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Thread: Recommended Clear Spray Finish for White Oak Cabinets

  1. #1

    Recommended Clear Spray Finish for White Oak Cabinets

    Hey guys I have to spray about 55 kitchen cabinet doors. They're Rift Sawn White Oak and I want to keep the natural color as much as possible. I typically use hard wax oils on all of my furniture, so I'm a bit new to the sprays on wood. I have an LVLP sprayer, but I've really only used it for paint in the past and lacquer one time a few years back.

    I was thinking about either:
    General Finishes Enduro Clear Poly
    Renner 718
    Envirolak 300

    I also have an account with Wurth who sells Campbell products.

    Any advice would be great. I'm also wondering if a 1k product is good enough for kitchen cabinets vs going with a 2k catalyst product, which is what I use on my painted projects.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I topcoated my kitchen cabinets with Enduro Clear Poly. They are about 5 years old and have survived my wife's never-ending assault on them with only a couple of minor blemishes caused by grease drool that was on them for who knows how long until I cleaned them off. I'm the only one who notices them, just a little cloudiness, no real damage.

    Can't speak to the others, but I know Renner makes good stuff.

    Do you need a 2K product? Personally, I think many single component products are more than durable enough, but if you want the best then go for it.

    John

  3. #3
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    Jason Bent recently used the Renner on his white oak kitchen projects specifically because in his testing, it had near zero color change and since he used the dead flat, it doesn't even look like it has finish on it. It was pretty impressive. It's not inexpensive for sure and as John noted, it's a 2K (waterborne fortunately for easy cleanup) so additional PPE care needs to be taken.
    --

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

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Jason Bent recently used the Renner on his white oak kitchen projects specifically because in his testing, it had near zero color change and since he used the dead flat, it doesn't even look like it has finish on it. It was pretty impressive. It's not inexpensive for sure and as John noted, it's a 2K (waterborne fortunately for easy cleanup) so additional PPE care needs to be taken.
    Hey Jim, yea that's where I found out about the Renner product. It looks great, just wondering if some of these cheaper options work well. I may need 2 gallons for all of this, so not loving the idea of dropping nearly $500. But of course if it's the best I'll go for it.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    I topcoated my kitchen cabinets with Enduro Clear Poly. They are about 5 years old and have survived my wife's never-ending assault on them with only a couple of minor blemishes caused by grease drool that was on them for who knows how long until I cleaned them off. I'm the only one who notices them, just a little cloudiness, no real damage.

    Can't speak to the others, but I know Renner makes good stuff.

    Do you need a 2K product? Personally, I think many single component products are more than durable enough, but if you want the best then go for it.

    John
    Hey John, awesome. Good to know that the Enduro works well. I'd definitely like to avoid the 2k catalyst route if the 1k seems good enough. Did you go with flat or satin? Thanks

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Baldwin View Post
    Hey John, awesome. Good to know that the Enduro works well. I'd definitely like to avoid the 2k catalyst route if the 1k seems good enough. Did you go with flat or satin? Thanks
    I used satin. My opinion is the sheen for Enduro Clear Poly is on the high end for the stated sheen. Satin is closer to semi-gloss, semi-gloss looks very close to gloss. If you want the no finish look, definitely go with flat, and/or get some flatters so you can adjust the sheen lower, if desired. You can buy WB flatters from Hood Finishing.

    John

  7. #7
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    While I have not tried it because I haven't done much work with white oak, Target Coatings EM6000 is pretty darn clear and with the crosslinker, pretty durable. The EM8000cv is "more durable", especially with the crosslinker, but I believe it does add a little warmth.
    --

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

  8. #8
    Target EMCV8000 waterbased conversion varnish matte or satin. I love it. It's durable, looks great, and is easy to apply.

  9. #9
    Ok I haven't heard of Target Coatings, but I called them to ask which of their products they would recommend. It was an answering service, so hopefully I'll get a call back tomorrow to discuss.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Baldwin View Post
    Hey Jim, yea that's where I found out about the Renner product. It looks great, just wondering if some of these cheaper options work well. I may need 2 gallons for all of this, so not loving the idea of dropping nearly $500. But of course if it's the best I'll go for it.
    I went to Renner's website. Very confusing. Sealers they recommend aren't listed among the products offered. Many products need a catalyst, and the smallest size costs over $100. Good for 30 gallons of finish. Seriously. Clearly targeted at the commercial user.

    John

  11. #11
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    Another vote for EM6000 by Target … they recently published an article on how to achieve a raw wood look (if that is what you are going for). It essentially involves adding some white tint to the sealer coat(s). I did something similar recently with white oak using Bona Natural Seal as the sealer coat then top coating with EM6000. The wife was happy

    https://www.targetcoatings.com/2023/...al-look-part-2
    There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.” - Dave Barry

  12. #12
    So I talked to Target and they recommend the EM9300. Based on the post on their website about it I'll need to add a bit of white to keep the natural look.

  13. #13
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    That's an interesting recommendation. It's a great product; extremely durable because it's a polyester and has the benefit of UV protection since it's intended for both indoor and outdoor use. I'll suggest you take some time to do a whole bunch of testing before committing to the final project so you get the look you want dialed in if you're going to do the "add a bit of white" in. Interestingly, I've seen this same general technique used with other products on white oak, such as with Rubio.
    --

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

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    That's an interesting recommendation. It's a great product; extremely durable because it's a polyester and has the benefit of UV protection since it's intended for both indoor and outdoor use. I'll suggest you take some time to do a whole bunch of testing before committing to the final project so you get the look you want dialed in if you're going to do the "add a bit of white" in. Interestingly, I've seen this same general technique used with other products on white oak, such as with Rubio.
    Hey Jim, yea I've done it with Rubio as well, but I didn't like it because it added some white tones into the grain. I thought it would happen with a spray as well, but based on that post put up by Target it seems like the 2% white didn't do that. I think the 5% added some light gray coloring which I didn't like. But I'm not totally sure yet. Honestly I might just go with the Renner, because I don't have to add anything or worry about all that.

  15. #15
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    At 2%, you're more or less "toning" the finish to alter the color, but not adding significant solids.
    --

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

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