Preventing Fingerprints on a Black Satin Finish

      Products and techniques to keep fingerprints from marring a black waterborne finish. February 27, 2013

I am about to re-spray really nice black shaker style cherry. I did them with black MLC Aqulente with clear satin Aqulente over it. It shows every finger print and can't be remedied so I was opting to bump up the sheen to a semi but really am looking for a better solution.

For WB products is there any miracle product that can be buffed like a wax? As a veteran painter waxes and siliconís were the devil, but I am open to new products and even a wax if it won't react weird with the waterbased products. The customer is ok with me researching this.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor A:
Do you mean the product is leaving print marks in the film? Or do you just mean the fingerprints are visible on top of the coating? If the former is the case then it's a product problem and Iíd get in touch with my Campbell rep. If you just mean you can see lots of fingerprints - well, that's black for you. A higher sheen will only make it worse. Black finishes are notorious for always looking dirty (lint, fingerprints, etc). Nothing you can really do about that, except not use black.

From the original questioner:
Yeah it's just finger smudges. I did such a nice job too. I really would like to find something for this problem.

From contributor F:
If you do find a solution please let us know. I like the look of black finishes but always disliked the smudges that show up. It's funny how you can install a cabinet with clear coat and give it a quick wipe and it looks beautiful. You install a cabinet with black finish and it looks like 40 people had come through groping it.

From contributor B:
I use the aerosol beeswax over the final finish. This makes for a nice feel and will eliminate the finger print problem. Also the beeswax is great on glass.

From contributor M:
Pledge is a very good product that only refinishers have problems with. Most kitchen cabinets end up with Pledge on them anyhow. I've used Pledge on a bunch of stuff that got smudged up and it looked just fine. Agualente should be just fine with Pledge, but you need to be sure that you're not going to re-finish these doors before you hose them with it or you'll get hosed.

From the original questioner:
Iíve never heard of the aerosol beeswax but it sounds great. Where do you get it and do you spray it on and then buff it? What do you do as a final finish? Thanks Contributor M - I am nervous about using pledge but I might have to. The customers want something they can use once in a while. I am in the process of trying an acrylic floor finish that can be wiped on but not sure how to buff it without getting swirls and such.

From contributor B:
I use the beeswax as the final step. Just spray on and wipe off with very little buffing required. This is a great to use with 600 grit wet before buffing.

From the original questioner:
I have never used beeswax and really like your take on this. What do you buff it with? What sheen do you end up with? Would there be an issue over wb products? I assume that it can be repeated down the road if needed, right? I am guessing that just some mineral spirits would take it off if needed right?

From contributor B:
I use an old bath towel to buff the wax. You are right about mineral spirits removing it. I actually had a customer complain that her table was too smooth (slippery I guess). Since she lived about three hours away I suggested she remove the beeswax with mineral spirits and it did the job.

From the original questioner:
I did try some paste wax which looks good but makes a mess with finger smudges. Is the beeswax a much better/different product? I realize any black will show stuff but the customer wants an easy way to take care of them.

From contributor B:
The beeswax is much better/easier to apply. Try it and you'll like it and so will your customer when they use it.

From the original questioner:
My background hasn't included the finer finishing like rubbing, and especially the WB materials. I appreciate finding what works since everything I do stays off the gun. Sometimes you just can't get it as nice as you think it should be.

From the original questioner:
I ran down the aerosol beeswax and it is the ticket for this problem. I love it and the customer loves it. Itís very easy to use.

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