Its time once again to see who has found the latest and greatest exterior finish. We do alot of exterior doors and have to finish them from time to time. We have gone from ML Campbell euro to sikkens do to homeowner maintenance problems. I guess im still looking for that miracle finish we all hope for. What have you guys had success with ?
No miracle finishes I know of. Unless you do as the Japanese and use no finish.
We have been using the Euro water base door and window finishes for about 8 years now. Many brands, a few available here. Milesi, Sirca, ICA, Zobel and probably a few others. Milesi is far from being the most popular in Europe. They all are pretty similar and the main thing is to pick a company with good support. One difference is most of the Italian water base use one coat of impregnator and get the color there. Austria and Germany products seem to prefer 2 coats of impregnator, one clear with heavy sanding after then the color coat. Followed by sealer then topcoat.
We used Sikkins for years and agree with Robert about that. Many problems with that finish. Lacquer inside is not a good idea if the door has any glass. The finish on the glass beads will fail in less than a year if the sun hits them.
There are some downsides - a steep learning curve and the need for some special equipment to apply the water base. It is harder to touch up than Sikkins but recoating when the finish wears is easier.
The impregnator can be applied heavy with a sponge for low production. For doors we shower it on over our dip tank with a showerhead connected to a small airless. We dip all frames that will fit in the dip tank. Hi production calls for a flow coater and hang line.
For the sealer and top coat a PPS gun or pressure pot works for low production. The best is a 20 to one or more AAA. The finish can be brushed for touching up but tricky.
All sides of the product need to be coated at the same time so hanging vertical works best. We did use a horizontal rotating unit for a while. Machining and sanding technic is a little different also.
With all this and the learning curve it may not be the best for just a few doors.
Many these companies mentioned make what they call a wax effect finish. It is simple to use and must be recoated each year. It is a close to the wood finish and great for customers that do not like the look of film finishes.
The last picture shows a Euro shop with lift table for the sprayer an a hang line. Typical of how they do this in Europe.
Mother nature has the best finish for outdoors. It takes a long time to produce but requires no maintenance and just gets better with age.
Cladding and building with barn wood is not easy but makes for a great finish.
One good thing that could come from that would be if Sikkins brings their water base finishes over here. They have a good line with all the caulking and end grain sealers.
They have to get approval from the FDA or something like that to bring the new finishes in. The cost of this has kept some of the better water base products like Adler and Remmers from selling here.
I do alot of formal mahogany doors,I use ICA ext. 2k. it amazing that someone hasn't come up with ext finish that lasts. It all depends on how many hours sun exposure, no sun you can get 10 yrs, heavy sun 2 to 3 yrs. Have tested sikkens, its good for maintenance but if you have alot of panels sikkens won't provide a good film build to seal out water and won't last more then 2 years in heavy sun. If anyone has tested multiple 2k polys I would love to hear results
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