freedhardwoods

Water Bourne Finish

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I had just about given up on my wood shop because no matter what I tried, I couldn't get anyone to order anything. That suddenly changed and I now have 4 kitchens to build.

I am thinking about using water borne finish, but would like some more info. I read this thread - 

2 or 3 times and it does have a lot of info, as well as searching several other places, and I can't find specific answers. I will start with 1 question and probably will have more.

As far as time is concerned, several people say wbf is faster, but doesn't it take more steps than oil based? On a big job, drying time between coats isn't usually a factor is it?

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3 minutes ago, freedhardwoods said:

As far as time is concerned, several people say wbf is faster, but doesn't it take more steps than oil based? On a big job, drying time between coats isn't usually a factor is it?

The only way it would take "more steps" is if you pre-raise the grain and then sand it back which only takes a few minutes.  Depending on my shop conditions and how heavy of a coat I applied, I'm usually shooting the next coat within 30 to 40 minutes.  So, the drying time really does make a huge difference.

The biggest advantage to me is the low VOCs and the fact that I don't have to leave a project in the shop for several days to off gas.  I can literally bring it in the house the same day that I apply the finish.

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I've sprayed a fair bit of WB poly. I'd raise the grain before and then been able to spray dye and all the coats of finish in 1 day. I think oil based stuff takes a lot longer.

For a big job i might even use the HVLP to spray water to raise the grain. It would give me practice spraying the finish and If i did it right would allow me to wet the surface well and not have to wipe on or off anything. There is always goign to be 1 extra sanding step though but it usually goes fast.

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6 hours ago, ..Kev said:

The biggest advantage to me is the low VOCs and the fact that I don't have to leave a project in the shop for several days to off gas.  I can literally bring it in the house the same day that I apply the finish.

 

5 hours ago, Chestnut said:

For a big job i might even use the HVLP to spray water to raise the grain. It would give me practice spraying the finish and If i did it right would allow me to wet the surface well and not have to wipe on or off anything.

I like both of those points. I was thinking that if I went the wb direction, I would promote it as a "greener" product than ob.

When I said more steps, I was thinking you had to spray on more coats of wb to get the same protection as ob. From your replies, I guess that isn't so.

I talked to the guys at the local finishing supply store this morning. They supply dozens of the cabinet shops in the area (there are about 100 shops in a 10 mile radius) and none of them use wb "because it doesn't look as good".

He showed me a sample of wb compared to ob and it didn't look very good, but he did say he didn't spend much time on it and may not have had the gun set right. He said he has quart samples and will give me one to see if I can make it look good.

What is your opinion about the appearance?

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I guess i don't know what they are spraying and what their aesthetic requirements are.

What i can say is that I can defiantly get an end product that lays flat and covers well.  WB finishes are different there is no way around that. I can't say that one looks better than another because it comes down to seeing the final result. Some people think that walnut looks better than cherry or maple but if the end result I desire is light in color obviously walnut isn't going to work.

As a refresher if it's not known. WB doesn't yellow it just coats and has a close to colorless appearance or almost a blue appearance. OB has a very yellowing warming effect. Ways to manage this are to use a warming WB poly like General Finishes Endurovar or Minwax Oil Modified Polyurethane.  The oil modified products are expensive so i tend to spray 1 coat of them and then top them with another WB poly. Another way is to spray a barrier coat of de-waxed shellac which will give some additional ambering.

For oil based i tend to need more coats than the WB equivalent so water based saves me coats though i wipe on OB poly so it may not be a fair comparison. I tend to get a far better surface finish on WB as the finish is dry so quickly there is little to no time for dust to settle on the finish.

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I'm not sure what brand he had, but it is from the same commercial finishing company he gets his ob from. It isn't otc product.

Judging from your reply on appearance,  the sample he showed me wasn't done right. Color wasn't the problem. The ob looked very smooth and the wb didn't look smooth at all.

Can you get a smooth look when you spray it?

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1 hour ago, freedhardwoods said:

I'm not sure what brand he had, but it is from the same commercial finishing company he gets his ob from. It isn't otc product.

Judging from your reply on appearance,  the sample he showed me wasn't done right. Color wasn't the problem. The ob looked very smooth and the wb didn't look smooth at all.

Can you get a smooth look when you spray it?

I've used WB on lots of furniture pieces and it looks and feels extremely good.  Sounds to me like you need to run some tests for yourself which will answer some of your questions.

I nearly always spray it.

 

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14 minutes ago, freedhardwoods said:

Thanks for all the info. One more question. What size tip do you use with wb?

I'm not in the shop so, don't want to lie to you but, it's the tip that came on my Fujie Q4.  You can use a smaller tip because it's a very thin material.

For the record, I use General Finishes Hight Performance.

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I use a 1.3 tip, this is the one that came with my Fuji, and what Drew said about spraying a coat of shellac before the WB finish can be a nice way to go even if you use something like blond or amber shellac, it will pop the grain for you. Garnet is quite a bit darker and can start to change the color some.  Test them first.  Might even be a simple way to offer customers a few options with out adding work for you.  When I use shellac, I count the shellac as one of the  coats.   And it drys even faster then the WB finish so it's not like it will slow you down much.  When I spray shellac I use a 1.0 tip.  I use General Finishes High Performance and their EnduroVar.

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4 minutes ago, treeslayer said:

I don’t know anything about spraying finish, just wanted to say congratulations on getting some work it was a long road for you and hope the work keeps coming in, always good to see someone succeed at the craft

Thanks

I don't know anything about spraying finish either. That's why I'm asking so many questions. :rolleyes:

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1 hour ago, freedhardwoods said:

Thanks

I don't know anything about spraying finish either. That's why I'm asking so many questions. :rolleyes:

Best way to practice, especially with WB finish, is to set up a large piece of cardboard, fill the can with water, and shoot.  You'll find that it's extremely easy and you'll catch on quick.  Can or 2 of water and you'll have the confidence to toss some finish in the cup and go after it.

Heavy coats are fine on horizontal surfaces but, keep them light on vertical surfaces.  

Don't let the milky haze throw you off.  It will dry completely clear.

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When it comes to finishes, I’m about as conservative as it comes. Someone on here years ago mentioned ARS and it was almost fool proof and was my only go to until Chet convinced me to try shellac and to do so, I had to purchase a sprayer. It was 2 months before I was comfortable with unpacking it, now, I really like it! The GF waterbased is very forgiving as it dries almost too soon to run.

For those that mentioned raising the grain, do you do this only when applying a dye? 

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29 minutes ago, K Cooper said:

For those that mentioned raising the grain, do you do this only when applying a dye? 

I don't..  Just about anytime I shoot WB finish I preraise the grain.  Hmm..  I think that's something else missing from my videos.. ;)

 

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On my chair, my first 3 coats were ARS so obviously I couldn’t but otherwise, why do you? Definitely not questioning but just wondering.

Ooops, I think I know. If you didn’t, the first coat of finish would? 

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1 hour ago, K Cooper said:

If you didn’t, the first coat of finish would? 

Thats correct, although this wouldn't hurt anything, it just requires a little more effort sanding back your first coat.  I know a lot of people use just tap water to raise the grain but I think it is a good idea to use something like distilled or purified water.  I just pour some in my gun and spray it like the finish - good practice before the real thing.  Whats left after I just pour back in the bottle for next time.

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So ok, now I’m totally confused. So sometimes there is never a base coat as such, ARS, shellac, etc.. Just straight wb finish, start to finish? If I could trade sanding for finishing, I would :mellow:

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Well I do go strait to WB sometimes and that is when I raise the grain first but my last five big projects have had ARS or Shellac or something else first.   And my next up coming project will too.;)

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4 hours ago, K Cooper said:

So ok, now I’m totally confused. So sometimes there is never a base coat as such, ARS, shellac, etc.. Just straight wb finish, start to finish? If I could trade sanding for finishing, I would :mellow:

Yep..  I don't normally use ARS on lighter woods, I'll go strait to the WB

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Ken, I'm not experienced with WB stuff, and don't have a spray rig. But IMO, the pale bluish cast I see on a lot of pieces finished with WB only is a real turn-off. Makes the wood look unnatural. Personally, I feel that some sort of dye / stain, or an ambering undercoat, is worth the effort. But that is my opinion, not necessarily shared by others.

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Does anyone ever brush or wipe on dewaxed shellac?  I have no plans for a sprayer.  I'm wondering about using it for small handheld objects.

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10 hours ago, K Cooper said:

If you didn’t, the first coat of finish would? 

Depending on the end result i often use the first coat to raise the grain. Times i pre-raise the grain is on stuff that i want to be picky about and when I'd shoot dye. Also as a note to sand the finish i use my ETS EC 150 with 400 grit on speed 3. It makes sanding finish quick and easy. It also helps keep the dust down. When i do power sand i like to have at least 1 heavy coat on or 2 thin coats. Just in case.

34 minutes ago, Mark J said:

Does anyone ever brush or wipe on dewaxed shellac?  I have no plans for a sprayer.  I'm wondering about using it for small handheld objects.

Yes all the time. I wipe on with a rag just like ARS. The closet drawer storage unit i made is finished entirely with shellac nothing else and boy oh boy is that thing beautifully smooth..... but it's hard to do that wiping. If i were to base coat wiping and top coat with WB spray. I'd do a few coast of shellac by hand and then sand the finish smooth.

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