First time using a water based stain/poly?? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-05-2016, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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First time using a water based stain/poly??

I have never used water based stain or poly & to be honest don't have a lot of experience finishing either.

Most of the time my process is like this using oil based stain/poly:

-Clean w/ air & a wipe down with tack cloth
-wipe stain on with rag
-let sit overnight
-spray first coat of poly
-let sit minimum 24 hours or longer
-sand with steel wool
-spray second coat of poly
-wait about 5-6 hours spray third coat

In most cases, it is good to go after the above method. Almost always doing this on Pine & mainly the minwax line of stains/poly.

I built a table for my mother-in-law & she wants the minwax pickled whitewash stain which is water based so I am a little more worried about how to finish this table using that stain.

From my understanding my process should look like this:

-Clean w/ air (no tack cloth)
-Coat wood with pre-stain wood conditioner
-Apply water based stain (1 or 2 coats, don't let sit more than 3 minutes before wiping excess)
-Apply Polycrylic finish

My questions about the finish are:

-Can I spray the minwax polycrylic finish?
-Approx how many coats will I need to apply?
-Should I sand between coats? Will 220 grit be okay for this using an orbital sander or hand sand with a higher grit?
-How long between coats?

I live in Houston & current temps are in the 50's on average.

If anyone can add anymore detail or specifics to the best procedure for the water based stain "pickled white wash" on a table built out of pine I would be very grateful.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-05-2016, 06:01 PM
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First of all what kind of wood is it?

A pickle finish doesn't work well on a lot of different kinds of wood. If it were me I would spray the stain on. Especially being water based you'll need to work fast with it. Apply it and wipe it off as quick as you can.

I wouldn't use a tack cloth. More often than not the goo from the tack cloth will stay on the project and get in the finish. I would just use a soft bench brush, rag and or compressed air.

If it's 50 degrees about 3 hours drying time is enough unless you wet the wood down with the stain and keep it wet for a while. If you were going to use a different finish a longer dry time would be needed. Then very lightly sand the stain with fine sandpaper. The idea is just to smooth it a little. Waterborne stains raise the grain making it fuzzy. I don't believe you will need a wood conditioner with a pickle finish. Try it on some scrap and see. Not every wood needs a wood conditioner anyway.

Then spray a coat of your polycrylic and allow it to dry 2-3 hours. Once dry to touch if you could put it somewhere with warm dry air blowing on it, that would help.

Do not use any form of steel wool sanding the finish between coats. Steel wool is dirty and you don't want any dirt in your finish especially a waterborne finish prone to metal particles rusting.
Use 220 or finer grit sandpaper to sand between coats. It would make the job easier if you would go to a paint store like Sherwin Williams and get some Glit or 3M sanding pads. It's just sandpaper glued to a 1/2" piece of foam. The foam makes it easier to hold onto.

Then spray another coat on, sand the finish again and repeat the process as many times as it takes to get the finish where you want it. Depending on what wood it is and how you have the wood prepared it may take many coats of water base to do the job.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-05-2016, 07:29 PM
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In addition to what Steve said, before I apply a water based stain, I dampen the wood very slightly to raise the grain after sanding. Once it's dry, lightly sand the fuzz off and dust with comp. air. That should eliminate the grain raising from the stain application. I personally don't care for minwax products. I've used quite a number of different manufacturers over the years, and they're at the bottom of my list for most projects. One of my go to lines of finishes is General Finishes. I have used both their oil and water based stains and finishes and have excellent results. Just follow their directions and they are easy to use. Our local Woodcraft store carries their line. When I spray their water based poly, it dries in 15-20 minutes. Scuff lightly between coats and it ends up very smooth.
Mike Hawkins
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-06-2016, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
First of all what kind of wood is it?

A pickle finish doesn't work well on a lot of different kinds of wood. If it were me I would spray the stain on. Especially being water based you'll need to work fast with it. Apply it and wipe it off as quick as you can.

I wouldn't use a tack cloth. More often than not the goo from the tack cloth will stay on the project and get in the finish. I would just use a soft bench brush, rag and or compressed air.

If it's 50 degrees about 3 hours drying time is enough unless you wet the wood down with the stain and keep it wet for a while. If you were going to use a different finish a longer dry time would be needed. Then very lightly sand the stain with fine sandpaper. The idea is just to smooth it a little. Waterborne stains raise the grain making it fuzzy. I don't believe you will need a wood conditioner with a pickle finish. Try it on some scrap and see. Not every wood needs a wood conditioner anyway.

Then spray a coat of your polycrylic and allow it to dry 2-3 hours. Once dry to touch if you could put it somewhere with warm dry air blowing on it, that would help.

Do not use any form of steel wool sanding the finish between coats. Steel wool is dirty and you don't want any dirt in your finish especially a waterborne finish prone to metal particles rusting.
Use 220 or finer grit sandpaper to sand between coats. It would make the job easier if you would go to a paint store like Sherwin Williams and get some Glit or 3M sanding pads. It's just sandpaper glued to a 1/2" piece of foam. The foam makes it easier to hold onto.

Then spray another coat on, sand the finish again and repeat the process as many times as it takes to get the finish where you want it. Depending on what wood it is and how you have the wood prepared it may take many coats of water base to do the job.
Thanks for the reply! I'll try to respond to some of your questions.

-The table is built out of pine as mentioned in my OP.
-I understand not to use tack cloths or steel wool on water based products. I have never had an issues using either with oil based products. I WILL NOT use either on this table.
-Hmm so no wood conditioner you don't think? It wouldn't hurt if I used it. Most of the stuff I have read is that it is good to use a wood conditioner before water based stain & the minwax recommends it before the pickled white stain.

-I will look into some finer grit sandblocks.

Thanks for the reply & help.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-06-2016, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by firehawkmph View Post
In addition to what Steve said, before I apply a water based stain, I dampen the wood very slightly to raise the grain after sanding. Once it's dry, lightly sand the fuzz off and dust with comp. air. That should eliminate the grain raising from the stain application. I personally don't care for minwax products. I've used quite a number of different manufacturers over the years, and they're at the bottom of my list for most projects. One of my go to lines of finishes is General Finishes. I have used both their oil and water based stains and finishes and have excellent results. Just follow their directions and they are easy to use. Our local Woodcraft store carries their line. When I spray their water based poly, it dries in 15-20 minutes. Scuff lightly between coats and it ends up very smooth.
Mike Hawkins
Thanks for the reply. So no wood conditioner but maybe wet the wood first & let it dry, then clean off, then apply the stain?

I have never been to woodcraft but am going to go check it out. I know there are some around me.

Thanks!
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-06-2016, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketnar View Post
My questions about the finish are:

-Can I spray the minwax polycrylic finish?
-Approx how many coats will I need to apply?
-Should I sand between coats? Will 220 grit be okay for this using an orbital sander or hand sand with a higher grit?
-How long between coats?
Lot's of good info already, but I'll add a bit specific to Polycrylic since I've used a bunch of it myself:

I add about 15-20% floetrol before spraying with a 1.0 tip.

I usually hand sand w/ *clean* 220 grit between coats (with the grain). I don't "pre-raise" the grain as the 1st coat seems to do that just fine. I don't usually RO sand because it sands right through the soft finish. Blow it with air and wipe with a cloth damp with water or DNA (alcohol).

It always seems to take more coats to build vs an oil based finish. Usually 5-6 is the minimum for Polycrylic for me.

When sprayed, dry time is quick - maybe an hour between coats if warm, 2-3 hours if cold. 50' is cold.
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-06-2016, 03:36 PM
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Personally, I don't like to use a water-based clear coat over a water-based stain. I've found that the color migrates from the stain into your polycrylic, so if you try to sand the poly-c at all you also sand out some of the color. The result is either a not smooth finish, or an uneven color. I think it's a huge hassle.

I like to use a water based stain, with an oil based poly on top. This way, none of the color migrates, and you can wet sand the clear coat without affecting the color.

I've found there isn't much benefit in really fine grits before applying a water-based stain, as even if you pre-raise the grain, the water based stain still raises the grain again. I haven't found much benefit to pre-raising the grain. It sounds like a perfect solution, but it's not been effective for me.

As always, experiment on scrap first.
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-06-2016, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Ketnar View Post
Thanks for the reply! I'll try to respond to some of your questions.

-The table is built out of pine as mentioned in my OP.
-I understand not to use tack cloths or steel wool on water based products. I have never had an issues using either with oil based products. I WILL NOT use either on this table.
-Hmm so no wood conditioner you don't think? It wouldn't hurt if I used it. Most of the stuff I have read is that it is good to use a wood conditioner before water based stain & the minwax recommends it before the pickled white stain.

-I will look into some finer grit sandblocks.

Thanks for the reply & help.
One thing you need to understand about a pickle stain is it's more like thinned down white paint than stain. This is why I doubt if you would need a wood conditioner. The only thing it might hurt using a conditioner is you may have difficulty getting the pickle stain to take. The pickle stain isn't going to penetrate like regular stain. The penetration of regular stain is what causes the color to go blotchy.

On pine your not going to get a lot of the benefits of a pickle stain. Since it doesn't have an open grain like oak most of it will wipe off. It's just the cracks and crevasses that will get most of the white. This will help though using a waterborne stain. A waterborn pickle stain will tend to leave more of a white residue on the surface. Usually on pine with a pickle finish the wood is stained with a very light wood stain to give it a little color before the pickle stain is used. The natural wood may be too light in color. Practice on some scraps with different methods first to see what you like the best. You might buy a little can of a fruitwood stain and thin it. The idea is to make it look like old pine instead of new wood. The concept of a pickle finish comes from antiques. Someone was refinishing a piece of furniture for a customer that was painted white and stripped it once and didn't get it clean. Before they stripped it for a second time the customer saw it and liked it the way it was and the finish caught on.
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-06-2016, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Ketnar View Post
Thanks for the reply. So no wood conditioner but maybe wet the wood first & let it dry, then clean off, then apply the stain?

Up yes, but don't soak the wood, barely dampen it. It should dry in ten minutes or so.

I have never been to woodcraft but am going to go check it out. I know there are some around me.

Woodcraft is my favorite woodworking store. Our local store has great employees and a very nice owner. They have everything you need plus good advice.

Thanks!
Mike Hawkins
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