Anyone try the Vermont Natural Coatings PolyWhey yet?

Circus PeanutJune 17, 2009

I was at my local woodworking store yesterday poking around, and they've started carrying a new (?) finish by Vermont Natural Coatings called PolyWhey. It is extremely low VOC and they're touting it as twice as durable as water-based poly. They do furniture finish and a floor finish. It apparently uses whey (yes, the run-off from cheesemaking) for its bonding agent. Makes sense when I consider how long-wearing many milk-painted antiques are, I guess.

The guys at the shop said the company's got a sterling reputation so far. They're local to me so I'd love to give 'em my business if the stuff is good. Quite pricey though -- the furniture finish runs $17/pint (!).

Curious if anyone has tried this product yet and what you think of the results?

Here is a link that might be useful: Vermont Natural Coatings

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I think I will wait for some reviews.

Nothing against natural finishes---love shellac. Mix shellac with non poisonous alcohol and you can drink it.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 9:16AM
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Circus Peanut

Hah - yep, I love the smell of shellac, I think it's the incipient alcoholic in me. We have all our trim (old Craftsman house) done in shellac.

OK - I used it on my freshly re-stained oak stairs this week, and the PolyWhey is AMAZING. I don't think I'll ever use regular (oil or waterborne) poly again. It goes on very easily. In the can, it's got that murky color that's consistent with waterborne poly, although it's slightly *pink* (!). Dries perfectly clear.

It went on very easily. NO ODOR AT ALL. And it dried within an hour (they say to give it two) for recoating. Gorgeous finish, easily as good as regular waterborne.

In fact, it dried so fast I didn't even have to lock the cats in, since they hadn't even woken from their nap by the time it was dry.

I'll snap some photos soon. For now: A+ results & satisfaction. Will report in a few months as to durability.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 10:18AM
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I'm using the PolyWhey right now. We sanded our old pine floors that were in bad shape, applied polymerized linseed oil (Tried and True brand) as a gorgeous stain (really stunning color), and now are finishing up the sealing with PolyWhey.

I bought a gallon for 200 sq ft and it's way more than enough. The product goes on smoothly, though as someone who's never used ANY water-based finish, I had to learn as I went, and did make some mistakes. At first I applied it too thinly and the edges weren't getting coated well (old floor is cupped from sanding). Then on the second coat I applied it too thickly and got bubbles and lines and too much shine, though these errors sanded off fine.

Overall, I'm really happy with it. A safe, environmentally sealer was my top priority, and it looks as though it will be very nice once I learn its ways and get the last coat on.

I don't feel you can compare the price of a safe sealer to a sealer that will hurt your air quality for years and years- not to mention when you sand it off, if you have to. There's just no comparison, and you have to take those things into consideration when you think about long-term value.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 9:47AM
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My uncle builds custom homes in New Hampshire. They prefer to use raw wood planks for the hardwood floors instead of the factory prefinished products.

They finish the raw wood floors with 3 coats Waterlox original, and a topcoat of Vermont coatings Poly whey.

He told me the ploy whey is a green product, but he doesn't tell people that because it is so durable. Most people associate green label with higher cost or compromised quality. The poly whey costs about the same as Waterlox, and it is as tough as a factory finish.

The factory-finished floors look dull and the seams stand out. Site-finished looks way more beautiful. The waterlox base coats bring out the natural wood tones and make the grain "pop" Waterlox is an oil base varnish and is a durable floor finish by itself. The poly whey is applied over the fully cured waterlox. This top coat gives the floor more durability and is repairable if it does get scratched for some reason.

The cool thing about all this is the process is very easy to master if you want to try it yourself!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 1:20PM
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I was advised by a reputable "green" building center to paint 3 coats of the PolyWhey over the paint around our retail office's doors and trim, which get banged up quickly by dollies.

Spent 2 weeks doing 6 doors, frames, baseboards, and railing around the landing. I got better at the technique as I went along, but even by the end I had drips and brush marks, no matter how thin I painted it on. This product is much runnier than anything else I've worked with. Most disheartening however is that 3 coats pretty dramatically warmed our white color with a yellow tint. This could have been over looked, except that over the last 2-3 weeks it has only continued to yellow and show every single brush stroke or areas of "pooling" around the panels in the doors.

The product seems to be protecting our paint well, but looks awful in galleries and area we meant to spruce up for our upscale clients. We are not impressed.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 2:29PM
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Very unhappy camper here...Vermont Natural Coatings whey based floor finish was promoted as curing in a week. But after a month the floor still has a weird smell. The smell has permeated beyond the room we redid into the rest of the first floor. I wouldn't use it again and would appreciate any suggestions to stop it from offgassing for years.

Safecoat sells a sealer they swear will stop the smell and offgassing if I reseal, but I'm very hesitant to add to the brew.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 12:49AM
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Hi Hamhockzz,

I'd suggest contacting the manufacturer. They have a great customer service team and I'm sure they would be happy to help you out.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 11:19AM
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