Water base polyurethane

I have a question about the General Finish’s water based polyurethane. I have seen Utube videos about how great it is and how easy it is to apply.

Anyone used it and how was the results.
 

Pop Golden

Pop
Corporate Member
It's water based. Enough said. I'm a dyed in the wool solvent base guy. Every time I'm tempted to try water based and asked questions on this forum I've got the same answer "forget it". Go to the forum index and see.

Pop
 

robliles

Rob
Corporate Member
Pop, Stop beating around the bush. Just how do you feel about water based finishes? When water based finishes first came out or were first being marketed in woodworking magazines and catalogues (i.e. Hydrocoat) I would agree with you. They were very difficult (my opinion) to use and gave very mixed results. However, the quality of the various water based finishes has improved immensely, again, my opinion. I use water based finishes and General Finishes exclusively. Either spraying (my primary method) or brushing, I get excellent results. One thing to remember is that these finishes are crystal clear (unless you use a tinted one, i.e. Enduro Var) and give a very bright and "loud" finish. Using a "satin" or even "flat" sheen will help with that. When you add in the ease in cleaning and thinning (water) and the low to absent toxicity and fumes, you can't go wrong. Give them a try!

Rob
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
It's water based. Enough said. I'm a dyed in the wool solvent base guy. Every time I'm tempted to try water based and asked questions on this forum I've got the same answer "forget it". Go to the forum index and see.

Pop
Me too.
Three coats plus sanding and drying times in less than one hour with CV makes WB a non starter.
 

Bas

Recovering tool addict
Bas
Corporate Member
I have a question about the General Finish’s water based polyurethane. I have seen Utube videos about how great it is and how easy it is to apply.

Anyone used it and how was the results.
It's pretty easy to apply, both with a brush or a sprayer. Assuming you have good ventilation and it's not too cold, it'll be dry to the touch in 20 min, and can be sanded/ recoated in 1-2 hours. Minimal smell, easy to clean up. You won't get the deep color you'd get from an oil-based finish, so you may want to first apply shellac or boiled linseed oil first. General Finishes also makes a product called Enduro-Var, which gives you that warm amber look. Also pretty easy to apply.

Some of the water based polyurethanes such as Minwax polycrylic can look "plasticky" when you build up multiple coats. The GE poly suffers less from this, and the Enduro-var is even better.

When I first started woodworking I used mainly oil-based finishes. The biggest problem is that they take a long time to dry between coats, so you often end up with dust nibs. The smell is also less than pleasant. I'll still use oil once in a while, but only when the weather is nice enough I can keep the door open.

if I want something really fast, and it's a fairly small project, I'll use pre-catalyzed lacquer. You can spray three or four coats in 1-2 hours, with only minimal sanding just before the last coat. Gorgeous finish, dries hard, but oh, the smell. Better wear a good respirator with filters for solvents or you'll end up with drain bamage. Shellac is good too, slightly less toxic, easy to spray, but not quite as durable.

If you have the equipment and need, conversion varnishes are the way to go. But it's not an "easy" finish.
 

Ed Fasano

Ed
Senior User
I'm a General Finishes fan. I've sprayed, brushed and wiped various GF offerings. Of late, I've used (sprayed) Euro-Var on several projects. I don't know how it fairs when applied in a conventional manner. For that matter, I don't know if it can be applied in a conventional manner. While off topic, I've can also recommend General Finishes milk paint. While not a true milk paint, it sprays very well, which cannot be said for real milk paint I'm also a fan of water borne finishes in general. From a standpoint of convivence and cleanup, they're unbeatable and they have come a long way in recent years. However, I cannot argue with the look, feel and endurance of solvent based finishes.
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
Can't say anything about the GF stuff, but I have sprayed several gallons of Varethane Diamond floor finish over the last 20+ years. I've even used it on oak flooring.
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
Willem

Who is or makes the "CV" you are referring to?
It is part of the Benjamin Moore, Behlin family. Lenmar Megavar CV. It is a professional product, not meant for the hobby shop. Not freely available, I order it from a local dealer, who gets it in around 3 days. First time I ordered it, Lenmar called me and asked a lot of questions.

My criteria for a finish is first a professional look, second durability and third the time it takes to apply from start to end. Nothing worse than laboring on a pretty piece of woodwork and then spoiling it with a sub grade finish.

I spray outside with disposable liners meaning cleaning my gun is a 3 minute exercise. So far the above is the best product I have experience with, meaning an automotive quality finish with three coats, sanding and drying times all done within an hour. Apparently the latest greatest is 2K Urethane which I have not tried yet.

Needless to say, once one has experienced a professional finish, nothing from a big box store or retail supplier will satisfy. Shellac being right at the bottom of the list and except for their stains any Minwax product being close to the bottom of the list.

Looking at building a paint room, but hard to justify with a heat furnace, air quality management and filtration. Without those features, may as well continue spraying outside.
 
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Pop Golden

Pop
Corporate Member
Wellem, what the heck is wrong with shellac? Wood workers have been using it for a few thousand years. All the way back to ancient Egypt. It seems to have worked well for them, and it works well for me.

Pop
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
Wellem, what the heck is wrong with shellac? Wood workers have been using it for a few thousand years. All the way back to ancient Egypt. It seems to have worked well for them, and it works well for me.

Pop
In the technology age they just came up with something which looks better, performs better, is multiple times more durable and requires a fraction of the effort.

Anyone who has worked with the latest automotive clear coat urethanes, in terms of appearance, ease of application and durability will tell you comparing Shellac or even Nitro which is way above shellac is like comparing a horse drawn buggy to a Corvette.
 
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