Gel Satin Topcoat has been a long-time favorite finish of woodworkers, with a heavy-duty oil-and-urethane base that produces a beautiful, hand-rubbed look. Gel Satin Topcoat has a thick consistency, so there are no drips, runs or spills.
General Finishes Gel Topcoat Application Steps
- Even though General Finishes Gel Topcoat is thick, be sure to stir it well to reincorporate solids that have settled to the bottom of the can.
- If desired, thin the topcoat with 10-15% mineral spirits.
- Use only with adequate ventilation. Open windows and doors, or use other means, to maintain fresh air flow during application and drying.
- Apply 3 thin coats of Gel Topcoat using a cloth, natural bristle brush, foam brush, staining pad or pad applicator. The larger the surface the larger the applicator needed. Additional coats will not improve durability. Spread with a light motion, removing a small amount of the finish. Let the applicator drag along the wood grain in smooth, even strokes. Wipe off excess topcoat.
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 failures. 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:
- 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
- To accelerate drying 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.
- Finish sand between coats with a fine-grade (220-320) foam sanding pad or 400-grit sandpaper to improve smoothness and adhesion.
- Remove dust with a vacuum, tack cloth or clean water dampened rag before re-coating.
Oil-based finishes cure and harden for full use after 30 days in ideal conditions. Avoid placing heavy objects on surfaces that have not completely cured. Treat gently, and do not clean with commercial products during the curing period.