Waterlox Products Appropriate for Finishing Chairs?

sorrisoJune 16, 2009

I didn't get any responses to my question about using Waterlox sealer/finish and/or satin finish in my previous thread so I'm starting a new one.

May I use either/both of these products on my dining room chairs? I am happy with the results of my butcher block counter top but must say that I'd envisioned a harder (does that make sense) finish on the chairs. As I mentioned in my earlier post I've become very confused about what product to use.

Thank you for all the advice...wishing I had the head to put it all together the right way!

Here is a link that might be useful: previous thread

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A friend of mine calls "gel varnishes" the answer to a question that no one asked. One of the vendors tried to get him to sell it in his store. He argued that gelled things are made not to soak in, exactly the opposite of what you want a varnish to do. Their response was, "Oh, we always thin it down before we use it." So what is the use?

Waterlox products _are_ varnishes. The vehicle (oil) is tung oil, and the resin is phenolic. Note that varnish _made from_ tung oil is not the same as tung oil. You have to read Waterlox's technical material very carefully to catch this nuance. Most DIY varnishes are from linseed oil and alkyd and urethane resins. The choice of vehicle and resin imparts certain properties to the varnish in the same way that the flours and leavening impart certain properties to the bread that results. Waterlox is a dark amber varnish that has superior water resistance compared to its brethren.

It's my understanding the only difference between the Sealer product and the Original product is the amount of thinner involved. The sealer is thinned down. So there's no reason to buy two cans, as much as they'd like to double their sales revenue. Buy the original and dilute the first two coats yourself.

Long answer to say, yes, Waterlox works fine on chairs. I used it on the first chair I refinished, circa 1965. It saw hard use in my parent's house for the next 40 years until I inherited it a few years ago. It shows some dents and dings, but is still sound.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 8:46PM
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Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish and Waterlox Original Satin Finish both start off as Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish. A flattening agent is added to the Sealer/Finish to make it into a Satin.

The finishes only contain about 25% solids so there is no need to thin the product prior to application.

Both the Original Sealer/Finish and the Satin Finish have the same level of durability.

Hope this helps.

Chip Schaffner - Waterlox

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 1:27PM
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So, Chip, if I wanted a satin finish, then I don't need to purchase both the Original Sealer/Finish and the Satin Finish products.
I can just use one product - the Waterlox Satin Finish and apply multiple coats as appropriate. Is this correct?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 2:35PM
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Welcome to the Forum, Chip. You will find your product gets good reviews here.

Ashley, to answer your question, the last coat determines the sheen. Some people like to build the film with gloss, then apply the sheen-of-choice as the final or final two coats. Other people say it does not make any difference as the sheen is determined by the micro-geometry of the final surface. Since I blend all intermediate sheens from 5 sheen (dead flat) and 85+ sheen (gloss), I find it easier to shoot 85 sheen straight from the can except for the last application, when I take the time to blend my target sheen. If it means you have to buy two or more products, I say, just buy the one you want and use it all the way through.

You can also adjust sheen by rubbing the surface, though this is a lot of work. It's easier to apply sheen-of-choice unless you want a see-the-nose-hair-in-the-finish ultra high gloss. You almost always have to buff these to that level.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 7:03PM
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Waterlox turns to gel pretty quickly in the can. When it is nearly full you are safe, but after there is lots of air in the can, the varnish starts to polymerize. Transfer partially used cans to smaller containers. And more reason to just buy the one product. I recommend thinning the first coat with mineral spirits if you use the satin finish.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 10:17AM
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