" " wisno wood furniture finishing: Waterbased finish for wood furniture

Friday, July 30, 2010

Waterbased finish for wood furniture

Water based finish system is a finish that uses water based finishing materials. Now the trend to use the water based materials is increasing because of many reasons. The solvents price that is getting to be more expensive and the sentiment of the peoples to use the environmentally friendly finishing materials are some of the reasons that drives peoples to use the water based finishing materials. Some peoples say the water based is the only finishing materials for the future. The water based finishing materials currently being more developed and widely available for many purpose to fulfill the finishing requirement. The finishing material for any purpose such as: stain, glaze, fillers, putty, sealer and top coat are available in the water based type. Now we can use the water based materials to do the finishing process in the full system. The water based finishing is also be able to bu used in combination with other type of finishing material.
The water based finishing process, principally is about the same with the finishing process using solvent base finishes. 

 Finishing processes in general is as follows:
1. Filler (if necessary)
2. Stain
3. Sealer
4. Glaze
5. Sealer
6. Top coat

Water based finishing materials of course have different properties with the solvent base  finishing materials, thus a different treatment is needed. The water based in general needs longer drying time then the solvent base materials. Therefore the overall finishing process must be prepared to take longer time than the solvent base. 
Here are the things that must be considered in the application of the water based finishing materials:
  •  The drying time is longer.
Water based finishing use water as his major thinner which evaporate longer and more difficult than the solvent. The evaporation of water is also highly influenced by the weather condition, especially the humidity of the air. On a sunny day with dry air and hot room temperature the water evaporation can take easily and it will make the finishing layer can dry quickly. But when the air is wet as the condition at the rainy day or at night, the evaporation of the water becomes very difficult and the drying is very slowly happened. Therefore, to better control to the finishing process and to accelerate the drying process, the oven is highly recommended.
  •   Water based coating requires a better sanding.
Once it dries the water based coating will form a thermosetting film layer which is hard and protective. The film layer of the water base coating is not dissolved with the water. Some type of the water based are not resolved by thinner. Since that, the layering of water based coating will not dissolve its underneath layer, and it make the coherency of the finishing between the layers is not as good as the solvent base finish. Then a good sanding is absolutely needed every time we layer the water based coating at the other water based finish layer. The poor sanding between layers will lead to the film problem such as: orange peel finish film layer, or sand mark.
The water based coating applications direct to the raw wood is more wetting the wood and raises more wood fibers to make rougher surface. To produce smooth surfaces then we need to do better sanding.
  • The wood moisture content.
Water based material will watering the surface, meanwhile the water has to be evaporated in the drying process. The evaporation of water sometime is not easy to happen, depend to the weather, the quality and type of the chemicals and also the substrates. To make the faster drying then wood should be completely dry when the finishing process is begun. The water in the wet wood will . 
  • Water based coating will produce a cloudy appearance.
Water based coating is made from resin mixed which has different properties with the solvent base material. The character of the water based is its cloudy film, especially when we use thick film layer. It must be understood that the water based coating won,t produce a clear finishing appearance as the nitrocellulose, polyurethane or varnish. Although many research and development has been made, but this material still can not produce a clear surfaces such as the solvent base material.
  •  This material still needs a waste management.
Although it is a water-based, it still contains chemicals that can contaminate the environment. The water based coating should not be discharged into the environment without any waste treatment. Therefore, a standard procedure of waste treatment and safety equipment is still needed in the application of this materials.
  • The special equipment to handle the water based finishing.
The water is more corrosive than the solvent. The equipment and facility to apply this material should be made from the materials that are more resist to the water corrosion. The equipment such spray gun, tank and agitator to handle the water based material is usually made of stainless steel or plastic.


  1. How can we make furniture that had been apply by linseed oil become glossy? Can we apply nc clear coat on this type of finishing? Thanks for the answer.

  2. wisno furniture finishingAugust 2, 2010 at 4:28 AM

    No You cannot.
    You need to clean the linseed oil before apply your nc coating.
    Wipe off your old finish with mineral spirit or naphta. Then you can apply your nc lacquer on it.