I have just refinished a small walnut veneered table for a customer and because the figure was pretty nice, decided not to stain it. After some minor repairs to veneer and sanding lightly to 180, I applied a coat of MLC Clear Medium Stain Base to pop grain, then a thin coat of MLC Vinyl Sealer, then three coats of MLC Level Sealer. I used this sealer not a grain filler because the table was not going to be stained and I did not want the filler to show. I sanded back each coat aggressively with 320 Adalox and then applied 2 coats of MLC Durovar. Normally when I put the Durovar over Vinyl Sealer, the finish is bright and wood details are sharp, but over the Level Sealer the whole thing looks hazy, dull and generally insipid. I have used Level Sealer before over stained walnut and mahogany so have not really noticed this effect. Has anyone else had the same experience? Anyone have any ideas why this happened? Only thing I can think of was too much sanding on too many coats, but one has to get it level and even the thick coats allowed don't fill all the open grain first oe second time around. Level and Durovar were catalyzed at 10% and Durovar got 5% Flow Enhancer. Both were sprayed with a Kremlin 10-14 and MX gun. Level Sealer was brand new can and Durovar gave great results over regular Vinyl Sealer about a month ago.
I don't like CV for closed coat finishes at all. Too many risks for me. I have used Level Sealer and it seems like a decent product I prefer using a polyester sealer and either a 2k urethane topcoat or a UV cured finish. The polyester with photo initiators added and then cured with a UV light is spectacular! I did a fully filled oak sample on both sides with polyester, topcoated with clear gloss UV cured water base wet sanded and buffed in about 2 hours from start to finish.
No marks when hand rubbed over it Max. Surface is clean, not oily and really smooth.
I agree about CV not being great on open grain wood Rick, (although I have two customers that actually like that look), which is why I used the Level, and it worked really well. I used all MLC products just so things would be compatible.
I'll talk to my distributor about it in case he's heard of a similar situation. Maybe I'm being over critical and customer will be excited by transformation of the table.
Paul, you mentioned you refinished the top did you use a stripper ? the time between the stain base and the coat of vinyl ? I will assume the coats of level were heavy how long did you allow the sealer to pull back before you applied the Duravar?
Joe, after stripper removal, unit was washed with thinners, let dry overnight before sanding and stain base application; vinyl was applied about 6hr after stain base, left overnight, all level coats applied next day and Durovar applied day after that.
My distributor suggested this schedule, and I thought it was a bit lengthy, but he has always given great advice so I followed it.
Just to follow up, my distributor chastised me (polite euphemism) for not letting the Level dry for longer between coats: overnight was suggested. I was reminded to keep temp in high 60's at absolute minimum and not be so miserly (more euphemisms). So I am now suitably humbled and better informed. Just thought I would pass that along.
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