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Top coat over gel stain

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Forum topic by PeteK posted 09-02-2019 05:23 PM 413 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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PeteK

35 posts in 1122 days


09-02-2019 05:23 PM

I’m making a play table for my kids in a farmhouse style. I used poplar and went with a gel stain for the table top. I am very happy with the even color from the gel stain, but I’m not sure what to do for a finishing coat. It’s a kid’s play table, so I’d like it to be durable, but I don’t want a shiny surface as I don’t think it would look right on a stained top.

I’ve used boiled linseed oil in the past and liked the finished result, but I used a penetrating oil stain on that project and several coats of boiled linseed oil on top. Would that work with a gel stain? I know the gel stain doesn’t penetrate so I wasn’t sure if the boiled linseed oil would penetrate and cause the stain to smudge or come off?

I’ve considered wax, but I’ve never used it. I’d like something that doesn’t have to be re-applied.

Any suggestions?

Thanks


21 replies so far

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

821 posts in 1583 days


#1 posted 09-02-2019 05:58 PM

For a kids table, I would have used a plastic laminate. However, My second choice would be oil based poly. Third would be a water based poly. There are probably more durable products but, some of them are more difficult to use for the typical hobby user like me. Boiled linseed oil will not provide much protection and takes a very long time to dry

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PeteK

35 posts in 1122 days


#2 posted 09-02-2019 06:10 PM

My wife is addicted to Fixer Upper so it had to be farmhouse style, so plastic laminate wasn’t an option. I’ve looked at the General Finishes Gel Topcoat and Arm-R-Seal. It’s hard to tell from youtube videos, but it looks like maybe the Gel Topcoat has a more satin finish.

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Rich

4823 posts in 1070 days


#3 posted 09-02-2019 06:19 PM

I think Arm-R-Seal would be a good choice. The satin sheen will look great. It’s easy to apply by wiping or with a foam brush. Apply thin coats, and when you get the film built up that you like, you’re done.

-- There's no such thing as a careless electrician

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ChefHDAN

1441 posts in 3330 days


#4 posted 09-02-2019 06:43 PM

With 3 kids and many pieces that have survived the past 18 years I can succinctly and honestly tell you that $ for $ the WB Polycrylic from Shhhh. Minwax (sacrilege I know) is tough as nails. Most of the kid style furniture play stuff etc, was sold off on Craig’s List within 5 to 7 years of making it. The kitchen table however has survived 3 kids through all sorts of science fair projects girls with nail polish and all sorts of abuse and still looks damn good. There are more expensive finishes and I buy them for work that I expect my kids to fight over or the ones where a client pays the bill but other wise that $10 qt does a great job, is easy with a brush or a gun and just needs water and soap to clean up.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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PeteK

35 posts in 1122 days


#5 posted 09-02-2019 06:48 PM

I’m a bit of a newbie to woodworking, but is Minwax really considered sacrilege? The gel stain I used was Minwax….. (slouches down below bushes)

I’ve never heard of WB Polycrylic. I’ll have to look into it. Nowhere in town carries anything by General Finishes. But they have all things Minwax.

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bondogaposis

5518 posts in 2832 days


#6 posted 09-02-2019 09:42 PM

Minwax wipe on poly is a good product.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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ChefHDAN

1441 posts in 3330 days


#7 posted 09-02-2019 10:27 PM


I m a bit of a newbie to woodworking, but is Minwax really considered sacrilege? The gel stain I used was Minwax….. (slouches down below bushes)
I ve never heard of WB Polycrylic. I ll have to look into it. Nowhere in town carries anything by General Finishes. But they have all things Minwax.
- PeteK

Pete we were all noobs once upon a time, and I’m sure we’ve all started in the finishes aisle figuring what the hell to start with. Many here have great amounts of experience and vast knowledge of many finishes I’ve never worked with but would like to one day, but you can consider Minwax the Pinto of brand names.

The higher end stores like Rockler and Woodcraft will have GF on the shelf, but I generally have to order it from Woodworkers Supply which is a great site and if you have any questions they have fantastic service over the phone.

Water Based polyurethane from Minwax is labeled with their Polycrylic brand name, its in the blue can Like I said above its pretty forgiving and easy to work with while not too expensive. Many dislike it because if you lay it on thick with many coats it can have a “plastic” look and feel. For me I use my compressor and $10 HF gun to shoot it straight out of the can, but you can get great results with a brush too if you apply it in thin coats and remember to apply it and then leave it alone, lots of re-brushng will mess up any poly. I get the piece coated and then” “Tip -Off the coat, see number 5. I use 320 to 400 to sand between the coats, and then after the final finish has cured for about 3 days, I use 0000 steel wool and paste wax to rub out the top which generally takes away the “plastic”

No matter what just remember you’ll make some mistakes but likely you’ll be the only one that sees them… Good Luck, remember to post your project and know that this is a great place to get help from some great woodworkers.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View Robert's profile

Robert

3516 posts in 1961 days


#8 posted 09-02-2019 10:37 PM

Urethane would be my choice

Any brand of poly is adequate for this project. You could vent consider a floor poly,

Personally I go with water based poly whenever possible. Much easier to apply, faster drying so I can build up several coats in one day. Do be sure to sand between coats.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View PeteK's profile

PeteK

35 posts in 1122 days


#9 posted 09-02-2019 10:40 PM

All I have near me is Lowe’s and Home Depot. I think Home Depot you can order General Finishes online and ship to store. I think my next project I will get some of their finish products. I’m thinking I may try the Minwax Polycrylic for this project though since I already used Minwax stain.

Thanks for the advice.

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

249 posts in 207 days


#10 posted 09-02-2019 10:56 PM

For a beginner, I would go with the Arm-R-Seal,
or I would check out the Bona wood floor finishes. If it’s good enough for a floor it’s good for a table. I’ve used the product on quit a few things and have been very happy with it.

I’ve used the Polycrylic, I wouldn’t waste my time and will just say that I wouldn’t use it again.

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PeteK

35 posts in 1122 days


#11 posted 09-02-2019 11:52 PM

I happen to have some Waterlox in my garage. I used it on a wood countertop a few years ago and it turned out nice. I guess I’m still unsure how the gel stain will react, since it goes on like paint basically. Would any penetrating oil ruin the stained finish?

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SMP

1336 posts in 386 days


#12 posted 09-03-2019 03:03 AM

I’d also use arm r seal or minwax poly. The arm r seal satin isn’t as shiny as any of the minwax in my opinion i also really like minwax anyique oil finish but harder to find.

View tywalt's profile

tywalt

83 posts in 645 days


#13 posted 09-03-2019 10:22 PM



I think Arm-R-Seal would be a good choice.
- Rich

What Rich said.

-- Tyler - Central TX

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

346 posts in 2215 days


#14 posted 09-04-2019 01:05 PM

Just playing Devil’s Advocate here, but one of my past projects here is a kitchen built-in with an accompanying kitchen table.

My finishing schedule was water based dye, Zinser shellac based sanding sealer, Varathane gel stain (as a glaze), the sanding sealer again, then a few coats of Minwax polycrylic. I used a higher sheen, but it can be had in satin.

I did that project 6 years ago. Everything, including the “temporary” plywood tabletop is holding up well.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3877 posts in 1868 days


#15 posted 09-04-2019 02:22 PM


Minwax wipe on poly is a good product.

- bondogaposis

+1
If you can get the satin wipe-on Minwax Polyurethane, it is really easy to apply and hard to mess up. Brushing and spraying can be more difficult because you have to maintain wet edge or worry about runs or brush marks. WOP just takes more coats ( at least 3 but up to 5) for good durable protection, and has a relatively low gloss. A lot of people make their own wipe-on poly but for me it’s not worth the trouble. Minwax makes a water based WOP but I have never tried it.

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

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