Author Topic: Best finish for a bathroom cabinet?  (Read 1913 times)

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Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3677
Best finish for a bathroom cabinet?
« on: April 28, 2017, 10:45 PM »
There is some jarrah veneered MDF that I have found available.
And I already have some Jarrah planking to use to edge the panels.

So I am working on the design now and drawers, and the Mrs has additional ideas that I need to consider.
An hour ago I went to the local shop and got an offcut of the Jaraah veneered MDF, to work through the steps as well as testing finishes.

What I believe I want to do is oil the panels (Tung or Surfix), and then else something on top like Epifanes Varnish or Bondall Monocel.

1) Epifanes have clear, rubbed effect, and poly-urethane...

2) or... should I use an 2pac epoxy like a West Systems?

3) or... the Bondall Monocel that @Untidy Shop  mentioned in another post?

4) Or something else entirely like a lacquer (nitrocellulose, or catalyzed)


@Holmz
Well I certainly am not dismissing OSMO here.

But I doubt an exterior oil, even Festools, will last the distance on ply.

If you do end up at a large green shed have a look at the Bondall Monocel range of marine grade stain and varnish. And it's Aussie Made.


Description:
Monocel Gold Marine Grade Stain and Varnish is a high performance single pack transparent finish for timber which is suitable for harsh exterior surfaces and marine timber.

Providing maximum exterior durability and colour retention this stain and varnish is designed to withstand the harshest of Australian conditions. It features advanced NanoZ™ technology (Invisible Zinc) which is a unique ingredient offering protection against UV-light exposure.

NanoZ™ technology (UV resistance)
Australian made and owned
Hard and durable marine grade finish
Heat resistance
Highly resistant to most household chemicals


...

I got stuck into a piece of plate glass with a Turbo cup wheel on a grinder for the counter top.

While it generally works to give the right look from the flat side, the grinder was smacking the glass a the 'turbo vanes', and the cup was running a bit  eccentric which cause some cracks which then propagated through to the other side.... And later the panel broke when the cracks telegraphed. So I am glad is was a test piece!
Yesterday I wandered into a cabinet shop yesterday to look a Formica (TM) laminate and stone looking products.

If there is a particularly good book or two on bathrooms cabinets etc, then I am open to suggestion.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 11:46 PM by Holmz »

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Offline rizzoa13

  • Posts: 539
Re: Best finish for a bathroom cabinet?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2017, 11:45 PM »
Ive used the west systems epoxy ultra clear or whatever it is on a slab table. That stuff comes out crystal clear and hard as a rock but it will make the wood feel like plastic. Maybe not plastic but there will be no grain feel or show once your done with it. So if thats what your going for, the west systems is great.

Offline Rob-GB

  • Posts: 988
Re: Best finish for a bathroom cabinet?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2017, 06:36 AM »
If you have access to cellulose based lacquer/spray kit that may give you the longest lasting finish before maintenance is required but most of the others will need some work over time.
As said above the epoxy route does tend to feel (and look to my mind) a bit plasticky.(so I would not use it personally for this project)
I have used flooring grade oil and hard wax oil on both bathroom furniture and outdoor projects with really good results and epoxy and marine grade varnish on boats so literally any type of finish you mentioned will work, just some need a bit extra care to maintain them.

Hope that helps.
Rob.
Problem? No such thing! Only a solution waiting to be found:- RJ

"A $2 guppy swims......" Deke

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 132
    • In The Woodshop
Re: Best finish for a bathroom cabinet?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2017, 09:21 AM »
I would be using a poly. I have just completed a kitchen using a water-based poly, which I hand rubbed (no spray equipment). It came out really well. Do not attempt to brush water-based poly. It does not flow out well, and leaves brush marks. But the hand rubbing (more like rubbing off than rubbing on) worked beautifully.

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline Jim Kirkpatrick

  • Posts: 987
    • Jim Kirkpatrick Woodworking
Re: Best finish for a bathroom cabinet?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2017, 11:01 AM »
Derek is on the right track.  In fact that's what I used until I discovered Arm-R-Seal by General Finishes.  You apply it exactly like oil, rub it on, then wipe it off using the same wet rag.  It's more forgiving than poly in that if you goof up with a drip, sag or friction streak, you can easily clean it up with some steel wool or fine sandpaper.  Here's a picture of a vanity I made last summer with Arm-R-Seal.  The vanity is in satin finish and the mirror picture is semi-gloss.  It's very durable.






Offline montyss

  • Posts: 18
Re: Best finish for a bathroom cabinet?
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2017, 05:37 PM »
Jim after seeing that finish that looks like something I'm going to try in the near future ... you cab looks Great

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3677
Re: Best finish for a bathroom cabinet?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2017, 08:03 PM »
I have available Festwatson, etc at Bunnings, which is like a Home Depot, but a bit smaller.

Then via a truck, I can get Epifanes, a nitrocellulose lacquer, etc...
I see a rub on Epifanes...

And I like lacquer but totally forgot I did a bathroom 25 years ago in a lacquer, and eventually it checked a bit but still has never been refinished.

I have heard good things about General Finishes, but they are not general to Australia.
Hence I am leaning towards the epifanes or the lacquer, which are both silly $, but in a 5 or 20 litre containers it is at least seeming not too bad.

Derek what brand did you use on those maple kitchen doors?
And does that gear have the ability to go over an oil?

Mine will be jarrah on MDF, so I will surely epoxy up any raw edge on a sink cutout. And the MDF is less water tolerant than wood.

I will be using a test peice and probably letting it sit in the shower for a few weeks, just to give it a thorough example of the worst.

Thanks/Ta/Grazi

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 132
    • In The Woodshop
Re: Best finish for a bathroom cabinet?
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2017, 12:55 AM »
Hi Holmz

As I built the kitchen in USA Hard Maple, which I wanted to keep as white as possible, I decided to purchase General Finishes water-based poly through Amazon. It was more expensive than going to Bunnings and picking up Watco or Feast Watson, which may have worked just as well, however it came with wonderful reviews generally and in FWW magazine.

The write up of my finishing process is here:  http://www.woodworkforums.com/f9/hand-finishing-water-based-poly-211563

Two coats of Ubeaut White Shellac (unwaxed) diluted 50% - to ensure no raised grain - followed by 5 coats of hand rubbed GF. Below unfinished on finished ...



Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline kcufstoidi

  • Posts: 729
Re: Best finish for a bathroom cabinet?
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2017, 07:13 AM »
"Mine will be jarrah on MDF, so I will surely epoxy up any raw edge on a sink cutout. And the MDF is less water tolerant than wood."

If you use waterproof MDF, I would think its available down under, that would solve a lot of future problems. I you are laying up your own veneer use a good veneer glue like or similar to Unibond 800. Treat the wood and panels with vinyl sealer which is a water clear, inexpensive water protection which can be applied like shellac as an undercoat. its solvent based so let it dry for at least a day. Top coat with your chosen clear finish.

John

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3677
Re: Best finish for a bathroom cabinet?
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2017, 08:07 PM »
The jarrah is pre glued as a finished sheet.
I did biscuit-n-glue on some 1/2" wide jarrah wood strips and the next day I cut the edges level with the ply.. and sanded. I mitred the corners which needs some technique for glowing up to avoid a gap.

And the Donkey's ear post was helpful for me.

The epifanes box was sitting in front of the door yesterday.

I may try the