info on General finishes


curlyoak
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They have no phone number for support. Better than a phone is the good people here. I have not used any General finish. It seems that a lot of people here use it. I noticed a few products.Seal a cell and Armor seal. Also a water base top coat poly.

I would enjoy experienced comments on the above products. Do you use it. How do you apply it. Number of coats, etc.  And other General products I may have missed that you like. 

 

Thanks for your comments.

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You mean this phone number?

ARS (Arm R seal) Apply it with a rag wait some amount of time between coats scuff with sand paper apply again with rag. Repeat 3-5 times depending on use scenario. Dry time depends on environment. For myself it's usually 8 hours.

Never used Seal-A-cell but it sounds like a diluted version of ARS. I use zinnser seal coat in place because it dries near instantly.

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That is a fax number. I don't think they want to talk to anyone. At least there is no phone number other than a fax. 

Have you used the satin, semi gloss and gloss? Do you use all three? Do you always use zinnser seal coat or can the sealer be a finish?

 

Thanks

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They have a lot of FAQ and How-to videos on their site in lieu of phone support. I don't blame them, it's easier to explain in video or in person than over the phone. Stores that sell it can often give tips on product selection and application.

Matt Cremona has a good video on using Arm-R-Seal (Link) and I've used that method on most of my projects. I've applied thinned and straight out of the can. Wipe on with a rag, quickly go back and even it out if needed, but don't over work it or you'll end up with streaks. For me, 6-8hrs between coats has been plenty, then used 400-600 grit lightly between coats. Number of coats depends on the use of the item. I've used between 2 and 5 coats. I've used gloss and satin, depending on what it is being used for.

I've never used Zinnser Seal Coat.

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Seal coat is a dewaxed shellac and yes it can be used as a finish. I've used it for book shelves and a few other things where use was going to be minimal and i didn't want to deal with the time and stink of oil based poly.

A lot of people say shellac isn't durable and in the same breath suggest some of those oil wax finishes. I find this ironic because shellac is quite durable, esp compared to those new trendy finishes, it just doesn't hold up well to alcoholic drinks or water(so i'm told). So use for a table top or a seat is not recommended but i see no issue using it for anything else. My work benches are coated in shellac and i use them for drinks and spill on it all the time. I've yet to have a stain or a ring on it.

I've used satin and semi-gloss. I've used Gloss Minwax Wipe On Poly which is essentially the same thing. They all are pretty much the same thing just make sure they are mixed. When they start to get thick and take a long time to cure the can is starting to go bad.

27 minutes ago, curlyoak said:

That is a fax number.

DOH, i knew that whole learning to read thing might be important.... didn't teach us how to read words in Engineering school just Greek letters and numbers... :D

Can always cheat and use google maps.

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I watched the video. Thanks John, it was helpful. I don't blame them either for not getting on the phone for support. But I think it is not a good business move. It might give them a happy day but not good for business. But if the product is good then I do not care how it affects their business with no phone.

Any experience on the high performance water base top coat?

Thanks

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Try a local dealer for info. Woodcraft and a local cabinet supply house both carry General Finishes near me. They have been helpful when I have questions. The supply house only sells gallon & 5 gallon but they offer color matching & tint clear finishes too. Some of Generals line is meant for Pro finishers and may not be offered at a retail source like Woodcraft. But Woodcraft was helpful when I only needed small quantities for a litttle job. 

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I just bought 4 different quarts. 2 satins, 2 gloss. On the video he dipped his cloth into the can. I would rather use a small amount in a job container. Keeps it cleaner. I use a 16oz deli cup. My deli keeps me supplied. I would like to find a narrow ladle rather than pour it out and make a mess. Unless someone has a trick to avoid the mess. Is it punch a hole in the rim?

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1 minute ago, curlyoak said:

The corporate phone number is a recoding that starts with no call backs from any messages...This is a unique business approach that defies logic...

Wow  .... :blink:

8 minutes ago, curlyoak said:

I just bought 4 different quarts. 2 satins, 2 gloss. On the video he dipped his cloth into the can. I would rather use a small amount in a job container. Keeps it cleaner. I use a 16oz deli cup. My deli keeps me supplied. I would like to find a narrow ladle rather than pour it out and make a mess. Unless someone has a trick to avoid the mess. Is it punch a hole in the rim?

Hole in the edge works, there are also pain can lips that they probably make for quart jars that provide a better pouring experience.

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I have used their satin Arm R Seal, the Seal A Cell between a tint and stain, the stain I used was one of their gel stains, I have been really satisfied with all of these products and the way they wipe on.  I too always use a separate container to work from and if I have a usable amount left over I pour it through a paint filter back into the can.  I have sprayed over 2 gallons of their satin High Performance and probably a gallon of the EnduroVar and I like them both.  I will use the High Performance over something like shellac because on its own it doesn't pop the grain and color as much as you might like.  The EnduroVar does a pretty good job of this on it's own and gives a little more of an amber look to the finished product where as the High Performance is very clear with no amber.

 

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2 hours ago, curlyoak said:

I just bought 4 different quarts. 2 satins, 2 gloss. On the video he dipped his cloth into the can. I would rather use a small amount in a job container. Keeps it cleaner. I use a 16oz deli cup. My deli keeps me supplied. I would like to find a narrow ladle rather than pour it out and make a mess. Unless someone has a trick to avoid the mess. Is it punch a hole in the rim?

I’ve been using Stop Loss bags that I got at Woodcraft for about a year, working great so far. 

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They are 12 bucks for 4 bags at Woodcraft, and the rubber funnel is a requirement IMO, so that’s another 7 bucks. They are worth it for me as I have to order Arm R Seal or pick it up if I’m in the area but I am able to use almost every drop of finish without it getting hard in the can and can dispense as much as I need for the job at hand. 

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I use empty water bottles.  Just squeeze any air out as you screw the cap on.  For some uses, it's easier to have the bottle in one hand, and the rag in the other hand, or pour in PPS cup.   I've even done it with left over Moisture Cure Urethane floor finish, but that only lasts about six months at best, any kind of way, once the can is opened-probably could make boat trailer rollers like that.  Duct tape, and magic marker to remind you what's in the bottles.

I blow as much water out as I can with compressed air, and leave them in a box to dry before use.   I've been doing this for at least 25 years.  I've finished a lot of cabinets with bottle in one hand, and rag in other, with leftover floor finish, and every one I've seen still looks good.  A thin film of satin MCU doesn't look anything like it does on a floor, but is still Very durable on woodwork.

I've had some ARS in bottles for over a year, and the last time I squeezed one, it was still good.

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Hey Steve, I’ve become pretty good at judging how much finish I need for a particular job, having said that on the big jobs I pour about 1/4 of what I think I will need into a cup and adjust as I go, having the finish in the bag makes it easy to mix (stir) as I just squeeze the bag a little. The clear bag shows when you have the finish mixed (think satin, semi gloss) squeeze the bag till all the air is out and screw the cap on. I never pour left over finish back in the bag to prevent contamination and it think they only make bags that are slightly bigger than a quart but I could be wrong. The funnel is a must as it fits very tight on top of a quart can and makes the transfer of finish to the bag easy. 

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34 minutes ago, treeslayer said:

Hey Steve, I’ve become pretty good at judging how much finish I need for a particular job, having said that on the big jobs I pour about 1/4 of what I think I will need into a cup and adjust as I go, having the finish in the bag makes it easy to mix (stir) as I just squeeze the bag a little. The clear bag shows when you have the finish mixed (think satin, semi gloss) squeeze the bag till all the air is out and screw the cap on. I never pour left over finish back in the bag to prevent contamination and it think they only make bags that are slightly bigger than a quart but I could be wrong. The funnel is a must as it fits very tight on top of a quart can and makes the transfer of finish to the bag easy. 

Dave, not that I’m tight or anything but, are these reusable? 

But, I guess at $3 per quart, why would you want too? 

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trees layer, thanks for the tip. The funnel is a must. I was able to do it myself. I would have liked a third hand. The added spout was a big help too. If you get a can spout, the trick is to attach it to the inner rim. And water base is so easy to deal with. My 16 oz deli cup and the funnel and spout washed in seconds with water. The only thing to throw away was the foam brush. And I have foam brushes that the handle is reused and the foam is replaced  at woodworkers supply. I am not comfortable in saving anything leftover in the job bucket. Any leftover is painted on to my workbench. I am confident that with the good influence here, I have found a better system. Thanks all!

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On 10/2/2018 at 2:13 PM, curlyoak said:

The corporate phone number is a recoding that starts with no call backs from any messages...This is a unique business approach that defies logic...

This may be the direction all businesses will take in the future.  As long as every business is doing it, it's an even playing field.  That's how we got to where we are today with customer service.

We are headed toward strictly, buyer beware :lol:

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sjeff, Competition and the desire to continue to grow earnings will usually force better customer service. Sometimes with a unique product line the company develops an arrogance. You need a lot of game to do it. But that leaves vulnerability and another competitor could change the game. My view is to give back more as my business grows. Don't be greedy. Nonetheless, if it is a good product I want it.

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