I am trying to find the best durable topcoat for restaurant/bar tables. I have been recommended to try General Finishes exterior 450 and Behlens rockhard tabletop varnish. Has anyone had experience with these who could compare them for me? Fast production turn around is important, but durability is imperative.
I agree Shane's recommended approach would be the ideal way to go, with that said over the last 30 years l have finished and refinished 100s of interior restaurant tables in the town where I live with CV sometimes with a penetrating epoxy sealer first and sometimes without and I can honestly say I have yet to see one fail but (and this may be a fine distinction) I have seen them wear out in busy restaurants in as little as 10-12 years under hard use (abuse).
I really appreciate the feedback from everyone. This reinforces my own opinion on the water base product as well. I watched a video on polyester sealer but not familiar with "2K" poly topcoat. Is that a type or a brand? The other point I didn't mention was the clients desire for a finish that doesn't appear "thick" like poured epoxy. Can I still achieve this with these products?
Probably should have done a little digging before asking about 2ks. Seems pretty robust from what I've read, but my setup is also pretty low tech (precat lacquer through an air assisted cup gun and resperator is my norm) I would definitely need upgrades if I am to dive into the world of 2k.
You can achieve a low film thickness with the polyester sealer and the 2K poly.... When you dig into the how to's everybody talk about plural component yada yada.... Spray the polyester out of a dedicated pressure pot.with plastic liners.. have a clean liner and flush solvent handy.. mix carefully (you have to mix in certain order pay very close attention to details) and accurately... reduce to spray viscosity. Spray one wet pass... keep a paper cup with some of your batch in it and check it every five minutes... the pot life is very short and believe me you want to catch it before it starts setting up in your pot.... immediately flush with clean solvent twice and clean your lid and seal... done.. the pot is ready for another day and batch... Just sand the polyester down flat close to the surface to keep your mil thickness down... spray the 2k out of whatever you want usually has a couple hour potlife on most products... just clean your equipment well after spraying... the 2K itself is a very low viscosity and film thickness but very very durable...
We build restaurant tables using reclaimed pine quite a bit. The previous shop used by our client used a water born finish and every thing they built has failed within 1year. I use Valspar CV and the results have been great. We've been building these for 3 years now and not a single failure.
ok so i have a similar project where the topcoat is on reclaimed bc fir. 2 coats of cv and my nail still dents into the wood very easily. What would be best for getting a very hard finish that say a pen would not dent if one were writing on paper on the table?
You're asking a finish to change the density of the substrate. The only way I know to accomplish what you're trying to do is to apply a thick plastic like coating like epoxy. No regular finish is going to be harder than the surface it is applied to.
We have just started using Mohawks new 2k ISO free poly. Very hard finish, easy to shoot. As has been mentioned, check your time when you mix and clean thoroughly before product begins to set up in the pot or cup. Mohawks product is a single topcoat.
I use a cartridge based respirator, This is an ISO free product. You can call Mohawk and talk to tech support. They are very helpful. I spoke with Phillip (I believe that was his name) several times before ordering from our rep. He is very knowledgeable about the product as he is one of the developers of this product for Mohawk.
Bill, great looking tables! I had planned on using a 24 hr pot life CV, from my Diamond Vogle supplier but they don't currently carry anything in gloss so I am going to try the 2K poly instead. I am not sure if it's ISO free or not but planning on just a cartridge respirator and my trusted Binks cup gun. Ill post the pictures when they're done.
I would caution you against a gloss finish. We originally used a satin finish but found showed to much water spotting. We now use a matte finish and our client seems to like it better. Restaurants are a brutal environment.
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