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Water-Based/Borne Topcoat Help

  • Posts: 1

Evanmac created the topic: Water-Based/Borne Topcoat Help

I built a bar in my basement made of birch ply (pictures attached). I plan on gel staining it. It is already built in a fairly enclosed sub-level basement and I would like to avoid the fumes of an oil based topcoat for the bar top because my wife is pregnant. Spraying is not an option as I don’t have the equipment, experience, and the surrounding room has already been renovated, painted, and furnished. The other issue is that the bar is fairly big…10 feet in length with a total finishing surface area of 100 square feet….and from what I’ve read, most water-based tops typically dry faster than I might be able to work on this.

I’ve been googling all week to find a topcoat product that can be:

- Brushed or Rolled
- Durable Enough for a Bar Top
- Apply Over Dewaxed Shellac
- Dry Slow Enough for a Large Application
- Can be Thinned/Extended
- Resists Water Stains
- Resists Wine/Liquor Stains
- Resists Vinegar Stains
- Resists Coffee Stains
- Resists Cold Bottle Marks
- Resists Hot Coffee Cup Marks
- Resists Most Household Cleaners

After a week of internet only research, below is a list of contenders that I came up with strictly using tech data. Does anyone have any experience with any of these to say whether or not they would be a topcoat solution for my situation, or recommend another one?

- GF High Perf
- Zar Ultra Max
- Target EM2000wvx
- CrystaLac Poly Oxide or Super Premium
- Deft Interior Clear Wood Finish Waterborne Acrylic
- Endure-2K Two-Component Waterborne Floor Finish

I have the tech data sheets for all of them for reference.

  • Posts: 269

Derek replied the topic: Water-Based/Borne Topcoat Help

Hi Evan,

wow ! Do I ever like that set up. Nicely done Evan. I have taken the time to read through the MSDS and TDS info on your choices/findings and if I was addressing the issues you are dealing with I think my choice would be the Target EM2000wvx. I have not used this product myself but based on the info I would try this product.

Your concern about not being able to complete an area before the product starts to dry should not really be an issue. You will of course have to plan out areas that are small enough for you to tackle without any worries of the product drying. Just about all of them are able to take a second coat after only two hours so any small areas with the product applied can be blended into the next section to receive the coating. Just pick your battles on that one.

You have done your homework that's for sure and hopefully someone else can give you some further advise to help you out. Let us know what you decide upon and some pics of the finished bar would be awesome to check out. Now I just hope the wifey does not catch wind of this bar talk..... she has been after me for a bar for years now.... I have enough to do already. LOL

  • Posts: 486

colin replied the topic: Water-Based/Borne Topcoat Help

Hi Evan, I agree with Derek .. very nice job buddy !!!
In terms of water based finishes, I have not used any of the ones you have listed but have used a couple of others. Most are very low odor and dry quickly so it's pretty easy to get at least 2 coats on in one day. If really warm and dry you could do 3 coats, but I prefer 2 coats in one day, let them stand overnight, then give the 3rd coat the following day. All water based finishes that I have looked at are all very hard because they do not contain oils that can take weeks or months to harden up, some never really harden up.

I noticed you had "apply over dewaxed shellac", not sure if/why this is a requirement but should not be a problem. If it were me, I would skip the shellac in this application and give 3, maybe even 4 coats of water base finish. You may find the shellac has more odor than the water based finishes too, might want to check that too. Also be careful about thinning any water based finishes. Most say NOT to thin.

It sounds like Derek has done some of the hard work by checking the "sheets" on these already so I would be inclined to go with his suggestion.

I must say I am looking forward to seeing the finished product, it should look fabulous ... also, we could use your address so we can pop over one day so you can show us how well the bar works ;)
  • Posts: 214

Glen replied the topic: Water-Based/Borne Topcoat Help

That is a very nice bar Evan!!

Can't help on the finish but here's what I've found that works well on larger tops like your bar.

A paint edger dipped into the finish & drug across the edge of the roller tray removing some of the excess,, and helping to evenly load the pad,, is the cats meow for surfaces that large. I used one for my reloading bench top & all I can say is that I will use that technique again. I found it on YouTube.


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