Author Topic: Surfix in cold shop?  (Read 514 times)

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Offline ryanjg117

  • Posts: 193
Surfix in cold shop?
« on: November 29, 2019, 02:03 AM »
So, I am refinishing a workbench I'm going to be gifting away to a family member moving into their first home, and figured it would be fun to use my Surfix kit for the first time, rather than the tried and true GF Arm-R-Seal wipe-on.

I applied the first coat and let it dry. However, in my shop the current temps are around 45 degrees. I do have an in-wall electric 240v heater I can use to bring up the temps about 10 degrees or so, which I turned on as soon as I saw the surface was still damp ten hours later. Ultimately I had to give it about two full days before the surface was dry and finger-drag free.

Second coat went on fine, but I just checked in about a day later and the surface is still very wet. In fact, I can see the swirl marks from the Vlies pad. I ended up moving the table top right above the heater and will keep it on overnight - hopefully that will dry it.

Questions:

* Should I consider this a failed coat and apply a third coat? I guess time will tell how good it dries out.

* Some of the videos I saw on the Surfix system showed someone wiping the surface down between or after sanding with the Vlies to work in the oil. I didn't rag it, since most of the pictograms on the process never mention this. However, my second coat was relatively thick. I'm now wondering if I should have ragged it after working the oil in with the sander.

Ultimately this wouldn't have been an issue in a good warm shop. Guess I never really looked into the application temperatures when I started out here...

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Offline Scott Burt

  • Magazine/Blog Author
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  • Posts: 1998
  • painter/writer/educator
    • Prep to Finish
Re: Surfix in cold shop?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2019, 04:32 PM »
Hi Ryan

It definitely is best to be above that 50* threshold when finishing, and during dry times. Oils are notoriously slow. And the surface temp of the wood has a lot to do with penetration of oils. I've used the Surfix system quite a bit and find it best not to leave a lot of residue on the surface, work it in instead and wipe excess. Its not really meant to build a film, so I would probably avoid the 3rd coat idea.

If you post a picture of the current condition I can help more.

Good luck!

Offline ryanjg117

  • Posts: 193
Re: Surfix in cold shop?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2019, 12:05 AM »
Thanks Scott. I ended up sanding the surface back down to pretty much bare wood, and then putting on a very thin coat, using the sander to work it in, and then wiping with the direction of the grain with a small rag.

I've also repositioned the workpieces to right outside my wall heater, and will keep it on tonight. It can get the room up to about 63 degrees and, as you noted, should also keep the surface warm as well.

I'll just keep the coats very thin in the future. It's my first time using Surfix and I think one of the challenges is the "drag" of the sponge applicator. Even when its loaded, it still has a lot of surface tension as you drag it along the surface, making me think it needed more oil when in fact I just needed to go slower and stronger, and take a lot of multiple passes.

Benefit of oil is nothing happens fast, so plenty of time to keep playing around with it. :)

Offline Scott Burt

  • Magazine/Blog Author
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  • Posts: 1998
  • painter/writer/educator
    • Prep to Finish
Re: Surfix in cold shop?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2019, 09:27 AM »
Glad to hear it!

Yes, when you power sand it in with vlies, there is a bit of a "slurry" that needs to be wiped out...it makes a nice finish though...