Waterlox- Doing another coat- Satin Issues?

2LittleFishiesFebruary 21, 2013

Hey All,
We got our top in December and we already had some major scratches from our ceramic dishes most likely (which I've now sanded down the bottoms so they are smoother). To the best of my knowledge, my cab maker did 3 coats original and one satin but I think they buffed it out after- (not really sure)

Anyway, maybe b/c it wasn't fully cured it seemed to scratch easy. Lately it hasn't scratched nearly as much.

I spoke to Waterlox a few times. They told me spot fixing doesn't work well with the Satin finish. Today I followed their directions. (cleaned, "sanded" with 0000 steel wool, and then put on a coat of Satin. I started using a lambswool applicator but switched to a cotton cloth. I was very careful to view it at all angles and make sure surface wasn't bubbly and didn't have overlapping lines, etc...

Now that's it has dried it is streaky. From many angles it looks good but we get a lot of light and you can see lines in it and it kind of looks dull or cloudy? When you look at light reflections in it there is inconsistency in the gloss level as well. The woman at WL said I shouldn't have used a rag- especially with the satin- and that I may not have used enough WL and possible "overworked" it.

Anyway, I'll be doing this over but now have read many people online saying the Satin is much more difficult to work with due to the dulling agents in it that make it less shiny.
Now I'm just thinking I should stick with the Waterlox Original which people say is easier to apply and sets up better. Any Thoughts?

I tried to take photos but they don't capture the problem.

This thread just shows pics of my prior scratches.

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I had oodles of problem with Waterlox, but it wasn't the satin that caused me to have issues ... it was the low VOC formula. I do know that you want to "flood" it and put on a LOT of product. If you are using the low(er) VOC formula make sure to let the previous coat dry a long time after you put it on or sand it (although you're not really supposed to sand) before you put the next coat on. I waited at least 48 hours ... 24 was definitely not enough.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 10:17PM
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Thanks- mine isn't low VOC. I do think I need more product. BTW, DH thinks I did a great job. It isn't horrible but being the island is the focal point of the kitchen (and I like things perfect) I need to do better. : )

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 10:23PM
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We did use the low VOC formula and had issues with satin but not with original...so may just depend on conditions. I think we waited about 72 hours between coats, though (or maybe a little longer?) I like the way our counter turned out, but DH (who did the finishing of it since I couldn't at the time) swore afterwards that he would never use the satin again because it was so difficult to get it to settle without the streaks. It did eventually work out but it took a number of attempts at the final coat to get it to his satisfaction.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 2:08AM
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Sophie Wheeler

You have to make sure it's really stirred up well or the flattening agents aren't well distributed through the product. That's the first usual source of the problem with applying the satin. The second usual problem is not waiting long enough for the first coat to cure before applying a second. If you had problems with your original application not curing underneath, a light sanding might not be enough to address that problem. You may have needed to sand back to bare wood and start the application all over.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 7:57AM
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Thanks holly- The original coats were done in December and I believe they were fine. I just think our plates were scratchy and it may not have been fully cured which Waterlox says takes 30-60 days.

It was just this coat where the finish is streaky. I'm going to sand again with 0000 steel wool and try again : ( Good advice on the stirring though! I didn't really stir it yesterday just turned it upside down a couple of times before opening. Then it sat awhile...

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 8:01AM
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24 hours after application here are some good examples of the issues...

And some angles it looks good:

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 8:12AM
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I haven't used Waterlox, but I do stir any finish I have used for at least 5 minutes before applying, and several time during application (depending on how long it takes me). Stir gently from the bottom, not just around and around.

Good luck - it is a beautiful piece of wood!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 9:55AM
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If the Satin is so difficult to work with and has a tendency to streak, could you stay with the Original (which I assume is glossier than you want the final finish), and take the gloss down with the appropriate fine grit sandpaper?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 10:42AM
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ditto Linelle.

For my bb, I brushed on 4coats Originial Waterlox.
The brushing = a lot more WL than rag on, so now my bb is looking a little plasticky.

After all I've read about the troubles working w/ Satin, I'm not going to use it. Instead, I'm going to rub it out. See link.
My last coat was 3 weeks ago, so I'll try the rubbing it out in ~1week (kitchen is 1-2weeks from being done).

"How long must you realistically wait to rub? If you are applying only one thin coat per day in ideal drying conditions, you can usually rub solvent or oil based finishes to satin just a few days after the last coat, though waiting a week is better. When using waterbased finishes, it's best to wait at least two weeks, and a month if you can afford the time. That's because some waterbased coatings will react badly to the solvents in paste wax.
--> For gloss, wait four to six weeks no matter what the finish."

I don't have my receipt for the Satin WL. Can I just mix it into my Original, when I do my pine floors?

I love your bb. Amazing.
good luck,

Here is a link that might be useful: how to on Rubbing out a finish = matte

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 12:57PM
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Ok I did another coat. I AM SO frustrated. I tried using lambs wool applicator but I had a million little bubbles. Then I went over with brush (trying not to over work it) and still had bubbles. I stirred the can and did not shake. I was so upset BC there was nothing I could do.

Now I'm getting a haircut but know it is going to look like crap when I get home!! Ughhh!!!!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 1:17PM
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Wait. The bubbles may go away.
I remember finishing a coat thinking that the bubbles will look awful, but the next morning, the bubbles were gone.

Also, surprisingly, my 3 coats w/ the cheap $1 foam brush had better result than the expensive Purdy natural bristle brush.

Note: since I did foam brush on a lot (compared to rag) each time, I would sand/scratch it between each coat. (mainly because my work area was so dusty that each coat would dry w/ dust nibs, so I had to sand them out).

hoping you're relaxing w/ your hair cut,

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 1:48PM
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We shall see... It's only one coat I am trying to get right! lol I did do this awhile back to test it out on a cutting board and it was much easier! ya' think?

I got zero dust yesterday however I see some stray pieces in there. I'm pretty much chalking this up as another wasted coat. The clean up is a pita. OK, sorry I'm cranky.

I'll see if the streaking is better than when I used the cloth though.... Maybe I should have just lived with my scratches!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 2:48PM
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I say call the guys that did it and say the finish just wasn't 100% because you shouldn't have gotten all those scratches so fast, maybe they will fix it for free. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 3:02PM
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Update--- 4.5 hours since application and except for a few stray fuzzies it's looking good!! I'm shocked and crossing my fingers. So far no streaks- and no little bubbles. I think putting on more product did help also not using a cloth to rub in. It may not be 100% but at least good enough that I won't have to take off and do over. I figure every year or 2 it might be something I do if scratches get to be too many...

I REALLY hope this one is good! I wonder if I can get rid of the fuzzies in any way. Probably not.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 4:56PM
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Fantastic news.

In case you (other readers) haven't seen this youtube series on how to work w/ Waterlox, I've learned a lot from him:
- how to squeeze out all the air out of the Waterlox can; using the metal cap
- having the bb/wood VERY clean off dust: vacuum, wipe w/ clean rag, vacuum again, final rub with clean hand (hand = best tool to rid fine dust particle)
- when using rag, put it in a pantyhose or ladies knee-high stocking (keeps it lint-free)


Here is a link that might be useful: several youtube series on working w/ Waterlox by AskWoodman

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 5:40PM
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YES! I watched some of them yesterday... And I did the hand trick yesterday (no fuzz/lint) but didn't today! : (

Great advice!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 5:44PM
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Just wanted to post some new photos! It looks great- just like when the cab guy brought it here! A few tiny stray fuzzies but I can live with them. The color never photographs well...

I'm so relieved but yesterday I could cry and thought it might be too big of a job for me!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 11:16AM
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So glad it turned out well this time! I've bookmarked the video above so we can refer to it when we do our maple top.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 12:36PM
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Looks lovely Fishies, good job. :)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 12:44PM
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It looks like a professional job! Nice to know for the future if you have any more issues, you can fix it yourself. Good job, I am impressed. BTW I have followed your progress and your kitchen is beautiful.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 4:47PM
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kalapointer- Thanks- of course I can always find imperfections but then again I found them with the professional job as well! ; ) Thanks for the compliment on my kitchen! We're enjoying it very much...

I just made 2 banana breads... but what to do for dinner?!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 5:37PM
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OK so it has been a week that we haven't used the island so it can cure. I know a full cure takes 30-90 days.

As I mentioned above, this time I didn't get up every pieces of fuzz so when running your hands across the top you can feel some tiny pieces here and there that aren't totally smooth. I asked WL about rubbing it out but she said I could do the finish over--- which I DO NOT want to do again for awhile!

So, I know I've read about rubbing out finishes especially to get rid of the tiny imperfections left behind. I think I'd need to wait longer to do it though.

I know huango left some info above but I'm not really sure if you're "supposed to" wax Waterlox?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 8:27AM
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I absolutely, completely, and totally don't mean this as an "I told you so", but......you wouldn't have had these frustrating days if you'd gone with the Osmo. It just takes a rag and about 15 minutes to rub the Osmo in. Thats it. No bubbles, no brushes, no dust, no frustration. If you're applying it after a good sanding, you only need to wait about 24 hours for cure. After applying Osmo and using my counter for 15 months and after reading so many threads about the frustration and hours of work that goes into Waterlox, I find it interesting that people keep putting themselves though it.

Again, not trying to make anyone feel badly. I'm just wondering out loud. :)

Fishies--Your counter looks amazing! I've spent time enjoying all of your finished kitchen pics. It's really lovely and almost exactly how I thought it would look. Seeing it from drawings and agonizing decisions to an actual finished space feels like a...well...a GW birth!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 12:45PM
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Fishies, I have spent lots of time admiring your kitchen, it is beautiful and looks very functional. I feel at home in it...you have my yellow toaster. Glad to hear you are enjoying the end result of your planning!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 9:43PM
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