Arm-R-Seal Oil-Based Topcoats are made with the highest-quality urethane resin, making them extremely durable and long-lasting. Formulated to be wiped on with a cloth or applied with a foam brush, and they penetrate to provide deep-down protection for that "natural" look
All wood projects require preparation sanding before clear coating with a topcoat. If you skip this critical step, your finish may be rough and uneven.
See our video: How to Prep Sand Raw Wood
1. Sand up to 150-grit sandpaper.
2. Remove dust with a vacuum, compressed air, a tack cloth or a water-dampened rag.
See our video: How To Prep an Existing Finish
1. Scuff clean with a Scotch-Brite™ pad or maroon synthetic steel wool & 50:50 mix of denatured alcohol & water.
2. Dry 1-2 hours.
3. Sand lightly with 220-320-grit foam sanding sponge.
4. Remove dust with a vacuum, compressed air, a tack cloth or a water-dampened rag.
General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Oil Based Topcoat Application Steps
Watch our video: How to Apply Arm-R-Seal
- Work in a well-ventilated area.
- General Finishes recommends continuously stirring the wood finish throughout use to reincorporate solids that have settled to the bottom of the can. Alternately, stir well and immediately decant what you'll be using. Arm-R-Seal is a thin urethane topcoat; the flatting agents used to create flatter sheens quickly settle to the bottom of the can and need to be redistributed often.
- Test for adhesion when applying over a sealed surface.
- Arm-R-Seal rarely needs thinning due to its low viscosity. If desired, thin with up to 10% mineral spirits unless restricted by local or state regulations.
- Apply 3 coats. Additional coats will not improve durability. Finish sand between coats with a fine-grade (220-320) foam sanding pad or 400-grit sandpaper to improve smoothness and adhesion.
- Hand application: Apply a liberal amount of product using a clean cloth, natural bristle brush, foam brush or pad applicator with smooth, even strokes & light lap lines. The larger the surface the large the applicator needed. Wipe off the excess evenly with the grain & with light pressure using a cloth or high-quality absorbent paper towel. Avoid heavy pressure & back-brushing. It is more important to avoid over brushing when using Satin Arm-R-Seal, because of the increased flatting agents needed to create a SATIN sheen. Semi-gloss and Gloss sheens are easier to apply because there are little to no flatting agents.
- Spray application: Arm-R-Seal can be sprayed successfully, but we prefer hand-application methods because it is easy to spray too much in one area. Spray thin coats and immediately wipe or brush out runs if they occur. Spray wet films at 3-5-mil thickness. HVLP: 1.0mm-1.2mm spray tip, medium air cap. Verify tip sizes with your equipment supplier. Click here for a general guide to spray tip sizes. Keep your gun at a 90° angle, 6-8" from the surface. On large, flat areas use wet, even patterns 6-8" wide. For narrow surfaces, reduce the fan pattern to 2-3" wide to reduce overspray. Overlap each pass 10% to conceal lines. Wear a full filter NIOSH/MSHA-approved respiratory & eye protection and work in a well-ventilated space. Read here for more information on spraying techniques.
- Remove dust with a vacuum, compressed air, a tack cloth or a water-dampened rag.
Tips to Prevent Streaking
- Choose a semi-gloss or gloss sheen with little to no flatting agents. The more flatting agents, the more likely a topcoat will streak when applied.
- Optionally, if you want a flatter sheen, put down 2 coats of semi-gloss, followed by satin.
- Either stir and decant what you need to use immediately or stir frequently throughout the application process. Urethane topcoats are thin and the flatting agents used to create flatter sheens settle quickly to the bottom of the can.
- When working with a satin sheen, apply a liberal amount of product, and avoid pressure and back-brushing. Wipe along the wood grain using smooth, even strokes.
- Remove streaks that occur by buffing with 0000 steel wool or a fine-grade (220-320) foam sanding pad. You can also sand well and re-coat.
Compatibility With Long Oils
Arm-R-Seal can be used over Danish Oil, Linseed Oil & Tung Oil after they are dry. Allow oil to dry overnight before applying GF product.
Dry Time Between Coats
Dry 12-24+ hours between coats when applying over raw or stained raw wood, and dry 72+ hours between coats when working over an existing sealed finish in ideal conditions: 70°F/20°C; 50-70% humidity.
Inadequate dry time is one of the top reasons for finish failure.
You can tell if an oil-based finish is dry if it is no longer tacky, cool to the touch, and if you can press a cotton ball over the surface and nothing sticks. If in doubt, wait longer.
Increase dry time if:
- Humidity is over 80%
- 3+ coats are applied
- Thick coats are applied
- Applying over an existing sealed finish
- Applying over products from other brands
- Layering General Finishes water- and oil-based products:To accelerate dry time in humid conditions, work in a space with good ventilation and air movement. If you decide to re-coat before the recommended time, test dryness.
- Water over oil: Let oil-based products dry 72+hrs before applying water-based products
- Oil over water: Let water-based products dry 24+hrs before applying oil-based products
Cure Time Before Use
Oil-based finishes cure and harden completely after 30 days. Avoid placing heavy objects on surfaces that have not completely cured. Treat gently, and do not clean with commercial products during the cure period.