General Finishes Sanding Sealer & Enduro-Var - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-20-2017, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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General Finishes Sanding Sealer & Enduro-Var

For my first attempt at a table I am trying to figure out a good finish schedule. I've decided to go with General Finishes water based Enduro Var, on top of General Sanding Sealer. The table top is high quality walnut ply with solid walnut edging, aprons and legs.

My plan is:
1) gentle sanding with ROS, 220 on ply and 180 for solid members
2) wet it, let dry, then sand again with 220, from here on by hand
3) x2 coats Sanding Sealer, using 320 between coats
4) first coat of Enduro-Var followed by 320
5) two subsequent coats of Enduro (for 3 total) hand sanded with 400 between coats

Has anyone worked much with General SS and/or Enduro Var? It seems like a good option because it's supposed to be pretty tough and quick cure time should enable me to get through a couple coats a day (I have very limited time to spend on this project).

My questions are:
- thoughts on my plan?
- newbie question here, but what exactly is scuff sanding - not exactly seeing the difference between scuff sanding and "normal" sanding?
- for time reasons after initial surface prep I prefer to assemble the table before applying finish. Will using the same finish schedule for ply top and solid pieces be problematic?
-is it worth considering a water based stain somewhere in the process?
- after my final coat of Enduro is paste wax a good idea, or should the Enduro provide a sufficiently protective finish?

Thanks!!!
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-20-2017, 09:19 AM
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You plan will basically work but, it can vary a great deal depending on the wood you use and how that wood is prepared. Softer wood is going to absorb more of the finish than more denser wood. You just need to be prepared to change your plans and go by what the wood wants. You plan on 2 coats of sealer but that might end up being 6 before it starts looking like it has a film on it. You need to keep applying sealer until it seems like you have the sealer about the thickness of a bread wrapper.

You also have to be very careful sanding soft wood with sandpaper as fine as 220. It can rub out the soft part of the grain leaving ridges where the hard parts of the grain. Then you can't see the ridges until you are almost done and really too late to fix it.

Scuff sanding is the same thing as normal sanding between coats however it's mainly referring to sanding the finish of metal parts. There the finish is usually smooth so the only reason to sand is so the coat you are going to apply will have scratches in the finish to bond to. With wood the grain of the wood will rise up making the finish rough especially with a waterborne finish. The water in the finish will cause the grain to raise a great deal more than solvent coating. What you will need to do is keep applying sealer and sand between coats until you apply a coat which ends up being smooth when it dries. Then you will be to the point it needs a scuff sand to apply your Enduro-Var.

The only problem you might experience finishing the plywood top with solid wood is at the beginning if you stain the wood. Then you might experience the plywood being lighter in color than the rest of it. If this happens you could use a dye stain to supplement the color however that would need to be sprayed on and probably also the finish over it. Most dyes will rub off the stain some brushing it. Also note if you use an oil stain let the stain dry a week before using a waterborne finish. A waterborne finish is incompatible with linseed oil contained in oil based stain and requires you to let the linseed oil cure completely before topcoating. A shortcut would be to use Zinsser Sealcoat for the sanding sealer but it's shellac and pretty much has to be sprayed.

With any finish when you are done, it may feel dry and you can use the furniture but the finish isn't completely cured for at least a month. Don't use any wax on any finish until it is completely cured. You could manage to get the wax down into the finish if it's not hardened completely.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-22-2017, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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Steve, thank you, you're a maestro among men. Some really solid advice here. I do have another few questions for you. I did a test on a scrap of the walnut ply I'll be using. Two coats of sanding sealer, three coats of Enduro Var as per my plans. In general I felt the results were acceptable. There's a little bit of streaking, nothing too bad, but I could definitely achieve a smoother more even finish by improving my technique and choice of applicator. I think it has partly to do with my use of a foam brush (don't have a sprayer). Although I used one about the width of the workpiece, I think I still wasn't working quickly enough. The Enduro dries very quickly. It's drying so fast in some places where I've incidentally laid it on thinner, that after my first pass - when I go back over it to remove the excess - what I'm actually doing is spreading the excess onto other areas. In general I have a tendency to over brush. After that first pass I'll see it looks dry in spots while there's a wet film in others. I'll brush over the whole thing to try and even out splotchy areas and avoid leaving brush marks where I've re-entered. But maybe this effort is having the opposite effect. With a waterborne finish like Enduro, is my best approach to just take one steady pass as evenly as possible and walk away? Somehow there are places that just seem to end up drying much more quickly than I can work. And this is only a 3" x 36" scrap. On an entire 5' table I can see this becoming a real issue. I need to improve my technique/approach. And maybe also consider using something other than a foam brush, like a good size paint pad (if you have any affordable recommendations).

Here's a case where a good picture would help in diagnosing. Unfortunately the only one I have is after the first coat. You can't really see this problem too much here. It may have gotten worse with more coats as the issue of drying too quickly in places has accumulated. I'm also wondering, in this picture are these the ridges you're referring to when you mention being careful about over sanding the softer parts?

Thanks!

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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
You plan will basically work but, it can vary a great deal depending on the wood you use and how that wood is prepared. Softer wood is going to absorb more of the finish than more denser wood. You just need to be prepared to change your plans and go by what the wood wants. You plan on 2 coats of sealer but that might end up being 6 before it starts looking like it has a film on it. You need to keep applying sealer until it seems like you have the sealer about the thickness of a bread wrapper.

You also have to be very careful sanding soft wood with sandpaper as fine as 220. It can rub out the soft part of the grain leaving ridges where the hard parts of the grain. Then you can't see the ridges until you are almost done and really too late to fix it.

Scuff sanding is the same thing as normal sanding between coats however it's mainly referring to sanding the finish of metal parts. There the finish is usually smooth so the only reason to sand is so the coat you are going to apply will have scratches in the finish to bond to. With wood the grain of the wood will rise up making the finish rough especially with a waterborne finish. The water in the finish will cause the grain to raise a great deal more than solvent coating. What you will need to do is keep applying sealer and sand between coats until you apply a coat which ends up being smooth when it dries. Then you will be to the point it needs a scuff sand to apply your Enduro-Var.

The only problem you might experience finishing the plywood top with solid wood is at the beginning if you stain the wood. Then you might experience the plywood being lighter in color than the rest of it. If this happens you could use a dye stain to supplement the color however that would need to be sprayed on and probably also the finish over it. Most dyes will rub off the stain some brushing it. Also note if you use an oil stain let the stain dry a week before using a waterborne finish. A waterborne finish is incompatible with linseed oil contained in oil based stain and requires you to let the linseed oil cure completely before topcoating. A shortcut would be to use Zinsser Sealcoat for the sanding sealer but it's shellac and pretty much has to be sprayed.

With any finish when you are done, it may feel dry and you can use the furniture but the finish isn't completely cured for at least a month. Don't use any wax on any finish until it is completely cured. You could manage to get the wax down into the finish if it's not hardened completely.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-22-2017, 08:21 AM
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You don't have to spend a lot of money on spray equipment for wood. If you have an air compressor you can get a sprayer that will work fine for a finish for wood for about 20 bucks at Harbor Freight. I use the #97855 sprayer and it does fine.

I've never had any luck with a foam brush to apply a finish. When I apply a finish by hand I use the softest brush I can find. Then when I apply the finish I brush it on as thin as possible with as few strokes as possible. When you brush the finish too much it gets more air in the finish and causes it to set up too fast. The finish needs to sit and flow together before it sets up. This minimizes the brush marks if the finish can flow together. Since the finish you are using is drying very quickly you might add a little retarder to slow the drying time down. A retarder will help eliminate the brush marks. Since you are using a waterborne you can use this one. https://www.walmart.com/ip/XIM-Produ...&wl13=&veh=sem
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-22-2017, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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I think maybe that cheap sprayer from HF might be the answer to my woes. It would certainly simplify things for me and this stuff is said to spray really well.
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-22-2017, 10:50 AM
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I think you will wonder how you ever lived without it. I spray everything I can including stain. The only time I brush anything is when I'm working in someone's house the overspray is an issue. It takes a fairly big job to merit all the masking and drop cloth's to protect everything.
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