Waterlox over a water based paint-problems.

ravmdJune 14, 2011

I am trying to stain a butcher block counter with a white wash water based paint. On my test samples, when i put the Waterlox over the paint , it seems to remove a lot of it and smear it.

I am not letting the paint dry for the recommended 72hrs, but rather ~12 hrs. So maybe that is the only issue. But would I be better off regardless with an oil based paint instead?

I am going to go back and try it with longer dry times in between the paint and Waterlox in the meantime.

And search for a 'white wash' oil based paint. Someone recommended CAbot so will look into that too. Any other suggestions?

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Latex paint needs a month to fully cure, especially if you're putting Tung oil (which is what Waterlox is) on top of it.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 10:45AM
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Waterlox (and varnishes in general) won't stick to some types of finishes. Oil based products are safe; shellac is safe.

Find a wood dye the shade of white you like. Put it on the bare wood, sparingly, to get the whitewash look you desire. Let that dry for as many days as it takes for the smell to disappear. Then apply the Waterlox as directed.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 11:17AM
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Waterlox has served generations of floor installers, turners, carvers, and furniture makers as a reliable, easily applied tung-oil-based varnish.

Polymerized tung oil, ester gum, polymerized linseed oil, and a high ratio of phenolic resin allow it to build a tough surface film which resists scuffs and staining admirably. Apply by wiping, brushing, rolling, spaying or (on flooring) with lambswool pad; thin and clean up with mineral spirits or turpentine. Waterlox is tack-free and ready to recoat in 6-24 hours dependent on temperature, humidity and ventilation. Repair is easy: sand out the damage and recoat! Coverage is around 450 square feet per gallon per coat; soft woods require more coats than very hard woods. Waterlox is an excellent choice when you require the toughness and sheen of a varnish without the peculiarly plastic look of polyurethane. Note: Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish was formerly labeled Waterlox Transparent; Original High Gloss was formerly Waterlox Gym Finish.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 1:36PM
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Great, thank you. Sounds like i will hunt down an oil based white product.
When you say "dye" is this different than "stains". It looked like Cabot made some white stains that varied from transparent to semi to opaque so seemed like I could achieve the white wash look with the semis.

We are very happy with the counter sections that we just did in pure waterlox. It goes on very smoothly. We were looking to do a contrasting island in white, but worst case all the counters will be waterlox.

Thank you!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 3:06PM
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You could try the wood dye, but if you're going for a "white washed" look (which I think you might be if it's for a Cape Cod Cottage-y look, yes?), I would see if the white stain comes in an oil base. Were you using paint or water-based stain before?

I've also not seen wood dye in white (or at least not at my local Woodcraft) - not sure you could achieve that without wood bleach?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 4:14PM
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Yes, a cottage type of white wash look. Not too opaque that you can't see the grain of the wood. I called our local woodcraft and they have an oil based light white stain so will check that out.

The first test was done using MinWax "White wash pickling" wood stain in WATER base.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 4:18PM
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As far as I know, there is no such thing as a white dye for wood.

You can use a water-based stain under an oil based varnish. Just be sure that it completely cures (different than "dry"). As extra insurance, you can add a barrier coat of shellac between the two.

"Stain" is an ambiguous term. Some people use it to imply pigment-based. Others, any substance that changes the color of wood. Oddly Minwax stains are labeled, "Wood Finish," which they are not in the classical definition. Welcome to the wonderful world of mis-labels in the wood finishing world.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 7:44PM
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Put the white over the other finish, then seal the mess with another clear topcoat.

You are going to have to play around to find compatible products, and the film is going to be easily damaged.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 2:55PM
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Buy white oil based primer. (moore's fresh start fast dry comes to mind) Thin it 1/3 with mineral spirits. This is your oil-based stain. Brush on, wipe off excess. But the waterlox, having an amber coloration as deep as any varnish I know of, is going to spoil the white effect by yellowing it a whole lot. If you want white with a protective coating, I think you'd be disappointed. There are ultra-pale oil varnishes out there, but they are hard to come by and $$.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 7:03PM
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Not looking too good :(
Seems there are numerous issues.

Talked to Waterlox and they said that over white, they would expect the waterlox to leave an amber look. So my 1st test will be to let the water based white wash stain to fully cure and then coat with waterlox (I like the look of the white so far, it just hasn't been treated with the waterlox.

option 2: Oil based stain... so far I have not found any in a white. Lowes carries Cabot and they called them for me and Cabot said they could do it, but it would have a yellow tint! And then top that with the Amber of the waterlox! So that does not sound good.

Option 3: white dye... have not found yet.

Option 4: maybe find a sealant other than waterlox that I can put over the waterbased white wash? at Woodcraft they recommended General Finish Endura waterbase urethane, but the can said it can leave a yellow tint!

Casey...looks like you are right on with the yellowing problem, no matter what I do!!

I did see in the CAbot brochure they had a semi transparent blue stain with a washed look.. would this be a similar problem with the yellowing?

And then on top of it all , the Woodcraft store was surprised I was using Waterlox at all. They said I should be using "Salad bowl" finish and that it was food safe. I do not plan to chop on it so I think I am ok with waterlox.... just more research needed I guess!

If the white can not be done, I will just be waterloxing (or other)!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 6:33PM
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The McCloskey/Behlens salad bowl finish is also extremely clear (non amber).
Blue (stain) + yellow (waterlox) = green.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 7:55PM
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Casey... so is the Salad Bowl worth trying over my current water based white finish?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 8:06PM
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It's not at all yellow/amber is what I'm saying. Super clear in color. I have only ever used it directly on wood, so again, there's some hazard involved with going off-label and applying over a stain.
And it's _very_ thin. I used four coats on my maple/cherry butcherblock to develop a finish.
The water-clear color IMO makes it worth a try.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 10:09AM
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