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  1. #1
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    final waxing of arm-r-seal

    This project has cured for a couple of months now, and tonight I went to wax it with 0000 steel wool and a clean piece of cotton. It didn't work at all. The wax just dried to a hard sticky mess before I could buff it. I wound up cleaning it off with mineral spirits, but now I've got the buffing lines from the steel wool.

    What am I doing wrong here? I'm trying to slightly knock the gloss off the arm-r-seal.

    Yet again, I hate this stuff with every ounce of my being, and regret allowing the sales hype to direct me down this path. I hope I never meet the guy who invented this stuff...

    So what other options would I have? Can I attempt a traditional rub-out, or go at it with Abralon?

    Any help would be appreciated...my project has come to a screeching hault at the moment.

  2. #2
    McRabbet
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    Re: final waxing of arm-r-seal

    Fergy,

    Arm-R-Seal comes in Satin as well as Glossy. I have used the Satin with good results and never used wax on it after the final application coat. If you applied Glossy, I would recommend you clean all the wax off the surface and then apply a coat of Satin Arm-R-Seal. I assume you are disgusted with the wax, not the General Finishes product -- in conjunction with an initial coat of Seal-A-Cell, it has worked well for me on several projects on White Oak.

  3. #3
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    Re: final waxing of arm-r-seal

    I tried that but was unhappy with the look. It's amazing, the difference in texture between the two. The satin is too dull, and for the life of me I can't get it to flow out smooth. I had that issue a lot on this project, and I finally started spraying the gloss. Without the flattening agents in it it sprays well when thinned.

    I'm effectively trying to rub out the final finish layer, which GF says can be done if it cures long enough.

    I'm disgusted with both, actually.

    I hate Arm-R-Seal, but for some reason I allowed the marketing hype and the local stores to push me down this path again. Had I been smart, I would have sprayed pre-cat and been good to go, and done months ago.

    Luckily, the surface I tested on is covered up later, though I need to get it someone cleaned up and smooth again.

  4. #4
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    Re: final waxing of arm-r-seal

    What wax are you using? How many coats of the Arm R Seal did you apply? What did you use to thin it if you sprayed it? What was your complete finishing schedule?

    I have only used Arm R Seal once and it worked just fine. It's a fairly standard poly varnish and applying a wax after it has fully cured should not be a problem.

  5. #5
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    Re: final waxing of arm-r-seal

    the entire finishing schedule was fairly complicated, but at this point there are about 7 thinned coats of gloss Arm-R-Seal on it. It was thinned with mineral spirits. I was building the depth I wanted due to the final use of the project, and because I wanted to see depth in the grain. That's why I didn't go with the satin version. The flattening agents were killing grain depth. So, now I'm just trying to knock a little of the shine out of it, but still have some depth.

    I'm using Briwax at the moment. It seems to flash off too quickly. I think what I may do now is 4/0 steel wool with mineral spirits and a tiny amount of wax, then buff out with a shoe shine brush to see if I can get what I want. But I need to balance out the sample area a little before I do that, so I might polish lightly with a fine abralon setup first.

    Howard: I know you hate the waxes. My point in doing this was to knock a little off the gloss while preserving depth. This is a curly bubinga veneer/bubinga/wenge surface, so the depth looks really good. I just don't want a glossy surface.

  6. #6
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    Re: final waxing of arm-r-seal

    >>> I'm using Briwax at the moment.


    There's your problem if you are using Original Briwax. Briwax is formulated as a restoration wax to be used to clean and rejuvenate old finishes. It uses toluene as its solvent. Toluene will damage oil based finishes that are less than a year old. Original Briwax must not be used on newly finished surfaces.

    Ten years ago Briwax brought out a mineral spirit solvent based wax called Briwax 2000. This wax can be used for new finishes. So buy some standard furniture polish like Johnson, Minwax, Trewax, etc., or buy some Briwax 2000.

    At this point, you may have to severely sand the surface and apply some more coats of your poly varnish depending on how much the Briwax has damaged your finish.

    A couple of other points.

    Arm R Seal is already a thinned finish so there is little need to further thin it.

    You can build your finish with gloss and then just apply a final coat of satin to get a non-gloss finish.

  7. #7
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    Re: final waxing of arm-r-seal

    I was actually incorrect...it wasn't Briwax, it was Behlens. I had Briwax in my head from something else.

    What I wound up doing was getting some finishing compound and buffing out the surface. It cleaned up fine. I skipped doing it on the rest of the project, but may go back at it later.

    As for thinning this stuff, I thinned it to spray it in a Devilbiss HVLP gun. It's too thick straight out of the jug otherwise.

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    Re: final waxing of arm-r-seal

    I always use Johnsons Finishing wax on all my projects - When I use it, I put it on with a cloth and once it's completely dry, I buff it off with another cloth then rub it down with 0000 steel wool until I get the look I'm going for.

  9. #9
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    Re: final waxing of arm-r-seal

    In defence of Arm-a-seal, I have to say I really like it, as easy to apply as any I have come across. Having said that, I have not used it on a large flat surface like a table top. I used it on the frame of a glass topped table. It set up hard to a nice soft sheen. To pop the grain before that I used the matching product called Seal-a-cell, which I think Howard described as a long oil varnish (maybe!) and this really does penetrate like a straight oil finish and brings the grain out perfectly. Top coat with the arm-a-seal and the job's done. I really feel sorry for you fergy, as I know how frustrating it can be to almost spoil a great project at this late stage. Glad you are close to finding a solution, but don't give up on these GF finishes yet!
    David
    "There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea" Bernard-Paul Heroux

  10. #10
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    Re: final waxing of arm-r-seal

    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Acheson View Post
    >>> I'm using Briwax at the moment.


    There's your problem if you are using Original Briwax. Briwax is formulated as a restoration wax to be used to clean and rejuvenate old finishes. It uses toluene as its solvent. Toluene will damage oil based finishes that are less than a year old. Original Briwax must not be used on newly finished surfaces.
    That is an amazingly useful piece of information Howard, thanks!!
    David
    "There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea" Bernard-Paul Heroux

  11. #11
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    Re: final waxing of arm-r-seal

    David,

    I agree; it works fine on smaller surfaces, facedframes, trim, etc. I've been able to get it to flow out fine with a brush that way. But I could not, for the life of me, get it to flow for a tabletop or larger panels. I was getting all sorts of edge lines from the previous row. It's like it was kicking too fast. That's what led me to thinning it, which helped. But the eventual solution was to spray several thin coats of it. It was pretty nasty because of the sticky cloud in the air, but it reduced the amount of dust.

    I'm fine with the GF stains. This stuff just drove me nuts. And I think the pre-cat lacquer from ML Campbell is harder and more protective. I'm just happy to be done enough with this project.

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