Help with matt finish


Old 02-25-05, 12:43 PM
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Question Help with matt finish

I have built my own L shape office desk and my goal was to make it with matt or atlist satin finish. I've used satin polyurethane finish because I can't find matt neither online nor in the store also I've tried different techniques: brushing poly, using spray gun (HVLP) and no matter how I've applied the finish and how my work shop is clean it still lives some marks and very small particles of dust on surface. I did apply 4 coats on surface with sanding in between with 320-grain sandpaper. To make my finish ideally flat I've sand my final coat with sandpaper 320 and 400 and after that wetsended with 600 up to 1000. I was satisfied with matt look of my surface but them I realized that this type of finish is very sensitive to marks for example if I try to slightly scratch it with my finger nails it lives the mark and this mark is more shiny than finish it self and I can't remove this mark unless resand it again with 1000. I think this type of marks can happen because even 1000 sandpaper still lives fine scratches on finish and my fingernail just flattens these scratches. So to fix it I've used final cut paste from the auto store and rubbed on the surface. This paste just made my table from matt finish to gloss with ideally flat surface. So I was satisfy with flat surface but not with finish. After that I've tried to rub satin polyurethane on my final coat hoping that it will add satin look to the surface but it still looks glossy . In my bedroom I have Italian veneer furniture with matt finish and I've tried to make my table looks exactly the same but unfortunately I failed , also when I tried to scratched with my fingernail it didn't live any marks. So my question is: How to make matt finish on the desk is there some special techniques or some special materials and also where I can buy matt oil based polyurethane or varnish or what brand makes matt finishes.
Thank you so much,
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Old 02-25-05, 06:58 PM
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i use gloss poly, because it is stronger. although i will rub the cured
gloss poly out using johnson's paste wax. this dulls the sheen to matt.

i simply remove about half of the johnson paste wax and fill up the can with
paint thinner. i then use a scotch pad/green, dipping it into the can of
paste wax and thinner bringing wax and thinner to the surface to be rubbed.

be sure to rub with the grain.
this rubbing out is hard to do if the surface is not flat, leaving areas
of gloss still showing.

this takes effort to do right, and can be messy, especially on vertical

cover your working surfaces with plastic to avoid getting the wax all over and onto your next project.
Old 02-28-05, 09:11 AM
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Thank you so much for response. I've ordered Johnson Paste Wax online, looks like it's really hard to find retailer for it, definitely I want to try this technique. Do you know if there is some other way to make matt finish besides Paste Wax? The reason why I am asking is because I have couple books about finish also I went to library and did research there as well as online and I can't find any information how to do matt finish in professional way besides just the simple one "Use satin varnish/poly".
Old 02-28-05, 12:22 PM
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i get my johnson's paste wax at Ace hardware.

dont know of any other way other than to buy the material in a matt

remember that matt is the weakest finish. solids are added to gloss
to "make" matt. gloss is the strongest finish.

your italian piece was probably sprayed with a matt laquer.

remember to let the piece cure fully before rubing out.

Last edited by leewaytoo; 02-28-05 at 06:35 PM.
Old 02-28-05, 12:46 PM
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At this point, you have so much finish on the piece, adding more will just ruin it even further. If you were to start out from scratch again, you could thin the Satin with Mineral Spirits. Using a piece of 0000 steel wool will help dull the finish, but might leave little tiny marks.
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