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Author Topic: Looking for wood clear coat advice  (Read 218 times)

dyany

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Looking for wood clear coat advice
« on: August 28, 2021, 03:11:35 pm »
I don't know if anyone here is expert enough in these sorts of things to help me, but I have exhausted other avenues of information and I'm desperate.

I've been redoing my Little Free Library. The old one was falling apart and I needed a bigger one (I divided it into 3 sections) I got a few donations from online friends, and have spent literally dozens of hours and hundreds of dollars over the last month putting it together. The main body is done; I'm just trying to finish the doors at this point. Which sounds easy, except that I got this idea in my head that I wanted to paint the 3 doors like a little Main Street, with each 'building' indicative of what books that section held--a hardware store for non-fiction, a 'Many Stories Apartments' building for YA/adult fiction, and a toy store for kids' books.
I did a lot of research on how best to do this, and was told by the paint store I called that I could use craft paint for the details and then put a clear coat of liquid vinyl over it to protect from sun and water. Then I went down there and was met by someone else who said liquid vinyl wasn't as readily available anymore and wouldn't do, and that I needed to use polycrylic. I then spent umpteen hours painting 2 doors in great detail (the 3rd is partially done), and got out the polycrylic to coat it.
But upon reading the can yesterday, it said polycrylic is for indoor use only. So I called the store, they apologized for the mistake, and said I wanted Minwax Helmsman's water-based polyurethane (aka spar varnish). They were closing in 40 minutes and it's a 15 minute drive to get there, so I raced down and switched out the canisters. I came home, mixed up the polyurethane, and applied a thin coat with a brush. Towards the end I noticed that some of the reddish base paint I had used was starting to smear, which worried me, but I couldn't see smearing across the door art, so I figured it would dry okay and I would be fine.
I was wrong.
I went up about 3 hours later to check the door and apply a 2nd coat. Unfortunately, though, the polyurethane apparently didn't like the tempera/poster paints I had used, and they had melted and smeared, destroying hours of work.
I spent the next few hours Googling and searching Reddit and product sites for possible solutions, but found nothing. Oil-based polyurethane is far more toxic and has a yellow tint that gets even yellower with time. Polycrylic is not rated for outdoors. Some suggested I use a spray-on, but a) I don't have a good place to apply it, and b) the damage was more from the chemicals themselves than the smearing of the brush.

I didn't sleep well last night because of this and have been near tears all day. I don't dare touch the 2nd door with any coat for fear of destroying it, too, but without a weatherproof coating, it can never be used. The thought of having to re-do the first door (which is the biggest and took the longest) has me completely discouraged and overwhelmed. I'm angry at those that told me craft paints would work fine. I am angry with those who told me this coat would work well. I am angry with myself for not reading the can well enough (I read it, but with the strong advice from the store personnel, I misinterpreted the cautions). And I have a huge, useless, expensive, doorless box planted in my yard.

Does anyone KNOW (not guessing) of a possible solution that could work for this situation?
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we're brave enough to see it
If only we're brave enough to be it
 

Jen

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Re: Looking for wood clear coat advice
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2021, 08:59:53 pm »
Was it Woodcraft you were talking to? If not, that's where I'd go. It's full of old guys that love to give information about woodworking.
 

Iggy

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Re: Looking for wood clear coat advice
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2021, 09:26:52 pm »
Also I would call the 1-800 # on the MinWax can and ask them for help. When I worked for True Value the MinWax rep advised that we refer customers to them rather that try to solve the customers problems.  Back in 1999 MinWax put out a product that worked the best on acrylic/polyurethane craft paint for outdoor coverage. Another thing that MinWax told us at their 3 day seminar was let the craft paint cure for 24 hours, then let each coat of the MinWax cure for 48 hrs for coat one, 60 hrs for coat two, etc.
 
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Jana at Jade House

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Re: Looking for wood clear coat advice
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2021, 12:42:13 am »
I dunno nothin but my heart is cringing for you. I know that frustration. I love your idea and hope you get the solution you need.  In the meantimes hugs and hope from here.
 
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Patty Rain

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Re: Looking for wood clear coat advice
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2021, 11:27:47 am »
Can't give you info either, but so sorry.  I love little free libraries and I love your idea.  Please show us when you figure it out and get it done
Time for a change.  I am yungmom, but have wanted a new username for some time.
 
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nitasmile

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Re: Looking for wood clear coat advice
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2021, 06:58:22 pm »
I have no idea bit just hope you will have self  compassion for yourself and all.yourbcrrstive diligent efforts. Be kind to yourself. What an amazing idea! Do you have a local Buy Nothing group? Maybe ask on there for help as well!! There is a way to ask for a Gift Of Service and people will help..ie I asked for someone to help a sister missionary repair the book binding on her scriptures and a school librarian offered!!
Love little libraries .

We have 3 in my neighborhood..last time I went I got a small cut from a loose nail.
 

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dyany

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Re: Looking for wood clear coat advice
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2021, 09:48:52 pm »
Ok, so I appreciate the advice, but I must add:
I did request help, because this project was over $600.
From my community (30k+),I received nothing. No help, no comments, not 1 red cent.
From my ward (about 200 adults), I received $35.
From my scavenger hunt group, 14 distant online buddies, I received $265.

I have very little respect for my local community. I do good things like this for my own sake, expecting (and getting) no help and little appreciation. If I wanted those things, I would be very disappointed.
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we're brave enough to see it
If only we're brave enough to be it
 

Jen

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Re: Looking for wood clear coat advice
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2021, 12:17:30 am »
I'm disappointed in the community in a lot of ways too, but I have seen a lot of giving, to be fair. I have to say that personally, I've been asked for financial help for a variety of things, and the money I have to give has tended to go toward people needing help with medical bills or meals for ICU workers or things like that. I love community libraries and think they're awesome, and I think it's wonderful that people build them and contribute to them, but (nothing personal to you or any other library builder) it wouldn't have been a priority to me in the last couple of years. Sometimes I think we get so passionate about things that it's easy to forget that there are different things that other people are passionate about, too.
 

dyany

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Re: Looking for wood clear coat advice
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2021, 01:29:02 pm »
Jen, I agree, to a point. But I think Kuna is particularly hateful and entitled, judging by what I have seen in politics, community meetings, and social media (both Nextdoor and Facebook). Just this last month, the school board had to call the cops because of threatening people in attendance, and they had to end the meeting early. My old neighborhood less than a mile away had a drive-by shooting at a drug house earlier this summer. Social media is all hate, hate, hate, and complete refusal to own any responsibility or try for any solutions. I very rarely see helpful requests of any kind, such as helping elderly or ill (though there have been a few). I tried to start and run a community service group a few years back that we tried to do all sorts of things (cleaning yards of elderly, collecting school supplies, little libraries, writing letters & cards to servicemen, etc.), but I had to end it after less than a year for lack of participation or support. I really despise it here.
I know that there are decent people. Every place has them. They are usually quiet around here and don't say much (they often experience backlash if they speak up), but I know they exist. So, because I am who I am, I make the library because it is good, and it reflects who I am, regardless of if anyone around contributes or appreciates it. I hope that some of the quiet ones will, but I don't count on it.
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we're brave enough to see it
If only we're brave enough to be it
 

 


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