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

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.

Hello,

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.

Best,

  Greg Saunders

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

greg@annexpaint.com

www.annexpaint.com

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

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

Pre-Catalyzed Lacquers vs. Polyurethane coating for furniture

Pre-Catalyzed Lacquers vs. Polyurethane coatings for furniture

 

Pre-catalyzed lacquers have been a great invention, they look great and are harder and tougher than regular lacquers, but they have some draw backs and aren’t always the solution to your finishing needs.

 

A pre-catalyzed lacquer is a formulation that has an additional catalyst added to it at the factory that makes it harden when it cures. You can smell the difference in-between regular lacquer and a Pre-Cat as the Pre-Cat has a distinctly more acrid smell. That’s the acid additive that when applied reacts with the air and the other solvents in the mix to make a chemical cure as appose to just an air dry cure. The benefit is a tougher and more water resistant finish.

 

It has the look and feel of a Lacquer but will yellow over time. Some more than others the better the material the less it will yellow. With the exception of one lacquer I know they all do this. Another problem I have had with all pre-cats is that as they are exceptionally harder (that’s  a good thing for abrasion ) they also have the higher tendency to crack on the joints of the cabinet doors and where raided panels have there connection to frame of the door.

 

The draw back is that it’s not and impervious coating which I guess, you could say about any coating but that being said I have had customers tell me that they have had call backs with panels in font of sinks that needed finish repair after a year.

 

What’s the solution? I have found there to be two good solutions  Conversion varnishes of which I have found a water based version that at this time appears to be doing as good as the solvent based version and then there are the polyurethanes which have become my choice of materials. They are more expensive, and harder to handle being a two part material (it comes in two cans and you have to mix one with the other in the right amounts) and it has a pot life, that means that it is going to harden up on you if you let it sit in your spray gun more than about 4 hours.  

 

 Those are the down side to the material.  On the up side you have a finish that doesn’t yellow with age and it hard enough to be use for exterior applications. For example front doors exterior wood trim and wooden patio furniture and as a poly it is made with a certain amount of elasticity, the ability to stretch. Wood will expand and contract with temperature and moisture so you want a coating that will do the same. 

 

I have one customer that used the material very successfully on high end pool furniture   for a classy roof top bar in down town LA.

 

Classically where finishers have finish failures is on the doors in form to of the sinks water splashes out and then isn’t cleaned up after wards. It tends to puddle on the trim and after a while will work its way under the finish and then peels.

 

Two of my highest end finishers are looking at switching to the polyurethane exclusively and while that is something that they can do being as large as they are. What the smaller shops can do that  doesn’t generate the higher costs and yet prevents the call backs is to do the high water areas in the polyurethane and the rest of the kitchen in the Pre-catalyzed materials. 

 

 I  am a sales and service  rep for several different manufactures and would be happy to recommend materials to any one that asks, The Great thing about my job is that I push the products that work the best rather than being constrained to on brand of material I have several and I’m always  looking for new and better.

 

Best,

 

Greg Saunders

ANNEX  PAINT and LACQUER

7450 Reseda Blvd.

Reseda California 91335

818-344-3000

October 25, 2008 Posted by | Conversion varnish, polyurethane, Wood finishing | , , | 16 Comments