Waterlox over stained wood - pics or advice? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-04-2016, 03:52 AM Thread Starter
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Waterlox over stained wood - pics or advice?

I am in the process of refinishing an antique dining room set - table and 4 chairs. I am going to be using a dark walnut minwax stain. Yes, I know many don't care for minwax and frankly I've had a lot of trouble in the past with it as well, but on a test piece it turned out fine in this case. I'm not sure if it is the type of wood or the previous type of finish that was on it prior to stripping. I still don't know what type of wood it is, but stripping was VERY easy compared to anything I've done in the past... most of the pieces I simply sanded it off and it was a very thin finish almost paint-like, but it wasn't paint obviously. This piece is also well over 100 years old too.

Now, I've been researching finishing coats. All I have used in the past is a wipe on poly which worked great on one project and not so great on another. I came across a lot of good posts/opinions about waterlox and would like to try it out on this dining room set when everything is said and done. I like the fact that it is wipe on among many other things.

Problem is I don't see a whole lot of people using waterlox over stained pieces... it is always bare wood. Does anyone have some pictures of waterlox over stained wood they can share? Aside from that, any tips I should be aware of when using waterlox over stain other than the normal... multiple coats, light sanding, etc?
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-04-2016, 06:56 AM
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Just so you know it's generally a bad idea to sand the finish off wood. A finish soaks into wood and sanding tends to get what is on the surface rather than what has penetrated. Then when you go stain the wood still sealed with the old finish doesn't accept the finish right while other places will accept the stain. On wood you should always start with a paint and varnish remover when refinishing.

I think minwax stains apply very good. The go on more uniform than a lot of different stains you could use. What I don't like about minwax stains is they are prone to fade over time.

As long as you allow the stain to dry you can use waterlox over the stain. Waterlox wouldn't be my first choice for a dining room suite. The stuff would be more similar to using a spar varnish on the furniture. I don't think it's up to the abuse a dining room suite would get. Depending on how much you apply it may not provide enough protection. I mean you apply enough to be waterproof and it will be very plastic looking rather than what you would expect from furniture. If it were me I would either use a pre-catalyzed lacquer or a conversion varnish. The conversion varnish is a better finish but more difficult to touch up if need be. Lacquer you can touch up a little spot on a table top where conversion varnish you would have to recoat the entire surface.
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-04-2016, 07:31 AM
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from the waterlox site:

Quote:
Stains and Fillers

In today’s ever changing world, more and more products are available due to market forces and general reformulation. Therefore, we are not aware of every type of colorization and filling process available.
STAINS
Generally speaking, Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish can be used over any type of stain (water-based, solvent-based, alcohol based dyes, fast set types, etc.) provided it is completely dry (follow manufacturer’s recommendations for dry time or wait 72 hours, whichever is longer) and does not contain any waxes or silicones. We also recommend that you steer away from any type of stain that forms a film over the wood, for example a stain containing urethane or some thicker gel type stains.
TIPS
  • If staining a wood project, do not skip any of the recommended coats of Waterlox as described in the project guides.
  • An unstained surface finished with Waterlox Original Tung oil finishes produces an old-fashioned, hand-rubbed natural looking finish. Our special formula based in Tung oil brings out the natural patina of wood. With some species of wood this will dramatically change the look and staining may not be necessary, we suggest testing an inconspicuous area of your project or a scrap piece of wood from your project first before assuming you will need a stain coat. Regardless if stain is used or not, you will want to test all coats of the finishing system before making your decision.
  • Keep in mind that not all pieces or boards of a single species of wood will stain the same; some will not match your sample board. Your stain/topcoat system may not transfer from one species of wood to another with the same effect.
  • If stain is desired, be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions for cure time or wait 72 hours, whichever is longer, before applying coats of Waterlox Original Tung oil finishes. NEVER apply Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish over a stain coat that is not dry. Applying finish over top of it will only elongate the dry time because oxygen will not be able to get to the stain coat.
  • NEVER sand a surface that has been stained as this process will change the color.
FILLERS
Most fillers are compatible with Waterlox Original Tung oil finishes other than those containing any wax or silicone. We also recommend using fillers that are marketed as being paintable and stainable, as this is an indication that they can be coated.
Previously Finished Wood Application

Surface preparation is one of the most important steps when refinishing wood. Waterlox Original Tung oil finishes perform best over bare wood and are not designed to be used as a top coat over previously finished surfaces (does not refer to stain coat(s) if used). Strip previously finished surfaces to bare wood, and then apply as described under “New Wood Application”.
If stripping a previous coating off the surface, doing a “sand and recoat” (and it is not previously a Waterlox product) or where not possible to apply to bare wood, our Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish can be used as a primer/tie-coat. It is imperative to identify the previous coating on the surface to know how to proceed.
Waxed surface. Nothing will adhere to wax other than more wax, and wax surfaces are extremely difficult to re-coat. In this case, you will need to strip the surface completely of any wax. We recommend against sanding or abrading the wax from the surface first as this has the potential to spread the wax around even more and not remove it completely.
We recommend stripping the wax from the surface by using water and ammonia, following the directions on the manufacturer’s label for “stripping wax”. If there is a wax build up, the wax may become gummy and need to be removed by scraping or wiping with rags. Repeat the procedure several times to be sure all wax has been removed. To remove any wax that has penetrated the wood fibers, the surface should be sanded to bare wood.
TIP
  • Even though the wax has been removed from the surface, it may still be present in any gaps or spaces between the boards. These are extremely challenging to remedy and may require scraping to remove the wax. If Waterlox or any other coating is applied over these gaps/spaces and the wax is still present, the coating will not dry and will remain soft and cloudy.
  • As we mentioned in the beginning of this section, removing wax can be very difficult and great care needs to be taken in doing so thoroughly. In some extreme cases, the wax may not be completely removable and the surface may therefore not be re-coatable.
After the surface has been stripped completely, begin by coating a 2’ x 2’ test area and allow it to dry for 24 – 48 hours. Initially, test for adhesion with your fingernail. It should be difficult to remove the coating if the wax has been properly removed. Also observe the coating that bridges the gaps/spaces between the boards. The film should not be cloudy or soft. Next, we recommend conducting a cross-hatch test to check for adhesion before beginning the entire project.
Surface coating finish (e.g.: oil-modified urethane, water base urethane, etc.). Since a surface finish lies on top of the wood, and will block the penetrating ability of Waterlox Original Tung oil finishes, we recommend sanding down to bare wood before applying Waterlox Original Tung oil finishes. One method of testing for an oil-modified urethane coating is to apply a drop of ammonia to a small, inconspicuous area. Cover the drop with something hollow to prevent the evaporation of the ammonia (e.g.: Dixie® cup, shot glass, etc.) If the film where the ammonia was applied becomes yellow, it is most likely surface finish.
When removing the previous surface finish, the last sand should be done with 100 - 150 grit sandpaper.
Other Oil Coatings (e.g.: raw non film-forming linseed oil, soya oil, Tung oil, mineral oil, etc.). Our Waterlox Original Tung Oil products are most likely compatible with these types of finishes. One method of testing for an oil coating is to apply a drop of ammonia to a small, inconspicuous area. Cover the drop with something hollow to prevent the evaporation of the ammonia (e.g.: Dixie® cup, shot glass, etc.) The ammonia will not only yellow the film, but will eventually wrinkle the film if it is an oil coating.
To prepare the surface, we recommend cleaning the surface with TSP (trisodium phosphate) and water, doing a clear water rinse and allowing it to dry for 24 hours. After the surface is dry, a light buff with 0000 steel wool or 320 sandpaper is sufficient. After the surface is prepared, re-coat with the Waterlox Original Tung oil finishing system.
To be sure the surface is ready, we recommend conducting a cross-hatch test to check for adhesion before beginning the entire project.
Shellac. Our Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish is compatible with dewaxed shellac. One method of testing for shellac is to apply a drop of alcohol to a small, inconspicuous area. Cover the drop with something hollow to prevent the evaporation of the alcohol (e.g.: Dixie® cup, shot glass, etc.). The drop of alcohol will dissolve the shellac if the finish is shellac.
To prepare the surface, we recommend cleaning the surface with TSP (trisodium phosphate) and water, doing a clear water rinse and allowing it to dry for 24 hours. After the surface is dry, a light buff with 0000 steel wool or 320 grit sandpaper is sufficient. After the surface is prepared, re-coat with the Waterlox Original Tung oil finishing system.
To be sure the surface is ready, we recommend conducting a cross-hatch test to check for adhesion before beginning the entire project.
TIP
A cross-hatch test is an industry test for adhesion. Waterlox Original Tung oil finishes are penetrating oil finishes and are therefore best used on bare wood (does not refer to stain coat(s) if used). Sometimes, sanding the surface is not an option for a project. To test the adhesion properties of a combination of finishes, test on an inconspicuous area first.
Directions to test for adhesion: Scuff sand a small inconspicuous area with 320 grit sandpaper. If you will not be sanding the surface to bare wood in the actual project, clean the area with TSP (trisodium phosphate) and water and complete a clear water rinse. Apply 1 coat of Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish. Allow the finish to cure for 4 days. Scratch a “tic-tac-toe” board into the cured finish by cutting through the film and into the wood. Place a piece of Scotch® tape over the cross-hatch and press it down firmly with your finger(s). Pull one end of the tape off with a steady motion. If there is any film on the tape, other than the pattern of cuts you made into the substrate, this finish combination will not have adequate adhesion.
If the test fails, proper sanding of the surface down to bare wood, or chemical stripping of the previous finish will need to be performed before applying Waterlox Original Tung oil finishes.
this being said, waterlox wouldn't be my first choice either. you're paying for the tung oil/varnish finish of the product; in your situation i would just use waterborne poly or lacquer.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-04-2016, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Just so you know it's generally a bad idea to sand the finish off wood. A finish soaks into wood and sanding tends to get what is on the surface rather than what has penetrated. Then when you go stain the wood still sealed with the old finish doesn't accept the finish right while other places will accept the stain. On wood you should always start with a paint and varnish remover when refinishing.
That's the thing - it is sanding to bare wood with very little effort and there is no trace of finish at all. I'm talking 150 grit and some light strokes, nothing heavy, and the old finish is gone. I stained a test piece and it accepted the stain beautifully compared to some other restoration type projects I have done. There was no problems with penetration or blotching of any kind.

Quote:
As long as you allow the stain to dry you can use waterlox over the stain. Waterlox wouldn't be my first choice for a dining room suite. The stuff would be more similar to using a spar varnish on the furniture. I don't think it's up to the abuse a dining room suite would get. Depending on how much you apply it may not provide enough protection. I mean you apply enough to be waterproof and it will be very plastic looking rather than what you would expect from furniture. If it were me I would either use a pre-catalyzed lacquer or a conversion varnish. The conversion varnish is a better finish but more difficult to touch up if need be. Lacquer you can touch up a little spot on a table top where conversion varnish you would have to recoat the entire surface.
I've been reading the exact opposite. Many have said this is not plastic looking at all compared to poly. As for abuse I've been hearing it is very hard and durable, of course, we are talking about 6+ coats as well. The other thing I liked was touchups, if ever needed, were simply a matter of light sanding and applying a new coat - nothing else needed.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-04-2016, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmcsmoke View Post
from the waterlox site:



this being said, waterlox wouldn't be my first choice either. you're paying for the tung oil/varnish finish of the product; in your situation i would just use waterborne poly or lacquer.
Yes, I've already looked at their own information. Honestly I just haven't liked the results of the poly in my past projects. I did have a chair (old pool/billiards room chair) where I was very happy with the poly, but there was a ton of effort involved to getting it that way. A lot of coats along with a lot of sanding to get the nice smooth finish I was after. This was a piece that was smooth as could be prior to applying.
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-04-2016, 04:10 PM
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short of spraying you're going to have a hard time getting a smooth finish without lots of work especially with waterlox. it takes several coats to build a finish and a day or two to dry in between.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-04-2016, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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I'm fine with the multiple coats and time between - no problem at all there. Basically the same process as I used for wipe on poly before, however, the poly never settled well and required sanding pretty much after every coat and not what I would call light. It also gave me the 'plastic' look afterwards too. I managed to take that down a bit with some fine steel wool and it looks okay for that particular project, but not something I want to do or go through with this one.

My main concern with this project is the front legs of the chairs and the table legs have a lot of turning/design to them. I would prefer to use something wipe on that levels out well with minimal sanding needed. Of course, the end 'look' matters to me as well.

I'm surprised so far everyone here seems to be against the waterlox - I didn't do a whole lot of researching, but never found any complaints about it and lots of praises. Of course, those were all bare wood projects as well.
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-04-2016, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morrow95 View Post
That's the thing - it is sanding to bare wood with very little effort and there is no trace of finish at all. I'm talking 150 grit and some light strokes, nothing heavy, and the old finish is gone. I stained a test piece and it accepted the stain beautifully compared to some other restoration type projects I have done. There was no problems with penetration or blotching of any kind.



I've been reading the exact opposite. Many have said this is not plastic looking at all compared to poly. As for abuse I've been hearing it is very hard and durable, of course, we are talking about 6+ coats as well. The other thing I liked was touchups, if ever needed, were simply a matter of light sanding and applying a new coat - nothing else needed.
I'm glad you were able to sand the finish off 100% but the deck is stacked against you to keep stripping a finish that way.

I don't know what you have been reading or where but there isn't any reason you can't use tung oil over stained wood. A common varnish is usually a mixture of linseed oil, tung oil and paint thinner. A stain is usually a mixture of linseed oil, pigment and paint thinner. Putting it on the wood separately you would just need to allow the linseed oil in the stain to dry well before going with tung oil. The products are not incompatible. Depending on the stain this may only mean allowing it to dry 24 to 48 hours first. If it was Minwax stain overnight drying would be good enough.
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-04-2016, 11:06 PM
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morrow95.....LOL, You asked a question but haven't liked the answers received....nor waterlox's advice....

I use waterlox....sometimes...I like their product and how it works, how it can be retouched BUT it's not for everything or will work over every finish. Steve would be my major go to guy here about finishes even though we use differ finishes.

Let's start .....according to what I've read you sanded the finish off,...NEVER EVER a garauntee it's all removed, just because you don't feel or see it doesn't mean it's all gone!!! IF you want to use the waterlox go by their advice of stripping.....or test it by their advice of chancing a 2' x2' test area. It may fisheye though.

As far as endurance I'd say Waterlox is tough, not a epoxy but tough, varnishes, lacquers, polys ALL have a pro and a con list, BUT as Steve stated there are some finishes that don't stick/bond/play together good with others.

Enjoy and go ahead and use the waterlox, I believe that's the one your sold on....all the cards/advice have been laid on the table, it's your choice.

Have a Blessed and Prosperous day in Jesus's Awesome Love, Tim
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-04-2016, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tennessee Tim View Post
morrow95.....LOL, You asked a question but haven't liked the answers received....nor waterlox's advice....

I use waterlox....sometimes...I like their product and how it works, how it can be retouched BUT it's not for everything or will work over every finish. Steve would be my major go to guy here about finishes even though we use differ finishes.

Let's start .....according to what I've read you sanded the finish off,...NEVER EVER a garauntee it's all removed, just because you don't feel or see it doesn't mean it's all gone!!! IF you want to use the waterlox go by their advice of stripping.....or test it by their advice of chancing a 2' x2' test area. It may fisheye though.

As far as endurance I'd say Waterlox is tough, not a epoxy but tough, varnishes, lacquers, polys ALL have a pro and a con list, BUT as Steve stated there are some finishes that don't stick/bond/play together good with others.

Enjoy and go ahead and use the waterlox, I believe that's the one your sold on....all the cards/advice have been laid on the table, it's your choice.
Not true at all. I am just trying to get some opinions here as this forum has been helpful in the past. All I said was so far I am getting different opinions on here than many of the others places I have read. I'm not liking or disliking anyone's answer/opinion nor I am set on any route to go. I also read Waterlox's info and it says it is perfectly fine on stain, yet it seems most people use it on bare wood only. Not sure what exactly you were referring to with that particular comment.
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post #11 of 12 Old 07-04-2016, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
I'm glad you were able to sand the finish off 100% but the deck is stacked against you to keep stripping a finish that way.

I don't know what you have been reading or where but there isn't any reason you can't use tung oil over stained wood. A common varnish is usually a mixture of linseed oil, tung oil and paint thinner. A stain is usually a mixture of linseed oil, pigment and paint thinner. Putting it on the wood separately you would just need to allow the linseed oil in the stain to dry well before going with tung oil. The products are not incompatible. Depending on the stain this may only mean allowing it to dry 24 to 48 hours first. If it was Minwax stain overnight drying would be good enough.
I was actually referring to the plastic comment you made. Most people seem to feel the Waterlox is not plastic looking at all compared to poly for example. I realize it can be used on stained wood as their info says so.

I guess what I'm looking for is what my original post stated :

Does anyone have some pictures of waterlox over stained wood they can share? Aside from that, any tips I should be aware of when using waterlox over stain other than the normal... multiple coats, light sanding, etc?

Anyone use Waterlox over a stain? What was your experience?
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post #12 of 12 Old 07-05-2016, 07:14 AM
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I was actually referring to the plastic comment you made. Most people seem to feel the Waterlox is not plastic looking at all compared to poly for example. I realize it can be used on stained wood as their info says so.

I guess what I'm looking for is what my original post stated :

Does anyone have some pictures of waterlox over stained wood they can share? Aside from that, any tips I should be aware of when using waterlox over stain other than the normal... multiple coats, light sanding, etc?

Anyone use Waterlox over a stain? What was your experience?
A lot depends on how many coats you apply. You can make tung oil look every bit as plastic as polyurethane if enough is applied. The tung oil after all is a hardening oil. What is going to be difficult to tell is when to quit. Tung oil is so waterproof it can be used on the hull of a boat but at that level of protections it's very thick and plastic looking. Too little and it will allow water through the finish despite the tung oil. What would help not having a plastic luck is use a satin finish for the last coat or add some flattening agent to the finish. By cutting the sheen a bit it would enable you to put an additional coat on .
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