wtnhighlander

Haze on wipe-on poly

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Has anyone else seen wipe-on poly develop a haze on the surface?  I'm using Minwax gloss, on a cherry counter top. The surface was clear upon delivery to the recipient, but developed thus haze after a night in its new home. Delivery was a bit rushed, so only about 18 hours had passed after the final coat was applied, but it was dry to touch after about 4 hours. Same finish applied to other parts of the cabinet, no haze. My guess is environment changes. Finish was applied after running the window AC in my small shed, after the weather took a very humid turn. Piece was exposed to 90+ degree heat and high humidity for an hour or so during delivery, then installed in a room at 70*. Not sure if he kept the AC on overnight, as the room is a sun porch, closed off from the main house. Client reported the 'haze' the following day. I haven't seen it myself, yet.

Ideas, anyone?

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I had a blue haze recently under some shellac i sprayed. It was moisture. I only had 1 light coat on the haze worked it's way out over night.

I've also had wiping poly haze in rougher areas. Is the area kind of rough to the touch? For these some extra coats in that area solved the problem. It filled in the roughness and cut the haze.

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6 hours ago, Gary Beasley said:

Client didnt wipe it with any cleaners did they?

No, just a dry cotton cloth, to see if it was something on the surface.

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5 hours ago, Chestnut said:

I had a blue haze recently under some shellac i sprayed. It was moisture. I only had 1 light coat on the haze worked it's way out over night.

I've also had wiping poly haze in rougher areas. Is the area kind of rough to the touch? For these some extra coats in that area solved the problem. It filled in the roughness and cut the haze.

Sounds similar to what I see. The undeside of the bartop didn't show a haze, but it was finished before the warm front with high humidity moved in. I noticed a little haze after the second coat on the top side, but sanded it with 320 on the ROS, left the AC on to control humidity, and waited another day before applying more coats. After coat #6, it was all crystal clear for delivery. Waited 8 - 12 hours and lightly sanded with 600 to 800 grit between coats.

My plan at this point is to have him keep the AC on all week, and evaluate after its had several days to stabilize. Then either buff it out, or add a coat. Being out on the "porch", the smell of fresh finish shouldn't bother anyone. I hope.

 

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This is the one you accelerated the aging look on right? How long was it allowed to dry between aging the cherry and applying the poly?

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3 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

This is the one you accelerated the aging look on right? How long was it allowed to dry between aging the cherry and applying the poly?

Overnight. Same process on the underside, no haze there.  After the underside was dry, I flipped it and took a couple of days (meaning a couple of hours after work) to sand through all grits on the top, using the lye / water mix to both raise the grain and produce the color change, between the 180, 220, and 320 grits. Allowed to dry overnight and final sanded at 320 before applying poly.

That night, or maybe the night before, was when the warm front blew in, and I did not have the AC on in that work space. I'm still thinking the humidity is the culprit, it took a big jump with that front. I suppose there may have been enough moisture that soaked in from the grain-raising to be an issue, too.  Just seems strange that the finish was clear 18 hours after the final coat, then started to haze around 30 hours from the final coat. I know it wasn't fully cured, but it wasn't soft.

 

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I am just guessing, but was the area that hazed over exposed to direct sun light during transportation?  Don't know if this would effect anything if it wasn't fully cured.

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No direct exposure, the top was covered with a moving blanket. A BLACK moving blanket, which had me worried. But after getting it inside and uncovered, the top didn't feel hot, and the finish was still smooth and clear. Looked the same after the 3.5 hours it took to hang the shutters, what with cutting the receptacle, wiring the liggts, and making a run to Lowes for screws we didn't expect to need.

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Any finish can blush. My guess the reason the other parts didn't blush was due to the finish being applied thinner...meaning those coats weren't as thick. Being a counter top the finish was applied flat laying down so applied a little thicker, so the finish was still wet and curing. Give it time and see if it clears up.

 

-Ace-

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11 hours ago, AceHoleInOne said:

Hold on....I read further down...you used lye on the wood? Did you neutralize the lye before top-coating??????? 

-Ace-

No. But my research says this isn't necessary under poly. Also, the underside of the slab received the same treatment first (one final test) with no haze. The haziness appears most prominently on the end grain, and we experienced a huge swing in humidty between finishing the underside and the top side. I'm leaning toward moisture.

The odd part is that the haze didn't appear between coats 3 and 6, but reappeard about 30 hours after the final coat was applied.

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So, I retrieved the bar top today, and examined it closely.

What I see and feel is that the poly is softer, almost gummy, in the hazed areas. The color underneath is still good, and still no sign of haze on the underside. Since both sides underwent the same finishing steps, my working theory now is that I rushed the top side, not allowing the moisture to thoroughly evaporate. Moisture, somewhat alkali moisture at that, prevented the finish from curing as it should. I am scraping of the poly and starting fresh. More dry time, and maybe a wipe down with a  bit of vinegar & water as insurance that the lye is fully neutralized. Given that lye ph is 14, and black cherry wood (moistened) is about 5 ph, a little help balancing that scale can't hurt. I only hope it doesn't affect the color.

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31 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

I did scrape and sand away all the bad poly.

How did you achieve this? The whole top surface or just the bad stuff. Looks darn good so far. 

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Coop, the underside of the slab never had any problems. The poly on the top side was obviously ruined, so I used a card scraper mounted on a handle to take it off, followed by sanding up from 80 grit to 220 with the ROS. The color penetration was deep enough that I only needed to touch up a couple of spots that wore through. After the last of the lye had dried, I took a pass with 320 grit before starting the clear coats.

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One last comment. Taking the recommendation of a local friend, as well as many of you, I switched from Minwax Wipe-On poly to GF Arm-R-Seal. Let me say the ARS is nice, but my application experience was VERY different. With Minwax gloss, I can apply 3 or 4 thin coats, wiping with a folded cotton rag, and achieve a very smooth, level surface. Such was not the case with ARS. Try as I might, each coat revealed streaks and ridges left from the wipe on application. I could not lay enough liquid down for it to self-level without running. After the third coat, I sanded thoroughly with 320 on the ROS, cleaned it meticulously, and applied coat number 4 with a foam brush, barely touching the wood. Finally, I have a surface that looks as smooth and glossy dry, as it did wet.

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4 hours ago, Mark J said:

@wtnhighlander how is this working out after a week or so?

I re-installed the bartop earlier this week. Still looked great, color is deeper than before, if anything.

I wasn't thrilled with the gloss Arm-R-Seal. It takes a while to cure, and even though my final coat was glassy smooth after 2 days, by the 5th day, it had skrunk a bit. The surface looked flatter, not like fresh liquid, and the glue seams could be felt (barely). That last bit was really odd, since I couldn't feel them on the raw wood.

Anyway, it stopped changing, and now resides in the client's home. For furture gloss finish, I will probably go back to Minwax. 

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On 7/9/2019 at 7:23 PM, wtnhighlander said:

One last comment. Taking the recommendation of a local friend, as well as many of you, I switched from Minwax Wipe-On poly to GF Arm-R-Seal. Let me say the ARS is nice, but my application experience was VERY different. With Minwax gloss, I can apply 3 or 4 thin coats, wiping with a folded cotton rag, and achieve a very smooth, level surface. Such was not the case with ARS. Try as I might, each coat revealed streaks and ridges left from the wipe on application. I could not lay enough liquid down for it to self-level without running. After the third coat, I sanded thoroughly with 320 on the ROS, cleaned it meticulously, and applied coat number 4 with a foam brush, barely touching the wood. Finally, I have a surface that looks as smooth and glossy dry, as it did wet.

Ross, when I first started using ARS, all applications were with a foam brush. It seemed that I had to be more conscious of runs, especially at joints, more so on vertical ones such as a chair. Then I started using a rag and the runs became less of a concern as I was applying less liquid. But as I applied less liquid I found that I needed to move on quicker as I was leaving marks in the finish I guess due to it setting up faster. I’ve read where that was called over brushing? My choice now is to apply the first coat with the foam brush, as the wood soaks it up faster, then wiping on subsequent coats, all the while using a raking light. I’ve never tried the Minwax but may give it a try

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Ken, my best success with the Minwax product is wiping on thin coats with a rag, dampened with mineral spirits. Coats 1 & 2 take 8-12 hours to cure well enough to scuff sand, but later coats are ready in about 6 hours, in my environment.

Regarding ARS, I let it cure for a full week, in a controlled climate, before returning that bar top to its home. By that time, the finish had shrunk enough that the surface had lost its glassy appearance, and I could feel the glue seams in the butcher block. Strange, since I coukd not feel them on the raw wood. Client was happy, but I was a bit disappointed.

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I’m amazed at times how a joint is just baby butt smooth prior to adding a finish, then later feeling just the slightest unevenness.

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Isn't that a documented thing? I swore i read somewhere about glue seams creeping or the glue expanding and leaving them raised?

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