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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got a finishing question for you. I am putting together wood photo album covers for some of our relatives for Christmas and want to apply a clear gloss finish.
It needs to be water based because I will do the finishing in our lower level. It's winter here in Michigan and my garage is unheated.
I am thinking General Finishes water based top coat Gloss or Minwax water based Polycrylic clear gloss.
As all of these covers are book matched in walnut and I don't want to cover the beautiful grain pattern with stain.
Any help would be appreciated.:thumbsup:

Charlie:smile:
 

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Either one will do the job, Charlie. I'm partial to General Finishes just because that's what I started with in water based.
 

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If you are going for a high gloss finish it would be a lot easier for you to spray the finish even if you have to use a rattle can finish. A high gloss finish shows everything so applying the finish by hand leaves a certain amount of marks. You would have to apply several extra coats and then hand rub the finish out and use rubbing compound to bring the sheen back. Another problem you may experience is most water based finishes need a warmer temperature to work with. Be sure to look for the minimum temperature on the instructions of the finish. A solvent based lacquer although would take a little longer to dry could be used below freezing. Then the walnut wood would show the texture of the wood a lot more with the high gloss. You might consider using a grain filler to level the surface before finishing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you are going for a high gloss finish it would be a lot easier for you to spray the finish even if you have to use a rattle can finish. A high gloss finish shows everything so applying the finish by hand leaves a certain amount of marks. You would have to apply several extra coats and then hand rub the finish out and use rubbing compound to bring the sheen back. Another problem you may experience is most water based finishes need a warmer temperature to work with. Be sure to look for the minimum temperature on the instructions of the finish. A solvent based lacquer although would take a little longer to dry could be used below freezing. Then the walnut wood would show the texture of the wood a lot more with the high gloss. You might consider using a grain filler to level the surface before finishing.
Actually heat is not a problem. Even though I do this in my lower level shop I can raise the temp to 75+ if necessary.
Isn't there a certain amount of odor with rattle cans? I am trying to get away from that. I have no way of spraying other wise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Either one will do the job, Charlie. I'm partial to General Finishes just because that's what I started with in water based.
Thanks. Would it be necessary to use a sealer of any kind under the finish or can it be applied over the raw wood?

I have also used both products but not exactly like I want on these covers.
 

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Actually heat is not a problem. Even though I do this in my lower level shop I can raise the temp to 75+ if necessary.
Isn't there a certain amount of odor with rattle cans? I am trying to get away from that. I have no way of spraying other wise.
Yes, there will be some odor. For the small amount of spraying you will be doing that should not be a problem.

Even though I have a full size spraying capability for lacquer, I will use the rattle can for small projects.

George
 

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Thanks. Would it be necessary to use a sealer of any kind under the finish or can it be applied over the raw wood?

I have also used both products but not exactly like I want on these covers.
You don't need a sealer. If you want a slick piano type finish, you should use a grain filler. You would need many thin applications to get a build sufficient to wet sand.




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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, there will be some odor. For the small amount of spraying you will be doing that should not be a problem.

Even though I have a full size spraying capability for lacquer, I will use the rattle can for small projects.

George
lol, I'm not sure this would be a small project. I am doing 10 or 12 covers and two sides each. If it would only one or two I might agree. However I will look into it.

Charlie
 

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Get a pack of 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper and a flat block. You're going to be sanding for a while to get a surface suitable for a shiny finish coat.

I've used both brands and either is fine. Brush on the first 4 or 5 coats to fill the grain and then wet sand. Brush on the next 2 or 3 to cover all the bare wood you just exposed, after the wood dries....... and finish filling the grain. Wet sand ever so gently to get a smooth surface without exposing more wood. You can use a rattle can for the final coat so you don't get brush marks.

Enjoy!
 

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If you are looking to create a perfectly smooth surface, you will need to apply a grain filler. Walnut is a wood that has large pores. Waterborne finishes are quite thin and do not do a good job smoothing the surface of a wood.

If you have never worked with a grain filler, practice on some scrap from your project
 

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Actually heat is not a problem. Even though I do this in my lower level shop I can raise the temp to 75+ if necessary.
Isn't there a certain amount of odor with rattle cans? I am trying to get away from that. I have no way of spraying other wise.
Yes there is a lot of odor with rattle can paint and potential explosive vapors around an open flame or spark. Not being aware of your working conditions I was trying to give you some options if the temperature was an issue. Since you can warm your shop the water based finish should work fine.
 

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Thanks. Would it be necessary to use a sealer of any kind under the finish or can it be applied over the raw wood?

I have also used both products but not exactly like I want on these covers.
You wouldn't have to use a sealer however the water in the finish will raise the grain so the sealer may make for a little less elbow grease. The only reason you would really need a sealer is if you used an oil base grain filler then a coat of sealcoat would be good for a barrier coat. Linseed oil is incompatible with water based finishes.
 

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You wouldn't have to use a sealer however the water in the finish will raise the grain so the sealer may make for a little less elbow grease. The only reason you would really need a sealer is if you used an oil base grain filler then a coat of sealcoat would be good for a barrier coat. Linseed oil is incompatible with water based finishes.
Actually it's a solvent base grain filler, not oil. Solvent base grain filler doesn't do much in raising grain like water base filler would. But in any case it isn't a big deal and any raised grain gets taken care of in the normal sanding between coats of topcoat.

As far as linseed oil, or oil based finishes, once cured/dry, can be topcoated with water based finishes.






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If you need waterbase I'd recommend General Finishes Enduro-Var. It gives more life to the color that most water based finishes and has a much higher solids content. Which means about half as many coats will be needed. The Polycrylic will not change the appearance of the walnut at all, which in my opinion leaves it looking a little dry, especially if it is steamed.
 
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