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Water based finishes?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by count_funkula, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. I'm looking for something to finish my Korina 5 string with. I want to preserve the grey/black color of the wood. Most oil based finishes I've dealt with have that yellowing affect that I don't think will look good on this piece.

    Any thoughts on Minwax Polycrylic? I thought using a brush-on satin polycrylic smoothed with 0000 steel wool might give it a really natural look. I was planning on leaving to pores unfilled too.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Just another note. I don't have the proper environment to use spray finishes so anything I do will have to be hand rubbed or applied with a brush. I also prefer a satin finish on my basses.

    If you have any other product suggestions for a clear non-yellowing finish let me know. Doesn't have to be water based.
  3. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    A year or two ago I think it was Greg Yancey who said he was using soomething that did little or no warming up of the wood tone. You might want to ask him what it is.
  4. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    I've used Minwax Wipe On Poly on some non-musical projects, which is not water-based. I've thought about trying it on a bass. It leaves a natural looking finish. Comes in satin, which is what I used. It's so stinking easy to use too. Just wipe some on, let it dry overnight, steel wool it, dust it off and wipe some more on. Let that dry and you're done. It goes on pretty thin so the finish doesn't have a high build, and it won't fill the wood grain, at least not with two applications.
  5. I use the wipe on poly stuff too but it colors the wood quite a bit. That yellowing looks great on some woods but it might be too much on this piece of Korina.

    I'll check with Yancy.

  6. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    you should check out ktm-9, it's water-based, and supposedly looks as good as nitro. they sell it at lmi


    If it's good enough for Mike Doolin, it's probably good enough for us.
  7. mprasek


    Jul 2, 2004
    I use Target Coatings EM9000 waterclear finishes over EM8300 sealer.

    ABSOLUTELY no yellowing, rock hard. Made my purpleheart show its true color, which was my major concern with my choice in finish.


    No affiliation, just satisfied with the products.

  8. schuyler


    Aug 5, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    how 'bout shellac? or as the pretentious call it, french polish?

    easy to apply, non-toxic, looks great, smells nice, loooong history of use on musical instruments, comes in varying shades from clear to garnet, cheap, easy clean up, edible (seriously -- it's used to make gelcaps), easy to repair dings and scratches, can be glossy or satin... what's not to like?
  9. FenderMustang45


    Jan 29, 2005
    French polishing is a technique, not the shellac.
  10. schuyler


    Aug 5, 2003
    Atlanta, GA