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Old 02-27-2009, 06:52 PM
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Default What brand(s) of finishing products do you use?

I have been working hard over the past few months to improve my knowledge and techniques for wood finishing, with particular emphasis on moving toward water-borne finishes.

For years, I have just used the standard off-the-shelf stuff like MinWax, or BLO and wax, but was never particularly thrilled with odor and safety issues, or the results.

After doing a good bit of research, I decided to take the plunge and try Target Coatings products. They seem to have a very loyal woodworker following and have a pretty complete line of water-based sealers, varnishes, lacquers, etc. But after initial tests and use, I am less than enthusiastic. For brush or wipe-on applications, the products are so fast-drying that they make it very difficult to work with on large surfaces (tables).

The other day I stopped by my local Sherwin-Williams store and after a long talk with the store manager, decided try a couple of their water-based polyurethane varnishes (their Wood Classics line). My initial tests are very positive. Very easy application, quick drying (recoat in 1 hr), minimal prep required between coats, and superb results. I had never associated SW with quality coatings (perhaps my mistake), so I'm a little surprised by these results.

Since it is still early in my quest for the holy grail of finishes, I thought I would ask what you Festoolians like? In particular, are there specific brands you have had success with?

BTW, I have not made the leap to spraying yet. While I would like to, ventilation and space requirements will present serious challenges.

BD
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: What brand(s) of finishing products do you use?

I'm getting really good results with AFM Safecoat . I use the PolyuresealBP, applying it with a GOOD brush and the so far I'm quite happy with it. No VOC's, no toxic waste and fair pricing.

Try it!
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: What brand(s) of finishing products do you use?

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Originally Posted by ecofurniture View Post
I'm getting really good results with AFM Safecoat .
Thanks!

Did some checking and found a dealer fairly close. Definitely looks interesting and worth trying on some finish tests.
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:23 PM
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Default Re: What brand(s) of finishing products do you use?

Always been a Sherwin fan. Every product, no, but the vast majority are good.
BLO, sure, straight Tung, love the stuff from Sutherland Welles, true polymerised. Sherwin CAB, straight nitro, catalyzed lacquers all have done well by me.
Wrote an article about using KemAqua a few years ago. Great product, amazingly durable.
I'm a fan of the powdered milk paint you get from the Old Fashioned folks in MA.
Pratt 38 varnish wins for old school varnish.
Shellac. We have a vendor, uber secret. i don't think anyone else orders from there and man the quality is phenominal. 5 colors, all dewaxed, every one of them blows every other shellac I've ever tried out of the water. Stuff comes straight from India to here fresh. We actually take it out of the muslin bags and have to weigh and package it.
General Finishes, in general (no pun, really!) is a line we carry at the store and I've been pleasantly surprised by most of it.
We have a "budget" floor finish from Harco which honestly is one of the nicest polys I've used. And I think there's a special place in hell for Poly, just as a rule.
Behlen makes great stuff the majority of the time, and of all the fillers I've tried, I like Bartleys the best. Behlen waterborne is 2nd but is an awfully fast drier.
Most everything I've touched in a yellow Minwax can has been garbage. And that is a Sherwin produced line. Oh well.
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:13 PM
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Default Re: What brand(s) of finishing products do you use?

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Originally Posted by BenchDog View Post
BTW, I have not made the leap to spraying yet. While I would like to, ventilation and space requirements will present serious challenges.

BD
I've been using Target Coatings product and have been happy. I've used Sherwin Williams for brushing and it is very good.

I debated on spraying for awhile and had the same concerns as you. I finally bought a Fuji turbine HVLP spray system and have been surprised. Little to none overspray issues with items sitting about 2 feet away. With the water based finishes, ventilation hasn't been issue even though I bought 3 fans to remove the fumes. Haven't needed the fans yet.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:47 AM
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Default Re: What brand(s) of finishing products do you use?

Right now I'm all about Valspar in clear and solid colors.

Mirko
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"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."

Last edited by Mirko; 02-28-2009 at 12:58 AM.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:59 AM
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Default Re: What brand(s) of finishing products do you use?

I have using WB finishes for about 20 some years when all I could find was Benjamin Moore water based urethane. Long story short, I now use General water based urethane and have had good luck with it both brushing and spraying.
Matthew Jones
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Old 02-28-2009, 02:55 AM
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Default Re: What brand(s) of finishing products do you use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qwas View Post
I've been using Target Coatings product and have been happy.
So are you spraying? Have you tried brushing any of the Target Coatings?

HybriVar is the one that has been giving me troubles when brushing or wiping.
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:17 AM
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Default Re: What brand(s) of finishing products do you use?

Yes, I've brushed the Ultima Spray Lacquer on a couple of projects that I was more interested in protection than looks. I was pleasantly surprised to see it looked better than when I brush paint (I'm not a good painter).

I have 2 bottles of Target Coating's thinner but I have yet to use it. Some recommend thinning the finish before brushing but I was happy as is.

I have a can Hybrivar but haven't had a chance to play with it yet, maybe in a few weeks.
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: What brand(s) of finishing products do you use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qwas View Post
I have a can Hybrivar but haven't had a chance to play with it yet, maybe in a few weeks.
Steve,

If you try the Hybrivar and have any problems, you may want to try the EM2000wvx WB-Alkyd Varnish. According to a post by Jeff in Target forum, this is a new and much improved version of Hybrivar. I wasn't aware of this product when I purchased, but may give it try to see if solves some of the problems I've experienced.

BTW, I have noticed that Hybrivar does better on bare wood than when refinishing. Perhaps it is sensitive to residual contamination of prior finishes.
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