Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!

 
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:38 PM   #1
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Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!


3 coats of ebony minwax on baltic birch plywood and solid poplar...topped with Benjamin Moore "Stays Clear" Acrylic Polyurethane - Flat (425). Looked fine on the sample board. Client wanted "very black, very flat" Now that it's on the project, it looks milky / cloudy / streaky, most especially on the vertical surfaces. Any idea as to what went wrong? How to fix? ( Please Please Please don't tell me I have to sand and start again...) Looking forward to hearing your opinions.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:05 PM   #2
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Re: Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!


I had a similar experience last year, I used water base poly over black. It made the black look almost blue in the sunlight, waited 3 weeks and it went away.
Now I just use target water base over black dye stain.

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Old 12-19-2012, 07:31 PM   #3
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Re: Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!


I like the "wait 3 weeks" part!!
The sample was fine, but it was laying flat in our shop. Plus, that was a month ago, and today we had a snow storm and I am working on site. I hope it's a delayed curing / high moisture thing and a little wait time will solve the issue.
Exactly like you said...a blue tint.
Thanks for the quick reply...the client is expecting the job done/ site clean by lunch tomorrow!
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:33 PM   #4
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Re: Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!


p.s. Who makes target? I'm in a small town with a home hardware store. I can get Benjamin Moore or wait to get something shipped in
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:31 PM   #5
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Re: Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!


Target makes target. If you check Google, I believe that they will ship to you. I found them a little on the expensive side, but they have a great reputation.
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:22 PM   #6
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Re: Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!


3 coats of minwax oil based stain is going to take a long time to dry. Figure 24 hours per coat in 75F temps. Lower than that and it takes longer. Putting a water based poly on an oil based stain to early, before completely dry, is asking for problems.

When using water based finishes it is a good idea to stay in the water based family. Use a water based stain.

https://www.targetcoatings.com/products/stains.html
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:44 PM   #7
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Re: Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!


The way it is with all the water based clear coats, I hate the new varnishes , water based they run and dribble, somebody shout if there's a well distributed that doesn't do these things, I wanna hear,,,,, apart from oil varnish of course.
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:42 AM   #8
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Re: Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!


The less sheen, the more milky. The cloudiness comes from the flattening powder that's added to the product to reduce the gloss. Thin coats. Sand in between. Time the drying periods, and no more than 3 coats. It may go away. If not you may have to sand the last couple of coats off and re-coat. Good luck. For flat black I like to use Flat black laquer. Did you spray this on?
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:57 AM   #9
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Re: Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!


Quote:
Originally Posted by valley View Post
p.s. Who makes target? I'm in a small town with a home hardware store. I can get Benjamin Moore or wait to get something shipped in
I'm not so sure Benjamin Moore is a good choice for projects like you are talking about. I tried to match up some stain with a clear coat on a recent job, walked into Benjamin Moore but they didn't seem to know what they were talking about. I've had better luck going to Rodda paint with cabinet grade type stain. I was matching up some hardwood flooring, but I wasn't real happy with the result Benjamin Moore gave me. I still might do some sanding and apply another coat of polyurethane.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:58 PM   #10
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Re: Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!


Try Sherwin Williams Kem Aqua Plus.

Blacks are finicky.

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Old 12-21-2012, 06:01 PM   #11
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Re: Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!


Flattening paste is not milky, it is hiding.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:22 PM   #12
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Re: Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!


I appreciate all the replies...This was a brushed application, and perhaps I didn't let the stain cure long enough. I started to sand, but it looked terrible. Waiting for the BM rep to take a look. What grit would anyone like to recommend if we do have to sand? I'm a carpenter by trade, and it breaks my heart to see thousands of dollars ruined by a few dollars worth of "clear coat".
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:26 PM   #13
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Re: Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!


$20 worth of stripper and a lot of swearing will fix that.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:33 PM   #14
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Re: Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!


Conversion lacquer maybe? I've always had great luck with it.
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:37 PM   #15
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Re: Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!


Over-brushing can cause problems too. My personal preference is to spray with a fine finish tip.

Stripping it is probably best. It's daunting and crappy when you first start, but it cleans up pretty quickly. Don't need to be too particular with the sandpaper. Somewhere around 120-150 should be good. Or start with 80 grit and then go finer to get it smooth. Be sure and vacuum the surface after sanding too.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:37 AM   #16
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Re: Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!


Water-based varnishes are a bit different from alkyds. If they are layered, milkiness may occur due to the film build, or from not allowing the coats to dry before adding a coat. In the can, they can appear milky or cloudy, although they will dry clear. As noted here, a water based stain is recommended under a water based varnish.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:08 PM   #17
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Re: Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!


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The less sheen, the more milky. The cloudiness comes from the flattening powder that's added to the product to reduce the gloss. Thin coats. Sand in between. Time the drying periods, and no more than 3 coats. It may go away. If not you may have to sand the last couple of coats off and re-coat. Good luck. For flat black I like to use Flat black laquer. Did you spray this on?
i would almost be winning to bet this is playing a large part...if you want to build up a thick finish but want it flat, you can use gloss to build and then finish with a coat of flat. The gloss doesn't have the flattening agents in it and its clearer then the "murky" flat.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:33 PM   #18
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Re: Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!


Oil based pigment stains like minwax and waterbased (not waterborne) finishes like BM don't like each other. If I had to guess, the milkiness may not go away over time especially with a very dark stain. The minwax water poly is pretty crappy as well. I'll keep my fingers crossed for ya but you may be sanding off a few top layers.

We hardly ever use oil based stains anymore. We now use mostly dye stains, water or alchohal and spray waterborn toners and top coats. We used to spray SW Kem Aqua (waterborn lacquer) but recently switched to Target Em6000 lacquer and EM 8000 conversion varnish. Both are outstanding waterborn products. The 8000 is a little tough to get the air/volumn just right. I don't think Target makes anything that's brushable. I think Target is much better than SW but I don't think it can be purchased over the counter, sold online only.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:39 PM   #19
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Re: Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!


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i would almost be winning to bet this is playing a large part...if you want to build up a thick finish but want it flat, you can use gloss to build and then finish with a coat of flat. The gloss doesn't have the flattening agents in it and its clearer then the "murky" flat.
I think Ghost is heading in the right direction...to add a thought to this. I've never had good results spraying flat over gloss without sanding the gloss coat flat first. You could use a high gloss with no powder added and then rub it out to a flat gloss. This may even take the milkiness out of the under coats of BM. Just a thought.

I know how much it sux having a great piece only to get messed up at the end.

Last edited by GCTony; 01-02-2013 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:35 PM   #20
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Re: Clear Coat Causing "milky" Finish!?!


had to refund about 6 gals of stays clear b/c of this. the customer definitely put it on too thick and used a pretty cheap roller but i even went and tried to roll some out w/ a mohair roller, working in sections and even thinned it a bit to keep it from drying so quick and it still went milky (just a little, but it did). i wiped some down just a bit w/ some lacquer thinner and it helped but we werent going to do the entire floor. i did a little research and it seems most of the waterborne polys will do this (milky, blue-ish, purpley hue) over the dark stain. dont really see a quick fix besides sanding a good bit.

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