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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have just completed a ladder shelf for my wife and am ready to finish. A couple of questions. First, I am in Indiana and the temperature is in the 30's in the day time. My shop (garage) is maybe 40's. Is it too cold to stain and finish? Second question, is what top coat would you suggest. I think I want to avoid polyurethane on this shelf unit. Any help would be great.
 

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ShaneB said:
I have just completed a ladder shelf for my wife and am ready to finish. A couple of questions. First, I am in Indiana and the temperature is in the 30's in the day time. My shop (garage) is maybe 40's. Is it too cold to stain and finish? Second question, is what top coat would you suggest. I think I want to avoid polyurethane on this shelf unit. Any help would be great.
WOW! That's COLD!

Do the instructions on the cans say anything about minimum temperatures?

Is this going to be used as a Ladder or is it only going to be for display purposes?

The more heavy use tells me you want a strong finish... like spar varnish, poly...

NOT Latex!

What do you have against poly?
 

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That's about the temp here too......FINALLY. We have had all that below and wind chills etc. I never glue in those temps. Must be up in the 50's. The only finish I would apply in those temps is a wipe on poly. Should be fine. Staining, shouldn't be any problem either. I would stain it and then bring it inside so it can dry properly. Actually if you can put wipe on poly and then bring it inside... all the better as well. Any spray on finishes like lacquer and other varnishes I avoid. And of course, there's always sanding it well and just using a paste wax.

You say avoiding poly, do you mean because of sagging and hard to apply because of all the different levels and in between areas etc.? If so that is wear a wiping poly will help. I make my own with equal parts Minwax Oil Gloss Poly, Mineral Spirits, and either pure Tung Oil or Boiled Linseed Oil. Hope this helps!

Corey
 

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Hi Shane

B/4 I got my Htg.system up and running I would use heat lamps,they put out alot of heat and put it in the right spot.

No flames to deal with. :)
 

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ShaneB said:
I have just completed a ladder shelf for my wife and am ready to finish. A couple of questions. First, I am in Indiana and the temperature is in the 30's in the day time. My shop (garage) is maybe 40's. Is it too cold to stain and finish? Second question, is what top coat would you suggest. I think I want to avoid polyurethane on this shelf unit. Any help would be great.
Most top coats take a very long time to cure when the temperature is under 60. As was mentioned check the label.

Regards

Jerry
 

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I'm not sure about temperature ranges (I guess I could run down to the basement and look), but I've recently become a big fan of shellac. I bought a quart at Home Depot, and thinned it with denatured alcohol. The can gives instructions -- I went with 2 lb. cut, which makes it easy to brush or wipe on. Dries quickly, with very clear finish -- minimal coloration (but I used blond, so check on colors). I am currently building a china cabinet in maple, and the shellac leaves the wood very light. My test with Watco oil gave it a slight amber tint, and I like the clear look better for this project.

I've used Watco oils alot, and I like the finish you get with them, too. I've topcoated with Watco liquid waxes, and polyurethanes, too. Lots of options at your disposal.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all. Great input. I think that I have landed on trying a WATCO Danish Oil for this shelf. It doesn't need protecting too much since it will just be used as a shelf. I think the danish oil will leave it looking "natural". I've never tried it so we'll see. Nothing against poly, but my wife doesn't want it too shiny. The garage has warmed up o.k. so I think i'll try it this week. Anyone have any experience with danish oil? Thanks again.
 
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