Water-based poly on Douglas fir

mtnlawMay 7, 2009

I ordered Doug fir trim for our new house to blend with the fir post & beam timberframing. I had a company prefinish it with a water-based poly called Durathane. I have a couple of questions about this.

First: I was a bit disappointed in the trim as it is not as deep rosy/red as the timbers. I know Doug fir darkens with exposure to light and the timbers have indeed darkened since the framing was done months ago. Bu the trim is almost pine-looking it is so light. SOme of it does have some darker grain. Some is vertical grain and some is flat grain. I could not afford all CVG, or clear vertical grain which is ridiculously expensive. Anyway, my first question is: will water-based poly impede the darkening process? I don't want it to. I did read somewhere that an oil-based stain or finish will darken it more than water-based.

Second question: is there any product I can use to apply over the poly to give the wood a darker look but still show the grain? I tried Minwax polyshades but that stuff looks crappy and is hard to apply evenly. I've also tried Zar Plus which is a poly/stain mix and it looks better but not great.

Thanks for any info.

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Even though your existing finish is "Water-based poly" it may be a bit of a misnomer. I would be leery about applying an oil-based poly over the top without running some tests.

You can get the finish darker by glazing -- using a water-based glaze, then applying more Durathane.

You are smart to avoid the 'all-in-one' products such as Polyshades.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 7:50PM
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Bobs - thanks for the feedback. I'm not familiar with glaze. I'll do a search, but in the meantime, what is it and do you know where I would find it?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 11:42PM
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"I'm not familiar with glaze."

Dye or pigment added to a clear finish produces a glaze.

It is a slightly tinted finish that can be applied to darken the final appearance.

It has been used to color sapwood, change the appearance of finishes, etc.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 11:59AM
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