? Still, I would expect to see that kind of discoloration immediately, not after a year.

- EarlS

I can’t think of anything. It’s nowhere near a glue line and I can’t think of what else would have gotten on it.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1509 posts in 1917 days


#12 posted 03-31-2018 04:16 PM

Hard to see the quality or porosity of surface finish?

One observation:
discoloration is limited to softer, more porous areas, and does not effect the harder annual rings?

On a flat sawn board like that one shown, it is possible to have scalloping or dishing into the softer wood; especially when using ROS. This makes for uneven top coat thickness, and maybe even spots near rings/ridges with limited top coat that could allow contamination to penetrate under finish. If you used a sanding sealer under the ArmRSeal, then the staining could be non-uniformity in sanding sealer that has become apparent thanks to changes in moisture.

Is there any indication that surface was scraped, damaged, or has exposed grain?
+1 – wipe it down with mineral spirits: does it change stain color?
If it is restored with MS, then additional top coating should fix issue.

The color change appears to almost be bleached. Is there open grain showing around the stained areas, where some cleaning agent has permeated to wood?
Applying MS in this condition might have some MS penetrate and only partially change the color. If this happens, then need to sand off old finish, and redo entire top.

Best Luck!

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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