intercoat and wood

Jim C

Oldtimer
besides my custom stuff i have always done some higher end wood finishes. i have to say that the intercoat is the best sanding sealer i have ever used. i always mix fast reducer into it and i can sand the stuff in 10 min. i also use it as a binder for wood dyes as well so i can get all my color on with it too then use the matte clear or a conversion varnish over top. the stuff is really fantastic and you dont get adhesion issues like when you use a vinyl conversion sealer. just figured i would post another use for this stuff.
 

strum456

Oldtimer
I used to waste a lot of time using products like Deft, Minwax, etc. on my wood projects. SPI Universal is so much less hassle and the result is light years better. I usually spray a couple coats of UV then sand with 400 and re clear. Is the advantage that you can sand the intercoat in less time or is there a cost savings?

Thanks for another great tip Jim.
 
B

Bob Hollinshead

cool tip, I would have never though intercoat would work well for that. How about really porus wood like Oak-man I really fight with wood like that getting the grain filled.
 

Jim C

Oldtimer
Wood finishes are no different than automotive....if you can walk into your local store and buy it its probably crap and handyman stuff. The intercoat is faster, cheaper and doesnt build quite as much as a clearcoat. Unless your going for the high gloss glass finish you dont want a ton of build because it makes the wood look fake. You want to see some grain texture. Only one or two coats of intercoat and a real light scuff with some 320 and its read for either color or clear. For satin or flat finish i prefer conversion varnish. Way cheaper and way faster. Its done and hard in 15min. High gloss will get spi clear.

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Bob, oak just sux to finish. Oak you really need to use a spreadable grain filler on first if you want it smooth. You cant fill it with a finish product. Itll all shrink anyway.
 
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carson5150

Good tips Jim. I've used some of the "bar top" epoxies (west systems, envirotex) to fill the grain on oak, ash and different kinds of rosewood. Mix up the epoxy and use a putty knife as a spreader, using a lot of down pressure to force it into the grain-you don't want any more material than is needed to fill the grain since the stuff is a real pain to sand. When the epoxy hardens up I will scrape it all flush to the wood with a razor blade, easier than sanding that crap, hit it with 220 and 320 and then 3 coats of universal, sand and reclear with 3 more coats. This has worked very well for me, and is very stable in terms of avoiding sinkage into the grain. I only do this process on a gloss finish.
 

Jim C

Oldtimer
carson, thats exactly what i did on the oak in this truck bed. epoxy then universal top coat. still shrinks a little over time but not too bad. i did alot of the high gloss finishes when i worked for the yacht company.....as you could imagine. they has an interesting process there. cant remember the name of it but it had a dye first to color the wood then there was a clear polyester primer which is actually what filled the grain. it was funky stuff. it was just like evercoat featherfill but it was clear. didnt shrink at all either. anyway you put that stuff on super heavy then sand it smooth and put a topcoat on that was basically just automotive clearcoat. all of was UV cured.

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here is a cabinet i made and did the finish on some years back. this is solid teak and the handles are ebony. doin the curved stuff sux. there is about 300hrs in that thing.:disgust: there is nothing else i have pics of off hand. the rest is either stuff in my house or most of my finishes are done for cabinet makers and custom builders. they just pick it up when its done.

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carson5150

Jim C;35542 said:
carson, thats exactly what i did on the oak in this truck bed. epoxy then universal top coat. still shrinks a little over time but not too bad. i did alot of the high gloss finishes when i worked for the yacht company.....as you could imagine. they has an interesting process there. cant remember the name of it but it had a dye first to color the wood then there was a clear polyester primer which is actually what filled the grain. it was funky stuff. it was just like evercoat featherfill but it was clear. didnt shrink at all either. anyway you put that stuff on super heavy then sand it smooth and put a topcoat on that was basically just automotive clearcoat. all of was UV cured.

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here is a cabinet i made and did the finish on some years back. this is solid teak and the handles are ebony. doin the curved stuff sux. there is about 300hrs in that thing.:disgust: there is nothing else i have pics of off hand. the rest is either stuff in my house or most of my finishes are done for cabinet makers and custom builders. they just pick it up when its done.

View attachment 3328


Beautiful work as usual Jim. Yeah I'd really like to get my hands on that clear polyester stuff. I've seen factory tours of some high end guitar makers (Paul Reed Smith, Suhr) and that's exactly what they use to fill and level the grain. Super high build stuff like you said. Whatever it is it's really nice. I've refinished quite a few guitars and you can sand on that stuff a long time before you burn through.
 

jcclark

Oldtimer
Jim C;35507 said:
and you dont get adhesion issues like when you use a vinyl conversion sealer. just figured i would post another use for this stuff.

I build a lot of high end furniture in the winter months and
use conversion varnish a lot, and also the vinyl sealer made for it.
Have you had a problem with any adhesion because of using the sealer?
This scares me to read this.
 

Jim C

Oldtimer
Well jim yes and no. No if your just sanding the vinyl sealer and putting the conversion varnish on but yes if you are sanding it, doing a color or glaze to antique it then the varnish. Nothing likes to stick to the sealer or varnish once its cured. If there is a layer of anything between then you can usually just scrape the varnish off the sealer with just your fingernail. Cant tell you how many times that has screwed me over the years. The intercoat just works so much better and mire durable in the end that using the vinyl. If your just doing a straight clear or colored finsh then no problem and continue to use the vinyl for that i guess.
 

jlcustomz

evil painter
Pulled this thread back up doing research since I have to talk my bosses into letting me get some better finishes for wood & fiberglass door finishing. I'll pay for some myself first to show them spending more on a good finish can avoid some issues we've had with some products in the hot florida sun. Eh cheapscates. ​

Many wood door issues we've had recently were mostly due to increasingly poor cores in laminated doors, sap coming out joints, sap pockets shrinking under thin laminates etc. I know it will still happen with a good finish, but trying to repair a few spots recently on doors topcoated with increasingly lower quality minwax spar urethane is a f'n nightmare trying to sand down a spot, recolor, & build back up &sand level with crap that won't dry quick enough or hardly even properly stick to itself. Used to hate minwax, now I totally despise it.

On fiberglass doors, I,ve went back to using Coronado industrial alkyd clear enamel with a bunch of flattner tossed in it. Fiberglass doors are a much more consistant & durable surface in harsh environments.. Pretty decent for 40 bucks a gallon, but takes a while to get to full hardness & chemical resistance. We tend to use denatured alcohol a lot for smoothing urethane caulk & heavier duty cleaning on spots, such as tar from a tarp that dumbass used to transport with. Trying to convince bosses the extra material cost is worth it

So I ordered spi matte clear yesterday to sample with. Only time will tell how it does with issues caused by other factors , but I do have a few starter questions;;;
I have to keep things simple at work. I've been using Lenmar lacquer stains on many projects, sometimes wiping on , many times spraying on to get a darker color, sometimes a little shading on top of topcoat if needed, ok even on minwax if done lightly enough. The lacquer solvent dries & goes away pretty quick. Any possibility of this stuff being able to be mixed into matte clear or intercoat. if necessary??? THIS IS MY MAIN QUESTION HERE. Haven't got into dyes yet, like I said, company job, part time finishing & have to keep it simple.

High sun exposure over stained wood or fiberglass?. I'm guessing on fiberglass it could make it past 10 years in strong sun comparing to a good, but probably still lesser product I used to get before it changed owners & went to crap. Not funny when a mahogany colored fiberglass door turns purple.

Matte clear uv resistance to stains fading?. Figuring it should be really good.

Drying time to be scuff & denatured alcohol resistant ? Also figuring to be pretty good. Past formerly good catalyzed clear products slightly rubbing together during transport only created a little white powder, which many times would wipe off with your hand showing no or almost undetectable signs of scuffing.

Matte finish level?? Wood particularly can look cheap if too shiny. Many Matte products can take sometimes days to finish flattening out , correct? Does the premixed matte clear loose much adhesion or durability compared to gloss?



Recent fiberglass door staining project.
 

Jim C

Oldtimer
oh boy, alkyd enamel and minwax spar varnish. man your boss really must want to stay in the stone ages and waste money on labor. for fiberglass doors you should treat those the same as you were painting your car. scuff it up a little. 320 and or a red scotchbrite, a piss thin coat of epoxy sealer then base and matte clear. the matte clear is just as durable and has the same adhesion as regular clear. as for your lacquer stains, they should mix into clear as long as its solvent lacquer and not that pre cat water base lacquer stuff. the stain needs to be strong though. you dont want to add alot of it because youll change the makeup of the clear. this is where the raw tints and dyes come in. your actually mixing in the tints you want and not tints diluted into a product. you say you need to keep it simple and i have found that the most simple way to go is just have all the raw tins and dyes on hand then just have the few different products to mix into. valspar's system you have all the tins and dyes and they mix into a primer, sealer, glaze or topcoat. with the tints and those 4 products you can do anything you ever wanted. then for the fiberglass stuff you can use all the same tints and dyes which you can use spi intercoat clear as a binder then matte clear as a topcoat. when i first started with the wood years ago i kept trying to keep things simple as well and i was intermixing this and that together to try and make something when in the end it was just a more complex procedure. i finally broke down, bought what i really needed and now i am 10 times more productive. with any wood finish i spray, if i have to wait more than 15 min to sand or goto the next step then thats too long. the main door you have in your picture for instance. assuming that thing is all masked and ready to go, i could have each side done in no more than say 30 min with an additional 30min wait time before i flipped it to do the other side. on your rotisserie you could skip than and have the door done in 1 hr, dry to touch. ready to install in 2hrs.
 

Barry

Paint Fanatic
Staff member
Jim, I learned something new today and never even thought about this but what a great idea!
 

jlcustomz

evil painter
Thanks Jim, trying to educate myself a little more under the constraints of working for a company.

​I sometimes worked with a finisher that did work for our company years ago. Used pre-cat lacquer for some interior doors & millwork trim items. He first used oil stains on wood & gel on fiberglass. Later used lacquer stains, then got into dyes, which I never helped with. He used some alkyd clear & paint years back, then a catalyzed clear similar to automotive clear which was great until jobs suddenly started failing (brown mahogany turning purple, finish not lasting, etc] . Turned out to be a manufacturer change in the clear, but this gave my employers a bad opinion of the newer products, which made them want to go back to older stuff, which at least had some lifespan.

Local commercial paintstore hasn't ever seemed to have what I think I might want, so I'm way behind where I need to be just because of product.

My lenmar lacquer stain is the solvent type & I have a bit of it in stock right now. I figured one day I'll need to get into the dye systems, I know it's a world more of versatility. Guess I'll check out the Valspar sometime.

I still use pre-cat lacquer for certain interior applications, but our many times high moisture here slows it up or even makes it blush, even with a window ac unit in my little spray area.


​On a super thin coat of epoxy sealer over a tan fiberglass, what specific type , color & brand are you referring to?



I figure if I can cut back my labor times, my employers will get used to the material costs. But just like with auto paint work, I have a lot of time in initial prep, cleaning off baked on stickers, silicone based caulk on some sidelight units, excess glazing around glass, installing glass plugs etc. Spraying quick drying stain has sped me up, but not having a catalyzed exterior finish has slowed things down.

​ Time is always the enemy & something I need to improve on. On your example of 1/2 hr time for 1 side of a prepped fiberglass slab, are you referring to sealer , color, & 1 coat of clear? I figure stuff in sun here needs about 3 coats of something good.

Are many of your wood doors in a high sun type environment ? Just wondering if a better clear will slow up some of the wood issues I've seen.
 

Jim C

Oldtimer
ok when i said 1 hr, that wasnt for fiberglass. that was for an actual wood door similar to one that you have in your picture. for fiberglass you just use all automotive. the epoxy is just spi. the dyes are just regular candy dyes that we use in automotive. they are no different. as a matter of fact when i do a candy red, orange or yellow on a bike, i am using dyes from the wood finish line. they are exactly the same in a different bottle. now when your working with wood finishes, you dont always use dye. you need the pigments as well. the problem i am seeing here and the problem the old finisher was having was really because you are intermixing not just different brands but totally different paint types. if you get into a system then everything works. its quick and easy. valspars system is really probably no different than lenmar's or sherwin's. they have a set of raw tint and a few dyes to go along with a few neutral products that you can mix them into. what is nice is that you can mix those dyes and toners into the automotive stuff as well. the one thing i do use on wood from the automotive side is the spi intercoat clear. it is the fastest and best sanding selaer i have ever used. of course the dyes can also be mixed into it to tone the wood a little. from there i will topcoat it with conversion varnish. no offense but i wouldnt be caught dead using lacquer on wood these days. it just has no durability compared to conversion varnish. i only topcoat with conv varnish, spi matte clear or gloss if i wanted to go that route. if your boss would just buy the dyes and tints....which are cheap then you could literally take everything in your shop and dump it in the trash. there is no need for any of it. tints, dyes then just get yourself the conversion sealer, primer and varnish as well as spi intercoat. basically the tints and dyes allow you to make any color stain, glaze, primer or topcoat color you want and in any opacity level you want.
 
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