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Thread: ARM R Seal still cloudy/hazy. Propane heater problem?

  1. #1

    ARM R Seal still cloudy/hazy. Propane heater problem?

    IMG_8194 (4).jpgIMG_8198.jpg

    Guys I'm desperate here.
    1)I sanded my table top back down with 80 Grit. Worked up to 180.
    2)Applied a single application of gel stain. Wiped off all excess vigorously to avoid any drying problems. Waited 72 hours before proceeding.
    3)After 72 hours, I Applied first coat of Semi Gloss ARM R Seal W/ foam brusg thinned 25%. Most soaked in
    4)Applied Second coat of SG ARM R Seal W/ foam brush, thinned 15%. Looked pretty good. Way too shiny though, and some dull areas.
    5)I figured the third coat would be my last coat. This was the underside of the table, and I wanted to get it done quickly so I applied a full strength coat of satin, with a foam brush, without thinning. I wake up this morning to find this disaster.

    In the photo, you can see where I wiped on a small amount of mineral spirits. It looks perfect where I wipe the MS. But as the MS evaporates, it goes cloudy again.

    Why did it go so wrong with this last coat? The ONLY thing I can think, is I had a small propane heater running for a while before I shut it off. I wanted to get the garage warmer, since it was 65 degrees yesterday. Can the propane fuel burning in the air be the cause of all this misery?

    What the heck should I do now?! I need to get the top side of this table finished and out my door. I'm almost a month into trying to simply apply a topcoat here.

  2. #2
    Why do you keep thinning with MS? Try doing a coat without thinning it.

    ArmRSeal doesn't need to be thinned. There are times when the last coat can get a little streaky, and in that case it benefits from a SMALL amount of thinning like 5-10%. But your 25% thinning appears to be the common thread here.

    If you have already tried unthinned, I apologize; I did not fully complete the previous thread on this topic.

  3. #3
    Yes, I figured that, which is why I made a new thread for an update. My last (3rd) coat was unthinned. The first two coats of semi gloss were thinned and looked good. The last unthinned coat of satin resulted in this deep cloudy haze.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Andrew, propane heating produces water vapour and is best not used to direct heat a paint shop. Also, with forced heating, you need to wait until the substrate has warmed up to match the air temperature. If you don't, you will get condensation and problems like you have.

    Personally I think it's time to use another product. If There are plenty of products in the same class of finish that will do what you want. It won't be hard to find one that cures a lot quicker as well.

    Just to confirm your procedure:
    1) finish sand and dust down
    2) apply stain that is compatible with chosen clear coat
    3) drying time for stain
    4) apply first clear coat
    5) observe cure time for clear coat
    6) light sand with 320 paper and dust down
    7) apply second clear coat
    8) observe cure time
    9) moderate sand with 320 to leave the finish without cutting through to the colour
    10) apply final coat.


  5. #5
    Ah, I was just reading about propane / vapour in paint shops now. I am beginning to highly suspect that is my issue, as obscure as it may be.

    Yes, that is the procedure I'm following. Is there a particular alternative finish you recommend?


  6. #6
    A VENTED propane heater should not produce moisture in a shop as long as it is vented properly. An unvented gas, either NG or LP, heater can produce a great deal of water vapor. What type of propane heater are you using?

  7. #7
    Unvented. It's a Mr heater "big buddy." I was reading about Blushing in Lacquer spraying. I really think this might be a similar concept, and the issue all along! I did a test on a sheet of plywood, and the ARS was fool proof thinned, or unthinned. It came out crystal clear. However, it was warmer out when finishing the plywood so I didn't heat the garage at all.

    It was cold here on Sunday when I applied my 3rd coar of ARS on the actual table. I applied a full strength coat, and had the heater running first to heat the garageto 75 degrees. And it came out completely clouded over. I never considered the propane heater being the culprit, because I was new to these finishes, so I was guessing it was in application.
    Last edited by Andrew Goraj; 06-11-2018 at 12:11 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    I have no clue about whether the propane heater is the source of the problem, but Wayne knows his stuff so I will leave that in his capable hands. I do know that ARS satin sheen is very hard to apply w/o streaks. And I think I mentioned doing your entire finishing schedule on scrap first to make sure it worked to your satisfaction - you've learned that lesson the hard way for sure now I trust.

    If you can see through the ARS to the wood below where you have wiped on the MS then the problem is almost certainly with your application technique and not due to the propane heater. If it were due to some reaction of the wet finish with the heater products of combustion then I think it would still look cloudy under the MS and you would not be able to see the underlying wood. If you try to rework and pretty up the application of ARS after it has started to set it will streak just like what you have. The only way to prove this is to do some trials ON SCRAP with and w/o the heater.

    Assuming I'm right (and I'm often not), and after your trials on scrap, I would scuff sand what you have to a uniform dullness and then apply a coat or two of gloss and then rub that out to whatever sheen you want after it has cured about 10 days. If is the sheen of the last coat of finish that controls the final appearance so one coat of satin underneath won't matter; what you end up will be gloss until you rub it out.

    ARS really is a great product. The probability of you getting two bad cans of finish is about the same as winning the lottery. I'll bet my lottery money it's your application technique, and the propone heater a distant second.

    Prashun, I've often added 25% MS to (gloss) ARS and applied it with a foam brush in order to cover a large surface w/o getting streaks. It works just fine, much easier than trying to wipe it on. The only way to avoid streaks in ARS is to get it on fast and not go back over it trying to make it pretty. Spraying would be great if not for the overspray mess. Adding MS to it is the option I use when I have to apply it to a large surface like the OP has. Maybe you and others are successful wiping it on such large surfaces; I'm just not that good. I've read where some folks have used a lambs wool floor applicator when doing large surfaces. The point is, you have to get it on fast - and then leave it alone.

    Andrew, 65F is more than warm enough for ARS to set and cure, and it will be easier to apply it at cooler temps. If your shop is anywhere above 60F I would forget about the propane heater entirely.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Mutual back slapping, but John does know his stuff too! Get rid of the heater and apply using the good advice above.

    65 is plenty warm enough for application of coatings. I have to deal with 40-50 for the next 4 months. I learnt the hard way with direct gas heating. Had to re blast and paint a whole bridge span because the condensation literally washed the paint partly off.

    In general, if heating needs to be used to get a job done, it has to be applied long enough for the substrate temperature to rise 5F higher than the dew point. The extra temperature is to allow for the cooling that happens as solvent evaporates from the coating. Cheers

  10. #10
    Thanks for the replies guys. So John, I did apply on scrap first. Both a scrap piece with gel stain, as well as my 4x8 assembly table (birch ply). Both came out beautiful with 4 foam brushed coats, partially thinned. But I didn't have the heater going at any point. Based on your recommendation for test pieces first, and the fact that these test pieces worked out so well, allowed me to reduce it to the heater being the only variable. In addition, the underside of the table was going fine with the first two coats. The 3rd coat I ran the heater for, and that's when I found it clouded over as seen in the photos.
    I then had an AH HA! moment while driving to work that morning.

    I apply this ARS with a foam brush and forget about it and leave the room until the next night. I move quick. Overlapping each row by 25%. Never going back over the the same area again. Takes a few minutes to do the entire table.

    Good to hear about the temps. And that I might not be crazy after this whole ordeal. In a daring attempt, I turned the table top right side up, and applied my first coat last night without the heater, and it looked great this AM.

  11. #11
    I recognize that John. I too have thinned it considerably with no bad effect. But that appeared to me to be his common variable.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    That's good to hear Andrew. If it turns out that the heater was the source of the problem then I think several of us following this thread will be learned something. Your suffering wasn't entirely without benefit!


  13. If you take an unvented heater and burn a gallon of LP or a therm of NG and reduce the flue gas temp (which always happens with unvented) all the way to ambient you are putting almost the equivalent amount of moisture into the air, or almost 1 gallon/ gal of fuel. Perhaps you could tent the area around the project and use one of those large halogen work lights setting on the floor to heat the area and the table. It will take some time, but could eliminate the unvented heater use while finishing and still achieve a decent temperature in the space.

  14. #14

  15. #15
    Well, I guess this chapter in my life/woodworking has come to a close. The table is a little thinner, but the ARS is drying hard, smooth, and extremely clear. Thinning with MS around 25% as John states, and applying with a foam brush results in a streak free, glass like finish.

    Of course my wife let the dog dog out while the final coat was drying when I was at work this AM. Haha. I guess I will try the paper bag trick for the fuzzies. Do I wait 10 days for that?
    Last edited by Andrew Goraj; 06-14-2018 at 4:03 PM.

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