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One coat or two?

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andrewm

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I am using acrylic sanding sealer as a base for wax. I have created a test strip to check that it looks OK and have tried one and two coats of both sealer and wax. My preference is for one coat of sealer and one, or maybe two, of wax because it gives a flatter and more matt finish. My question is - is one coat of sanding sealer OK or should I really be using two (or more?) to give a tough finish. Any view appreciated.

Andrew
 

Chris Knight

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Andrew,

Sanding sealer is not really designed as a finish. Its primary purpose is to seal the pores of the wood to control the way in which subsequent applications of finish behave.

Many sealers are little more than a thinned finish with an added component to assist sanding - such as stearated shellacs. As such, they can act as finishes because that is in effect what they are. However, it is far better to use them simply to seal and then to use a compatible finish with the desired properties.

If you want a tough finish, you should not be relying on sanding sealer. More details of your intended usage would help formulate a suggestion
 

Terry Smart

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Hi Andrew

The short answer to your question is that, except in the case of very open grained/porous woods, you should only use one coat of sanding sealer. Although this shouldn't be a problem when using a wax over the top of it, there can be a problem when overcoating using a lacquer.

(Relatively speaking, sanding sealers are softer than lacquers; if more than one coat of sealer is used they can move against each other as surface coatings and being sandwiched between the timber and a hard lacquer they will craze, like a laminated windscreen hit by a stone.
The most annoying part of this is that it can take a long time to happen, so what looks great today could look awful in (say) six months time!)

A second coat of sealer in your case won't really achieve much, and I am a little confused as you are looking for a tough finish but using a wax as a topcoat. The sealer should be tough but the wax will not be!
I would agree that some more information would be helpful!
 

andrewm

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Okay, more information. Perhaps I wasn't terribly clear when I said that I have tried one and two coats of both sealer and wax. What I have is a sample board with four areas, 1 coat of sealer with one coat of wax on top, one coat of sealer with two coats of wax, two coats of sealer and one of wax and finally two coats of sealer and two of wax. So, yes I have realised that sealer is just that and was putting wax on top in all cases.

As to why I am using wax, well, it was what was recommended to me after discussing my requirements with someone on the Chestnut stand at the Ally Pally show. :) I came away with two tins of Woodwax 22 and a large rotating brush :lol: The application is the interiors of a set of wardrobes so I guess doesn't need to be too tough.

Thanks for the comments,

Andrew
 

Keith Smith

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Just to throw the proverbial spanner in the works; I don't use wax or oil for the insides of wardrobes, or drawers for that matter. I am always concerned that oil or wax can mark clothing.

I use 2 coats of diluted spirit based varnish just to seal the wood.
 

Terry Smart

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Hi again Andrew

Having hopefully settled your original question, one coat or two, the choice of whether to apply one coat or two of wax really is up to you. Either is fine so it really depends on the look you want to achieve.
If it was the exterior of the wardrobe I'd plump for two coats, but I don't think it will matter on the inside.

I don't think there is any concern in using wax or oil. I'd be hesitant about Finishing Oil as it will be a large enclosed area and the smell of the product would hang around for quite a while in applied if situ. Lemon Oil would be an interesting alternative. Once dry there should be no danger of contaminating the clothing.
Similarly, wax will not contaminate clothing when using the clear version; I have heard that in extreme cases the tinted waxes can mark clothing; this is usually on white clothing which has been in heavy contact with the wax (elbows on tables etc!). I would be pretty confident that using the brush you have would polish the wax sufficiently to prevent this anyway.

Good luck with your project, I'm impressed you bought this stuff in February to be used now. Very organised!
 

andrewm

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Terry wrote:
I'm impressed you bought this stuff in February to be used now. Very organised!
I fear it is rather more of a case of how long it has taken me to get this far and not any degree of advanced planning on my part :lol:

Looks like I'll probably go for one coat of wax on the interiors and two on the drawer fronts on the exterior.

Many Thanks,

Andrew
 
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