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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I'm nearly finished building my grandson's toy box and I'm looking at what to apply for a finish. I'm a novice woodworker who has even less knowledge and experience with finishes.

The toy box is built from 3/4" cherry and I really want the finish to look good because I think the toy box came out looking really nice.

I would like to spray on the finish but I don't have any spraying equipment so what I'm looking at using is Deft Interior Clear Wood Finish Satin Lacquer 12.25-Ounce Aerosol Spray:surprise: (that's a mouthful...it's just the description that appears on Amazon).

Does anyone have any experience with this finish that would lead me to believe that I wouldn't be happy with it? I appreciate you help because this is really important to me to get a nice finish. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dan, we had cherry hardwood installed on our bedroom floor last year and I really like the natural appearance of it after it aged several months. Is there any reason I should stain it other than for aesthetic reasons?
 

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I"ve used Deft spray lacquer on several projects. Good stuff! If your relatively new to using this kinda finish, practice on a couple of boards first... get used to spraying it properly. Ive found a good distance to be 6-10 inches away...Nice steady side to side action. I'd suggest laying the box on its back and spray the front, lay it on its side and spray the opposite side..etc.... if you try to spray the box sitting upright, you run the risk of runs....you can do it, but it'll take patience..

The only thing about the Deft I didn't like was the smell..

I"d suggest a simple wipe on poly....That will give you more protection than a lacquer will, provide a little more durability. Easy to apply...builds up well and leaves a nice finish...

Either way...if you got any questions be sure to ask..sounds like you've made a toy box your proud of :) take your time and finish her up right :)...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bill, thanks for your response.

Is there any special technique for applying a wipe-on poly? I've never done it before.

Which one(s) have you had good success with and are the easiest to apply?

Any surface prep other than sanding? I've sanded the box to 220 and plan on giving it one more sanding at 320.

Thanks.
 

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I have had good luck min wax , you can buy it and spray or brush on gloss or satin dries fast Minwax 255554444 Polycrylic Protective Finish-INT GLOSS W/B POLYCRYLIC
 

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"Is there any reason I should stain it other than for aesthetic reasons?"


Basically, no,
It does tend to bring all the different wood pieces into more of the same colour range...doesn't matter which tint/shade you use.
But if your floors are already done, it kind of makes sense to have the toybox the same.
(I don't have any opinion on spray cans, other than to say that it'll be more difficult to repair as opposed to brushed on urethane.)
 

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Hi Chuck, I have used Deft spray. It produces a nice finish. I use it especially on small items that are to hard to apply most other finishes. For a toy box this finish will be beat up really fast because the finish is very thin. As several members suggested to use a poly. I have used poly gel, Minwax wipe-on poly and a host of other finishes. On the wipe-on, it come in satin and gloss. If you want semi-gloss, mix the two. Malcolm / Kentucky USA
 

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Chuck...

wipe on poly is pretty straight forward. Easy to apply... The thing with wipe on's is that they usually require multiple applications. I did a toy boy a few years back and ended up applying as I recall at least 5-6 applications. You want to build up the finish. Each successive application builds upon the previous application. Wipe-on's are thinned out by the mfg. so as to make them easy to apply, hence wipe on. As Malcolm eluded to, minimal applications leaves the work piece vulnerable. So you really want to commit to applying multiple coats.

A: clean and dust area you are going to apply the finish in as best you can. Give the area over night to let the dust you don't see settle down.

B: pour poly into a container big enough to allow you to dip into without alot of hassel. Wet the cloth, do not saturate it. Your looking for quality of
application not quantity. Finish schedules are all about patience....

C: rubber gloves, clean lint free application cloths, good ventilation and lighting

D: prop up the box from the bottom, prop open the lid, you want easy access to all areas your going to apply the finish to before starting.

E: my schedule is to apply two coats, then knock down any nubs with 220 very LIGHTLY, your just looking to knock down any fuzzies, nubs etc. that might
come up.

F: Let each application thoroughly dry (usually a good 3-4 hours, perhaps longer depending on temp and humidity)
Inspect for drips and runs, address according before applying succeeding coats. I like to work, top to bottom..

G: From the 3rd coat on, I do a light sanding with 320 then wipe down with a tac cloth before applying next coat. Again, just a light sanding.

H: once happy with the finish, do a final light sanding, tac cloth and then apply a good silicon free furniture polish.

Do a YouTube search "wipe on poly" and watch a few of the video's...it'll be worth the time. Grab a piece of cherry, sanded just like the box. Practice on it. Get
a feel for what your getting into. You might be surprised how straight forward and relatively easy it is.

hope this helps.
 

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Chuck ~ I second the suggestions offered by TwoSkies57. Especially important is the use of a tack cloth. In case you are not familiar with this, you can make your own. Check out this site.

Good luck and be sure to post some photos when you are done.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone for your feedback. What I've found so far is that wood finishing is not as straight forward as I would like it to be.:)

I read that polycrylic is a very durable finish suitable for kids furniture and I thought that it would be great for my toy box. I also liked the idea that it has less odor than polyurethane which was good because I will be applying it in my garage. Then I read this quote from the Ask HLM blog, "On dark color woods such as cherry and walnut and on dark stained wood, water-borne finishes tend to give the wood a dull, blue-gray, washed-out look." So that sort of put a damper on my thoughts of using a waterborne finish.

I think what I'm going to do is use a satin polyurethane finish that I'll dilute and apply using a wipe-on technique. The wipe-on technique will require more coats, but this to me is offset by it being easier to achieve a good result.

I appreciate all your support and I'll post a picture when I'm finished with it.

BTW Bill, that's an awesome looking toy box! I'm totally impressed with the craftsmanship of the members on this forum. Gives me something to shoot for.
 

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Good luck Chuck...looking forward to seeing the finished toy box...

just take your time and learn to enjoy and learn from the process :)
 

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Chuck...

wipe on poly is pretty straight forward. Easy to apply... The thing with wipe on's is that they usually require multiple applications. I did a toy boy a few years back and ended up applying as I recall at

hope this helps.
Bill those are the clearest pictures I have seen on here,wow, you must have a hi res camera. If mine took pictures like that it would show up all the boo-boos. LOL
Herb
 

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@Herb Stoops

Herb... those were taken with either a 100 dollar pocket camera or my Android, I dont' recall which...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Nearly Finished Toy Box

Okay, I almost have the toy box finished and as promised, I'm putting up a picture of it. The box is made from 3/4 cherry that I had milled at a local hardwood shop. I made a big mistake and had it milled as tongue and groove figuring the jointing would be easier. Well, it was easy, but one lip of the groove is milled a bit shorter than the other lip (for flooring purposes) which caused a slight gap in the joints on the backside of the jointed panel. Had I asked the forum about this, y'all could have probably told me this. Lesson learned! :frown: I filled the gaps with filler that I made from sawdust and glue which worked okay and it's not so bad since the gaps are on the inside of the box. For the top, I went back to the hardwood shop and had them mill me some 5" S4S boards and I joined them using 5/16" dowels which worked out very well. I was apprehensive about this because I don't have a surface planer. Fortunately, the jointing came out well and all it needed was some sanding from my orbital sander. I made the molding that you see on the inside of the framing on my router table.

The box presently has 7 coats of lacquer. I will be applying 3 more coats. I lightly smoothed all the surfaces with 0000 steel wool after every 3 coats. I ended up using Deft satin lacquer in an aerosol can. It went on very easy. I had a couple of runs during the first coat, but after the steel wool rub, the successive coats seemed to make any evidence of the runs disappear. From my studying up on the lacquer, I believe this might be because lacquer acts as its own solvent and melted them away. This is great!:smile:

I made a few mistakes during the build of the project which I totally expected, but overall, I'm pleased with the outcome as it's my first attempt at making something presentable out of wood. The only thing remaining is installing the soft closures after the finishing is done.

I do need one more piece of advice. After I'm done with the last coat of lacquer, should I rub out the finish with like 400 grit paper and water or would something different work better? I don't know what rubbing out the finish would do to a satin finish. I don't want to end up with a glossy finish.

Thank you all for your help. This is a really great forum made up of really great people and I appreciate all your comments.
 

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very nice..
this has heirloom all over it...
 

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Ya nailed it Chuck!!! Very nice job. Lines are clean, miters look tight, overall design is a home run. If this is a first attempt you got a bright future in wood working :)

After the final coat has dried "Thoroughly" and by thoroughly, I mean give it 24-72 hours to just sit and cure, rub your hand over the finish, If you feel any nubs, just lightly

steel wool em down and then put a coat of wax over her. A good, non silicone paste wax. Put one coat on, buff it out, then put a 2nd and you should be good to go.

This box ought to be in your family for a very long time :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Getting comments like that from the two of you makes me feel great. And I will finish it off with a couple coats of wax...thank you!
 

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That is nice. I agree with stick- heirloom for sure. Suggestion- if you haven't already done it, cut a 3-4 inch diameter hole in the back for air. We have had a couple of toy boxes for our kids and they had them as a safety feature.
 

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That is nice. I agree with stick- heirloom for sure. Suggestion- if you haven't already done it, cut a 3-4 inch diameter hole in the back for air. We have had a couple of toy boxes for our kids and they had them as a safety feature.
got a suggestion...
make it a series slots across the back side's top that are too small for hands yet will pass air....
 
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