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Table Top Coat

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Thread transfer from previous forum - Original Post by Coop

Original Post:

i read on another forum where a member used ARS as a first coat on a table top and followed with General Finishes HighPerformance for the top coat(s). Why would the GF HP, water base give a better protection against table top abuse? 

Follow up Posts:

1)  Sorry I missed this post here Coop!

I don't know that you get "better" protection from the WB over the ARS. Because I prefer to spray, the WB can be applied much faster with much faster dry times between coats.

On darker woods, I like the look of ARS as the grain tends to "pop" more. Following with the WB means that I don't get any additional coloring but, get the protection that I desire on the piece. Also, fewer coats of the WB maintains the "close to the wood" look or you could continue to add until the finish has the look you like.

Hope this helps!

2)  Thanks Kev. I need to use my sprayer more ( than two times). The first time, with Chet’s help on the barrister bookcase, it came out fantastic. The second time on a small cherry cabinet was a disaster of runs. I will admit that the second one was rushed and I should have taken my time and practiced on the adjustments with some cardboard. I was sprayed no shellac and ended up sanding back down to bare wood. To spend so much time on the build and rush the finish was really dumb on my part.

3)  So, this is one of the reasons that I like the wipe on ARS on the first coat. No equipment clean up, no runs, and similar results. Any differences would be a matter of opinion really.

From there, it's just a matter of spraying the WB finish. If you practice with water on the card board, you'll be good to go. You're fine leaving a heavier coat on the horizontal surfaces, just leave them more time to cure before blocking out.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Top coats are difficult under the best of circumstances.  That said, I don't ever reccomend using a poly/acrilic as a top coat for any surface that gets a lot of use.  The damn stuff seems to just peel off in small sections.  Don't under any circumstances ask me how I found out. I'll pull whats left of my hair out.

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