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Thread: It's cold and I need to finish with Poly ??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Alpharetta GA ( Metro Atlanta)

    It's cold and I need to finish with Poly ??

    I am making a "train table" for my 3yo grandson for Xmas.

    It is all birch ply. My usual finish for this kind of thing is 3 coats of satin poly

    However it has not been warm. Last year I ran into same problem with late planning and cold basement for a finishing project.

    Is water based poly easier to deal with with less heat in the basement ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    I just checked a can of General Finishes Water based simi gloss water based and all it says it at 70 degrees and 70% humididty it will take 2-3 hours. I says at colder temp it will tak up to 8-10 hours. I know from expierance that lower humidity will shorten the time to dry. I hope this helps. How cold is it in your basement.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Charlotte, NC
    Bartee, Recently I was using a water based top coat (Target USL) and found it can take 2 to 3 times longer to cure in a 45 degree area as compared to a 75 degree area. So low temp will slow down water based as well. BUT the water based poly dries faster than the solvent so I would think it may be worth a shot if it means making that 3 yr old happy. Could you put a space heater nearby?

  4. #4
    I have a goose neck floor lamp. You know the kind that has a flexible neck that you can twist around to suit your needs and a metal shade that surrounds the bulb. That is my answer to a cold basement. After application of a coat of Poly I direct the lamp over the project and let it set over night, the extra heat helps to cure out the poly. Sometimes it only needs a little help to cure. Or you might try an area heater near by to knock the chill off.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Rochester Hills, MI
    About four years ago I had to put two new exterior doors on a home for some friends of ours. I bought the doors ad HD and they were nice solid wood six panel doors but they were raw wood. I did all of the machining and fitting into the existing frame. I got them installed and working correctly and then removed them and reinstalled the original doors while I did the finishing work on the new ones. It was winter time so working outside was not an option and I had to do it in the basement. My basement was probably in the mid to upper 50's as far as temps go. What I did was to lay the doors across a couple of saw horses and when I was doing the finishing work I used one of those 1000watt halogen work lights. It's two 500 watt units mounted on an adjustable stand. It worked very well! I could "adjust the heat" by moving the placement of the fixture. If I wanted it warmer I just moved it closer and vice versa. Those things kick out a LOT of heat and raised the temp in the immediate area quite a bit and the sealer, stain, and urethane all dried very well without any problems. (That is problems with the drying/curing of the doors) Don't ask me about the reaction of SWMBO to the smell in the entire house during the project.

    Just a thought. I'd be a little afraid of a space heater in this situation. I've left the lights on overnight while doing this several times and never had a problem. But I'd be a little concerned leaving a space heater running unattended.

    Good luck!

    Last edited by John Pollman; 12-31-2006 at 04:05 AM.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    John Pollman said:
    Don't ask me about the reaction of SWMBO to the smell in the entire house during the project.
    I know what you mean about the smell of polyurethane. Last time I applied oil-based poly indoors, it permeated the entire house. Making matters worse, when LOML removed a load of clothes from the dryer, it came out smelling like burnt plastic. She was not amused.



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