Using flat finish then semi gloss or satin


man of wood
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 I understand using a polyurethane and putting a flat finish down first then putting a semi gloss or a gloss finish on top of that. I’m looking for an article or articles that explain the whole meaning behind this could you please direct me to some of them or all of them thank you very much 

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1 hour ago, K Cooper said:

From what I’ve read and heard, you’re going in the wrong direction. It should be just the opposite. Glossy on the first applications and desired finish on the last.

Coop is right, you are thinking backwards.  It was Gloss for every coat except the last, then the last coat was what ever finish you want whether it is satin, semi gloss or what ever.  Theory was that if you used say, satin for all of the coats, the flatteners that make it satin loosen when you apply the next coat and float to the surface of you new coat and each time you apply another coat your surface gets cloudier and cloudier.   I am not sure with the modern finishes. this is something that you need to be concerned with anymore.  I used to do it but don't now and don't see any difference.

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By definition, a flat finish will not be as clear as a gloss finish. So, with enough layers built up, using flat or matte for each will cloud the surface. That's the theory. Whether in real life it's enough to make a visible difference is up for debate. But if you are going to ere on the side of caution, then do the base coats in gloss & the final coat in the desired sheen.

Personally, I rarely put on more than 3 coats of low gloss wipe on poly because I don't like the plasticy look of a thick glossy finish. I just use the same stuff for all the coats. The finish layers are so thin that I don't think it makes a real difference to the clarity.

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I was a paint specialist for 4 years at a lumber/hardware store and learned a lot of stuff from local painters and I have never heard of doing anything like this.  But what I do know is if you are painting/staining over something glossy you want lightly sand to knock a bit of the shine off before you go to the next coat or it won't adhere properly.  I would suggest picking the sheen you want to have in the end and doing all coats in that finish, lightly sanding in between to knock off any imperfections and a bit of the shine.

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Lightly sanding between coats is necessary with all poly, regardless of sheen. 

 

Like others have said, unless you are applying a lot of coats, it likely doesn’t make a noticeable difference whether you apply gloss undercoats or all coats at the same sheen. I have tried both ways on projects and have not noticed a difference in the end result, but I usually just apply 3 thin coats of Arm-R-Seal. 

But, if you have highly figured stock and are putting a lot of time and effort into the piece, it won’t hurt or take more time to use gloss first and then your desired sheen on the last coat. Especially if you already own both of the sheens. 

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I find that building a film with gloss, then applying a single coat of satin at the end, produces a finish with just enough "dullness" to suit me, without clouding or obscuring the grain.

There is another benefit of starting with gloss, you don't have to continually stir / shake the product to keep the flattening agent suspended evenly. The tiny silica beads commonly used to scatter light and "flatten" the sheen will quickly settle out of suspension, putting you at risk of uneven / streaky application unless stirred frequently.

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On 5/30/2019 at 11:10 PM, K Cooper said:

From what I’ve read and heard, you’re going in the wrong direction. It should be just the opposite. Glossy on the first applications and desired finish on the last.

Cooper , you are right, As soon as I saw your reply i remember the process.  Thank you for you time

 

 

Thomas

Thank you all for your help

 

 

Thomas

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Agree with everyone else here, Gloss first, then lower sheen top coat. I just want to mention I have seen this direction come directly from the manufacturers of at least a few products. So in that sense, it is not just our common wisdom, but something "blessed" by the very people who supply the product. That is enough for me.

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