Eric is a furniture maker in Nashville Tennessee He contacted me some years ago after seeing my Blog with and interest in trying out the cic conversion coatings products I had talked about so much. Determined to get good with water based products he invested the time and patience in to the product and has become a master craftsman with them. Producing a singularly beautiful artistic creation in wood, is not a mater of divine inspiration but instead the result of a lot of hard work study and practice. Recently he send me some pictures of some custom walnut cases he built and finished with the CIC coating and I was blown away at the beauty of his creations. I told him I would show off the work and give him a plug.
In his own words, “Since these chests and TV stand were made from un-steamed walnut, I wanted to capture the natural beauty of the wood. Knowing I was going to use the CIC water base conversion top coat, I elected to spray and wipe back a coat of oil which I have found ambers more over time than other finishes. I then finished it up with 3 coats of the CIC water based conversion coating in a satin finish.”
Eric can be contacted for custom furniture work at the following address.
5013 Meta Dr
Nashville TN 37211
I apologize for having been remiss in my blogging duties it has been a busy year. I have a new camera and as well some new things to share.
I went back to a job that a customer did a year ago to see how the CIC acrylic coatings were holding up. In general the CIC 3022 Acrylic lacquer was doing great, on verticals and in bookshelves it looked great. however on counter tops after a year of being in side of a well attended church there were some signs of wear. Jody Toole of Jody Tool’s finishing started to do some tests to see what he could apply that would be harder yet easy to apply and yet not change the color or appearance.
the following video is the test that he did. for reference in the test he used the CIC acrylic lacquer, a 550 VOC pre-cat from mohawk and the CIC coatings water based clear Conversion Varnish. all of the panels were sealed with a vinyl sealer first. He them wiped them down with an lacquer thinner on a rag to see how fast the coating would degrade.
Additional note: although it is not shown here Jody did a separate test where he applied the water based conversion varnish directly over the acrylic lacquer and it looked great and stuck well.
If you are interested in knowing more about these products give me a call.
For years I have been asking for a clear grain filler and for the years I have been looking the only true Clear grain filler I found was an Ultra Violet cured product, while a great product it was out of realm of the regular cabinet guy. Then CIC came up with this product that is all the things I was looking for. It is water based and dries quickly, ( all water based products are temperature and humidity sensitive) This is a product that I have wanted to get a demo video up on for some time.
My wife wanted a simple black box that she was going to put in a closet, it wasn’t going to be seen that much and so didn’t have to be fancy, I had some salvaged oak ply in the shed and so decided to make it out of that. then I had the idea to use the water based grain filler on it to spruce it up and have something for the blog, Long story short I spent way more time doing the finishing on something that is going into the Closet than I should have. that being said I home video is of some value to any one interested in the product.
About the Product:
It is water based and comes in a can it is thick and has the consistency of seriously thick ketchup or bril-cream hair gel (that dates me). You apply it with a spreader or wide putty knife. you don’t want a build you want to spread it around and fill grain any extra you have on the surface, you’ll have to sand off and it gets hard. Lay it on, let it dry and sand all the excess off. This is not a top coat it is not a coating it is a filler so you have to sand down to the wood, depending on the dept of the grain yo may have to do the process again and sand again. once you have filled the grain you can apply your sealer and top coat. SO far I have only used this with water based top coats I have not tried it under a solvent lacquer. should work fine I just haven’t tried that one. the one thing that I would say about that would be that you would want to be very dry first other wise any water/moisture off gassing is going to blush your clear coat.
The other question is at what point do you stain, That the tricky part IF you stain first and you are then sanding down to the wood you are inevitably going to be sanding into your stain. IF you sand afterword you stain in not going to penetrate well. The Trick is when you have filled the grain then sand down deep enough so that you are sanding wood. In other words, if the wood was the land and mountains and the valleys and gorges were the depth of the grain then you would want to sand down to the point that you were cutting the tops of the mountains off. And then apply your stain. If you haven’t sanded that down evenly then your stain coating is going to be uneven.
following this I’ll have a few other video demos of spraying the Black CIC water based Conversion coating on where you see the difference that the grain fill makes.
Ok and here is the video of the application:
I thought I had said more on this subject of heating your coatings for better results and perhaps I have, but now time has gone by and the data has been buried somewhere over the years in some article somewhere in my Blog making it not all that useful.
Let me get to the point; when you raise th temperature of your coating, be it water based or solvent you are reducing the viscosity or thickness of the materials. With in a certain range of temperature for every 10 degrees warmer you make your lacquer (be it water based solvent or urethane) you will make your product 10% thinner. The great aspect about that is that you are not reducing the volume of solids.
If you thin a coating 50% you’ll have to put on twice the number of coats to achieve the same build. Here in America the labor is your most expensive commodity. Now if you can raise the temperature of the materials 50 degrees you achieve that same amount if thinning but you would do it with out adding the solvents that will evaporate out and leaving your coating behind.
But that’s not all! In addition to the above the coatings you lay out will flow out better and dry faster. And you can do it with out the expence of Lacquer thinners which are getting expensive.
There are several things you can do to use this data, the easiest is to take your pails off the concrete floor and put them up on wood blocks if nothing else. I have had contractors wrap a heating blankets around their pails and warm their lacquer up that way. I have even seen finishers put water based lacquers in the Micro wave and warm it up.
Intelligence needs to be used, especially when dealing with flammable materials. Making your materials warmer is the key but I wouldn’t go past the point of heating materials beyond warm to the touch. you can stick your finger in and its warm to the touch Body temperature is 98 degrees so I would say no more than about 104 degrees. Obviously if your boil your materials you are going to be changing chemical properties. Again, some intelligence please.
With duel component materials you are going to be shortening the pot life. Gradients and testing are key here. I’m a big fan of pushing something to see where their fail point is but not on a customers cabinets, when you are at that point you should have all your procedures all figured out.
Ok, the basics covered, here are two Video demo’s of Jody Toole using the Kremlin Air-assisted airless spray rig with the new Excite spray gun and the Kremlin materials heater. Jody is a professional finisher in the Southern California area, if you are interested in contacting him you can reach him through his blog at: http://jodytoole.wordpress.com/
In the first clip he is using the rig and in the second he is telling some of the benefits of the whole system.
And here is the second video Jody describing some of the attributes of the Rig and his review :
For note: the Lacquer that we are applying here is the CIC Coatings Acrylic lacquer I have said so much about int he past.
Annex Paint sells the Kremlin air assisted airless and all of its sundries including the heater. If you are in the southern california area and would like a Demo please feel free to contact me.
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!
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.
I wonder if my boss would fly me to Lithuania??
Paul Maroney, of Treasure Vista Enterprises Inc. Located in Santa Clarita California, came to the last water based finishing class we held a few months ago and decide to give the water base finishes a chance. Paul and his crew were sceptical but willing to learn and work with the water based materials.
They gave themselves the time to get familiar with the products and how they perform. Once that was done, They applied what they had learned to the next kitchen that came in. As you can see here they have produced a phenomenal product.
Once Cured the waterbase finishes are tougher and more water resistant than the solvent materials. The products used were the Gemini Titanium white water base primer and then two top coats of the Gemini white water base satin. This product has .09 grams per liter VOCs and is Leeds certified.
As you can see here they did a great job.
and here is another shot of the same kitchen
If you are interested in contacting Paul and Treasure Vista, for custom cabinets or enviromentally friendly coating here is contact information.
Treasure Vista Enterprises, Inc.
Lic. # B 644716
C 661 313-5072
W 661 254-9380
F 661 254-4715
There are a few tips to thinning and retarding water based materials that are common to most all of the water based materials on the market today, knowing these tips can make spraying out water base materials easy fun and most importantly give you the control over the flow of the materials so you compensate for the varying conditions of your environment.
One of the things to be aware of with water based materials is that they are temperature and humidity sensitive, meaning that on a cold and rainy day it will take forever to dry if left wit out forced air and some heat.
The obvious and wonderful characteristic about water based materials is that you can thin them with water; water is cheap and not explosive. No one has ever accidentally blown up their shop with a bucket of water. That being said you can overthin with water and that can create a mess.
Before we get into percentages and how much you should thin, one thing you should know is that the warmer the materials are, the thinner they will be. This is true of both water base and solvent materials. Heating pads, bucket heaters and in line material heaters are all things that you can implement. Inline materials heaters are pricey and not something that are too common here in Southern California but can be used. More commonly and more practically you can just keep your buckets off the concrete floor or move the bucket in to the office of the shop overnight if it’s cold out. Warming up water base is easier and safer than warming up the solvent materials and in fact with some water base materials you can even warm them up in the microwave machine, a little impractical but not impossible. For every 10 degrees you heat the material you will reduce the Viscosity by 10% . And that is a good thing to know because you can reduce your labor by putting on a thicker coat save our self the labor of having to put on another one of or two more sometimes
Now onto the more practical, the first thing that you should do is adjust your equipment to the material in other words if you have been spraying lacquer with an extra fine airless it’s probably going to be too small an orifice for the water base; you don’t want to overthin it so that you can get it out of your gun but rather get a bigger tip. Generally a 1.7 mm tip in a cup gun and or something no smaller than a .014 in an airless and that would be the smallest I recommend 1.8 or a 2.0mm tip and needle for a cup or gravity gun.
When you do need to thin the materials down I start out with about 5% water and see how it’s coming out of the gun and laying down, with water based a good heavy coat is what you want if it looks a little blue you are doing good. You want it heavy enough to flow out but obviously not so heavy that it is running.
Ok the next thing is getting it to flow out and lay down smoothly if it has any orange peel to it then you need some retarder. I generally add the retarder whether I need it or not as I like that fact that it flows out better, this might not be true of all water bases but the ones I have used it just seems to work better with the proper amount of retarder.
Glycol ether is the solvent for retarding water based material you can also use that for retarding regular solvent lacquers If you use too much your coating will never dry. The other thing to know is that you can add the retarder too fast and “shock” the material. Shocking information, but true. Dump the retarder directly in to your pot and it can cause itto foam up and have an adverse reaction. Some chemicals go together easily and some don’t; then there are others that are right on the boarder, this in one of those. So the best way to add the retarder is to mix it 50/ 50 with water first and then add that into the water based lacquer while stirring it. Start out with one to two percent of the 50/50 water retarder solution and see if that doesn’t do the trick for you. You can go as high as about 4%. If you are working with pigmented water base materials then you can go up to 7% .
White and pigmented lacquers require more and will have a tendency to “mud Crack” (Mud cracking is the phenomena whereas the material dries it begins to crack like mud drying out) if you don’t use the retarder, what is happening is the solvents are drying out of the pigment faster than the pigment is drying and so you need to slow the process down so that they all dry and flow together.
Not all retarders are the same, some companies sell retarders that are a combination of different things, these work well for solvent lacquers but not always for water based materials. You either want a lacquer retarder that is made and marked for Water based materials OR you have to test them. The way you test your normal run of the mill retarder to see if it will work in your waterbased system is to mix it with water. Simple, if it mixes in you’re good If it separates and doesn’t mix in or foams up and looks weird then its not going to work. There are a few manufactures that have acetone in their retarder which doesn’t mix well with water If you add that to your water based lacquer its trash.
Ok I hope this information is clear and to the point. Use it and let me know what you get. Leave comments on the blog posting for others to see. I have specifically kept this report completely generic so that if you have a product that you are trying out for the first time it is generally best to contact the manufacture and ask them what they recommend, the better companies will spend the time to answer your questions others won’t
I have become a big fan of the water based conversion varnish and as you may have noticed in the previous posts and comments I have made on the subject.
Following is a short video we did demonstrating the chemical resistance of the CIC Centurion Water based Conversion varnish. You might note that the 6 inch piece of crown molding we are doing the chemical test on is one of the panels I had in my shower last year for a few months to test the water resistance. Since that time I have carried that panel around to show people how tough this product really is. Another good thing about the CIC product is that I can ship it across the country as it is not a hazardous material.
I have been remiss with keeping the blog up dated regularly but it has not been for lack exciting things happening in the finishing world. There are several Blog posting on the CIC water based conversion varnish. That product has continued to perform well. If you have been following the Water base conversion varnish postings It has been perfected from the original version. With the success of the product I was persuaded to bring in the other CIC products. Having had the Renner stain system I was not particularly interested in another waterbased system however when I saw the workability of the glaze base I was duly impressed and so conceded to bring the line of water based stains and glazes in to the store.
Unlike the Renner stain and glaze system the CIC Centurion system uses a concentrate dye stain and then a base solution you add the dyes to. As well the Renner system is a 100% zero VOC system where as the CIC system is a little over 200 grams per liter VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds). That being said there is no smell and no fire hazard. The Renner system is a spray only system and the CIC Centurion system is a combination wipe and spray system which is very convenient.
Ok enough of the side chair commentary, the CIC Centurion stain and glaze system is a phenomenal product it is a water base that looks and acts like and oil based stain. There is a stain base and glaze base into which you add the CIC Centurion dye stains to make you colors and shades there are 5 different colorants in the system Yellow, Red, Brown, black and Orange. If you need something beyond that you can add any other Water based colorant you want; Pro-line colorants or professional water base Universal Tint Colorants (better known as UTCs) IF you want to turn it into a spray on stain just add water and spray. Applying the stain once you have mixed it you’ll notice that it acts like an oil based system, It doesn’t streak and or blotch You can squeeze your stain rag out over you work wait a minute and then wipe it out with no consequences heretofore if you did that with a dye stain you would have dark splotch you wouldn’t be able to pull out.
When the CIC rep was pitching me on this system and I was very skeptical, I have on my shelves 4 different stain systems already, including two water based systems that perform reasonably well, one of them being the Renner system which here to fore was the best of the best as far as I was concerned and I really wasn’t interested in having yet another line to deal with. I was talked into a Demo (this is what I do all day long) and boy I was impressed. Noteworthy, is that since I have been on the road demoing this CIC stain system to the local finishers I have sold the materials to every shop I have done the demo with.
In essence this is a stain and glaze system that acts and looks like it’s oil based counterparts. It has little or no order and dries quickly, for a water based product, the biggest drawback to water based systems are that they are temperature and humidity sensitive, meaning that the cooler and damper it is outside the longer your materials are going to take to dry.
Following will be a few short video demos where you can see the product yourself. If you have questions about this material or any other coating system feel free to send me a line.
Lacquer Plastic and or Glass ?? How would you do that?
Simple, use and adhesion promoter, and what is an adhesion promoter you ask. This is a product that has been around the automotive paint industry for sometime, It has made it’s rise to fame in the auto industry with the advent of the rubber bumper. Painting rubber bumpers is a trick as you need something that is going to stick to the plastic be pliable and then match the paint job on the car.
That being said the makers of the water based conversion varnish have come up with and excellent adhesion promoter, called “Mustang” The automotive guys seem to love it and I was of the mind that I wouldn’t have that much use for it but Low and behold I has a custom cabinet shop come to me with a unique problem.
Their customer ordered high end cabinetry from Italy and made a mistake on the color so they need the color changed, OK no problem, good work for some finisher but wait the doors are a thermal foil vinyl coating. What do you do? Yup, Use the Mustang adhesion promoter.
Two coats sprayed on from an aerosol can let them dry for a few minutes and the lay on your coatings, in this case I was spraying the centurion water based conversion varnish as you can see in this picture.
As you can see there is a profile in the panel making sanding all but impossible despite that the paint stuck like glue. I built this up with light coats but it only took my three light coats to do what you seen here. I used a 1.7 mm siphon feed gun with about 30 psi of pressure, just enough to get the materials to atomize.
Once the coating was dried if wouldn’t lift or peel. I was able to scrap it off with a knife and even with that it didn’t peel.
The Mustang and the Centurion water based conversion coating are available from my store as well as will be available on line at http://annexpaint.com web site soon.
- Anti Graffiti coatings
- AQMD rules
- CIC Centurion, water based Conversion Varnish
- Conversion varnish
- Finishing failures and the fix
- From the Chemist
- Funiture stripping
- Gemini coatings
- Pre-Catalyzed lacquer
- speciality finishes
- Spray techniques
- Stains and glazes
- Tips and Tricks
- Ultra Wood Coatings
- Wood finishing