Woodfinishers Weblog

Wood finishing forum for professional finishers

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
greg@annexpaint.com

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

Water based grain Filler from CIC demo

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:

August 4, 2012 Posted by | CIC Centurion, water based Conversion Varnish, Conversion varnish, Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized, Water based Lacquers, Wood finishing | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Heating your Lacquer for phenominal results (kremlin in-line lacquer heater)

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.

Greg Saunders
Annex Paint
greg@annexpaint.com
www.annexpaint.com
818-439-9297

February 17, 2012 Posted by | Acrylic Lacquer, Spray techniques, Tips and Tricks, Water based Lacquers, Wood finishing | , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

CI Centurion Acrylic lacquer in action

I have been reporting on the acrylic lacquer for the last few years yet few of the die-hard finishers have taken up the new technology, for better or worse in our industry getting up and running with a new product, water-based materials or other wise is a trying activity experimenting with you customers kitchens is a risky business and with economic conditions as they are these aren’t the times to venture away from the norm, or are they?

Having a technologically superior product that is easy to apply could be the thing that would put you ahead of the crowd could be the ticket to your survival in this cut throat market.

The Church of Scientology has been on a project to up grade and renovate their various facilities around the country. After extensive testing they decided on using the Centurion acrylic Lacquer from CIC  Coatings they needed something that was commercial grade tough and as well crystal clear which wouldn’t yellow. As well they wanted a product that was as environmentally friendly. The CIC Acrylic lacquer met all these qualities It doesn’t yellow as it is not nitro-cellulous, it’s as hard as a pre-Catalysed lacquer yet it has the moisture resistance of a urethane, it is low VOC and has a relatively low odor.

The Finishing contractor, Jody Toole, of Jody tools Finishing (http://www.jodytoole.com/) has been applying the product with an Kremlin Air assisted Airless spray rig has been over joyed at the results he has been getting.

the following are a few pictures of  one of the recent  Church of Scientology churches which have been renovated using the CIC Acrylic lacquer.

Non yellowing CIC acrylic lacquer

CIC Lacquer on all the furniture

November 8, 2011 Posted by | Acrylic Lacquer, Uncategorized, 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

Tips for Spraying out the CIC Centurion Conversion Varnish

I have been using the CIC conversion varnish now for over a year and have been very impressed with both the product and the manufacture. There are a few things to know about this product that I have come to learn over the course of the last year of handling the material that I wanted to pass along. One of the values of this Blog is that I can document the things I have to tell people over and over, I’m sure that I’ll continue to go into shops and explain the same thing to people but it helps that I can refer people to an article on the matter.

 The Centurion Water based conversion varnish is a water based product that can be thinned with water (imagine that!). As with any coating product you can over thin the material. There are essentially 4 things in a coating: resins, binders, solvents, and pigment (color). The resin is the paint itself; the binders are the chemicals that hold all the various parts together, the glue if you will. The solvents are the chemicals that keep the paint liquid until you apply it. Once you have applied the paint, the solvents evaporate leaving a hard coat of paint. Colorants do just that add the color, different paints require different colorants or pigments,

 So now, all these things work together, the various components of a coating have different chemical properties and different tolerances. You can only put so much pigment in a clear lacquer before you have gone too far and your final product will be chalky and flat or might not stick because there is too much of the dye powder and not enough of the binder to hold it all together. The same goes with solvents you can thin down a lacquer with lacquer thinner to a point where there is not enough binder and the chemicals no longer work together. Think of a bag of concrete add a little water and you have a drive way, too much water and you have a mud pit.

 Ok the basic theory now being covered, you thin the CIC Centurion water based conversion coating with water, no more than 20 % and that is pushing the limits. Generally you thin a coating so that it will spray or roll out well if you have to thin it further than that you are using the wrong equipment and most likely need to get a larger tip size for you spay gun. (see the article form Thomas Craven on spray techniques elsewhere in this Blog)

 Here is a picture of what can occur when you over thin the water based Conversion varnish (or any water based product for that matter)

An orange peel so bad you don’t know what you are looking at. What has happened here is that there is too much water and so the binders can hold it all together. This project had to be stripped down and re-done.

FYI, sometimes the material comes to you in the can and it is very thick and has to be thinned down.  Ok that’s is something that you would expect to have to do and here is how you do it:

1.   The first thing you have to do is have the right equipment, if you are trying to spray a water based product with a small tip size then you will be forced to over thin the material to get it out of the gun. Your regular lacquer and automotive gun is usually a 1.4mm which is too small.  I have use a 1.7 mm tip in an HVLP cup gun with success but prefer to use a 2.0 mm. The Centurion works great out of an airless or better yet the air assisted airless, don’t use the extra fine tip as you might “Sheer” the material (a term use to describe what happens when the material is subjected to too much pressure) your finish will come out grainy as if you had fine sand al through your material. 

 2. The next thing to do is make sure that you material is not cold, the warmer the material is the more fluid or less viscous it will be factually for every 10 degrees warmer your lacquer (water based or solvent ) will be 10% thinner.

That mean that if you leave a bucket on the concrete floor of your shop and overnight it cools the material down to 50 degrees, you can make it 20% thinner by warming it up to 70 degrees.  Now you can reduce your labor by warming your materials as you won’t over thin the stuff and have to put on more coats to make up for all the thinner that is going to evaporate on you. you would also be saving money on thinners as well. if you are using water based materials, water is cheap Labor however is not.  

With water based materials you can actually put them in the micro wave and warm them up this is not a practical thing. Keeping the buckets off the concrete is one step. Pulling your cans in to the office overnight is another, generally the office is climate controlled. Grainger’s sells bucket heaters that belt around a 5 gallon pail, others have wrapped a heating blanket around a pail. Warm it up, no hotter than about 90 degrees. ( if you have decided to apply this principle to a solvent base material don’t blow yourself up with a jury rigged heater)

3. Sill a little lumpy with your gun spitting material instead of laying on and even coating… thin it another 5%.

4. If it  is still lumpy and or not flowing out at this point it to add a small amount of retarder. Here is an example of that scenario this is a Centurion Conversion varnish that has been tinted Brown, with the all the Pigment the materials are not flowing out.

 

Looks pretty crappy: what solved this was adding lacquer retarder. A mixture of 50/50 water and glycol either EB: Lacquer retarder.

I use to say that you could use any ol’ lacquer retarder, that however is not the case. Lacquer retarders like Margaritas are not all made the same. The Valspar Lacquer retarder when mixed with water foams up and turn into a clear solution, there are chemicals possibly acetone in there mix that do not mix well with water, that’s not to say that it is a poor retarder for lacquer.  Some companies make water based lacquer retarders

If you get the MSDS and it say the primary ingredient is glycol either EB then you are set. A.G. Layne, Sunny side, CIC and other manufactures have retarders that are primarily Glycol EB, Any retarder when mixed 50/50 with water and goes into solution will work.  

5. You mix the lacquer retarder 50/50 with water and then add no more than 5% of that to your centurion conversion varnish. The more you add the longer its is going to take to dry. When you mix this up make sure that it has gone into solution before you add it to your material, and when you do add it stir the conversion varnish while adding it slowly. Dump it in too quickly and you can “Shock” the material. Meaning that the two materials will react against each other and separate  

 In the first picture above, the walnut the job. The containers of conversion varnish that has been over thinned were allowed to thicken up by letting some of the excess water evaporate off and then they were retarded with the above mentioned 50/50 mix of water and retarder and the job came out fine.  

If done correctly you’ll have a rock hard finish that is as smooth as a good nitrocellulose lacquer finish.     

Ok, That’s my story and I’m sticking to it of you have questions feel free to send me a line.

Greg Saunders

Annex Paint

http://www.annexpaint.com

December 23, 2010 Posted by | CIC Centurion, water based Conversion Varnish, Conversion varnish | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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
greg@annexpaint.com

May 3, 2009 Posted by | polyurethane, Water based Lacquers, Wood finishing | , , , , , , , , , | 26 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?

 

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