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Possible to apply a harder finish over Rubio Monocoat? (4 months later)

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Forum topic by Mark posted 04-24-2019 02:40 PM 483 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark

54 posts in 634 days


04-24-2019 02:40 PM

Oof, I hate that I’m having to post this. Tl;dr can I topcoat Rubio Monocoat with something harder? Current finish is 4 months cured. If possible, I need to be able to apply multiple coats in a day.

Further detail:

I completed a conference table for a client last December, and they love it but are having issues with wood chipping. I was given really challenging specifications to work to and I’m proud of the work, however it looks like the work is not over.

Quick rundown of project. 14’ x 5’ conference table. Lumber provided for me from logs sawn on their property. White oak, sawn 5 years ago to about 10/4, ends not sealed, left outside covered. Extensive dry rot and insect damage. Client requested a sleek, modern, DARK STAIN, satin finish.

I dried the slabs, trimmed off the rot, and milled to 8/4, 7” wide and 7’ long boards.

After one month of mailing samples to the client the only one they liked was Rubio Monocoat. No other product gave a uniform enough stain due to having to fill all the big holes (tried epoxy for that, tried staining with water and oil products, tried top coating with lacquer (water and oil), poly (water and oil), and various oils. But the combination of timbermate and Rubio Monocoat was what we settled on.

Now they’re having issues with scuffs and chipping on the edges of the table. Obviously I cut off all rot, but the lumber was still highly ‘rustic’, and they didn’t want a rounded over edge. So these hard edges are getting beat up and they want me to come back and touch up those parts and they’re asking if there’s another topcoat I can apply. I said I could break the edge with a 1/8” roundover (I sent them a pic) and they declined.

It’s a conference table in a glass walled room. There is no way I can spend all day in there with a whole office gawking at me.. it’s also 2 1/2 hours away, and took a crane as 15 men to get into the building. So I’m asking if I can get in the building on a Saturday to do what I need to do. I can stay all day and wipe on thin coats of poly or lacquer, whatever I have to do.

Thanks if you’ve read this far.


10 replies so far

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

426 posts in 537 days


#1 posted 04-24-2019 03:05 PM

If the wood is chipping, that would be a wood issue. If the finish is coming off on the edges, I doubt laquer or wipe on poly is gonna be the cure. Easing the edges would help.

I would re-apply monocote, and wax.

Also train/explain to them that this finish is a maintenance finish and will periodically need touched up. Which is an advantage of this type of finish.

If none of this was covered pre-purchase, good luck to you.

View Mark's profile

Mark

54 posts in 634 days


#2 posted 04-24-2019 03:18 PM

Right. What I want to do is ease the edge, touch up the current damage, and then coat with Rubio’s maintenance oil just to up the sheen a little and freshen the appearance (perceived solution to a perceived problem).

Luckily, we have an extensive email chain of me telling them that the lumber they’re insisting I use couldn’t be more opposite from the finish they want.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1219 posts in 1852 days


#3 posted 04-24-2019 03:34 PM

Pretty table.
Whom ever picked that too dark stain, must of been an IKEA fan, not my preference.

IME – you are in a losing battle on table damage.
Run away while you can…..

#1 – Nothing will stop sharp fragile square edge of lumber from being chipped during impact.
Just like you head will always hurt if you smack it with hammer.
It’s a fact. Get used to it.
I would venture a guess that some of damage is coming from chromed steel arms of those chairs when all the way up?
Best solution to reduce the damage from impact is to ease the edge. At minimum, I would ease the bottom edge no one looks at to reduce chair damage.
If customer doesn’t want edge eased, tell them to replace the chairs with padded rails, and tell everyone using it; it is made of furniture quality wood, and not kitchen counter laminate that can be abused without damage.

#2 – Have built 2 conference room tables for executive use at different places. IME – there is absolutely no top coat that will stand up to the constant abuse of backpacks, briefcases, purses, laptops, keys, writing instruments, or always dropped coffee mugs. No matter what you use, it will get dinged, scuffed, scratched, and splashed with stuff, all of it leaving marks. A thick poly is more durable, but if dinged hard; it leaves an uglier mark (compared to oil finish). The only way to truly protect a natural wood surface from gorillas in business world who don’t respect wood is adding a tempered glass sheet on top. One table I made started out as oil, then lacquer, then 2K poly; final solution was fresh poly after repair, and sheet of tempered glass.

+1 teach the customer that they finish they picked is monthly maintenance type of finish, just like museum quality furniture. His choice, his consequences.

Best Luck!

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

View Mark's profile

Mark

54 posts in 634 days


#4 posted 04-24-2019 03:48 PM

Thanks so much for such a detailed response.

If I may ask: who paid for the saga of finishing on that conference table? Did you eat any of it, or say “I did my job, if you want it changed you pay for it.” I’ve not had this come up before.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2191 posts in 2156 days


#5 posted 04-24-2019 04:13 PM

You should be able to get shellac to bond to Rubio. In fact I’ve never seen anything shellac will not bond to.
I only use fresh flakes if you go this route button lac is very hard and durable.
But like others have mentioned a new finish doesn’t really address the failing edge. White oak should be very solid for a edge.
Unless its punky.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View SMP's profile

SMP

821 posts in 263 days


#6 posted 04-24-2019 04:52 PM

Sounds/looks like they wanted a poly covered walnut conference table(kind of trendy now in conference rooms), but insisted on using dry rotted oak. I second the option of covering with tempered glass. Only other thing I could think of is some kind of stainless steel edge banding

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5366 posts in 2709 days


#7 posted 04-24-2019 05:57 PM

Cut the arms off of the chairs, they’ll probably never notice.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

426 posts in 537 days


#8 posted 04-24-2019 07:54 PM

Mark, did you go over IN DETAIL what Monocoat is? Did you go over who was going to maintain it? And more importantly, is it in writing?

If these things weren’t covered, IMHO, you are in the wrong. And there is not a good fix.

General public has no clue how to take care of wood finishes.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1440 posts in 1582 days


#9 posted 04-25-2019 02:52 AM



Mark, did you go over IN DETAIL what Monocoat is? Did you go over who was going to maintain it? And more importantly, is it in writing?

If these things weren’t covered, IMHO, you are in the wrong. And there is not a good fix.

General public has no clue how to take care of wood finishes.

- CWWoodworking

Did they get the Rubio monocoat from instagram? Last year that was the finish to end all finishes and now they’re on to some other one I can’t think of off the top of my head.

Instagram is great for getting ideas and marketing but the bandwagon complexes there are so damn frustrating and mind numbing. I’m going to start building more custom furniture and trying to figure out a way to tell people no, i will not do resin pour tables…

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

426 posts in 537 days


#10 posted 04-25-2019 03:53 AM

Monocoat been around awhile. It’s decent for what it is. But it has to be explained what it entails.

I once made a table line where I used Monocoat. Ended up not selling, but the furniture store used the sofa table to store there catalogs because it didn’t scuff like the film finishes did. Also had a table in my house with a similar product that was surprisingly resistant to wear and tear.

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