Jason previously worked as a polymer chemist, which he says gives him a unique insight into the finishing aspect of woodworking. "I don't make finishes, but the chemistry is the same," he said. "I kind of delve into the science behind it." He says he's finding that newer waterborne finishes are an alternative to lacquer that they weren't even seven or eight years ago. "Now my number one finish is General Finishes Enduro-Var. Its ease of use rivals any lacquer, at least in my hands it does,""I'm not trying to use green finishes, I just think they're becoming more durable."
"I've never been a fan of water-based finishes, but a new wiping varnish from General Finishes has me excited to give them another try. Wood Turners Finish, available soon from Woodcraft and Rockler, combines the best of oil and water based finishes.
In order to create a finish that is compliant with VOC regulations, they've taken the same alkyd urethane varnish typically found in oil-based finishes and wrapped it in a water-based delivery system. The result is a finish with the warm tone and feel of an oil-based finish, but with the fast dry time of a water-based finish. It's fast dry time and it's ability to be rubbed out to a high gloss is the reason it's being marketed as a finish for turning, but there's no reason to think that it wouldn't be great for other furniture projects as well. A maple sample board rubbed to a satin sheen had a great, warm look that would compliment any project. The finish should be available within the next month and will retail for about $28/quart."
Dominic Collins, reporter for Scottish Woodworking Show 2009, says
"Overall it was General Finshes that took its place as king of new products, debuting ...dye stains and a range of Enduro wipe on sealers and finishes. General Finishes Milk Paints may not be cheap but I was impressed by their coverage and ease of application."
"Water base finishes are getting better all the time...they don't give off noxioius fumes, they dry fast, and they aren't flammable. Enduro's Water Based Poly is virtually identical to solvent based lacquer."