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Fixing a Walnut Counter refinish gone bad

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Forum topic by JR104 posted 06-21-2021 11:08 AM 569 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JR104

5 posts in 45 days


06-21-2021 11:08 AM

Topic tags/keywords: krystal walnut counter finishes

Hello!

I would like to get some feedback regarding refinishing a walnut counter top. It is about 4 years old and was originally finished with ML Campbell’s Krystal product in a Satin finish. I’ve searched the forum and haven’t been able to find an answer to my question, so apologize if this has been addressed.

I started by sanding the counter, 220 grit followed my 400 and then a finishing pad, so the surface was in good shape for a new coat. I wanted to apply a new coat of the Krystal, which is where things went south, part bad advice and part my own fault.

The problem:
1) I applied a new coat of the Krystal; however, I did not add the catalyst and I tried brushing it on.
2) Of course, without out the catalyst, the finish did not dry, which wasn’t helped because brushing the finish on made it much thicker than spraying it.
3) To “resolve” 1 & 2 above, I took lacquer thinner and literally kept wiping the counter down until I was able to remove the vast majority of the poor finish.
4) The counter has now dried and is as shown in the attached images and I am getting ready to do a finish sanding again in preparation for whatever finish solution.

I really would like to be able to use the Krystal but seems that’s not practical given the application requirements and the environment because I can’t remove the counter and take it out of the house. So, my quandary at this point is whether there is another way to apply the Krystal or, alternately, what can I use instead to add a new finish that will both be compatible with the product on there and be durable for daily use. Caveat, my wife does NOT want any kind of polyurethane that will give the counter a “plastic” look. I had a local furniture company suggest General Finishes Arm-r-Seal but I’m not going to jump into anything more until I get some better feedback and advice.

Hope this was enough information and I would appreciate any advice/recommendations.

Thanks for your time!
Joe


11 replies so far

View tbone's profile

tbone

329 posts in 4849 days


#1 posted 06-21-2021 01:05 PM

Personally, I wipe on with a cloth Arm-R-Seal exclusively and have had good results every time. However in your case, I would contact the General Finishes people—or the ML Campbell people—and tell them what you are doing and how to achieve the look you want.

-- Kinky Friedman: "The first thing I'll do if I'm elected is demand a recount."

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7093 posts in 3658 days


#2 posted 06-21-2021 01:16 PM

You certainly picked an excellent product for that application, I’d do as suggested above and get in touch with ML Campbell.

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

View SMP's profile

SMP

4459 posts in 1070 days


#3 posted 06-21-2021 01:22 PM

Are you sure you cant remove it? Usually you remove the drawers etc and there are blocks/clips with screws that go through to attach the counter. Removing all of the screws should allow you to remove the top, unless somebody did something weird.

If you really cant remove it, strip it down to bare wood and use one of the Osmo Polyx products. No toxic smelll and works well, and will appease your wife. Arm-r-seal leaves a plastic coat of poly that your wife wont like.

View JR104's profile

JR104

5 posts in 45 days


#4 posted 06-21-2021 02:48 PM



Personally, I wipe on with a cloth Arm-R-Seal exclusively and have had good results every time. However in your case, I would contact the General Finishes people—or the ML Campbell people—and tell them what you are doing and how to achieve the look you want.

- tbone

Thank you, tbone. ML says as long as I prep the wood properly, I can put whatever I want, so will consider the Arm-R-Seal. My only concerns are yellowing because it’s a urethane and getting a non-glossy look.

View JR104's profile

JR104

5 posts in 45 days


#5 posted 06-21-2021 02:49 PM



You certainly picked an excellent product for that application, I d do as suggested above and get in touch with ML Campbell.

- Fred Hargis

Thanks, Fred. ML Campbell said I’m fine with any finish as long as I prep the surface appropriately, so just need to decide on the product that will work best at this point.

View JR104's profile

JR104

5 posts in 45 days


#6 posted 06-21-2021 02:51 PM



Are you sure you cant remove it? Usually you remove the drawers etc and there are blocks/clips with screws that go through to attach the counter. Removing all of the screws should allow you to remove the top, unless somebody did something weird.

If you really cant remove it, strip it down to bare wood and use one of the Osmo Polyx products. No toxic smelll and works well, and will appease your wife. Arm-r-seal leaves a plastic coat of poly that your wife wont like.

- SMP

Thanks, SMP. No, can’t remove the counter because of size, weight, and method of attachment. I’ll look in the Osmo products a bit more, so appreciate the reference.

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1813 posts in 4014 days


#7 posted 06-21-2021 05:46 PM

I think the Rubio Monocoat is the best way for you given the simplicity of the application and the size of the counter. I’d say something different if it looked like you were using knives directly on it, but it looks like it’s just a work surface for you.

This article might be of help for you ; https://napervillehardwood.com/blog/the-hardwax-oil-experiment-the-winner/

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

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

7127 posts in 1754 days


#8 posted 06-21-2021 06:22 PM


I ll look in the Osmo products a bit more, so appreciate the reference.

- JR104

OSMO makes a product called Top Oil that would be better suited for a countertop than their Polyx-Oil.

In my opinion, it’s a superior choice for a countertop because it does give you some build for better sheen and protection. Rubio is a one coat application that does not offer that. They even point that out in the article linked above.

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

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

4691 posts in 2659 days


#9 posted 06-22-2021 01:24 AM

Welcome to LumberJocks!

1) Krystal CV is great product for kitchen. Very durable, and hard wearing.
Have to ask: What happened that you needed to refinish a 4 year old countertop?
Did sheen change, or did finish become damaged?

Reason I ask is simple. CV is great for table top, but is not usable on cutting board surface. If the kitchen island is used as wood cutting board, then you need to do something different. Either change how you use the surface, or switch to oil/wax finish that is easy to replenish when damaged.

2) If you can’t remove the table top, you can make a mini spray room in kitchen. Can put up plastic walls around the kitchen island, hung from cabinets/ceiling. Close off the kitchen for 1 day from rest of house, and cover the vents with plastic/tape to block airflow. Put a fan in window and suck fumes outside. Not pretty, not cheap; but it works.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

2044 posts in 1344 days


#10 posted 06-22-2021 01:55 AM

Depends on what your expectations are. If you want to use it like a kitchen is used the krystal isn’t going to hold up. I would switch to a hard wax oil type and be prepared to maintain.

If something just happened and you want to refinish, just take if off sand and respray. Make sure you don’t exceed mil limit.

View xedos's profile

xedos

367 posts in 465 days


#11 posted 06-23-2021 12:04 PM

JR – if you’re going to use any of these hard wax oil finishes , you’re going to have to sand down the top to bare wood to remove the Krystal.

Otherwise, you’ll have another set of issues.

I’m not that familiar with Krystal , but why did you even attempt to use a conversion varnish without the catalyst ?

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