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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
When I restore and refinish an antique I always wipe on at least 6 top coats and will wipe on 8 top coats for table tops and desk tops and table feet that will be subject to shoes hitting them.

I use either Minwax Wipe On Poly or Minwax Poly that has been diluted 50% with mineral spirits.

Am I applying enough coats? I am not having any issues - just looking for feedback from people more experienced than me.

Thank you.

Gary
 

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The amount of coats needed for the final emulsion can vary depending on how it is applied, the kind of wood and the type of finish. Generally I try to achieve an emulsion about 3 mils thick, about the thickness of a lawn and leaf trash bag.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The amount of coats needed for the final emulsion can vary depending on how it is applied, the kind of wood and the type of finish. Generally I try to achieve an emulsion about 3 mils thick, about the thickness of a lawn and leaf trash bag.
Steve, thanks for the input. Unfortunately I really don't know how to estimate the thickness of the series of top coats.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Measuring thickness of a finish (if you can), won't be as meaningful compared to how it feels and looks.







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Cabinetman based on look and feel generally to me a piece looks "done" after 4 top coats. I put on 2 to 4 more for extra protection. So what I am doing should be fine.

Gary
 

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Steve, thanks for the input. Unfortunately I really don't know how to estimate the thickness of the series of top coats.

Gary
Well nobody acutally measures the finish. It's just the appearance of 3 mils thick. If you go thinner it doesn't provide enough protective coating and too thick the finish doesn't expand and contract with the wood and cracks.
 

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I generally use a 2 part hardwood floor finish apply the first coat after a 320 sanding, re-sand with 400 and put 3 more coats on.That hardwood finish comes out harder than a priest at a boy scout campout.
 

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Rick Mosher
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I only put on one top coat. :yes: It is the very last coat, therefore the "top" coat. That may sound like I am be a smart a** but I am not. If for instance my final coat will be a satin sheen the last thing I want to do is put a bunch of coats of satin finish on a project. All of that flattening paste will cloud up the finish like crazy. So I use a gloss finish for my "build" coats. When the grain structure looks like I need it to then I apply my top coat. There is no answer to how much finish to apply. There are "open pore" finishes which allow the grain to show, there are "semi-closed pore" finises which allow just a little of the grain to show and then full "closed pore" finishes which look like a sheet of glass with no texture at all. In reality all the finish has to do is protect the wood from moisture everything from that point is personal preference and what amount of abuse the surface will be subjected to.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
How many top coats?

I only put on one top coat. :yes: It is the very last coat, therefore the "top" coat. That may sound like I am be a smart a** but I am not. If for instance my final coat will be a satin sheen the last thing I want to do is put a bunch of coats of satin finish on a project. All of that flattening paste will cloud up the finish like crazy. So I use a gloss finish for my "build" coats. When the grain structure looks like I need it to then I apply my top coat. There is no answer to how much finish to apply. There are "open pore" finishes which allow the grain to show, there are "semi-closed pore" finises which allow just a little of the grain to show and then full "closed pore" finishes which look like a sheet of glass with no texture at all. In reality all the finish has to do is protect the wood from moisture everything from that point is personal preference and what amount of abuse the surface will be subjected to.
Rick, your feedback makes good sense. In fact I always apply the first 3 build coats in gloss then switch to the desired finish for the last few coats. Based on your input I will modify my approach to be in line with yours. I also understand your comment about pore filling. And I do apply additional coats depending on the use of the item. Thank you.

Gary
 
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