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  1. #1

    Smile Applying waterlox to veneer

    I've ordered Waterlox original sealer/finish to be applied to walnut veneered speakers. Any recommendations on the best way to apply would be appreciated. (specifically around driver cutouts to achieve a smooth streak free finish).

    Thanks,
    Jim

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Applying waterlox to veneer

    Most folks simply oil and wax their veneer. Do you live in a particularly moist location.
    The 'Intimates" build.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Applying waterlox to veneer

    Waterlox is about the simplest application you can do.
    The material really is self leveling and by its nature does not streak.

    1. Use a foam brush.
    2. Make sure the surface is free of dust. Don't use a tack cloth or air compressor. Vacuum the surface w/ a brush attachment, then use you hand to wipe the surface down, vacuuming your hand between passes.
    2. Apply a coat. You can work this as much as you want. Don't wory too much about small bubbles.
    3. Let dry to the touch. Perhaps 2 to 8 hours depending on conditions. Note that the first coat will look great when wet and disappointing when it dries.
    4. Apply a second coat. Each coat will disolve any imperfections in the previous coat.
    5. After either the second or third coat, let the piece dry for at least 24 hours.
    6. After the 24 hour cure, "scratch" the surface lightly w/ 320 or 400 grit. Very light pressure, not trying to level anything.
    7. Apply the next coat. Should be looking good by now.
    8. apply coat number five after 2 - 8 hours (repeating cycle)
    9. Six coats should be enough.

    Not as bad as it sounds.
    Basically let it cure for 24 hours every 2 to 3 coats, then lightly scuff and repeat the cycle.

    Any future nicks, watermarks, etc can be fixed by lightly scuffing then recoating.

    Remove the air from the can between coats. I use clamps to crush the can to the point where the level is at the top.

    Check "AskWoodmanTv of youtube. search for askwoodman waterlox.

    Oh for Carl, I would be one of those that doesn't "oil and wax" my veneer.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Applying waterlox to veneer

    It looks like a lot of effort for what benefit? Enlighten me on why waterlox is preferred over oil and wax.


    Quote Originally Posted by fastbike1 View Post
    Waterlox is about the simplest application you can do.
    The material really is self leveling and by its nature does not streak.

    1. Use a foam brush.
    2. Make sure the surface is free of dust. Don't use a tack cloth or air compressor. Vacuum the surface w/ a brush attachment, then use you hand to wipe the surface down, vacuuming your hand between passes.
    2. Apply a coat. You can work this as much as you want. Don't wory too much about small bubbles.
    3. Let dry to the touch. Perhaps 2 to 8 hours depending on conditions. Note that the first coat will look great when wet and disappointing when it dries.
    4. Apply a second coat. Each coat will disolve any imperfections in the previous coat.
    5. After either the second or third coat, let the piece dry for at least 24 hours.
    6. After the 24 hour cure, "scratch" the surface lightly w/ 320 or 400 grit. Very light pressure, not trying to level anything.
    7. Apply the next coat. Should be looking good by now.
    8. apply coat number five after 2 - 8 hours (repeating cycle)
    9. Six coats should be enough.

    Not as bad as it sounds.
    Basically let it cure for 24 hours every 2 to 3 coats, then lightly scuff and repeat the cycle.

    Any future nicks, watermarks, etc can be fixed by lightly scuffing then recoating.

    Remove the air from the can between coats. I use clamps to crush the can to the point where the level is at the top.

    Check "AskWoodmanTv of youtube. search for askwoodman waterlox.

    Oh for Carl, I would be one of those that doesn't "oil and wax" my veneer.
    The 'Intimates" build.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Syracuse, NY
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    Default Re: Applying waterlox to veneer

    As was already stated, don't sand between coats. After building up the finish with multiple coats applied with a foam brush, lightly scuff it and clean thoroughly with a lint-free cloth dipped in mineral spirits. The last few coats can be applied with a square of cheesecloth, which will apply much less material than the foam brush.

    The hardest part is keeping dust/hair off the surface while it's drying. I used the original formula on my last project and love the results, but I hate the fumes of any solvent, so next time I'm going to give their low-voc version a try.

    Best of luck on your project - I think you'll find that Waterlox rocks!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Applying waterlox to veneer

    I was going to give a detailed answer, but if you're and "oil and wax" is the only choice guy, there's no point. I'm happy with the results on the Imperial Russian Stouts. Five minutes for each coat, two baflles and two sides.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Applying waterlox to veneer

    Isn't Waterlox a modified oil finish with phenolic resign that can be waxed to achieve satin finish?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Applying waterlox to veneer

    Thanks a lot for the replies. Fastbike1, your detailed description is exactly what I needed, thanks a bunch.

    These are being made as a gift so I wanted not only looks but also durability. Seems Waterlox provides both, but I'm a novice at finishing so there possibly may be something better.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Applying waterlox to veneer

    Quote Originally Posted by fastbike1 View Post
    I was going to give a detailed answer, but if you're and "oil and wax" is the only choice guy, there's no point. I'm happy with the results on the Imperial Russian Stouts. Five minutes for each coat, two baflles and two sides.
    That's fine. As always, YMMV. I used to use Tung Oil in the early days, but tired of the hassle. Besides, I'm partial to the smell of the linseed and teak oils and waxes. :-)
    The 'Intimates" build.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Applying waterlox to veneer

    That's my understanding. There is a "satin" version, but to my eyes it's closer to semi-gloss than what I consider satin. I used the original formula, which is not the glossiest available, on the Imperials and it was as gloss as I'd want to get.


    Quote Originally Posted by r-carpenter View Post
    Isn't Waterlox a modified oil finish with phenolic resign that can be waxed to achieve satin finish?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Applying waterlox to veneer

    The Satin "Original" version is very low, 20-25. That is about as low as you can get in a varnish.
    The regular "Original" is ~50. That's about a semi-gloss level.

    The higher gloss varieties will all dull a bit over time. Something to keep in mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by fastbike1 View Post
    That's my understanding. There is a "satin" version, but to my eyes it's closer to semi-gloss than what I consider satin. I used the original formula, which is not the glossiest available, on the Imperials and it was as gloss as I'd want to get.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Applying waterlox to veneer

    Waterlox is a miracle product. Wipe in on with a paper towel - very thin coats. It dries pretty fast. Continue with thin coats until you get the depth of finish your after. It will give you a pro quality finish that looks sprayed on. And you applied it with a paper towel! It doesn't have that cheap furniture poly look.

    Sometimes I apply the second coat with 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper - using the Waterlox as a lubricant. Rub it in carefully to give even pressure and not sand off any dye/stain you may use. It creates a slurry that helps fill the pores of wood like wenge, mahogany and oak. Then wipe it off with clean paper towels. The process yields a glass like finish. Then apply two more coats normally.

    Oh, the other great thing about Waterlox - you can re-coat it this year or next or later without sanding. I had a sub finished as described and after 5 years had a couple water spots and rings. I lightly cleaned it with mineral spirits and rubbed it down with two coats Waterlox. It looks brand new.

    Use Waterlox Original Satin Finish, it's a tung oil like finish with more resistance to moisture - I use it on my speakers, kitchen table and front door.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Applying waterlox to veneer

    I'm currently putting waterlox on my claro walnut countertop. It smells terrible and will for several days, but it's a good choice for wet situations. I personally would use Arm-r-seal for speakers, it looks better in my opinion. Waterlox is phenolic varnish which is a bit more plastic looking, versus arm-r-seal, which is alkyd based. Both can be wiped on. Waterlox is highly regarded, so you can't go wrong. It will darken the wood a bit, which should be good for walnut.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Applying waterlox to veneer

    I used Waterlox years ago on a carbine stock, applying 13 or 14 coats with great results. If I recall correctly, tung oil is used as one of the ingredients. In general, tung oil is more stable than linseed oil. Also, the finish chemically bonds to previous coats of itself, not requiring sanding. Polyurethane relies on physical bonding, hence the required sanding between coats for proper adhesion.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Applying waterlox to veneer

    Well here's the result of Waterlox on walnut veneer. Pretty nice and pretty foolproof too.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Applying waterlox to veneer

    very nice!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Applying waterlox to veneer

    Nicely done.

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