Circa 1850 Wax - can't find...

ourfamilygardenAugust 3, 2008

Hi. I've called the stores in our area, and can't find this. We live in NY. I purchased Minwax Gloss Poly. It's not giving me the high gloss - tough surface I need. I did a google and found that Circa 1850 seems to make it. But, can't find any hardware stores in my area that carry it (Home Depot, Ace, True Value, etc.).

Any suggestions on who carries it, or of another product that will give the finish we need? Oh, this is for INTERIOR (so we don't want to use the toxic exterior products).


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MinWax makes a floor poly that is very glossy(as well as satin/etc). It is oil based and stinky, but can be recoated in four to twelve hours and dries to touch in 12 hours.

Most Sherwin Williams stores have it(SH owns MinWax).

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 12:08PM
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Are you looking for the paint stripper by that name? Jamestown Distributors (a wood boat supply shop in NY) carries it.

After that, I'm not sure what you are looking for. A given finish will only be so glossy as applied (e.g., "off the gun"). Some of it will depend upon the quality of your technique. Beyond that, you have to increase the gloss by rubbing with finer and finer abrasives. Finishes that are able to be rubbed are by definition not "tough." So polys don't rub out that well because they are abrasion resistant. Abrasion resistant does not necessarily mean "hard" Think of the difference between rubber and slate. Slate is hard but can be scratched; rubber is softer but can't be easily scratched.

After spending nearly 3 hours getting a high gloss finish on two table tops last week, it's not a finish I would wish on anyone. One of them was a coffee table. I mean, how practical is it to have an ultra high gloss on a coffee table? First dusting, magazine or book, drink, or God forbid, foot and it will be scratched.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 7:28PM
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Hi, Handymac! I'd replied yesterday, but it didn't go through for some reason. Thanks for the info! I'll have to look into a floor wax. Perhaps that can give what we're trying to achieve. The MinWax Gloss "Superior Durability" Polyurethane was very disappointing and isn't giving the finish we need.

Hi, Bobsmyuncle,
From what I saw of the Circa 1850, it gives a "bowling alley" type finish. Or, as someone else I know mentioned, a "bar" type finish.

For what we need, we really want something that has a very high gloss, a strong hard hard finish. It's going to have to endure spills and such, that will not absorb but will rather bubble up. After putting three coats of the MinWax Poly Gloss finish, it is not at all what we wanted - or needed.

No, I'm not looking for a boat finish, as I don't want to use a finish that it for outdoor use.

I'd seen it at Jamestown, but I didn't want to have to order the product.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 6:11PM
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Almost all the Poly finishes are the consistency of water, and require many coats to get a glossy surface. Have you tried a Tung Oil or Varnish finish?

I like this product

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 11:43PM
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the bowling alley/bartop finish is a very hard coating- the hardest i know of and by far the most durable- it is however not something that is easily applied, its a two part system that is as thin as water and dries to a diamond hard. not easy to work with. you seem to be aprehensive about using a polyurethane but it is really the best way to go

a tung oil finish will work, but their not that durable and wont do much for protecting the wood. a wax is going to be very susceptible to water damage and if any kind of solvent touches it it can/will dissolve. varnish is a loose term that refers to a topcoat. so... and i hate to say this, but typically if less work is involved the least durable finish youre going to have. my point? use a laquer or a urethane

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 2:07PM
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Well, I've got my answer. I thought I'd share it in case anyone else needs the info. It's actually two-part answer, of sorts...

1.) I called MinWax, and a very nice woman told me that they do not carry what is needed to make that hard finish that we were looking for. But, she did suggest that we try a Sanding Sealer BEFORE applying Polyurethane. We did that on the opposite side of what we'd already done. Still not what we needed, BUT this is MUCH better, and I will certainly use this in the future for other projects! One coat of the sealer, and two coats of Poly did MORE then 5 coats of Poly without the sealer! The finish is smoother, and much glossier! I highly recommend folks using this (we're working with unfinished plywood).

2.) After weeks of searching, in one day I spoke with two folks tha really knew their stuff! What we needed was one of two things:
a.) Epoxy resin
b.) Epoxy / Poly (comes in a kit. You apply the Epoxy, then the Poly).

That would have given us the bar/bowling alley finish we wanted. Both people we'd spoken with had done this for their projects, and worked in hardware stores (two different ones).

Hope this helps others along the way :)

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 1:15PM
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