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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Triumph over Waterlox

Refusing to give up, I gave the bowl a final coat of Waterlox. This time, I wiped the bowl down thoroughly with mineral spirits until no specks at all were visible, strained the Waterlox to get rid of any steel wool particles I had inadvertently introduced, and used a disposable foam brush. I worked on the inside first, going over the sections until no dry spots were visible, and mopping up excess liquid from around the circumference of the base.

Then, I elevated the bowl on a small piece of wood, and worked on the outside. I left it overnight at the community shop, which is air conditioned, and picked it up the next morning. In a few weeks, when the finish has fully cured, I will give it a final rubdown.

I'm pleased with the way it came out, but the first time using any new product is always a bit hair-raising.


  1. So which level of Waterlox did you use, according to the website there are 3 levels; satin, semi-gloss and high-gloss. The pic makes it look like high-gloss. Do you think this is something a relative novice finisher could work with?

  2. I used the one called "original sealer/finish" which is supposed to produce a medium sheen, 75%, which reduces over time to 50%. Right now it looks very glossy, but in a few weeks, when it's fully cured, I'll give it a rubout with 0000 steel wool and a product called Wool Lube, which is supposed to be good for rubouts. I'm aiming for lustrous look and a nice feel.

    I think it's an easy product to use, once you get a clear set of instructions. Depending on the source, you're advised either to remove excess or leave it alone, and to either rub it out between coats or leave it alone. Drying time is also given between 4 and 24 hours, which is quite a range. I like to rub down each coat, just to be sure all sags are removed. I used a rag for the early coats, but found that once the finish built up, the rag gave an uneven coating. So, for the last coat, I made sure the finish was rubbed down very well, and cleaned off with mineral spirits. I used a foam brush and carefully applied a light coat, being sure that every surface was coated evenly. That seemed to do the trick.

    I'm not sure how quickly the product will gel, like varnish or poly does, so the jury is still out on just how useful it is. I think it's worth playing around with, and certainly doesn't require great skill. But it would be a darn sight easier to use if everyone could agree on a single set of instructions! And the ipe that I used takes a fabulous finish no matter what you do to it, so it may not be the most rigorous test.