Polycrylic still not ready to use? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-14-2012, 07:08 AM Thread Starter
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Polycrylic still not ready to use?

I'm a novice with this stuff so I don't know what I did wrong, if anything.

I am painting a cabinet. I took unfinished birch, primed it with two coats, painted with 2 coats of black acrylic-latex paint, waited 5 weeks to be sure it cured, and then lightly sanded and added about 4 thin coats of Minwax Polycrylic.

The can states I can use as normal within 24 hours. It's very, very humid here so I've given it more time. It's been about 10 days and last night I put a glass of olive oil on it with rough edges on the bottom. I took it off today to see it had left indentations in the finish.

Not sure what I did wrong. I thought the Polycrylic would dry rock hard and it's been a week and a half and apparently it's not.

Anything I can do to fix this to make sure I can place things on this Polycrylic finish without worry it will stick to objects?

Thank you.
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-14-2012, 07:37 AM
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After that length of time it should be more than ready to use. It sounds to me like given your humidity problem you didn't allow enough time between coats for drying time. Sometimes in high humidity you have to wait much longer between coats than the directions say. I think you have either the black paint or some of the polycrylic underneath that is still wet. It may take a very long time however I think if you wait it out it will eventually cure. You could go ahead and use the piece and after you thing it's hardened up enough fix whatever indentations you may have gotten on it using it.

I don't care for water based finishes anyway however I think it would help you if when you paint something you used paint for the final finish and not clear coat it. If it were me I would have put a couple coats of primer on the wood sanding it between coats and put two coats of an oil based enamel. Under normal circumstances you can put a second coat of the enamel on in 24 hours. When the weather isn't too good I wait two days. If it's really bad especially in winter I wait 4 days. Sherwin Williams makes All Surface Enamel that works very well for me.
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-14-2012, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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I think you have either the black paint or some of the polycrylic underneath that is still wet. It may take a very long time however I think if you wait it out it will eventually cure. You could go ahead and use the piece and after you thing it's hardened up enough fix whatever indentations you may have gotten on it using it.
Thanks for the response. I can't imagine the underlying paint was dry, because when the paint was curing for over a month, the humidity was lower. But then again, I can't be sure.

As I said, I'm a total novice at this. What is a "very long time"? A month? Three months? I tested it out last night thinking it'd be ok and wound up with indentations on it, so I'm hoping to be super sure before I mess up the finish again. Can I expect a rock hard finish at least some day with polyacrylic so much so that I can leave a heavy, rough edged object on for weeks without worrying it will ruin the finish?

Again, thank you.
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-14-2012, 08:16 AM
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How did you apply the Polycrylic?





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post #5 of 13 Old 07-14-2012, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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How did you apply the Polycrylic?

.
Regular brush. No air bubbles (I didn't wipe the brush on the edge of the can). And (I think/thought) a thin coat.

The grooves on the bottom of the olive oil bottle didn't get to the paint, just deep in the poly (I sanded most of them out and the paint was still intact).
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-14-2012, 10:00 AM
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Regular brush. No air bubbles (I didn't wipe the brush on the edge of the can). And (I think/thought) a thin coat.
You might have thought they were thin coats. Many of the complaints about WB poly are from those that don't apply it properly. It works much better when sprayed...in thin applications. Many aren't patient enough or are willing to do enough applications to get a good finish.

I use it as a primary finish since the late 80's/early 90's. Solvent base lacquer was my go to finish for about 20 years prior to that. WB is less toxic, doesn't blush, stays clear, easy clean up, dries fast, and if applied correctly performs as well as lacquer IMO.





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post #7 of 13 Old 07-14-2012, 10:15 AM
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Thanks for the response. I can't imagine the underlying paint was dry, because when the paint was curing for over a month, the humidity was lower. But then again, I can't be sure.

As I said, I'm a total novice at this. What is a "very long time"? A month? Three months? I tested it out last night thinking it'd be ok and wound up with indentations on it, so I'm hoping to be super sure before I mess up the finish again. Can I expect a rock hard finish at least some day with polyacrylic so much so that I can leave a heavy, rough edged object on for weeks without worrying it will ruin the finish?

Again, thank you.
It would be hard to say how long it would take. I haven't seen very much paint that wouldn’t harden. Even in a sealed can paint, the paint will eventually harden. Perhaps it would help if you set your cabinet in the sun to force dry it. You would run the risk of making the wood warp but it should help dry the paint. Like I said in the first post I don't care for waterborne finishes just because of problems like you are having. Many latex paints never seem to dry. You can use it and in dry weather will work fine. Then months later the weather gets damp and the finish gets soft and sticky where you have trouble with can goods sticking to the shelves. In some cases the moisture in the air will re-wet the paint to a certain extent. It's one of those things where one brand will work and another won't. In about 2007 I built a kitchen for someone that had cabinets painted with latex paint. Some of the base cabinets that I removed from the house I used in my shop. From time to time I still have to pry items up off the shelves and the paint was old when did the kitchen. This is the most extreme case of bad paint I've ever seen and have never seen anything close to it.

I still think the easiest thing to do would be to ignore it and wait and see if the finish hardens. Put something like a coaster under anything you set on it and if you can determine the finish is finally rock hard scuff sand the finish put another coat of the polycrylic on it to get rid of the marks you may have gotten on it waiting for it to dry. The only other option is to use paint and varnish remover and strip it all off and start over. The latter would be more certain but a lot of work.
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-15-2012, 11:40 AM
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I don't use MW products. EVER. AT ALL! Always had too many problem with the stuff.
The Modern Masters "Master Clear" acrylic is my go-to table top finish. Dries hard and quickly.
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-15-2012, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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You might have thought they were thin coats.
Unfortunately, I think you may be right. Looking at some Youtube clips, I may have put too much on.

Is a possible solution to give it a very good sanding to get some of the extra polyacrylic off, and then re-apply a very thin coat? Or is it best to just wait a month or so and hope it turns rock hard by then?

Thanks.
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-15-2012, 08:01 PM
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Unfortunately, I think you may be right. Looking at some Youtube clips, I may have put too much on.

Is a possible solution to give it a very good sanding to get some of the extra polyacrylic off, and then re-apply a very thin coat? Or is it best to just wait a month or so and hope it turns rock hard by then?

Thanks.
Do you have the ability to spray it on?





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post #11 of 13 Old 07-15-2012, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Do you have the ability to spray it on?
That would be tough. I'm in NYC, living in an apartment, and hence I have no outside space I could do it in. The extreme heat and humidity aren't helping me much either.
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post #12 of 13 Old 07-16-2012, 07:18 AM
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When I lived in an apartment I rented a mini warehouse to work on home projects. It was cramped and I limited the amount of spraying I did but I was able to get done what I needed to. Everything you use would have to run on 110v because all you have for power is to tie into the overhead lights.
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post #13 of 13 Old 07-17-2012, 08:32 PM
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I can tell you from personal experience that your problem is the paint, not the poly. The poly will only cure as hard as the substrate. Black latex paints ,or any acrylic recipe for that matter, has so much universal tint pigments in it that it will never cure to 100%. The best thing you can do is get an acrylic paint like you just bought and have it mixed to dark blue. Use that as your base color coat. Let it cure for 48 hours, and then tint your poly black with some trans tint dye. Use several coats of the tinted clear coat until you rich a rich black color. Let each coat cure for 12 hours.

Sounds silly but there is a huge difference in the amount of pigments used to make navy blue as opposed to black. Blue is mixed from a lighter tint base that has less pigments to begin with, black is mixed from a dark tint base.....

After years of fighting with the exact issue your having, and thus figuring out the method I just described. I have since switched to a Sherwin Williams system called Kem-Aqua Plus. It is a waterbased laquer that is incredibly durable, no clear coat necessary. It also comes in black.

**also** A good indicator that you have applied the poly to thick is that it will crackle. If its too thick you will see webbing or broken glass effect all over it. If you dont see anything like this in your clear, you didnt apply it too thick.

Last edited by Drakmare; 07-17-2012 at 08:34 PM. Reason: added info
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