How to Hand Apply Topcoat


Today we will show you how to hand apply our water-based topcoats for indoor projects. They are low odor, spray
beautifully and clean up with water. In this demo we will be applying Flat Out
Flat to a bench, painted in our new Midnight Blue Chalk Style Paint. Flat Out Flat
was developed as a matte topcoat with a velvety feel that mimics the look and
feel of wax. As you can see all water-based topcoats are milky white in
the can, but they dry clear. Mix the contents thoroughly and continue to stir throughout your project. Never shake water-based topcoats. Shaking creates bubbles that will mar the finish. Flat Out Flat contains more matting agents than our High Performance. These slightly reduce transparency so be sure to test the look to your satisfaction, especially over dark colors. Temperature
and humidity impact the flow and dry time of your finish. To increase open
time add 10 to 15% Extender. First gather your favorite application tools; foam brushes and a pad applicator covered with a nylon footy. We use the footy
because it contains loose fibers in the pad and reduces bubbles during the
application, Tom? First condition your applicator by dampening it in water and
Extender. This helps prevent the brush from absorbing too much material
to begin with. So I like to keep them soaked in a damp rag and now I’m ready to apply my topcoat. I’m gonna start on the bottom side of
the bench here. The bench has been painted and the paint is completely dry. I always start from the bottom. Now, not everybody sees this but this is
important to seal the bottom side of it. I’m gonna work right out of the can here.
With my foam brush and I’m just going to cut in my corners. Nice, long, uniform,
even strokes. Now the first coat is going to go down a little bit rougher so I can
come back and always detail in any corners if I need to. Use plenty of
material, don’t dry brush the product. Put the product on liberally so you get a good, even wet film. I’m using a three inch foam brush. My rule is the larger the surface I’m finishing, the larger the applicator
I want to use. Now I will come back and I will feather this out with a
second brush. I always use more than one brush when I’m finishing a project. You
can see a little bit of bubbles and a little bit of foam. Just come back and feather that right out. Those bubbles will dissipate as the
product dries down. If you miss something don’t worry about
it we’re gonna come back with a second application anyways. A little table like this, a little bench
like this is going to take about ten to fifteen minutes and take your time
there’s no hurry here. We want to get this done correctly. I’m gonna set it
up. It’s good to work in good light too. It is important to have proper lighting. So you can get the right angle and you can see your material go down. Watch how that flows. Be careful not to overwork the material, don’t back brush it too much. Just flow it on and let the product level. That will put fewer brush strokes in your
finish. Nice and uniform. You should be able to
see a nice even sheen across the surface. Any dry spots will stand out and you will know if you missed a spot. It is good to have lighting angled behind you. So you can get a good view of your surface when you’re working at it. Now this is a pine
bench, it is going to be dry. So it is going to pull that finish down into the wood. So our first
coat, I am not going to be too concerned about. If I miss an area, I can come back and
scuff sand it and apply a second coat. This will dry down, it is going to start to dry in about five to ten minutes depending upon temperature and humidity. What is nice
about this, is it will dry quickly. That is just our first coat. Now we are
going to change out our benches. The first layer of topcoat on this has
dried. Now Tom will show you how to finish sand and how much easier that
second coat goes down. This bench was painted. It has one coat of High
Performance on it. I am using a 220 sanding pad. I always just make sure I rough it up a little bit so it’s not too coarse. You can hear and see that first coat of
finish. The paint has been sealed off now. What you are looking for is just a
light powder. That tells me that my finish is completely dry. You can run your hand
across it and it is silky smooth. That’s what’s really nice about that product.Wipe it off with my tack cloth here so it’s clean. I don’t want any dirt or debris left on my surface
there. Take my brush and apply my second coat of finish. This will dry to a real low luster. Very soft, velvety sheen. Using the same brush, if it gets to be a while before you get to your second coat. Just put
your brush in a cup of water or bowl of water and just let it sit there. Wring it
out on a paper towel and you’re ready to go. See how uniform and even that next
coat of finish went down. Most projects need two to three coats of finish. If the project will be in a high-use area then a couple extra coats of finish will just
protect your work. Back with your second brush if you need to and just touch up the
areas. We are going to put another coat on this when this is dry. For large projects
we use a sprayer with a medium-sized fluid tip. See our spraying video at the end of this segment for details. Whatever your application method is we
recommend three to four layers of topcoat. Let each coat dry 2 to 4 hours and
sand between with a 220 sanding pad. This is how the bench looks finished
with three coats of Flat Out Flat. Erin’s tips: High Performance and
Flat Out Flat are for indoor projects only. Never use long oil such as Linseed, Danish or Tung oil with water-based products. Dry time to re-coat: 2 to 4 hours. Wait 72 hours before applying water based topcoats over oil finishes. Our finishes are engineered to be compatible with each other. Test to your satisfaction when using
with other brands. GF also has a full line of professional
finishes formulated for spray applications. For design ideas visit our
Design Center at: designs.generalfinishes.com Thanks for watching
this video on how to apply water-based topcoats. If you’ve enjoyed it, please
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