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Sucess story using the Rexcell water based conversion varnish

Walnut Kitchen Island finished with W/B Conversion Varnish

 This is a story from  a gentleman who is a retired air force officer whose hobby is cabinet and furniture building, As you’ll see he is an incredible cabinet builder.

 As his shop is in his garage with limmetted space and no spray booth Dennis was interested in water born products but needed something that was super tough. I suggested the Rexcell  Water based Conversion varnish. As you will see it turn out stunningly beautiful.

Fore note: this product is no longer manufactured by Rexcell but is now being manufactured to spec by another American manufacturing company, the product is as good or better than before, It has been referred to as three different manufactures Renner, Rexcell and now CIC. It is all the same product, a water born Conversion Varnish.

Here’s is the Story Dirrect from Dennis : 

FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH WATER BASED FINISH

 I have been building wooden furniture and cabinets as a hobbyist for over forty years. Over this period I have sprayed, brushed and wiped on all the standard finishes that hobbyist woodworkers usually use. Because I’m in my upper sixties in age, I have looked upon the new water based finishes for wood with skepticism. I recently finished a kitchen island for my daughter’s new kitchen. It’s a walnut cabinet with a maple butcher block top. It measures 50 inches long by 30 inches wide by 36 inches high. And, I sprayed a water based conversion coating (called water based lacquer) for the protective finish. This was my first experience with a water based coating and I’m extremely pleased with the way it turned out. I chose it for it’s touted durability which was demonstrated to me by Greg Saunders, a sales representative for the Annex Company of Reseda, California. Greg showed me samples, coated with the product I used, that he placed in his home shower for approximately two months and the durability was impressive. ( You can see this test in another post on the Blog)

 The material I used is made by the Rexcel Company, and is a water based conversion varnish, meaning that it is tough enough for counter tops and moisture resistant for high moisture areas)

I used a Goldenstar HVLP air spray gun (Advertised as being especially for water based finishes)

( This is an inexpensive but quality spray gun that Annex paint sells)

Fluid orifice: 1.7mm (this size is recommended for this water based product)

Pressure required: 15-50 psi (I used 30 psi)

 I was spraying in 90 degree summer weather and therefore added 3 percent of regular lacquer retarder. Greg, the sales rep, said I could thin the product with water by about 10 percent but I used it full strength and it seemed to spray very well. I am used to spraying regular nitro cellulose lacquer and I used the very same technique with this water based lacquer. It appears milky in color when it first goes on but otherwise it sprays on like regular lacquer. You have to use the same caution on vertical surfaces as with regular lacquer. A good technique is to use a big piece of brown cardboard to adjust your spray volume and pattern before tackling your project.

 I sprayed three coats and sanded lightly between coats. I probably could have gotten by with only two coats. Remember, each coat of this water based finish lies on top of the previous coat. It doesn’t melt into the previous coat as with regular lacquer. As with regular lacquer, this product dries quickly and can be sanded within 20 minutes and recoated. It was hot and dry when I sprayed so weather conditions might alter the drying times. After the third coat, it was a bit too glossy for my preference so I waxed with a steel wool pad which resulted in a soft sheen that I was looking for. I’m totally happy with the way it turned out.

 I kept a bucket of water and a rag nearby while I was spraying. A couple of times when I got runs, I immediately wiped it off, let it dry, sanded lightly, and recoated. I really enjoyed the water clean up – of the runs and the clean-up of the spray equipment. A word here about clean-up – and this attests to the durability — if you wait until this finish dries, you can’t clean up with water – it takes acetone. I sprayed the first coat with my regular glasses on (plastic lenses). I got overspray on my glasses and I still haven’t gotten it off. However, acetone on my plastic lenses would probably not be smart.

 I made a silverware tray at the last-minute for one of the cabinet drawers and I brushed on two coats of finish with a foam brush. That went on very nicely too. Will I continue to use water based finishes? — definitely yes, especially for kitchen and bathroom furniture. Will I use it for living room furniture? – the jury is out, but I’m hoping to.   

Here is another picture of Dennis’ work. For note this stunningly beautiful Kitchen Island was built by Dennis for his daughter who recently returned from active service in the Military in Iraq.

Walnut cabinet finished with Rexcell water based conversion Varnish

 For his privacy, I have left out Dennis’s contact informations, However, you are welcome to comment on his work and ask any questions on this blog. If you are intersted in contacting Denis for custom work please send me an e-mail and I’ll foreward it on to him.

 As always if you have finnishing qustions you can leave me a comment here on the Blog or write to me dirrectly at : greg@annexpaint.com

February 12, 2010 Posted by | CIC Centurion, water based Conversion Varnish, Conversion varnish, Tips and Tricks, Water based Lacquers | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Changes in the VOC limitations for Lacquer thinners in the South coast area

New rules re: lacquer thinners from the AQMD.

 Compliant solvents, AQMD Rule 1143 consumer paint thinners & multi-purpose solvents (applicable for the Los Angles and southern California area.)

 As of Jan 1, 2010 the legal amount of VOCs the South Coast Air Quality Management District  will allow  you to have in your lacquer and paint thinners has changed and has gone down from 600 grams per liter to 300 gr/lt, , in 2011 the legal VOC are going to go down to 25 grams per liter. You can see the complete ruling on the AQQMD site at: http://www.aqmd.gov/rules/reg/reg11/r1143.pdf

 What this means to the consumer here in southern California, you now have to buy the legal stuff, further more, there is wording in the new ruling stating  that you have to keep records of where you bought your materials and the retailers from whom you bought your materials  have to keep record of who they sold materials to. There is a grace period where retailers and manufactures can sell off the stock they have of the materials manufactures in 2009.  However there is language in this ruling which  targets the retailers with fines as well as the end users for supplying solvents that are no longer legal. Previously, the AQMD only targeted the end user, now however they are getting tougher on retailers who sell non compliant materials.

 I called around and ask the managers of a few other paint stores in the area and they knew nothing about the matter, while they may not get hit with this right away they are potentially subject to fines.

 ANNEX PAINT store is now stocking compliant lacquer thinner. We have two manufactures who have compliant thinners and have a lacquer thinner that is now less expensive than the old thinner was. So far the reports I have gotten back on the material are that it is working OK, the true test is going to how well it performs in the California Summer.

 Worthy of note on the subject  we now have a  new  compliant glazing liquid  to replace the naphtha which a lot of shops have been using to make there own stains with, the Naphtha now being and illegal solvent.

 This product has been a real success as it can be used in-between lacquer coats and will not lift the earlier treatments. This is a key element when you are building a multi step finish.

 If you have comments on the new compliant thinners I would like to hear from you on how well it performs.

 Best,

 Greg Saunders
ANNEX PAINT
Wood coating Rep
818-439-9297

January 18, 2010 Posted by | AQMD rules, Uncategorized, Wood finishing | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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?

 

Hello,

 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.

MR B.

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

ANNEX PAINT

818-439-9297

 

 

 

 

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

Annex Paint is bringing in Ultra Woodcoating

The New Ultra Master series compliant Laquer

The New Ultra Master series compliant Laquer

 

 

Ultra Wood Coatings is a new company that has taken over the old American Wood finishing production plant in down town LA.  They have some  really nice products that we are bringing in.  I’ll tell you about the products but first let me tell you about the Company. There are three principles in the  company, all of whom  I was very impressed with, they are Professionals and Chemists  with a passion to doing things better  more efficient  and to a higher standard, the Third member of the Trio is  a former R and D Chemist of Valspar  who has recently come out of retirement after completing  his 7 year non-compete obligation with Valspar.

This chemist had now formulated line of products that have Higher volume solids ( that means you can cover more square  footage with the comparable amount)  and is very fast drying.

I have sprayed  out the 275 water white and it has passed me expectations. It dries quickly and doesn’t have the same tendency to blush as does the Valspar. You of course can thin and retard it as you need to.

One of my bigger complaints with Valspar was that it was so thin that you had to layer on 10 coats to get a decent coverage.  The other thing that I didn’t like about Valspar was it’s tendency to yellow. that’s why I switched  out main brand to Simpson. Simpson was and had been a  good lacquer but they have been consistently un-able to deliver product on time,   after fighting, pleading and begging to have materials sent to me on time I have finally had to cut my losses and have gone  else where to find a high quality aaffordable lacquer. 

Ultra is a gift from Heaven, they are local and so know the issues the Californian finisher faces ,Unlike some of the other national brand manufactures that have no clue what or how their 275 Lacquer preforms.  having toured there facility I found that they are very attentive to quality control.

The next thing about Ultra is that they are Local so if I run out of stock I can go down and pick it up. If they don’t have a batch made I know who to talk to. 

The next thing, Pricing the pricing we have from them is fantastic;

Water white 275  $98 for a 5 gallon pail

Water white 275 sealer $96 for a 5 gallon pail

White undercoat $96  for a 5 gallon pail

White Top coat $104 for a 5 gallon pail

These are phenomenal prices and for a good product.

Call me if you  are in the area and would like me to come by and spray out a sample for you. Try it you’ll like it.

We also have a 550 that is legal to use providing you only consume no more than a gallon a day that is only $88.90 a five.

Greg Saunders
Annex Paint
818-439-9297

Have you tried the Ultra wood coating product and like them ? leave me a review and I’ll bring you a bottle of titebond  II wood glue.

February 19, 2009 Posted by | Ultra Wood Coatings, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment