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Finishing - what type of clearcoat do you use?

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  • Finishing - what type of clearcoat do you use?

    I have done a few different staining/painting projects and have used Polyeurethane and Lacquer. I don't really know which is better. Can someone provide some guidance, regarding clearcoat selection?

  • #2
    Re: Finishing - what type of clearcoat do you use?

    Poly should give you a harder more durable finish! Probably a more glossy finish if thats the direction your heading. There are some acrylic poly's as well, but I dont know well they stand up to time and durability!

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    • #3
      Re: Finishing - what type of clearcoat do you use?

      I use General Finishes Polycrylic water based poly and it works very well. It flowed out very nicely even with minimal experience. I may try General Finishes High Performance water based poly next time. It doesn't flow quite as well so application technique counts for more, but it does seem like a harder finish than the polycrylic. Both were top finishers in a recent Fine Woodworking test.

      Regards,

      Dennis

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      • #4
        Re: Finishing - what type of clearcoat do you use?

        On "real" wood I've brushed on MINWAX Tung Oil with very good results. Add as many coats as you like and wipe off till it builds up nicely.

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        • #5
          Re: Finishing - what type of clearcoat do you use?

          I used the MinWax Polycrylic water based on my sub box. I wish I would of found this stuff a long time ago. I used a bristle brush to apply it. Next time I'm going to spray it. Cant wait for the results from spraying.

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          • #6
            Re: Finishing - what type of clearcoat do you use?

            On "real" wood I've brushed on MINWAX Tung Oil with very good results. Add as many coats as you like and wipe off till it builds up nicely.
            How water resistant is this finish? I am imaging at one point in the speaker's life it is going to become a cup-holder!

            I have used Amber Shellac and loved the ease of application. I did it indoors while were watching tv with no seriously nasty fumes (just a lil alcohol smell...)

            P.S. Are there any advantages to lacquer over poly?

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            • #7
              Re: Finishing - what type of clearcoat do you use?

              If you dont like the gloss of poly there are satins available. I've had good luck with steel wool after the poly has dried. Gives a very natural "hand rubbed" look instead of the plasticy look that polyeurathane seems to be known for.

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              • #8
                Re: Finishing - what type of clearcoat do you use?

                Originally posted by brianpowers27 View Post
                How water resistant is this finish? I am imaging at one point in the speaker's life it is going to become a cup-holder!

                I have used Amber Shellac and loved the ease of application. I did it indoors while were watching tv with no seriously nasty fumes (just a lil alcohol smell...)

                P.S. Are there any advantages to lacquer over poly?
                Don't know about the water proofness of Tung Oil, but it sure looks nice!

                Poly is usually water based, so it probably smells a whole lot nicer while drying and cleans up easier.

                The MINWAX website has a question and answer forum for finishes.
                http://www.minwax.com/bbs/
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  Re: Finishing - what type of clearcoat do you use?

                  I've used water-based clear Polycryllic and "clear" oil-based Poly from Minwax. The oil-based poly is not clear whereas Polycryllic is; it has an orangish tint to it and more coats will make it a bit darker. Also, I've used both the brush on and wipe-on Poly. I like to brush on 2-3 coats to get a thick cover, sanding with 320-grit sandpaper until the last coat is brushed-on. After that last coat, I use fine steel wool instead of fine sandpaper, then apply a really thin coat with the wipe-on version of Poly. I've used both satin and gloss; I like the look of gloss but the satin finish won't show fingerprints nearly as much as the gloss.
                  Paul

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                  • #10
                    Re: Finishing - what type of clearcoat do you use?

                    Originally posted by brianpowers27 View Post
                    How water resistant is this finish? I am imaging at one point in the speaker's life it is going to become a cup-holder!

                    I have used Amber Shellac and loved the ease of application. I did it indoors while were watching tv with no seriously nasty fumes (just a lil alcohol smell...)

                    P.S. Are there any advantages to lacquer over poly?
                    FWIW, I prefer spray-lacquer over brush-on for painted surfaces. When I am staining, polycrylic or regular oil-poly is my preference.

                    I will say this about your current project's finish- Your prep needs improvement, and you need to sand more often. When you are done priming, the dried and sanded finish should feel absolutely smooth with no voids, textures, or bumps. Then you are ready for paint.

                    Brushing on with a foam-brush can be an improvement for getting things evenly coated. Sand between paint coats, working up the grit. You can straight-polyurethane the finish of paint, and I did that on the 3CR-Ti project with great results. If your paint is smooth, then you only require a light brush-on.

                    For clear-coats, I prefer the Krylon Crystal-Clear Gloss, or Minwax spray-lacquer. Be sure to where your mask on the that lacquer. Wait 24 hrs between coats always, and do not rush the cure time.
                    Hope this helps,
                    Wolf
                    "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
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                    • #11
                      Re: Finishing - what type of clearcoat do you use?

                      I do tend to be on the opposite side from perfectionist. I fully agree that by proper finishing standards, I should consider more sanding. Whether or not I will is another story. I have already spent countless hours sanding that thing and I would be satisfied to simply give it a topcoat and call it good.

                      I spent a few nights in the garage and a few in the doghouse. After that project I will be a little more careful regarding my garage time. :eek:


                      I learned something when I did that project. The double thick baffle is a pain when you don't have at least a 1.5" flush trim bit. I also learned that bondo takes a lot of sanding to get it smooth. I am seriously rethinking the MDF process in favor of good old fashioned wood!. I might actually consider building future boxes out of plywood/hardwood and using a simple one step finish.



                      Originally posted by Wolf View Post
                      FWIW, I prefer spray-lacquer over brush-on for painted surfaces. When I am staining, polycrylic or regular oil-poly is my preference.

                      I will say this about your current project's finish- Your prep needs improvement, and you need to sand more often. When you are done priming, the dried and sanded finish should feel absolutely smooth with no voids, textures, or bumps. Then you are ready for paint.

                      Brushing on with a foam-brush can be an improvement for getting things evenly coated. Sand between paint coats, working up the grit. You can straight-polyurethane the finish of paint, and I did that on the 3CR-Ti project with great results. If your paint is smooth, then you only require a light brush-on.

                      For clear-coats, I prefer the Krylon Crystal-Clear Gloss, or Minwax spray-lacquer. Be sure to where your mask on the that lacquer. Wait 24 hrs between coats always, and do not rush the cure time.
                      Hope this helps,
                      Wolf

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Finishing - what type of clearcoat do you use?

                        I like poly for speakers for durability and ease of use (few coats does nicely), and I think it stands up well over time. However, for truly fine woodworking, nothing beats the look of a lacquer build. I use lacquer on tables and jewelry boxes with the idea being that over time, I will need to reapply lacquer, and you can always shoot on another coat, or ten. Lacquer "burns into" previous coats, so there is no need to go back down to bare wood....poly can be a bit tough with that sometimes. Lacquer ages nicely as well.

                        I don't hold no truck with no acrylics! I have used it twice as clear coat and it didn't turn out well!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Finishing - what type of clearcoat do you use?

                          Sorry for the thread Jack!

                          AE - that is a sweet little amp. Is that your own design, or did you build it from a kit. PM me with some details if you would be so kind....integrated or not, power, cost to build/buy....etc.

                          Thanks,

                          Wayne

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                          • #14
                            Re: Finishing - what type of clearcoat do you use?

                            Originally posted by brianpowers27 View Post
                            I also learned that bondo takes a lot of sanding to get it smooth. I am seriously rethinking the MDF process in favor of good old fashioned wood!. I might actually consider building future boxes out of plywood/hardwood and using a simple one step finish.
                            An orbital sander is the only way to go. Electric is fine. I use a air powered orbital off my compressor. Any sanding including bondo is short, easy work. And the results are spectacular.

                            Ive used mdf and plywoood. Plywood brings about its own set of problems. So don't think that using it will cure your mdf woes.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Finishing - what type of clearcoat do you use?

                              I'm a fan of water based finishes. The best I've found is CRYSTALAC.

                              I use the Super Premium variety because I like to spray it rather than brush it on. It goes on extremely easy and lays down super smooth. I've use a lot of the clear top coat and I used the gloss black on the Statements Monitors. I liked it better than lacquer. It sanded easy and rubbed out extremely well.

                              It's available from a number of online vendors. I usually buy it from McFeeleys. Reasonable prices and very prompt shipping.

                              Jim

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