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Thread: Rubio Monocoat Sheen Modification

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    WNY
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    Rubio Monocoat Sheen Modification

    I did some more work to see if I could create a higher sheen with Rubio. As background, Rubio recommends sanding to 120 grit, and not to exceed 150 grit, before applying a single coat of finish. I sanded to 120 grit on a recent project that used walnut and Baltic birch plywood. The sheen on the walnut was decidedly matte. To see if I could increase the sheen I prepared another walnut specimen. I sanded one side of it with 120 grit and 600 grit on the other. I applied a single coat of Rubio 2C. After 3 or 4 days buffed half the side sanded to 120 grit with 2000 grit Abralon. To the left of the dotted line is 120 grit buffed with 2000 Abralon after curing, 120 grit in the middle, and 600 grit on the right side.








    The side sanded to 600 grit had the highest sheen and felt baby butt smooth but the color appears lighter and inconsistent. This could be due to flexing of the veneer as I sanded it; I'm not sure. The portion buffed with 2000 grit Abralon feels very smooth, too. The sheen looks a little higher from some angles, but sort of cloudy from others. I came away without any specific direction on what to do improve the sheen w/o introducing potential issues. I do know from my prior testing that if I sand to 120 grit, apply a coat of Rubio, let it cure for several days, and then sand it with 325 and apply a second coat it feels very smooth, the clarity is still good, but the sheen is still matte.

    While I was at it I did a similar test on a piece of Birdseye maple. The results are quite startling. 120 grit on the left, 600 on the right.









    The side sanded to 600 grit has a beautiful semi gloss luster and chatoyance and is silky smooth. The side sanded to 120 feels smoother and the sheen is higher than the comparable walnut sample. Clearly, the species of wood has great influence over the results. That's probably to be expected with a finish where you only apply one coat of finish and is consistant with what happens when you use an oil/varnish finish.

    Where to go from here? I have not tested the durability of the portions sanded to 600 grit and that could be a showstopper if the results are poor. My feeling at this point is that 220 to 325 grit is likely a happy medium to get a smooth feel w/o compromising finish absorption and durability. No proof yet though. To increase sheen, if that's desirable, the better way than trying to sand to high grits before application or buffing afterwards, is to apply a coat of Maintenance Oil or to pursue Osmo PolyOx or another hardwax oil that comes in more than one sheen. Osmo is available in matte, satin, and gloss.

    John
    Last edited by John TenEyck; 12-03-2021 at 10:40 AM. Reason: Make photos visible

  2. #2
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    John, I don't see any pictures.
    My Dad always told me "Can't Never Could".

    SWE

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Me thinks your photo upload got buggered, John...

    From the written context, however, I'm appreciative of your testing. It's nice to see that there is potential to control the sheen a little more and it will be interesting to see what your thoughts are on durability with these modified prep/application techniques.
    --

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    There's a YouTuber from Oregon that uses this stuff a lot. Here's his tutorial on using it: https://www.blacktailstudio.com/blog...finish-a-table

    He makes some nice stuff and gets great finishing results.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    WNY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Luter View Post
    There's a YouTuber from Oregon that uses this stuff a lot. Here's his tutorial on using it: https://www.blacktailstudio.com/blog...finish-a-table

    He makes some nice stuff and gets great finishing results.
    Thanks Rob. That was helpful. Another Rubio fan, for sure. I also noted he said Osmo is not as good as Rubio as far as durability.

    John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Kensington, Maryland
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    254
    Thanks for doing this extra experiment John. I think 360-400 seems like itís viable. Iíve ordered a small bottle. Will post here how it works on turned pieces.

  7. #7
    Bastongne Walnut, I just put second coat on yesterday: IMG_1769.jpgIMG_1768.jpg

    I'll be applying Black Forest Ceramic coating lastly.

  8. #8
    I have used RM in the past as well as Osmos and more recently Sacios (I believe started by some folks that left Osmos). Sacios is pretty much the same as Osmos except it drys faster, I like it. However I am out and think I will switch to RM.

    I like the matte look except for the tops of tables, I would like a little more sheen and that buttery look that Osmos and Sacios leaves which no matter what RM probably wonít look like but might be close.

    You can use the maintenance oil to bump up the sheen a little however once you use that you have to always is it to refresh it when needed.

    Also, you should not sand past 150g or you will risk durability issues, the finish needs to bond to the fibers and sanding past 150 can close up the pores enough to prevent proper bonding.

    Speaking of bonding, unfortunately you really need to use their cleaner or damp rag with clean water which isnít great because it will raise the grain. Itís very important to remove the dust as if any is left behind there is a good chance RM will bond to the dust and not the wood fibers. Which brings us back to the expensive cleaner, i know folks are not doing the cleaner but itís at the risk of ďa not as durable as it could beĒ thing. I also know that people are using Mineral Spirits and saying it works but I personally wouldnít use it, the problem is that it leaves behind a residue that can interfere with the bond, it may look ok but who knows. If i was to use anything other than their cleaner it would be acetone - no thanks, the cleaner seems expensive but it covers 800-1000sqft.

    So about the sheen, I talked to my sales rep for this area and here is what he recommended for a smoother shinier finish

    Sand to 150
    Clean
    Apply Rubio
    Wait 36-48hrs
    Buff with maroon scotchbrite
    Clean
    Apply second coat

    I am gona give it a try again, i think in the long run if done properly (it relies on a chemical bond so the prep has to be buy the book in my opinion) it will last longer and require less maintenance than a traditional oil/wax like Sacios.

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