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  • Poly-ing a large surface ?

    Hi, I have to poly -semi gloss I believe a built in and cannot spray it.Its actually a part of a built in, its been dissected for a larger tv and i've built the center cab an top and two top cabs to the side.
    What should I use for large surfaces, largest being 61 x 40. Can I roll it? If so with sponge type roller? Or a 4" brush?
    How tough will this be?



    I can do it flat while its apart which im sure will be much easier.I need something fairly quick drying, something I can get one hopefully coat in morning and coat in evening in a garage thats not heated but should be around 70.

    I have a air feed spray gun but have only used it once and I'm running out fo time to get this installed by end of next week. Its built but face frames need to be attached and poly unit.

    Thanks in advance!!!
    Last edited by Woodywoodchuck; 08-16-2007, 06:57 PM. Reason: update

  • #2
    Re: Poly-ing a large surface ?

    I don't like to apply poly with sponge anything. I always seem to end up with a lot air bubbles with sponge anything. A wipe on poly may be the answer for you but I've never tried it so can't say from experience how nice the finish product is.

    What I prefer to use is an oil based poly applied with a high quality Black China Bristle brush and I stress the high quality part. I've been very pleased with the finish that ZAR poly gives me and for an oil based poly it dries very quickly in around 2 hours.
    ================================================== ====
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    • #3
      Re: Poly-ing a large surface ?

      Thanks, wipe on may be the way to go , when its flat. I imagine wipe on in corners might be tough to get out of.

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      • #4
        Re: Poly-ing a large surface ?

        I do very large surfaces with brushing poly all the time. Once you perfect the technique you can get results that look like they were sprayed. It does take some practice so you might not get it perfect the first time but you can get very good results.

        First thing is the brush. Proper brush selection and care will make the biggest difference. Buy the best natural bristle brush you can. Expect to pay probably anywhere from $10 to $30 for one. Do NOT use any brush larger than 2". Its just uncontrolable and it really doesn't matter how big the brush is. Don't use sponge aplicators or rollers. Your technique is what will determince how well brush strokes blend. Also get a brush comb to throughly clean the brush between coats. Don't let the brush dipped in the solvent. It will fray the bristles. Wrap the brush while still soaked in solvent in the sleeve it comes with or with a cloth or paper towel. This will keep it from getting toasted or the bristles packed together and square.

        I don't like water based because it dries so fast its impossible to completely eliminate all brush strokes and really doesn't look as good. Tends to be very pale. I like it for interior pieces which are not highly visible since its easier to work with. If you want the best results you should use a good oil based poly. This will mean drying time will be longer but it will give you the smoothest results. Many brands claim about a 4 hour dry time under ideal conditions but I've always found that to be a bit of a stretch. Realistically expect 12 hours or so between coats, and more if conditions are not ideal. Sand between coats very lightly with 220 or 320 grit and get no less than 3 coats on. Try to paint every piece flat if possible. Otherwise runs can be a nightmare.

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        • #5
          Re: Poly-ing a large surface ?

          Some comments:
          Brush coating:
          Ditto on a clean good quality boar bristle brush for poly. When applying, always finish each brushfull with a stroke back into the just applied wet poly from the previous brushfull, lifting the brush as you stroke into the previous coating. (ie finish stroke back into wet paint).
          I prefer a sash brush for corners and inside edges (its the brush with the bristles cut at an angle). In reality, a 2 1/2" sash brush is what I use most of the time for large items, but I have been doing it for a while. Load up the brush and tap it against the inside of the can to get of the excess (don't scrape it off against the rim). A wet brush will give you a smoother coat than a dry one, and scraping it against the rim just removes all the coating from the brush. Just dip about 1/2"- 3/4" of the bristles in the poly for the first strokes, and dip less if this isn't to your feel. You shouldn't ever need to dip more than 1" into the coating.
          After getting one surface done, go back and "tip" the coating. This is taking the brush with no additional coating on it and holding it at a 45 to 60 degree angle, stroking across the full length of the surface in one stroke, paralleling strokes across the width of the surface. Then go to the next surface. If you are getting drag from the brush because the coating is drying, do not mess with it anymore until it dries. You will only make it worse. After it dries you can sand out any defects.

          Wipe on:
          Easiest: takes more coats but gives you more drying time, so you can do more area before wiping it. Wipe on is one to 2 thirds mineral spirits (if one third, the second third is boiled linseed oil, aka Danish oil) I have found it best to apply with a brush and then wipe off with a lint-free rag (old t-shirts work great as long as they don't have any logos. etc painted on them, old socks work well too.) I make my own wipe-on by mixing 1 part poly to 1 part boiled linseed oil with to one part mineral spirits. The BLO gives more of an amber tint, so if you do not want that, go 50/50 poly/mineral spirits.
          If you are going to sand, wait til the third coat or you will go through thru to bare wood.

          Both
          If you are using flat. satin, or semi-gloss poly, you need to stir your coating every 5 minutes or less to keep the gloss flatteners in suspension. Otherwise the last coating you apply will be shinier than the first. Stir it for 100 strokes each direction before you start.

          Go
          Last edited by Gofor; 08-16-2007, 09:31 PM.
          Practicing at practical wood working

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          • #6
            Re: Poly-ing a large surface ?

            This is the unit, im essentailly tearing out top top an bottom of middle and a shelve on each side. Its cherry, then polying the new stuff.
            Client understands that it will be much brighter for 6 months or so until it fades.
            The second pic if you look at doors on right you might get a feel of the finish.
            Any suggestions welcome.I believ its a satin finish.

            A little note for the job: Client bought a 55 inch plasma, wont fit into hole. I made the upper center cab wider and the left and rights skinnier.Then made the lower cab the same height at the front but dropped it down 2 inches in the back so the TV fits in a hole essentailly and you wont see a stand.
            Also the center upper is now the same height as other units. New crown molding will be installed. Doors will be smoked glass.

            Thanks for the tips.

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            • #7
              Re: Poly-ing a large surface ?

              If you are doing it in place, please warn the client that there will be odor from the poly. Some people really react badly to it. The wipe-on will result in more fumes because of the increased amount of thinner and the additional coats needed. Someone familiar with the water-based polys (I think they are actually acrylics) may be able to give you a less smelly option (I haven't used any of them yet).
              If using the traditional varnish type poly, I would go with the brush for less fumes if doing it in place. It can be sanded and rubbed out with rubbing compound if the gloss doesn't match, or the coating is too uneven. More work but may be easier on the client.

              Go
              Practicing at practical wood working

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              • #8
                Re: Poly-ing a large surface ?

                Originally posted by Gofor View Post
                If you are doing it in place, please warn the client that there will be odor from the poly. Some people really react badly to it. The wipe-on will result in more fumes because of the increased amount of thinner and the additional coats needed. Someone familiar with the water-based polys (I think they are actually acrylics) may be able to give you a less smelly option (I haven't used any of them yet).
                If using the traditional varnish type poly, I would go with the brush for less fumes if doing it in place. It can be sanded and rubbed out with rubbing compound if the gloss doesn't match, or the coating is too uneven. More work but may be easier on the client.

                Go
                Im going to try and whip it out in my shop while its flat.Maybe Monday first coat and then Tuesday second if needed.

                Thanks

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                • #9
                  Re: Poly-ing a large surface ?

                  So, how did it turn out for you? What method and dilution did you use?
                  Later,
                  Chiz
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                  • #10
                    Re: Poly-ing a large surface ?

                    Sorry took so long.I have been on vacation for over two weeks. The project came out great. I used Bartley Gel Varnish. It worked fantastic. I dont think it could of been much easier. I did it while it was all flat an apart. I put on three coats.
                    Here's before and after. It blends in very well.Crown is all new too.

                    Thanks for all the advice.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Poly-ing a large surface ?

                      NIce work Woody! Looks great!

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