Speeding up dry/cure time for General's SBF?

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Forum topic by Karen posted 04-26-2019 12:35 PM 465 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 702 days

04-26-2019 12:35 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finish cure dry time general salad bowl fast quicken speed

I have a couple of projects I’m putting SBF on, and would really like to speed up the wait time between coats. I have the ability to put a shelf in my clothes dryer, and run it on low heat, or no heat at all (just circulates air). Would this help? Is there any downside to doing this? Thoughts?

6 replies so far

View Rich's profile (online now)


5631 posts in 1369 days

#1 posted 04-26-2019 03:19 PM

Heat and circulation will decrease the cure time somewhat. If it were me however, I’d be patient and let it cure at room temperature. Next time you’re in a hurry, choose lacquer instead.

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

View LesB's profile


2561 posts in 4223 days

#2 posted 04-26-2019 04:42 PM

A warmer environment will speed up the curing process. If my shop is on the cool side I usually bring the work into a solarium off our family room where it is much warmer. The clothes dryer is an interesting idea. I think I would let the finish sit for an hour or so before heating it up.

The only down side I see in speeding things up is that if it cures too fast the finish may not have time to level out smoothly. I usually apply the salad bowl finish with a piece of high quality paper towel. That way I can just throw it away instead of trying to clean a brush. A lint free cloth works too. Wear gloves to keep it off you hands.

If you are trying to get a faster build up you may want to try Behlen’s salad bowl finish. I find it goes on much thicker than Generals. I usually apply 3 coats of Behlens but use 4 coats of General.

-- Les B, Oregon

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5478 posts in 2167 days

#3 posted 04-26-2019 05:10 PM

I’d be afraid that your clothes will smell like the finish for a while so I wouldn’t do this. I think you best bet would be warmer spot and plenty of air flow. I tried that finish (now called wood bowl finish) recently for the first time and personally I was not impressed. It works well enough but I don’t like the 24 hour cure time between coats and it smells unpleasant. If I have to wait that long between coats anyway, I like Tried and True varnish oil better.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View SMP's profile (online now)


2139 posts in 685 days

#4 posted 04-26-2019 05:47 PM

I find I get best results by not rushing things. Is there a reason you are trying to speed it up? or just antsy? What is the temp and humidity where you are/ When I do need to “rush” I’ll use a hair dryer, or bring a space heater into the garage to get the whole garage warm and dry. I’d personally avoid the clothes dryer thing, I don’t want to end up on the news.

View bondogaposis's profile


5791 posts in 3131 days

#5 posted 04-26-2019 06:29 PM

By rushing it, you will run the risk of a gummy finish, you will then have to strip it off to correct and then start all over. That will take much longer. Go slow, it’s faster.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Karen's profile


14 posts in 702 days

#6 posted 04-30-2019 12:31 PM

Thanks, everyone, for the great feedback and tips! I’ve decided to heed your warnings and just let science take its course.

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