Woodfinishers Weblog

Wood finishing forum for professional finishers

Cabinet finishing with Automotive polyurethane

In addition to playing with my new gopro and evo stabilizer I wanted to post a video of the use of polyurethanes on cabinetry, the automotive grade urethane is the way to go if you want the toughest of finishes that will never yellow. In this video shot in the Thomas Craven Wood finishing studios in Van Nuys California, Tom had a residential customer that wanted the best of the best and commercial grade finish, we are using a PLC automotive urethane that you can buy from Annex paint, (I’ll get that product up on he web site) roughly the materials shown with the reducer were about $150.00. the gallon of material, the quart of activator and the gallon of reducer.  That’s 4 X what you would pay for a similar amount of Pre Cat lacquer  and two to three times  what you would pay for a conversion varnish.  The walnut paneling  had a stain and color treatment which was sealed with a CIC vinyl sealer after which it received the treatment you see in the video.

For note, I didn’t edit out any of the spraying footage to shorten the video length. what you see is three coats of material apply in rapid succession. the length of the video is how long it took to apply.  After spending a few days curing  from that application it is installed.

Another thing to note here, is the application of the “FOG” coat as its called the first of the three applications, as show you are barely covering the surface.

For Reference, the term, “Flash off” is used to refer to letting the faster evaporating solvents evaporate. Solvents in coatings are staged and timed. the faster evaporating solvents allow the materials to flow out nicely and level out. the slower solvents allow the resins to harden properly. like concrete there are stages to drying and curing.

Do you need that much protection in your home? Most likely not.  I would generally recommend this product for and exterior application, front doors, fancy wooden garage doors and the like.  Or in commercial establishments, bar and table tops of restaurant dining tables. A big family with young kids, over worked parents and no maid? might not be a bad Idea… Smuckers Jelly if left on the minimally finished pre-cat cabinet door will soften the finish if left on for  a few days. I was told by a 4 year old authority on the matter that finger painting with Jelly was really fun. who Knew…

Feel free to post comments I’ll try to answer them, you are welcome to email me if you have immediate questions  you can visit the annex web http://www.annexpaint.com site for purchasing these products.


Greg Saunders
Annex Paint

November 28, 2018 Posted by | polyurethane, speciality finishes, Spray techniques, Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized, Wood finishing | , , , , | Leave a comment

Full Grain Fill Finish produced with Pinnacle Polyester and Pinnacle Polyurethane

The subject of how to get that full grain filled high gloss / high polished look without over building a lacquer to the point that it cracks has come up from time to time. I recently had a customer who builds and finishes custom walnut tables to a mirror finish that are gorgeous beyond belief have a serious fracturing issue. He had been building up pre-catalyzed lacquer beyond what the manufacture recommended. While this had worked well in the short term, cracks and fracturing of the finish began showing up after a few months.

The best solution I have found for this problem is the use of polyester sanding sealer. This is a great system however it is not something that should be attempted by someone new to the business of furniture finishing as there are three components to mix and if not done right will never dry. Eight to twelve mils of this material may be applied in one application to fill wood grain and or pores and it won’t crack and fracture like lacquers and conversion varnishes do. This is the finish used on pianos.  Once you have applied enough polyester sanding sealer to fill the wood grain and pores you can then block sand it smooth and flat. You can then go straight to final sanding and polish if you wish. This would provide the hardest most durable finish. However, polyester does turn yellow over time. An alternative is to top coat the polyester with non yellowing lacquer or high grade two part polyurethane like the Pinnacle brand we have sold for years now. This polyurethane has UV inhibitors added to it to slow the effects of yellowing that are typical of polyurethanes.

Thomas Craven has been a finisher in the valley for many years and has consistently produced excellent products. He and his team have mastered the Polyester/ Polyurethane finish as you can see in this video.  You can reach Thomas Craven through his web site at:  http://www.TCWoodFinishers.com

If you are interested in purchasing these products you can contact me through the Annex Paint Store web site at: http://www.annexpaint.com

Greg Saunders
Annex Paint

December 7, 2012 Posted by | polyurethane, speciality finishes, Tips and Tricks, Wood finishing | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to finish a wooden sink bowl

This is an interesting one that I thought I would share. A furniture designer from Lithuania wrote to me  asking for help with a wooden sink bowl. I have no pictures to share on this one but after I composed the reply I thought there were a few things in the reply that wood finishers would appreciate.

I have changed the original message from the designed only slightly to protect his identity.


My name is Tomas, I am an independent furniture designer. 
Currently I have an order to produce a wooden bathroom sink and it seems that you have some products that could assist me in doing this.
Could you recommend a varnish for such a job (the only requirement is that the varnish needs to be glossy)? From what I understand, the varnish, that would be suitable for a wooden sink, must be hot water-resistant, it also needs to seal the pores of wood well. 
If you have a suitable project, how much water does it let through? Are there any special varnishing techniques? 
Do you have a sales representative in Lithuania? 

Thank you in advance!

Hi Tomas,

Thanks for your inquire; There are two routes to go with a project like this. the first is to use a “food-grade” oil for the proposed sink and instruct the customer that they will have to oil it regularly. This is the sort of coating you have on wooden salid  bowls.
For something like that you would have to design it in such a way that it was completely sealed on the bottom and in the drain hole as anywhere you have a penetration or where water is going to collect it is eventually going to make its way into the wood and begin to rot the wood. As a note, I would design the bowl in such away so as to be sure that it doesn’t ever sit in water. For example have it on a metal or plastic pedestal so that any water on the sink counter drains off of it. Standing water will be the enemy you’ll have to overcome.
The next problem that you’ll have to overcome is getting a coating that is hard enough to withstand the abuse that a sink will get and yet soft enough to expand and contract with temperature changes.
For note: I would never warrantee something like that as the moment someone drops something sharp in the bowl and penetrates the coating you are going to have a place where water is going to eventually seep in and then lift you coating.

The next thing to consider is the wood you are going to use. Ideally I would use the hardest wood you can find; epay or iron wood.

All of the above being said I would then suggest the CIC two component water based urethane.  Or the Permashield 200 from monopole both of these products are good the Permashield 200 is a product that is approved for food servicing areas by the US department of Agriculture (USDA). Both of these you can find on my web site at : www.annexpaint.com

In terms of special application procedures for this application. I would do several things; once the bowl was ready for finishing I would wet it with warm water just making it slightly damp. As you are using a water based product this will not react badly with the coating and in fact what it will do is lower the surface tension of the wood which will allow the coating to soak into all the grain pores. Next I would put down several light coats of the polyurethane that are thinned down as much as recommended and as well heated to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This will further reduce the viscosity and allow it to soak in as much as possible. Repeat the coating  with a light but thorough sanding in-between coats as many time necessary to achieve the build you want but with a minimum of  4 of 5 coats. Only the first or second coat need the additional reduction, the purpose of this is to achieve maximum penetration into the wood. Lastly I would let it cure for three weeks to ensure that it has reached its maximum hardness before giving it to the customer.

I’m sorry I don’t have a rep in Lithuania but if you would like to fly me over I would love to come. I haven’t shipped material overseas as it is rather coast prohibitive for customers.

The two companies who might have a suitable product are Renner and Icsam  they are both Italian and have very good materials.


  Greg Saunders

 Cell:      818-439-9297
Office:  818-344-3000
Fax:      818-344-3994



I wonder if my boss would fly me to Lithuania?? 


January 11, 2012 Posted by | polyurethane, Spray techniques, Tips and Tricks, Water based Lacquers, Wood finishing | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Golden cabinet doors; unique finishing technique by Thomas Craven

I’m going to have to make a new category for this one as it is not something I have covered before, but the process was so unique and produced such a cool effect I decided that I had to record it.

Using gold leaf or gold power in paint and clear coats has been around for some time but what Thomas Craven has done is used the gold powder in a Pinnacle polyester resin stippled on with a natural sponge and then clear coated with  the clear polyester. The effect is a multi layered effect that gives the finish a depth that is very attractive. See for your self .

featured in the video is Thomas Craven Master and owner of Thomas Craven studios in Van Nuys California you can see more of his work at his  web site at: http://www.tcwoodfinishers.com/ or contact him at: ThomasCraven@msn.com

If you are interested in the materials used you can contact me Greg Saunders at: greg@annexpaint.com

April 26, 2011 Posted by | polyurethane, speciality finishes, Tips and Tricks, Wood finishing | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pinnacle’s catalyzed polyurethane

Jody Toole, Master and owner of Jody Toole Finishing has sent me a write up of finishing a wooden garage door in Malibu, he needed and exterior grade urethane that would stand up against the weather, Sun and salt sea air that constantly pounds the wood in that area. While I have Water base urethane that are very good he didn’t need a water based material as it was out sided where the smells would not be and issue, further he need something that would dry fast and hard so as not to collect dust in the process of drying.

The product I recommended was the Pinnacle polyurethane for wood #149CL12 It is manufactured here in the LA area and is compliant with the South Coast Air Quality management districts rule 1136. It has and excellent clarity and has UV inhibitors in that will lessen the Suns ultraviolet damage. nothing will last forever under the abuse of the weather but this is a coating that has constantly and continually proven itself as and exterior urethane coating.  This is a two component product meaning that you have to add the Part “B” in to the Part “A” . It is a 4:1 mix. you have 4 quarts of the part A to 1 quart of the part B, this is the catalyst an gives the material a “pot Life” , meaning that you have only a certain amount of time before it begins to turn hard on you. This is a professional product and should be used by people who have some idea of what they are doing.  As you might imagine I sell this product and you can see more information about that at on my store at  www.annexpaint.com

Ok here are the doors:




Here are Jodies Tips on using the polyurethane:

Tips for spraying Pinnacle’s catalyzed polyurethane:

#1- Follow the directions explicitly!

#2- Do not add more than the recommended
        amount of catalyst. The first time I sprayed
        this product that is exactly what I did.
        Coming from the school of “more is always
        better” I doubled the amount of catalyst thinking
        that it would speed up the drying time. And it
        certainly did. In almost no time at all the material
        turned solid and it cost about $300 to clean my
        spray machine, replace the line, tip and etc.

#3- Careful with the thinner. 10% to 15% reducer is
         what I recommend. I went with 25% the first time
         and it was “run city”.

#4- Spray sequence:

                    1- a thinned down sealer coat
                           ( 25% or more but do not
                              spray heavily 2 light coats
                              in quick succession will do
                              the trick)

                      2- sand

                      3- spray a light coat and wait for
                           it to flash off (a very short wait)
                          and then spray your “normal”
                          coat. If you want another coat
                          spray it when the second one
                          flashes off.

#5- I sprayed this with an airless using a
      worn out double-orifice fine finishing
      tip. By worn out I mean I’ve been using
      it every day for a year, at least, probably
      longer. It worked fine, just keep in mind
      that you are spraying an oil based product
      and, as such, it is more susceptible to
      runs and sags.
This job was a stain and glaze of a garage door
and 2 entry doors. To see a slide show of the work
click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Here  are the additional doors Jody finished :


Here is a very clear shot of the product used:

 You can see other work by Jody on his blog at:


I have seen consistent very good work from Jody and would recommend him as a finisher.

IF you have  questions about this product or how to apply it fee free to contact me and I’ll be glad to help you out

Greg Saunders
Annex Paint

December 22, 2010 Posted by | polyurethane | Leave a comment

Renner 0 VOC Water based Polyurethane in action

Jack Yekikan, the owner of J.P. Cabinets and design, took the plunge and has moved his finishing operation into the using water based products. After attending one of our waterbased seminars he came to me and said “I want the bet of the best you have in water based finsihes, I want to offer my clientell a superior product that is envirometally friendly and yet is as good or better than conventional lacquer or conversion varnish”.

So we set to work at getting he and his finishing crew trained up on using water based materials, It is simple  but there are a few things you have to do a little differently, for one you have to use a larger tip size on  your spray gun and as well you have to adjust for the drying times being a little longer. That being done we they started out on a relitivaly small application that was simple and straigh foreward. They began using the Renner YL-1150- 00 sealer and the Renner YO-1245 premiun top coat with an additional catylist which made it harder than a pre-catylized lacquer and more water resistant than a conversion varnish. That work out well and the customers were very happy with the work.

While Jack was completely happy with the product he still wanted the best of the best and so began using the Renner Water based polyurethane. YO-M750 00. This is a product that can be use with and additional solvant catylist or not. After experimentation Jack decided that the additional hardner was unnessary for the residential application. This product was applied over the same sealer, one of the great advantages of the Renner system. The stain used was the Renner TY series of spray on stains the same renner stain were used in with the Renner glazing compound  

The pictures I have here, are of some of the cabintery installed in the house but the house still under construction. with permission from the owner of the house we’ll hopefully be able to take a few professional pictures of the cabinetry once all the work is done and the house has been occupied.

These products can be found on my web site at: www.annexpaint.com

If you are interested in getting help moving your shop into  water based materials feel free to contact me, If  you are in the Los Angelse I’ll come over to your shop and  spray out the different coating so you can get familiure with them.

If you want to contact Jack at J.P cabinets here is his contact  info:

Jack Yekikan 
JP Cabinets
12780 Pierce Street Pacoima,
CA 91331-1969 –
(818) 686-6270 

 FYI: I have to say, I was very impressed with both the cabinetry work and the finsihing J.P. Cabinets does.

bathroom vanity

and incredible finish

June 5, 2010 Posted by | polyurethane, Stains and glazes, Water based Lacquers, Wood finishing | Leave a comment

Bubbles in the finish

The following is a problem a follower sent in as a question, while it may be long I thought I should publish the diolog for all to have the benifit of: 

I am posting his question with out contact information for his privacy


From: Antonio  
Sent: Sunday, August 23, 2009 7:10 PM
To: info@annexpaint.com
Subject: needing advice and supplier


Hey guys,

We are a medium sized kitchen manufacturing firm based in the Bahamas.  Stumbled across your forums while looking for advice in solving some problems we are having which also haves us seeking new suppliers for professional finishing products.  Can you offer some input on the following problem?
For most of our darker Cabinetry finishes we stick with basic MagnaLac finishes, working from oil based stains to lacquer sealers then on to lacquer clear coats and the only problem is the occasional white cloudiness that is a pain in the a** to get out, usually this is when we spray in cooler weather, right now we still spray outdoors and have our drying racks indoors.

Now here is where the problem comes,  for our lighter colored cabinetry we stick with waterborne clear coats (minwax polycrylic) over water based stains with no problem but lately we have been trying to use the same clear coat system over waterbased paint.  For some reason we get constant bubbles.  We do everything by the books,  lacquer based (pratt & lambert) white undercoater, 2 coats of water based (benjamin moore) paint then after 24hrs of drying,,, the clear coat,,, and the BUBBLES!! We thought maybe it was reacting to the lacquer primer underneath so we re-prime with water based primer then final coat but still bubbles!! We use a basic compressor system with a devilbiss siphon gun (1.7mm nozzle). 

I know polycrylic is not exactly pro stuff but being a small island we are veryyy limited to the products we have access to, and would have to spend alot on importing tons of different products to test.  What do you think is causing the constant bubbles?  We spray polycrylic straight out the can.

any input would be appreciated.


Here was my reply:

Hi Antonio,

 Thanks for the data, that’s and interesting one, Bubbles come from a number of things usually it is because it is too hot and the top most layer is drying faster than the bottom of the layer which is still off gassing and so you have a gas trying to come through a layer of almost dry material which then forms a bubble.  The common solutions is to use a retarder or spray when it is not quite as hot. Out here in California there are a number of shops that do there spraying at 4 in the morning.

 You might want to try thinning the material down with what ever the manufacture recommends, sounds like just water will do, the next thing is getting a retarder for the material. I have found that regular Lacquer retarder works well as a retarder for water based products. That however is not a manufacture recommendation and would be something you would want to test first. Best Practice is to use the retarder the manufacturer recommends. As a point when adding a retarder to a water based material you should mix the retarder 50 /50 with water first and then add it to the lacquer. And you would use more than about 4% retarder other wise you are

 The White haziness is a similar thing, Moisture entrapment. As the lacquers is evaporating it is cooling down the surface and condensing the moisture in the air which them is trapped in the coating. You can do a few things for that, again adding retarder, or you can heat your materials i.e., the lacquer or you can move into a climate controlled space (sometimes not possible)

 Another thing that can cause bubbling is air pressure too high on your guns, another is a that you have seal leak on your gun on the fluid side that is letting air in to your fluid mix and frothing it up in the can. That doesn’t sound too likely.

Let me know how that goes and if you can send pictures and I’ll post it.

 If you want me to ship you materials I can do that.

 Greg Saunders

August 25, 2009 Posted by | Finishing failures and the fix, polyurethane | 4 Comments

What is the best finish for my Kitchen?

Since I have had this blog up I have had numerous calls and emails from homeowners and professionals alike asking what is the best finish for my kitchen?  Some go on to say things like my contractor wants to put Valspar luster lac on but my architect tells me that we should use polyurethane and my neighbor say use water base. What do I do?

 The simple answer is have all these people give you samples of the finish not only should you ask for a sample but have them do a sample on the same wood and materials that  you are going to have in your kitchen: alder, cherry, maple or what ever. Then have them use a door or a cabinet from your kitchen. If you have to pay a little for it you should.  A real good finishing job is expensive and worth it using multiple steps in the finishing process you can gain a depth and clarity that you don’t with the lower quality finishing.

By survey, a well painted room or a high quality cabinet finishing job will make a room “feel different” the untrained person coming into the room will feel more comfortable and will prefer the room with the higher quality finish to the room with the lesser quality finish. The technology behind this is the fact that consciously or not a person does perceive imperfections and they will make you feel to one degree or another uncomfortable. The same thing is true when you go into a room that is off square and a room that is perfectly square even when the rooms are identical in every other aspect by test, most people will “like” the square room better. Not all things are square, nor do you always want square. The point being that people can perceive the difference in quality and workmanship, when the difference is not as obvious. Ever notice the phenomena of seeing two similar looking products you pick up the more expensive one? 

 I’ve digressed; a good finish is worth the extra cost. That being said, what are the differences and the pros and cons of each.

 Nitro-cellulous lacquer– The easiest to apply; it gives a great look and feel. All regular lacquers will yellow over time, some faster than others. Valspar has been notorious for that. Regular lacquer is relatively soft and will not hold up to moisture. But feel great and therefor it is not good for kitchens and bathrooms. Lacquer finishes are easy to repair as each successive coat of lacquer melts into itself.

 Pre-Catalyzed lacqueror Pre-Cat lacquer, designed about 50 years ago as a material that would hold up to moisture environments better, the kitchen and bath rooms. Pre-cats   have an acid catalyst in the mix that makes it a lot harder and yet it is still relatively easy to work with.  Pre-Cats are what you should have in your kitchen but they have a tendency to crack if applied too heavily and they are not impervious to moisture. You have to wipe up spills and not let the dish water sit in the crevices and cracks of a cabinet door.  Give that door a year with a daily dose of water sitting on it not cleaned up and the coating is going to fail.  You do have to clean up after your spills. If you don’t like that Idea, hire a maid or go with stainless steel. The Pre-Cat lacquer brand I like the best is Gemini. It is thick and yet can be sprayed directly out of the can dries quickly and looks great. 

 Water based lacquers– they have come a long way. They have had a tendency to have a “plasticie” look as the materials lay on top of the wood rather than soaking in to the wood as a lacquer does. One person I know refers to water base materials as nothing but watered down Elmer’s glue. 20 yeas ago that was about what a water based finish looked like.

 Times have changed and the water bases of today are far superior to what they were. Old time finishers who haven’t taken the time to train themselves on how to properly apply the materials still cling to their earlier fixed Ideas on the matter. The truth is that properly applied a water based finish can look just as good as a lacquer finish and is twice as durable as lacquer when it comes to moisture. The trick is in knowing how to apply it and letting the water based materials fully cure. Cure is different than dry. The materials will dry in a few minutes and then take a week or two to fully cure. The other up-side to water based materials are that you are releasing toxins in to the atmosphere don’t however think that water based materials are with out carcinogens. There are lots of nasty chemicals in water based paints they are just not being released into the atmosphere as are the lacquer products. Personally I have a few water based materials that have proven them selves; the Gemini brand “Titanium” and more recently the Italian brand Renner. The Renner is hands down the best water based material I have found to date.  Like a Lamborghini however, it’s pricy at $210 for five gallons as apposed to the $170 a five for Gemini Water based lacquers.

 Conversion Varnish, this is tough stuff and is the product that I would recommend for table tops and high wear areas. It is tougher to work with and is rougher on both the personnel spraying it and the equipment it requires a higher skill set to use and it more difficult to repair. There are high end finishers that do all there work in Conversion Varnish as they want the toughest finish they can provide. It does have great moisture resistant qualities however it is not designed for out side use. The brand I sell and have had good results with is again the Gemini brand. (I have had others  I  stocked and had troubles with. Suffice to say I no longer carry those brands). The Conversion I sell is about $50 to $60 dollars a gallon. And comes with the catalyst you have to add

 Water based conversion coating; This is a new product to the market that I’m beginning to really like. It combines the best of both worlds.  There aren’t many companies that make it. Rexcel is the brand I have, American made and comparable to the solvent base stuff. You can see other articles in this Blog about it.  Very tough and moisture resistant (see the earlier article I wrote where I have pictures of the panels coated with the Rexcel in my shower stall getting the extreme moisture test. The panels have been in there for over two months with two or more showers happening a day and there is no signs of failure in the coating. This particular product needs no further catalysing which makes it very painter friendly.

 Polyurethanes, Water based and other wise, these are the toughest finish that you can get and the most expensive. One part polyurethanes or single stage that have not catalyst aren’t really worth the effort of buying. Most polyurethanes come with a catalyst you have to add before applying similar to epoxy glue, there is a part A and a part B. you have to get the ratios right or it either won’t dry or will dry and crack. They generally sit on top of the wood as a coating and so give it that plastic film look. It’s tough to glaze in-between coats and which is the technique that gives you that depth and quality. There are some really good finishers that can pull the off but normally for the expense that is not something you need for your house or kitchen. This is the product I recommend for commercial applications that is getting high wear and constant abuse. Additionally If you want shinny you can buff and polish polyurethane to a high gloss that is mirror smooth. 

 To give you an idea, polyurethanes are the coatings you put on your floor, that’s the toughness you get from a poly. If you want a high build thick film that you can see this would be the product to use as you can lay it on thick unlike Lacquers.  There are water based polys and solvents based, I carry both.  I wouldn’t recommend doing you kitchen cabinets in polyurethane, that being said I have some very high end finishers who have perfected the skill sets and can product incredible products with polyurethanes. These finishing procedures come with a cost. “Thomas Craven Finishing Company” are at the top of their league for high end work. 

 So what should you have your kitchen done with. Get the samples and look at them. see the look that you like and then decide what you are willing to pay for it. If you are a Hollywood celebrity, have lots of parties and don’t clean, go with the polyurethane. If you are a regular family and are looking to cover you new custom cabinets with something that will preserve them for a long time to come use a Pre Cat lacquer or the water based conversion coating or perhaps the conversion varnish depending on what looks the best for you.

 Either way get your finisher to provide you with samples so you can see the difference yourself. Finishers are usually creatures of habit and like to do what they have done and feel safe with. Often an old school finisher will tell you something is bad because he has no clue how to use it and doesn’t want to learn.

 I enjoy your comments suggestions and opinions.

 Greg Saunders

Annex Paint

May 3, 2009 Posted by | polyurethane, Water based Lacquers, Wood finishing | , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Questions about about what wood finishing product to use and where

I thought I would post an Email that was sent to me with a very valid question. Water Based polyurethanes versus Solvent conversion Varnish. Which is harder which is better?



 I am in the process of building some pantry cabinets for my shore house.  I want to achieve a nice solid white finish. What would you recommend. I was thinking a white tinted conversion varnish applied w/ a hvlp conversion gun. Any other suggestions. I just need it to be more durable than paint. My other option was to paint then apply a waterborne polyurethane coating.


Here is my response and answer to the question


Hi Mr. B,


You have several options. But what I would recommend is the water born poly or similar product. The conversion vanish is great stuff but is very tough on both the people who spray it and your equipment. The acid catalysis is rough on a body, if you do use it get a spray suit with a hood and wear a respirator. It does produce an incredible finish and fast. On the up side to the conversion varnish it is slightly clearer, but you are not doing a clear over a wood stain so that wouldn’t be a significant issue.


The down sides to the waterborne poly is it is a little trickier to spray and requires a larger tip size usually 1.7mm or bigger and you may need to experiment around first to get it to lay down smoothly, you may require a certain amount of retarder so that it will lay out smoothly, 3% is all you would want to add after that it will take forever to dry and will compromise the hardness. Once you have your solution dialed in its pretty simple.


I would get a good white primer on first otherwise you will be putting on more coats of the poly that you really need and they are harder to sand. Ellis 1262 water based white primer is a great one. Ellis is however a La company I don’t know where you are. Dunn Edwards and Sherman Williams both make decent primers; a good primer will save you time and money. Get the surface as smooth as you can with the primer then two top coats and you are done.


Don’t get a water based poly from Home depot or Lowes the “Minwax” polyurethane they sell isn’t that good and doesn’t do that well. I would get something used by professionals, Renner is what I sell  and I love the stuff this is an Italian manufactured material. Of course there are others that are very good as well. “General Finishes” have a few.


I have an incredible product that I really like that is somewhere in-between a water based poly and a Conversion varnish. It is manufactured especially for us by a company called Rexcel I have mention of it on my Blog. If you go to the Blog you can see the Rexcel listings I have there as well as the test I am running with the material. I have three panels I shot my self that are in my shower getting wet daily. So far they have been there a month and show no signs of water damage.  



  Anyway, that product is interior/exterior and harder than hell, you can also buff it to a mirror finish and is only about 54 bucks a gallon if you are interested in having some shipped. We can do that.  We have it white I believe, the one thing about white is there are several whites so you might want to do some testing first. You can also send us a color sample and we can match it. If you do that you have to provide a board with the color of your choosing that is at least 6”X6” that way we’ll have some thing to work with.



 Let me know what you decide and how it all comes out. If you are interested send some pictures with a little write up and I’ll post it on the Blog.  There is currently one posting from a guy that did his own kitchen with a water base lacquer and it turned out great. You should read that one as well as there are a few tips in there that are Key. One of which is the fact that all water base materials take longer to dry and longer to Cure. You have to let them cure for a few weeks before they get really hard. You can install them after a day or two but be very gentle with it for at least a week. The Conversion Varnish goes hard with a chemical reaction and will continue to cure for days and weeks but will get harder faster than the water based materials that cure at the rate of water evaporating. That by the way is determined by temperature and relative humidity. You can force dry then with heat and air flow but don’t cook them.



You got me on a roll here, did I answer your sufficiently?


Greg Saunders







March 7, 2009 Posted by | Conversion varnish, polyurethane, Tips and Tricks, Water based Lacquers, Wood finishing | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A great article I found in wood finishing magizine you should see

 Below is a link to  an article that I have the permission to post from the wood finishing magazine. It is well written piece and so I thought it was some thing to pass a long.
Last year Annex Paint  ( www.annexpaint.com ) brought in the Renner Line of Italian lacquers and they have been a real success We have as well the Renner polyurethane but   to be honest I haven’t worked with  that much.
Having read this article I’ll be more inclined to take the time to experiment with it. Check out the article. If you have had some experience with the mater  send me a line ans share your knowledge wit the reat of the Crew here.
Greg Saunders
Italian polyurethane use growing in America from Finishing Magazine

February 26, 2009 Posted by | polyurethane | , | Leave a comment