Trick for better water based finish results

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New User
It's more of a cheat really... I mentioned it in the Jatoba thread but figured I'd share separately as well.

A little history first: I build drums out of my shop...err... garage... My preferred method of applying finish is with an HVLP gun and my compressor. My spray area is about 3 feet away from a pilot light and nice gas powered hot water heater. Oh and I learned how to do a mirror gloss finish before I knew how to cut a rabbet. :eek:

In any case, I love the look of an oil finish and Waterlox is definitely my oil of choice when doing one. However, it takes forever to build and to cure so I needed to find a finishing schedule that gave me the benefits of the shimmering oil finish and the fast build of a poly/lacquer top coat. So I settled on the following schedule:

1-2 coats of waterlox oil - Let cure for at least 24 hrs, use light coats
1-2 coats of Zinnser SealCoat - This acts as a barrier coat, promoted adhesion between unlike products. I like to give it a day to completely cure
6+ coats of Target Coatings Emtech Lacquer. This is a water based lacquer with true burn in properties. Any water based product should due though.

Most folks don't need to go to the extreme that I do but I usually let the lacquer cure for a week and wet sand up to 2000 grit before taking an automotive buffer to the project. :)

In any case the end result is a deep finish that has all the light shifting properties of an oil with the ease of clean up and low VOC of a water based finish. Best of both worlds if you ask me. Attached a photo example.
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