07:27PM | 04/26/04
Member Since: 04/01/04
6 lifetime posts
OK, being told to finish new maple kitchen cabinets with two coats of sanding sealer, nothing else...for a low sheen (sort of furniture finish) permanent finish. Will not be able to re-stain or adjust color without removing sealer.

Local expert is nixing this....he says sanding sealer is used most properly OVER stain, to stop re-absorption of any further NOT used as a top coat...and that it will actually sort of disappear over a year or so, like being absorbed into the wood???

Now, I've seen a recent application of two coats sanding sealer, and it sure was pretty..

AND I am really confused!!!

Please un-confuse me!!

Would welcome suggestion about an easy, knock-em-dead finish for these cabinets (want a kind of Swedish look)...

Thanks so much in advance...sure appreciate help!!

Margaretb in sc


03:42AM | 04/28/04
Member Since: 07/28/02
1356 lifetime posts
You can look at sanding sealer as a primer for the final finish coat. It is applied over the stain and it raises the grain of the wood and is then sanded for a very smooth finish. It is not designed for use as a finish as it is not as hard and durable as a polyurethane. It will not disapear over time and it will have a shine to it, but on cabinets it will not hold up over time like the polyurethane will. Once you put on the sealer you will not be able to apply more stain over it. It designed to keep the finish from soaking in, not more stain.

Once you stain the wood and apply a coat of sanding sealer and it is sanded and wiped down to remove the sanding dust you then can use either a satin, semi-gloss or gloss polyurethane over it. For the best look and durabilty two coats over the sealer will be best.

Hope this helps out. Let us know if you have more questions


04:29PM | 04/29/04
Member Since: 05/19/03
457 lifetime posts
#5 is right,but they do make a sanding sealer that can be used as a topcoat too BenMar and Hirshfields both have these.

You can use sanding sealer on unstained boards too if you are doing a natural look.


08:21PM | 04/29/04
Member Since: 04/01/04
6 lifetime posts
Thanks to both of you.....great info!!!

Tell me just a bit more about the sanding sealer that can be used as a top coat too...Benmar and , hmmm, the 2nd one was Hirshfields??? I'm making an assumption that these are brands? ...probably available at a paint or hardware store??? Guess I need to know where here in the South I go to find it.

What is it that makes them different from the regular stuff? I know, for instance, Minwax makes a stain/polyeurethane this sanding sealer a combo???? Will it give good, long range protection? Where have you used it???

The natural look is exactly what I'm cabinet doors made from maple, new white oak floor, with neat wide trim casings, rosettes and plinths around two newly installed 6-foot sliders...they already have two coats of sanding sealer on them....all of this is really pretty that I don't want to mess up.

Sure do thank you for taking time with this.


11:16PM | 04/29/04
Member Since: 05/19/03
457 lifetime posts
I have used the sanding sealer same coat process on all types of wooded doors we do,im not sure about long lasting protection this product just came out in the last i'd say 5 years.But as far as looks you cant tell any difference.

Yes these are brand names and im sorry if you live in the south won't be available for you.

But a good coat of sealer followed by 2 coats of satin 1 hour varnish will work great for you.I like the 1 hour oil based because it dries a little quicker so runs don't form as much.(because I like to use alot of product im not 1 to skimp om materials.

But if I can spray up then we use lacqueror,but you need not worry about that it dries so fast that it is not possible to brush this on,1 of my new guys tried brushing it and his brush was as hard as a rock in 5 minutes (had to be thrown away).

Good luck follow the directions on what you get and you'll be fine.


07:08AM | 04/30/04
Hey, retisin...

Thanks for the reply and good info :-)

Re-reading my last post, let me clarify: only the casing/rosette/plinth around sliders has sanding sealer on them...nothing has been done with cabinet doors or island. Got a couple of questions: 1) Over 2 coats of sanding sealer, is it feasible to put a coat of BenMar or Hirshfields??? (yep, I know...if I can find it, and I'm thinking about searching online???) This would probably be overkill? I understand 2 coats of satin 1 hour oil based you prefer one brand over another??? I do not feel confident about using varnish.....awhile back I finished a set of cabinets using half and half varnish and thinner as a first coat, then two coats of varnish as top coat....and it was spotty!!! Of course, this was before I knew about sanding sealer:-)

2) Any suggestions as to where to order online???

See, I really like the idea of topcoat sanding sealer!!! You're a pro, and sure that you can make a good job out of many products, but, boy, am I a duffer!! I depend on a "magical" product to get me out of the woods, so to speak....knowing this is not realistic...skill is a bi-i-ig factor in getting a good result.

I saw an exterior front door that a craftsman at Lowe's had finished with spray-on lacquer...and was it ever beautiful!! I tucked that away in "memory bank" for whenever we replace our fronts!!

Can't thank you enough for your expertise...and for taking time to talk with me...especially your encouraging words!!




07:30AM | 04/30/04
Member Since: 04/01/04
6 lifetime posts
OK....where online could I get a-hold of Benmar or Hirshfields??? I really like the idea of saving brush time, if there is no difference in the look, as you say?

Re-reading my last post, let me clarify: ONLY the casing/rosette/plinth around the sliders has sanding sealer on it. Nothing has been done to cabinet fronts, and island. I'm also assuming that a 3rd coat, using BenMar, on the casings would be OK (altho' maybe overkill???)

I've seen a front door finished with spray lacquer...and was it ever beautiful!! Tucked that one away for the future, when we'll be re-placing our doors...we won't be using pre-hung ones, so the spray lacquer would work easily, I think. Do you know, it just occurred to me.....the cabinet doors just pop off and could be sprayed lying out flat on saw horses. How crucial is a dust-free space when doing this? I could set up in carport...???? Need to do edges also??? I would be using canned spray lacquer...???

You're a pro, ...and have the confidence that you can make a good job out of almost any product...I'm such a duffer...almost afraid to tackle the satin varnish finish because of the skill needed with brush. (of course, there is skill needed also with that spray can!!) Will welcome your advice.

Surely do appreciate your words of encouragement about "being fine"....we'll see:-)

Where are you, btw???

Thanks again, so very much, for talking me through this...


(I wrote an earlier post that has not shown up on this board...just an explanation IF both finally make it..)


04:39PM | 04/30/04
Member Since: 05/19/03
457 lifetime posts

is mine

Ive never used a spray can lacq before so im not sure how it will look.

Don't be afraid of the brush it is so hard to get brush strokes with a clear.Honestly just apply it (varnish or poly) with a black bristle brush and it will look great,just put on good amount of material then when you have that door applied with the clear use 1 nice long brush stroke to make it nice and watch the puddling in the corners,thats easy just dab the brush and pull it out.I tell people all the time it is so hard to mess up the clears.

Yeah id take the doors off then and try spraying them.Dont go spratic with the can go from 1 edge to the other without letting up on the spray nozzle on the can,then make another pass keeping the spray pattern thats coming out of the nozzle about a 40% over lap meaning you will want part of the spray on the new line going across to reach into what you just did continue doing this until you get to the bottom.Yes the 1st coat will look dry and uneven.Sand with a 220 sand paper 1 stroke down 1 stroke back you are just trying to knockdown the high stuff,dust is no problem when spraying we do alot of doors right on the site on lawns,beaches,sandy areas,just not when its windy.So you will be OK in a carport as long as the damned bugs or fly's dont land on it.LOL,we have that happen quite often but we use a industrial sprayer and after we get the fly off it leaves a little impression but the net coat covers it right up.But with the rattle can spray im not sure.

Oh and go nice and slow with the can dont rush you want it to be a wet look but not heavy.Now that I got you all dumbfounded,go to it!

Honestly again don't be afraid its not that hard,oh the edges i'd do with a brush after the 1st coat of lacq this way you can wipe off excess that gets on the door (making sure 1st coat is dry 1st)2 coats sealer on edges dont fret about using a topcoat here.

Also get a gallon of lacq thinner NOT PAINT THINNER big difference you make want it for clean-up.

email me for any questions I will give you my phone # when you do.


03:30AM | 05/01/04
Member Since: 07/28/02
1356 lifetime posts
I would go with a brush on product as it is hard to get and even finish with a spray can on a surface that is laying flat as spray cans just don't do well at that angle.

I would go with a poly as the finish as sanding selaers are not desgined for long term durability but need a good finish over them. If you lay the doors flat and brush them they will look good and the brush marks will level out and be gone. Just be sure to buy a good chinese natural bristle brush to apply the finish.


04:02AM | 05/01/04
Member Since: 04/01/04
6 lifetime posts
You gentlemen are being so very, very kind to much I appreciate it! Want to tell you that I am taking the weekend off to go to State Cup soccer tournament down at Charleston SC, in the rain, I think....but granddaughter in U 13 with a pretty good team is playing second round game today. So I'm going to play instead of work! :-) Next week floor finishers are I'll connect again during/ the meantime, I'll be looking for products here, brushes (yep, 5, I've got the word!!), trying samples on scrap wood. Say, retisin, your site is neat!!! THANKS for ALL of this....appreciate it more than words can say..

You guys have a happy weekend...make memories, good is very sweet!!!


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