Are Automotive Clear Finishes Suitable for Wood?

      Those who've tried it say automotive clears work beautifully on wood. Here are tips and cautions. June 9, 2007

Question
Before I get raked over the coals, I am building a torsion box veneered countertop for a late middle aged couple, no kids, and she always uses a cutting board. I am not the skilled finisher some of you are. I do okay with Magnamax, but am hesitant to do a 2k poly. Since this is veneer and wood movement is nil, what would you say to having a local body shop (close by) shoot it with an automotive poly? I want as bulletproof a coating as I can get and since it is veneer and has less movement than automotive plastics, I was hoping there wouldn't be a problem.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor J:
Auto clear is used on wood all the time. It's super tough and easy to rub out. There are two types, a polyurethane and a urethane - they are different. Most car clears are actually urethane. A few are polyurethane (which aircraft will only use, like Imron). It's even more durable. I use SPI brand clear (which is a poly) on all my auto collision work. I'm getting ready to do two end table tops with it next week. I'm going to use a lacquer sealer over the oil stained wood first to be sure. I tried auto lacquer once and it peeled off in sheets - didn't like the stain, I guess. So I'm anxious to try the poly. It's expensive though, about $100 gal. I'm told it works just fine on wood.



From contributor B:
Auto poly is like any other product used on wood. Your key, as with metal, is the primers/sealers to prevent that peeling off in sheets, which is an adhesion problem. The correct sealer for a catalyzed topcoat is recommended.


From contributor D:
Modern Automotive clears are acrylic urethanes and they work super on wood. Imron and Algrip are linear polyurethanes and they too work super on wood and are used extensively on boats. I use clear coat all the time on wood and it's the absolute nuts. Once polymerization is complete, you can pour lacquer thinner on it and it will not phase it. Great stuff.


From contributor P:
Keep in mind that catalyzed automotive finishes can be pretty nasty stuff, health-wise. I remember spraying Imron back in the 80s, and the health warnings used words like "fatal" and "death." I recall that the manufacturer strongly recommended the use of a mask hooked up to a fresh air source. Beautiful, bulletproof finish off the gun, though.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing: General Wood Finishing


    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article