Things that would have been good to know 3 weeks ago

So help me God if I have to end up making a "countertops" label on this blog.

My e-mail to Waterlox (by the way, I underestimated, it has happened way more than twice and technically the countertops are doing OK, but I had the problem again with the desktop):

Dear sir or maam,

I hope you can help me figure out what is going on with an ongoing issue with a Waterlox project. The same problem has now happened twice.

I'm working on a butcher block-type counter (new). I used a wood conditioner, then stained it (General Finishes water-based stain and conditioner). After allowing the stain to dry for 24 hours, I applied a coat of Waterlox. I am using a natural bristle brush. I allowed the first coat to dry for 72 hours (didn't have a chance to get back to it before then). I very lightly sanded (1000 grit) a few areas that had some dust issues, cleaned off all the dust with a dust-free rag with mineral spirits, and applied a second coat of Waterlox original (low VOC). As soon as I was putting it on, it became clear that some areas were finishing quite differently from other. There is a large swatch (1 foot by 2 or more feet) plus a few other patches, where the finish is almost sandpaper-like. Like I said, this showed up while putting on the coat, not just when it dried. 

This is the same thing that happened with my first attempt, but in that case I thought perhaps I had applied it wrong (I used a staining pad) and didn't allow it to dry enough in between coats (I allowed 24 hours). I sanded the counter down to bare wood and started over, but the same problem seems to have happened again.

What can be going on? More importantly, is there any way to salvage this? If I have to start from scratch again, I'd rather do it now than after I spend a lot of time and money applying more Waterlox. I just wish I knew what was going on so that I can make sure it doesn't happen again.

Thank you for your help.


Waterlox's reply:


Thank you for using Waterlox and for writing to us today.

My guess would be that all the spots that you sanded lightly are the spots that have the film wrinkled. With the VOC compliant product, if you spot sand or sand any areas of the surface, you will need to wait a minimum of 12 hours to 24 hours afterward to let the oil under where you’ve sanded dry out / harden / cure. What happens when you “open up” the film is that it opens up and gets attacked by your next coat of finish.

You will want to scrape off the areas that had the affect and let the areas dry out for 24 – 48 hours, then re-coat.

Kellie Hawkins Schaffner
Vice President
Waterlox Coatings Corporation

Well, that explains what's been going on. But I have to say, I read a LOT about Waterlox and never once saw this mentioned before. Oh well, now I know. 

1 comment :

  1. HI, I just bought the Waterlox low VOC product for my butcher top. Do you recommend this product? It seems a little bit complicated to use. I only have a week to prep this for my tenant. Is this enough time if I start this weekend? I plan to let the butcher block countertop dry/cure in my bathroom so the fumes won't get to the rest of the house. Is this a good idea? Thanks.


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