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I'm just interested as to why EVERYTHING must have a polycrapithane finish.:eek:
Sure, it has its place on table tops, floors, high use or wear sensitive areas. No crap from me on those applications, but why is it always stated as the finish of choice?
There are so many finishes that enhance woods and don't apply a "plastic" look to our crafts.
Sure, I use it when the project requires, but a good shellac, varnish, etc. product just screams quality for the end result.
Fire away folks. I really want to understand the facination.:huh:
Bill
 

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No one finish is for every wood and application and there are too many of them to address here. I've never really gotten into using shellac. I use some amber shellac from time to time when I'm trying to age the appearance of a new part put on an antique. The clear would be fine but a lot of folks don't have the means of spraying and shellac is difficult to apply by hand. Then a lot of places it's difficult to acquire these products so I normally try to recommend something that could be found anywhere. Varnish is good however over time it yellows so you don't want to put it on light colored woods. It is something that can easily be brushed but I think some states it's already illegal for the stores to sell it. Personally I like lacquer for applications where there isn't water but it's something that needs to be sprayed. I use nitrocellulous lacquer on dark woods and cab-acrylic on light colored woods. The nitro lacquer yellows over time so it isn't suited for light woods. Then as far as polyurethane it is the best most durable finish one could easily find and suitable in locations where it might get wet. The oil based yellows so it is best on dark woods where the water based is best on light woods. I don't care for the appearance of the water based poly alone without pretreating the wood with linseed oil to give it some color. Then I suspect it won't be long before you won't be able to buy linseed oil, varnish, lacquer, shellac or oil based poly so we might all be stuck with bland plastic looking wood.
 

· Old School
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I'm just interested as to why EVERYTHING must have a polycrapithane finish.:eek:
Sure, it has its place on table tops, floors, high use or wear sensitive areas. No crap from me on those applications, but why is it always stated as the finish of choice?
There are so many finishes that enhance woods and don't apply a "plastic" look to our crafts.
Sure, I use it when the project requires, but a good shellac, varnish, etc. product just screams quality for the end result.
Fire away folks. I really want to understand the facination.:huh:
Bill
I think the answer to your question is that many members don't have spray equipment, or don't know how to spray, or don't have a good place to spray. Oil base finishes can be an easy wipe on finish...that's my guess, and I'm stickin' to it.





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· The Man
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758 Posts
I'm just interested as to why EVERYTHING must have a polycrapithane finish.:eek:
Sure, it has its place on table tops, floors, high use or wear sensitive areas. No crap from me on those applications, but why is it always stated as the finish of choice?
There are so many finishes that enhance woods and don't apply a "plastic" look to our crafts.
Sure, I use it when the project requires, but a good shellac, varnish, etc. product just screams quality for the end result.
Fire away folks. I really want to understand the facination.:huh:
Bill
Bill, chill out, man! Switch to decaf!

Some of us like the look of poly.



I, like many I suspect, started woodworking and grabbed a Minwax stain and poly off the shelf I got at the box store, simply because I didn't know any better/didn't have any other option. I've since discovered shellacs and oils. However, I continue to use gloss poly because I like the shine it gives.

Some of it is pure ignorance, but some of it is taste. You say shellac and varnish scream quality. I think they make a project look homemade and unprofessional. But I certainly wouldn't call them "crap."

Just a manner of taste.
 

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I think the answer to your question is that many members don't have spray equipment, or don't know how to spray, or don't have a good place to spray. Oil base finishes can be an easy wipe on finish...that's my guess, and I'm stickin' to it.


That is correct in my case. There are soooo many options in finishing. I get very confused.
 

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If you're applying poly and it looks like plastic.......YOU AIN'T DOIN SOMETHIN RIGHT!!!
The problem usually starts when you put 3 or 4 coats of satin, semi-gloss or matte on a piece. Rule #1....ALWAYS (every time), start with high-gloss poly. When desired film(thickness) is achieved, put on your final coat of whatever sheen you desire.
Rule #2...Two ways to do this, oil based you can use #0000 steel wool between coats or 320 grit sand paper, either will work. If using WB poly, the steel wool is a no-no.
When you get a little more skilled at finishing, you can go with straight high gloss poly and obtain any sheen you want with the steel wool.
With that being said, the brand you use has a hand in plastic look also. Never had a problem with Min-wax or Cabot, but Sherwin-Williams DOES look like plastic and does not have a good hard finish when cured
Some folks only do this as a hobby, why buy hundreds of dollars of different finishes and equipment to use now and then.
The only way to get good at ANYTHING is practice, practice, practice then practice some more.
 

· Old School
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If you're applying poly and it looks like plastic.......YOU AIN'T DOIN SOMETHIN RIGHT!!!
The problem usually starts when you put 3 or 4 coats of satin, semi-gloss or matte on a piece. Rule #1....ALWAYS (every time), start with high-gloss poly. When desired film(thickness) is achieved, put on your final coat of whatever sheen you desire.
Rule #2...Two ways to do this, oil based you can use #0000 steel wool between coats or 320 grit sand paper, either will work. If using WB poly, the steel wool is a no-no.
When you get a little more skilled at finishing, you can go with straight high gloss poly and obtain any sheen you want with the steel wool.
With that being said, the brand you use has a hand in plastic look also. Never had a problem with Min-wax or Cabot, but Sherwin-Williams DOES look like plastic and does not have a good hard finish when cured
Some folks only do this as a hobby, why buy hundreds of dollars of different finishes and equipment to use now and then.
The only way to get good at ANYTHING is practice, practice, practice then practice some more.
+1. :yes:






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· The Man
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I know shellac is a natural product but I think they will pull it to keep us from spraying dentured alcohol.
Not to hijack the thread, but why could you not spray it? I didn't think it was harmful to the environment. We burn alcohol in cars and whatnot. It comes from plants. It evaporates into nothing?

Maybe I'm not as smart as I think I am! :laughing:
 
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