LumberJocks

Non Traditional Finish for a Morris Chair

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by Tony1212 posted 10-16-2019 01:23 PM 301 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

375 posts in 2339 days


10-16-2019 01:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: morris chair finish poly varnish finishing arts and crafts cherry walnut

I’m currently building a morris chair using walnut and cherry similar to this.

What would be the best finish for something like this? I imagine the armrests will be getting a lot of use and would need some kind of film building finish. Knowing my wife, there will be coffee cups and iced tea glasses getting rested on them.

Waterlox? Arm-R-Seal? Wipe on Poly? Something better?

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs


12 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5605 posts in 2956 days


#1 posted 10-16-2019 02:37 PM

Oil base poly is the most durable and is what I would use.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5925 posts in 3098 days


#2 posted 10-16-2019 06:51 PM

I love the look of that chair. Bondo has it, waterborne finishes have come a long way, but It still seems to me the oil based ones hold an edge in durability. I’d use a good oil based varnish of your choice. The only thing better would be one of the catalyzed finishes which generally aren’t available for use to us mere mortals.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2500 posts in 2594 days


#3 posted 10-16-2019 08:23 PM

Regular solvent poly. It can be thinned 1:1 and applied like an oil finish (wiped off) or build a film.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11998 posts in 4033 days


#4 posted 10-17-2019 12:18 PM

I start with a 50/50 mix of Watco and oil based poly as a wipe on for the first of four coats. Succeeding coats get 25% more poly. Final (5th) coat is sprayed straight poly. 2 of my Morris chairs have been in use for 6 years with no cup/ glass ring damsge.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

375 posts in 2339 days


#5 posted 10-17-2019 12:58 PM



Oil base poly is the most durable and is what I would use.

- bondogaposis

From what I understand (and I could be completely wrong) all three of the options listed, Waterlox, Arm R Seal an Minwax Wipe On Poly are all oil based poly, right?

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

375 posts in 2339 days


#6 posted 10-17-2019 01:01 PM



I love the look of that chair. Bondo has it, waterborne finishes have come a long way, but It still seems to me the oil based ones hold an edge in durability. I d use a good oil based varnish of your choice. The only thing better would be one of the catalyzed finishes which generally aren t available for use to us mere mortals.

- Fred Hargis

Yeah, it’s a beautiful chair. It has taken me most of this year to get to a point where I’m seriously looking at finishing options. All of those curves make for very difficult mortise and tenons.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

375 posts in 2339 days


#7 posted 10-17-2019 01:03 PM



Regular solvent poly. It can be thinned 1:1 and applied like an oil finish (wiped off) or build a film.

- OSU55

Regular solvent poly? Is Waterlox or Arm R Seal a regular solvent poly?

Sorry for my cluelessness, this is my first foray into nice furniture builds.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

375 posts in 2339 days


#8 posted 10-17-2019 01:04 PM



I start with a 50/50 mix of Watco and oil based poly as a wipe on for the first of four coats. Succeeding coats get 25% more poly. Final (5th) coat is sprayed straight poly. 2 of my Morris chairs have been in use for 6 years with no cup/ glass ring damsge.

- Gene Howe

Why the Watco mix rather than just a regular oil based poly?

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5925 posts in 3098 days


#9 posted 10-17-2019 01:04 PM


Oil base poly is the most durable and is what I would use.

- bondogaposis

From what I understand (and I could be completely wrong) all three of the options listed, Waterlox, Arm R Seal an Minwax Wipe On Poly are all oil based poly, right?

- Tony1212

Waterlox is not a urethane finish, at least the Waterlox original isn’t. It’s a phenolic resin varnish, the other 2 are urethane. The Waterlox will have a much darker color than the others as well.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

375 posts in 2339 days


#10 posted 10-17-2019 01:11 PM


Oil base poly is the most durable and is what I would use.

- bondogaposis

From what I understand (and I could be completely wrong) all three of the options listed, Waterlox, Arm R Seal an Minwax Wipe On Poly are all oil based poly, right?

- Tony1212

Waterlox is not a urethane finish, at least the Waterlox original isn t. It s a phenolic resin varnish, the other 2 are urethane. The Waterlox will have a much darker color than the others as well.

- Fred Hargis

I should have been more specific. I am looking at the Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish.

Any guesses as to what finish is used in the picture in the OP?

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5925 posts in 3098 days


#11 posted 10-17-2019 03:28 PM

If that photo is of a commercially available chair, it’s almost certainly some 2-part (catalyzed) finish the industry uses. Regardless of the source, I find it impossible to guess at what the finish might be in a photo.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2500 posts in 2594 days


#12 posted 10-17-2019 03:31 PM


Regular solvent poly. It can be thinned 1:1 and applied like an oil finish (wiped off) or build a film.

- OSU55

Regular solvent poly? Is Waterlox or Arm R Seal a regular solvent poly?

Sorry for my cluelessness, this is my first foray into nice furniture builds.

- Tony1212

Waterlox has several formulations, including one with urethane. ARS, Minwax, and several other brands are oil based poly, I call them solvent (petrol based solvents are used) vs water based. Finish Mfr’s are intentionally many times vague about just what a finish is. Search for Bob Flexner finish types to get a better understang, and I have some links in my blog here

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com