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Thread: Problems with Target Coatings finish

  1. #1

    Problems with Target Coatings finish

    Ok, I decided to give the WR4000 stain a try. After talking to Jeff at Target Coatings, I believe Iím applying the stain correctly. I let it dry for more than the recommended 2 hours. Then with my first attempt, I used the EM1000 sealer starting with a very light coat followed by 2 progressively heavier coats following the recommended dry times. Then I top coated with EM6000 (their WB lacquer) in Satin. The finish started almost flaking after the final coat. The second try I used two light coats of Sealcoat that were thinned 1:1 with DA ice the stain. I let those dry overnight and then applied 3 coats of EM6000 in gloss and the final coat in satin. I ended up with the same issue. I should have done test pieces but didnít. Lesson learned! I also typically use their varnish and WB shellac but the prices are very high for those which is why I switched.

    So now the big question is why is the finish failing? Iím doing a bunch of test pieces now where the base is the WR4000 stain vs tinted denatured alcohol. There are two things I can think of. Either the stain isnít completely drying or maybe the can of satin lacquer is bad. The gloss seemed ok before I topped it with satin. Iím testing all that too. Anyone have any ideas on what could be going on? Iíd really like this stain to work as I refinish a lot of furniture and canít have the dry times of oil based stain. Also, spraying tinted denatured alcohol doesnít always work as it doesnít get into cracks and detail very well.

    I took a pic too but not sure how to paste it on here.

    Once my test pieces are done I hope to narrow down the issue and then will give Jeff a call back unless one of you all know what Iím doing wrong.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    So Iím thinking perhaps the wood (white oak) was soaking in a lot of stain and wasnít drying enough. The piece I was having a problem with I could easily take all the finish off with my fingernail. It initially came off with a white abrasive pad. So does it make sense to seal the wood first with thinned out sealcoat and then do the stain? Iím going to try that on some scrap and see if I can still get the stain to give the color Iím looking for.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Scared the hell out of me I was going to spray the WB shellac sealer tonight after work...

  4. #4
    So another update. I have a call into Jeff Weiss at Target to talk about what Iím finding and see if it sounds right.

    Hereís what I tested:
    Sample 1: water popped/tinted DA/2 coats thinned sealcoat/3 coats gloss EM6000

    Sample 2: same as above but a 4th coat of satin EM6000

    Sample 3: water popped/WR4000 flooded on wood, let soak for 10-15 minutes/2 coats thinned sealcoat/3 coats gloss EM6000

    Sample 4: same as above but 4th coat of satin EM6000

    Sample 5: water popped/1 really thin coat of thinned out sealcoat/flooded WR4000, wipes off at 10-15 minutes/2 coats thinned sealcoat/3 coats gloss EM6000

    Sample 6: same as sample 5 but 4th coat of satin EM6000

    Sample 7: Same as 5 but thinned the WR4000 with water

    Sample 8: Same as 7 but with 4th coat of satin EM6000

    I have a few more samples similar to above but trying to wipe the stain off after a minute or so and do multiple coats. Those are in the works now.

    Hereís are my findings from the above tests:

    Sample 1: Finish is hard as a rock. Canít scrape off with my fingernail at all and tried a few hours after I sprayed it. I knew this would be the case and was my control piece.

    Sample 2: same as sample 1. I wanted to rule out having a bad can of EM6000 satin and found no problem with it.

    Sample 3: After a little over 24 hours, I can easily take the finish off with my fingernail.

    Sample 4: same as sample 3.

    Samples 5-8: I grouped these bc they are similar. A few hours after I was able to scrape off the finish with my fingernail. However, as itís curing, itís getting much harder. After a little over 24 hours, I can no longer get the finish up with my fingernail.

    So far, hereís my conclusion. If you donít seal the wood first on porous woods, the wood sucks in a lot of stain and itís going to take a long time to dry. Lightly sealing the wood first reduced the amount of stain that soaked in without compromising too much color. Sealing that with sealcoat and then finishing with EM6000 is soft at first but then hardens as it cures. Thinning the WR4000 really didnít help or hurt but made it so youíd have to do multiple applications to get the same color. With the issues I was originally having, most of the lifting was in the softwood of the oak. Right now Iím leaning towards doing a very light coat of sealcoat first and then the WR4000. But the samples Iím testing right now is doing a number of light coats of stain where I wipe them off after a minute or two each time. I want to finish testing these first before I start the finish schedule on my project pieces. Lack of patience caused me a ton of rework this week with trial and error and Iím not doing that again! Iíll post again after my next round of samples are done.
    Last edited by Andy Krzizike; 12-08-2018 at 10:18 AM.

  5. #5
    I don't have a ton of experience, but tinted DA alcohol dye stain should dry rapidly so I don't think the stain would be the problem.

    I have use a water based dye on a white oak top (sprayed a very liberal coat, actually flooded) let dry 2 days, then sealed with shellac.

    Then a couple coats of semi gloss EM 2000 followed by satin EM800 conversion varnish. No issues.

    So I'm not sure what's going on there. Could the water may be the issue? Why are you raising the grain?
    Last edited by Robert Engel; 12-08-2018 at 10:34 AM.

  6. #6
    Yep, the tinted DA I knew would work as Iíve used that quite a bit in the past. So that was sort of my control piece to make sure that the other products I was using were all good, which they are.

    Raising the grain can help it absorb stain. Also, the water finishes tend to raise the grain so if you water pop it before starting your finish schedule and sand it lightly, youíll get a smoother finish.

    I think my big issue was/is flooding with the WR4000 stain wasnít the ideal way to do it. I think a wipe on and immediate wipe off can be top coated in 2 hours, but not if you flood it and let it sit for a while. I think the wood absorbs a lot of the stain and then needs a lot more time to dry.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Flood staining is not a good technique. This was discussed in another thread here a few days ago. With all the trouble you are having, you need to consider whether you are using the right products. Also, your difficulty with spraying alcohol based stain is technique, not product. Spray staining is best done spay on wipe off. You adjust the drying rate by adding a bit of slower solvent as required so that you have enough time to work it. Cheers

  8. #8
    Ah, the alcohol based staining Iím not having any issues with outside of getting it even when there are details in the furniture or on inside corners. I only used that to test that the products Iím using are good. The issues Iíve been having are with WR4000 and that in the instructions it says you can topcoat it in 2 hours. WR4000 is a linseed oil stain that can be thinned with water.

    On the additional samples I did yesterday where I did multiple coats of WR4000 and wiped them right away, the finish is looking good. Itís not as hard as the finish was that I put over the DA stain was at the same point after I sprayed them. Iím thinking that itís not curing as fast.
    Last edited by Andy Krzizike; 12-09-2018 at 10:29 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Your minimal problems with alcohol stains is what tells me to suggest you keep on with them. Oil based stains are not what I ever recommend other than as a stand alone finish. Dress it up however they like with sales speak, it is still oil and oil is not the best under coatings. Stains need to completely evaporate the carrier solvent and oils just don't do this.

    If you are staining and polishing regularly, this system you are using is always going to worry you as to whether it is working or not. Choose something that works reliably. Cheers

  10. #10
    Wayne, I agree. They'll continue to be my go to especially when I need to get projects done quickly. The main reason I was trying the stain is bc I have some over 100 year old furniture I'm refinishing and felt like an oil based stain would look the best but refuse to use true oil based products anymore.

    Anyway, I finally figured out the best way that works for me to apply the WR4000 stain. The oak t h at I'm working with is fairly porous so I sprayed a really thin coat of Sealcoat thinned 1:1. Then I put on thin coats of WR4000 and wiped them almost right away. I found that doing multiple coats got the wood darker and doing thin coats allowed it to dry a bit between coats. I waited an hour in between coats per Targets recommendation. Also, I wiped it as dry as I could get it after I applied it. So Dar the finish looks great and is exactly what I was looking for.

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