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Thread: Pourable topcoats (that are not epoxy)

  1. #1

    Pourable topcoats (that are not epoxy)

    Assuming for discussion's sake that a surface cannot be disturbed by brushing, wiping or spraying, can water-based topcoats (such as General Finishes) be thinned & poured and left to dry? I've used epoxy, but it results in a far thicker topcoat than I wish and it can't be thinned or poured thinner without fish-eyeing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Umm...not really, IMHO. It would likely be thicker than will dry/cure properly with just pouring it on and you really can't thin it more than 10%. Honestly, the same holds true for oil based, although you can thin it more. You might look into Z-Poxy as an alternative to the normal pour on resin systems. It can go on a lot thinner.

    I'm certainly curious why you cannot use any of the normal finish application methods for your project...do tell...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    I'm certainly curious why you cannot use any of the normal finish application methods for your project...do tell...
    Hi Jim. I have dyed black oak with white grainfiller. Took a lot of chemistry experiments to get the grainfiller to be ONLY in the major grain and NOT graying the black surface of the wood. In testing for topcoats, I have yet to find anything other than pouring epoxy that does not reactivate the dye or the grainfiller and cause them to "soften" and blur the nice ultrasharp contrast between them I have achieved. diluted or full strength Shellac, Lacquer, water topcoats, others, even when sprayed ALL cause some blurring of the white/black edge that I'm after. Looks excellent until topcoated. It's a tabletop so I need some durability. Epoxy, poured, is the only thing I've found that leave the surface unmolested. But I don't want the 1/8"-plus thickness that epoxy brings--any thinner and it will fish-eye. I've considered oil-based, thinking it will not mix with dye or stained wood and grainfiller, but don't know of an oil-based topcoat that won't yellow and affect the nice bright whites of my grainfiller. I also don't like the overly glossy finish of epoxy, which I could topcoat or buff down but the thickness is the main problem.

    One person has suggested pouring the epoxy full thickness, then drum sanding the epoxy down to the desired thickness and sheen.

    I was thinking maybe pouring would eliminate the "disturbing" of the existing surface materials that brushing and spraying seem to cause.

  4. #4
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    I put a very thin coat of epoxy on a small stand I made to display some succulents. I don't remember the brand, and it's probably not important other than I found some stuff that was very thin and slow curing. That allowed the epoxy to level nicely and cure very smooth. I'd guess that the build on it is no greater than 1/16"; maybe even a bit thinner.

    Maybe something like that would be an option for your project.

    Scott

  5. #5
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    Sam, the Z-Poxy I mentioned can be very thin...it's designed for use that way. Many guitar builders use it for grain filling because it can go on so thin. It's worth investigating.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Sam, the Z-Poxy I mentioned can be very thin...it's designed for use that way. Many guitar builders use it for grain filling because it can go on so thin. It's worth investigating.


    Thank you, Jim. I'll look into it!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Marrocco View Post
    Thank you, Jim. I'll look into it!
    Videos that I have seen seem to show a lower viscosity than most epoxies....but I can't seem to find Z-poxy in larger quantities (gallon) for a large tabletop. Smooth-on has an epoxy that I am looking into that seems a bit thinner (they call it "Tarbender").

  8. #8
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    Yea, 12oz seems to be the largest quantity on Amazon, but maybe contact the maker directly and see if it's available anywhere in larger quantities.

    https://smile.amazon.com/Pacer-Techn...s%2C133&sr=8-1
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Check out MAS Epoxies. I just found out about them at a guild meeting last weekend. I have no direct experience with them, but they seem to have an epoxy for every purpose. Definitely have different viscosities available, which could eliminate the thinning "crap shoot".

    https://masepoxies.com/

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