Techniques/Lessons/Projects -  Trial of General Finishes polyurethane (335 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
From: bethcurran5/14/13 8:24 PM 
To: All  (1 of 13) 
I've just dinished trying out a new polyurethane product.  I used to use Varathane way back when, but when I ran out of that I looked in my husband's Fine Woodworking magazine and they rated Olympic as being much more scratch-resistant, so I got a pint of that and used it until it ran out (about 3 years). But with both Varathane and Olympic I used to have trouble getting a good, smooth, brushmark-free surface.  Sometimes it would "creep" as it dried if I thinned it down; there was a very fine balance between being too thick and seeing brush strokes and being too thin and getting creep.  So when I ran out of Olympic, I did some more research, and found a product called General Finishes High Performance gloss water-based polyurethane, sold at the Woodcraft store, which had consistently high reviews, so I bought a pint.

I can heartily recommend this product.  I've used it for both round and flat pieces, both dip-coated and brushed on, and it gives a beautiful even coat.  I've found you can get a virtually perfect surface on a flat piece by flowing a thick coat on and letting the excess drip off; it dries evenly without contracting or crawling.  The control piece I made using Olympic looked so lousy next to the General Finishes one that I strained the Olympic through a piece of pantyhose and re-did the control, thinking that it must have picked up some particles.  If you like a very glass-like surface and are having problems with visible brushstrokes, you might want to give this a try.  It's expensive ($16.50 per pint) but worth every penny in saved time. - Beth C
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From: Melody015/15/13 8:30 AM 
To: bethcurran  (2 of 13) 
 70484.2 in reply to 70484.1 

Hi Beth, Thanks for sharing this product. Sounds very interesting. I'm still working my way through a quart of Varathane, but the end is in sight, so I'll definitely keep your recommendation in mind. Is this the "right stuff"?

Anita in AZ


From: bethcurran5/15/13 12:41 PM 
To: Melody01  (3 of 13) 
 70484.3 in reply to 70484.2 
Yes, that's it - Beth

From: MaryKay715/15/13 9:19 PM 
To: bethcurran  (4 of 13) 
 70484.4 in reply to 70484.1 
Thanks for a good tip, Beth.  I need to get some.

MK Ozarks

From: Melody015/16/13 12:03 AM 
To: bethcurran  (5 of 13) 
 70484.5 in reply to 70484.3 

From: LisaFE5/16/13 6:32 AM 
To: bethcurran  (6 of 13) 
 70484.6 in reply to 70484.1 
very intrigued by this product....I make jewelry and am wondering if this is "body/skin" safe? anyone know? and also do you heat set for final glaze? or with these kins of products you can't do that?

From: Melody015/16/13 7:40 AM 
To: bethcurran  (7 of 13) 
 70484.7 in reply to 70484.1 

Beth, Lisa's question reminded me of a question I should have thought to ask. I'm environmentally sensitive. Is there much smell? Thanks!

Anita in AZ


From: bethcurran5/16/13 9:01 AM 
To: LisaFE  (8 of 13) 
 70484.8 in reply to 70484.6 
I haven't tried heat setting it, since I had so much success with making one thick coat using the pour-off method, and I never used to heat set thick coats for fear of warping.  I will try it out and see what happens and post the results here.  As far as being skin safe, I have no information on that.  It is an acrylic-urethane resin (acrylic being the main component) with glycol ethers/propylene glycol as the solvent.  If you know of a product that does not cause you a problem, you could compare its composition with this product.  - Beth C 

From: kathy47 (kth47) DelphiPlus Member Icon5/16/13 9:01 AM 
To: bethcurran  (9 of 13) 
 70484.9 in reply to 70484.1 
Thanks for sharing the results of your experiment! I wonder if it would give me a ceramic look on my funky pieces? Have to try some...

From: bethcurran5/16/13 9:11 AM 
To: Melody01  (10 of 13) 
 70484.10 in reply to 70484.7 
No, it smells like any other water-cleanup polyurethane - it has only a limited odor.  There is no residual odor so far as I can tell. - Beth C

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