Catalyzing a Vinyl Toner

A highly specialized discussion of the fine points involved when using a wiping oil stain in combination with a catalyzed finish and a vinyl toner. February 19, 2006

We've done a couple of jobs now where we are coloring in multiple layers. A typical schedule with MLC would be:
1. 5% solids washcoat (water white vinyl sealer reduced with lacquer thinner 5:1) tinted with dye sprayed to about 1mil.
2. Scuff with 320 or maroon Scotchbrite
3. Stain with Woodsong II oil based wiping stain
4. Full strength vinyl toner coat
5. Scuff with 320
6. Duravar or Krystal reduced 10% with lacquer thinner applied at about 5 wet mils.

I know that the topcoat won't melt the vinyl completely but it will re-dissolve it enough that a run or sag can pull color with it. I was wondering whether it made sense to not use the vinyl for the toner but switch to Krystal sealer or Duravar or Krystal. We really wipe down the stain and I don't rush its dry time so in theory the toner doesn't need to be vinyl. But I know that vinyl is more likely to solve a problem at this point.

Another idea would be to shoot a thinned-out catalyzed topcoat or sealer (reduced maybe 50%) before the 5 mil final coat. Of course itís more likely to run but it can be applied very lightly and doesn't need to be perfect since we would scuff it anyway. This method also adds work. Perhaps my entire process can be modified. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor A:

I just finished a job that sounds like what you are looking for. Our schedule was as follows:
Spray dye (ML Campbell Microtons reduced 1:1 with lacquer thinner)
Wipe Woodsong II
Krystal Sealer
Sand 320

We also used Tradition Glaze on this project. In this case, we used catalyzed WW Vinyl after the stain, and after the glaze. The glaze must be sandwiched between vinyl. We only use vinyl when we must create a barrier between coats. Otherwise we use sealer. The vinyl will soften the final finish. Since you are using Campbell products, I see no need to include the vinyl. You should be fine just using sealer - and I think it is cheaper, too.

From the original questioner:
To contributor A: I have two questions for you:
1. MLC told us that catalyzing the WW Vinyl sealer does nothing to it whatsoever. Have you found that catalyzing it actually changes its durability, hardness etc.?
2. Have you ever had a problem with a sealer over the Woodsong II oil stain? Testing a sample is one thing but doing an entire job is something else. We love the Krystal sealer for dry time, hardness and sanding but want some field input about using it over the oil stain.

On another note, I have verified a recommendation by MLC's lab that cutting their oil glaze in a ratio of 2 parts glaze to 3 parts mineral spirits allows you to skip the vinyl and go over it with anything (we used Krystal) after it loses its sheen. The technique works when you're not leaving a lot of the glaze on but if there is a heavy build up in corners or moulding etc., the topcoat can wrinkle in these areas.

From contributor B:
I don't see why you would have a problem using Krystal sealer over the Woodsong stains. That is part of the ML Campbell system. We don't even use the sealer. We stain then shoot 2 coats of Krystal and always have good adhesion.

From contributor A:
I went to a Campbell training a couple of weeks ago, and the vinyl issue came up. I have always been one to catalyze all the steps, but the trainer said it is not necessary. However, it would not hurt anything. Their ratio is 1% for the WW Vinyl. Even then, the vinyl is softer than the sealers, creating a softer surface. When Campbell does their testing, it is with their top coat only, as I remember. When you add sealer, glaze, etc., all bets are off as these weaken the finish.

As for the Woodsong II and adhesion, weíve had no problems at all. You cannot add this to a top coat that contains NC, though. There is some oil in the stain that will react with the NC and cause problems. They have a Toner Kit that has the same formula of the stain, less the oil.

As for the glaze, forget the Traditional Glaze. I tried the Amazing Glaze and it is incredible. It cuts out a lot of steps and is easy to work with. I will be using this on the next project. Also, you have a recoat window with Traditional - between 1-6 hours or wait 48. I will be talking to the Kremlin rep tomorrow. Any other options I should look at, suction manifolds, circulation kits?

From contributor C:
Both Amazing Glaze and traditional glaze are great. Each has its place. That is because both have slightly different looks and also different working properties. Remember, Amazing Glaze has an acetone base to it. So, the coating you are shooting it onto has to be cured enough to accept that strong solvent, even though it evaporates away within several seconds of it being laid down.

Amazing Glaze wipes dirtier than does traditional glaze. I can get a clean wipe from traditional glaze if I need to. Trying to get a clean wipe from Amazing Glaze is a lot more work. Traditional glaze seems to have a softer look to it because when you shoot it to lock it in the coating seems to spread it out a little as it wets out the glazing material. Amazing Glaze is what-you-see-is-what-you-get when shooting.

What I like most about Amazing Glaze is that it works great when you need a glaze effect to kick a color - like a toner, but with more depth in the final appearance than what a toner gives you. Again, each has its place and both should be considered for their working properties and their final look when shot.

From the original questioner:
To contributor A: I agree with you about the speed and ease of Amazing glaze but as contributor C says, itís a different look than the oil glaze. If you have to use the oil glaze cut it with the mineral spirits and you can shoot it in under an hour with your topcoat. To contributor C: I'd appreciate that stain liquid vehicle formula and would even be willing to rummage around in your car for you to see what else is there. Thanks.