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Thread: Waterlox verses ?

  1. #1
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    Waterlox verses ?

    I love waterlox but it is winter in Ohio and the fumes are killer.anyone use the voc compliant waterlox any less fumes ?or has anyone found a good Tung oil based finish that is less potent but as durable as waterlox .thanks I know I am probably asking the impossible.

  2. #2
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    Might be time to investigate waterborne finishes. I know of no direct WB substitute for Waterlox but there are plenty of good waterborne finishes and many are easy to apply, have very low odor, and look great even if getting the same look requires another step or two. Take a look at General Finishes and Target Coatings websites for an overview or details of what's available.

    John

  3. #3
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    Thanks john can you tint the water based finishes.i am trying to match a table I built for my daughter that has waterlox.i have used WB poly on a few things .i am trying to get the amber color of oil poly to match.thanks jim

  4. #4
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    Yes, of course. You can add Transtint dye directly to any WB finish. I do that sometimes to adjust the final color I'm after, but it's usually better to first dye the piece with Transtint to get the color you need, then finish with your WB topcoat. This is more involved than using the Waterlox alone because the color will shift when you apply the topcoat, which means making test specimens to get the whole process right is absolutely necessary. Also, if you are brushing then it gets even more complicated because brushing a waterbased finish over a waterbased dye will cause some of it to lift and create a muddy mess with the finish. But this is easily dealt with by spraying a coat of rattle can shellac to seal in the dye, then brush on the topcoat after that's dry with no worries.

    I know this sounds a lot more complicated than just applying Waterlox, and in some ways it is, but it allows you to finish indoors w/o lots of fumes, anytime of year. Once you have the process figured out to get the color you want the finishing itself will go a lot faster, too, as everything dries in minutes instead of hours. You can finish a piece in a day or two, instead of a week or more. And once you get a little experience with dyes under clearcoats it opens up a whole new world of color possibilities.

    You may be able to match the color of Waterlox directly by adding Transtint to your WB finish. Give it a try on scrap. It's usually better to aim for a lighter hue and apply at least two coats, followed by at least one clearcoat over that. Which Transtint should you use? Hard to say, look at their color chart and pick one or two. I often end up using more than one mixed together to get the color I'm after. Good luck.

    John
    Last edited by John TenEyck; 02-07-2020 at 10:04 AM.

  5. #5
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    Jim, some water borne finishes already have the slight ambering that's desired for a warmer color...John knows the GF stuff better than I, but for Target Coatings, EM2000 is an emulsified alkyd finish with a warm glow and their EM8000cv has a similar warm color. But in general, yes, you can tint water borne finishes. I do it all the time for my guitar work.
    --

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

  6. #6
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    Thanks jim and john I appreciate your expertise.i just can’t take the fumes anymore.i will start to look at wb finishes.i will check out your recommendations.thanks again jim.

  7. #7
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    I understand about the Waterlox fumes...a client insisted I use Waterlox on a 114" long, walnut under-window shelf I fabricated for him this past spring so it would exactly match other surfaces already in place. It made me appreciate why I no longer use oil based products unless I have to and was about the worst, fume-wise, I've ever used! The result was gorgeous, but...
    --

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

  8. #8
    I use a good deal of Waterlox. Yes, the fumes are not nice, but if you ventilate as you must even with waterbased finishes, it can be handled - and it's only temporary.

    I suggest you stick with Waterlox given that you are trying to match something. I have not had good luck with the VOC compliant version of the Original Sealer Finish. I use only the "Original Formula" version of that product. The full strength Waterlox varnishes in other sheens are less dark than the "OSF". The OSF is the easiest to apply, as you can wipe it on.

    If you go waterbased, you will have to tint to match color - and you will not get that same depth and shimmer that an oil-based finish can give. Further, the more durable of the wb products really look best when you spray them - so you need that equipment. However, they are much easier to clean up (soap and water, usually) and dry very fast. There are other reasons why spraying can be less frustrating than applying an oil based varnish.

  9. #9
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    You might consider wearing a respirator with organic vapor cartridges. I wear this anytime I’m using “stinky” chemicals or finishes and it completely removes the odors. Also protects my remaining brain cells- both of them. Lol

    3M(TM 7500 Series Half Mask, M https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004HXBCMG..._5MUpEb379QJBC
    3M Organic Vapor/P100 Service Life Indicator Cartridge 60921i https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016KYUYV4..._KPUpEbH1Z1TW3
    “Pay no attention to what you cannot control..” Epictetus, 100 A.D.
    It costs nothing to be kind to others

  10. #10
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    Wearing a respirator while working with a product like Waterlox goes without saying. However, the fumes are high enough that they linger for a long time, too, so "really good ventilation" to help clear that out is also essential.
    --

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

  11. #11
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    Mark I picked up that exact mask this morning at sw same price with organic filters.i am going to try a test run tomorrow to see how it goes.cant really open windows as it is in the 30 in Ohio.i appreciate all responses I will look into water based coatings.just can’t take the fumes anymore.my shop is outside heated no exhaust fan which is definitely in my future.prashun your in jersey same weather do you have exhaust fan in your shop ?when I did the table it was summer so I rigged up fan in the door with plastic and opened the window and I could still smell it for over a week.i will do what I have to crossing my fingers.thanks again

  12. #12
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    Good luck Jim- keep us posted!

    When I first started using that respirator I noticed the air had a “sweet” smell, almost like it was adding freshener to the air (it wasn’t).
    Let me know if you experience the same thing.
    “Pay no attention to what you cannot control..” Epictetus, 100 A.D.
    It costs nothing to be kind to others

  13. #13
    I do my finishing in the garage. I have a heater in my garage. I preheat the space to about 65 deg, finish, vent with the door open for about 15 minutes running a box fan, then close everything and let it dry. I rarely do thick film brushed, slow drying finishes, so perfectly dust free is not a requirement for me.

  14. #14
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    Did a trial with the new mask was very pleased with the organic filter.mark there is a smell to the organic filters a good smell .only did a few boards.i did it on the garage side of my building not in my shop.the fumes still got into my shop.give it a go tomorrow like prashhun warm up the shop and then ventilate and get out.thanks again to all jim

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim sauterer View Post
    Did a trial with the new mask was very pleased with the organic filter.mark there is a smell to the organic filters a good smell .only did a few boards.i did it on the garage side of my building not in my shop.the fumes still got into my shop.give it a go tomorrow like prashhun warm up the shop and then ventilate and get out.thanks again to all jim
    I’m not sure if the filter adds an odor or if that’s what fresh air actually smells like.
    “Pay no attention to what you cannot control..” Epictetus, 100 A.D.
    It costs nothing to be kind to others

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