General Arm-R-Seal

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Forum topic by Ben posted 08-13-2018 12:16 AM 1141 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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464 posts in 3631 days

08-13-2018 12:16 AM

I recently decided to try Arm-R-Seal after hearing of so many of you using it.

I used a foam brush on a small bookshelf, and had a very hard time keeping the finish from “drooping” on the verticals, no matter how thin I put it on. Would I have better luck with a rag?
Or does this finish require all pieces to be horizontal?

I’ve been using wipe-on-poly for a long time. The dry time is much quicker and it’s basically idiot proof. Not sure I’m sold on the Arm-R-Seal.


7 replies so far

View IHRedRules's profile


116 posts in 2250 days

#1 posted 08-13-2018 12:23 AM

I use a clean cotton cloth to wipe it on, no problems, even when using on vertical surfaces.

View Ben's profile


464 posts in 3631 days

#2 posted 08-13-2018 12:41 AM

Thanks. I’ll definitely try that on the next project.

View ScottKaye's profile


782 posts in 2727 days

#3 posted 08-13-2018 01:04 AM

Best finish technique I have found for Arm-R-Seal is to cut up some old nylons, preferably your wife’s or GF’s.. Hopefully not yours. Anyway. take the nylons and stuff it with some clean rags. (home depot sells a package of lint-free wiping cloths/rags in the paint section. Ball up a rag and stuff it inside a nylon. tie a knot in both ends so the ball/wad is tight and use that to wipe the Arm-R-Seal on your project. Guaranteed no streaks and it should be lint free as long as the environment you’re doing this in is relatively clean.

My two cents.

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View RobS888's profile


2829 posts in 2619 days

#4 posted 08-13-2018 01:42 AM

I use a cloth on most surfaces, but a foam brush to lay it on thicker on the horizontal surfaces that will get wear.

-- I always knew gun nuts where afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View BurlyBob's profile


7616 posts in 3040 days

#5 posted 08-13-2018 03:32 AM

I’ve used the same technique that Scott mentions with oil poly and had great results. I’ve used folded pieces of polyester cloth inside nylons. I’ve dipped them in seriously thinned varnish and used them more or less like a squeegee. Play with the light across the surface and you can see the coverage you get.

Honestly stay away from cotton or any natural fabric. They will all leave lint.

View EarlS's profile


3734 posts in 3122 days

#6 posted 08-13-2018 10:52 AM

I use the cotton rags you can get at the big box store. After cutting off a 10×10 piece, fold it into a 3×3 square, dip it in the Arm-R-Seal and start wiping. The rag wicks away the excess finish so it doesn’t go on too heavy. No problems with lint.

The key to Arm-R-Seal application seems to be to apply a very thin layer, almost like applying a Danish oil. Seal-a-Cell first, then 3 coats of Arm-R-Seal with light sanding between coats, the wax and buff.

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

View Rich's profile (online now)


5619 posts in 1364 days

#7 posted 08-13-2018 02:08 PM

A foam brush will work just fine if you do it right. They are easy to overload with finish, so you have to avoid that. Also brushing upwards helps.

For the inevitable sags though, here are two posts that will help. The first is a tip on finding sags and inconsistencies in the Arm-R-Seal finish, and the second is a review for a finish planer that is far more effective than sanding.

To help find flaws:
Planer review:

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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