General Finishes offers a complete coatings system with a finish for every objective.
General Finishes Professional, Industrial, and OEM Water-Based Topcoats
Enduro Professional Tintable 2K Clear Poly
Enduro Professional Tintable 2K White Poly
Enduro Professional 2K Conversion Varnish
Enduro Professional 1K White Poly
Enduro Professional 1K Clear Poly
Enduro Professional Pre-Cat Lacquer
General Finishes Retail Water-Based Topcoats:
High Performance Topcoat
Flat Out Flat
General Finishes Exterior Water-Based Topcoats:
Enduro Professional Tintable 2K Clear Poly
Enduro Professional Tintable 2K White Poly
Enduro Professional 2K Conversion Varnish
General Finishes Oil-Based Topcoats
Gel Satin Topcoat
Wood Bowl Finish
Butcher Block Oil
Oil-based topcoats and ENDURO-VAR will amber over time.
All other water-based and High Performance top coats dry clear.
Never use any water-based topcoat with long oils such as Danish, Tung or Linseed.
Water-based top coats clean up with soap and water. Oil-based topcoats require mineral spirits for cleanup.
If you use water-based topcoats over oil-based finishes, make sure that you wait 72 hours between the two products. It is essential to let the oil finish dry longer.
For more complex projects with many details and corners or large surface areas such as cabinets, we recommend either ARM-R-SEAL liquid oil-based topcoats or water-based topcoats. Large surfaces such as cabinets or tables and complex projects with lots of detail are easier to cover with a liquid topcoat rather than a GEL SATIN topcoat.
Enduro Professional Topcoats are thinner and intended to be sprayed
HIGH PERFORMANCE can be brushed or sprayed. It can be thinned by adding 5-10% distilled water if needed.
Enduro Clear Poly is designed for professionals that routinely spray their finishes. High Performance is formulated for the retail market so it can be sprayed or hand applied.
Enduro Clear Poly is slightly more durable than High Performance in the categories of wear, water, and chemical resistance.
Even though Enduro Clear poly is more durable and more water resistant than High Performance, High Performance is extremely durable and also recommended for high-use surfaces like kitchen cabinets and table tops.
Both products can be sprayed.
High Performance can also be applied by hand with a foam/bristle brush.
Clear Poly and High Performance are both Urethane/Acrylic blends.
High Performance is sold in Pints, Quarts & Gallons by GF Retailers, Clear Poly is Gallon, 5-gallon pails and 55-gallon drums by GF Distributors. Cost is determined by Retailer/Distributor.
GF recommends using the least expensive product that will provide the needed performance characteristics. We offer a range of products designed for professional spray applications and brush-on finishes for consumer use.
Looking for hardness, clarity and fast stack time? Pre Cat Lacquer is the choice. Use in applications where there is little risk of chemical contamination issues from substances such as ketchup, soap, chemical cleaners, or ammonia. This is the perfect spray finish for interior doors, casing, moldings, door jambs and furniture that receives light use. When you think about it, interior doors don't take a lot of wear. You might wipe them down or dust them once in a while but that is about it. PreCat Lacquer is a hard finish that provides excellent build and superior clarity at a phenomenal price point. If you are not finishing a surface such as a tabletop where you anticipate chemical contamination during use, why pay for a more expensive finish?
Poly is the go-to cabinet finish. It has all the durability you need at a lower price point than Conversion Varnish. It is similar to High Performance in test measurements for chemical, water and wear resistance, but HP can be brushed and Clear Poly can't - it is already thinned for spraying. Clear Poly has a bit of an edge over High Performance in overall chemical resistance, a 98 rating vs 92.
This is our top of the line. Conversion Varnish is a post catalyzed high solids, two component urethane formulated for professionals who need the highest level of durability and chemical resistance. Varnish will cure the fastest. Requires NCO Catalyst. It is recommended for commercial applications or extremely high-wear surfaces such as countertops and bar tops
Flat Out Flat is formulated with a self cross-linking acrylic, and is designed to mimic the look and feel of a wax finish. Because of the increased matting agents used to create the "Flat look", this finish will have less clarity. Like wax, it dries softer to the touch than High Performance when completely cured, and will show more fingerprints. FOF finish will mark up more easily because of increased matting agents used to reduce the sheen, so it is not recommended for high-use tabletops.
Enduro-Var is an oil modified water-based alternative for customers that want the warm look of an oil finish in a water based coating. It looks more like an oil finish than a water coating, and can be sprayed or brushed. The original Enduro-Var adheres well ONLY over WATER STAINS, DYE STAINS, and RAW WOOD. Use over other finishes at your own risk. The new formula of Enduro-Var II is compatible with all GF products and dries to a lighter amber than the previous formula.
Exterior 450 provides a clear drying tough, protective finish that will withstand the rigors of the sun, rain, and wind. It is suitable for vertical surfaces such as fences, patio furniture, garage doors, entrance doors, outdoor kitchens and interior windows. It is not recommended as a deck finish. Fortified with UV absorbers to stabilize the finish, Exterior 450's built-in mildewcide retards mold and mildew growth.
SPRAY APPLICATION OF GENERAL FINISHES WATER-BASED FINISHES:
All General Finishes water-based topcoats and wood stains are ready to spray from the container without additives with the exception of Conversion Varnish. Always strain material through a medium to fine mesh filter before spraying. If necessary, in hot or dry climates, reduce 10 to 15% with General Finishes Extender to extend the open time.
Softwoods such as Pine absorb stain at an uneven rate and may respond better to staining if the wood is pre-sealed. General Finishes Pre-Stain Conditioner Natural can be applied to raw wood to condition the surface for uniform penetration of the stain. Pre-sealing will cause the final stain to be lighter so you may need to use a darker color. Always test your color on a hidden part of the furniture. Allow the Pre-Stain Conditioner to dry 30 minutes before applying your final stain color.
If you are using a sprayer that has been used for oil-based or lacquers, clean the unit thoroughly with acetone followed with hot water to purge the fluid passage. Apply a thin coat first that will dry and harden faster. Sand this first coat down to a smooth base on which to build your finish coats with a 220-320 grade foam sanding pad or #400-grit sandpaper. It is better to spray 2 thin coats rather than 1 heavy coat.
Contact your supplier to verify proper tip sizes for your specific equipment. GF's general recommended fluid tips for Wood Stains and Top Coats are Compressed air - .040 and Airless - .009.
This PDF lists general guidelines for several different types of sprayers with specific General Finishes product recommendations for HVLP listed below.
RECOMMENDED TIPS FOR GENERAL FINISHES PRODUCTS USING HVLP:
Milk Paint: 1.8mm-2.0mm
Brushable White Enamel 1.8mm-2.0mm
Stain Blocker: 1.8mm-2.0mm
Pearl Effects: 1.8mm-2.0mm
Glaze Effects: 1.8mm-2.0mm
High-Performance Topcoat: 1.1mm-1.3mm
Flat Out Flat Top Coat: 1.1mm-1.3mm
Water-Based Wood Stain: 1.1mm-1.3mm
Water-Based Dye Stain: 1.1mm-1.3mm
Exterior 450 Topcoat:1.1mm-1.3mm
Exterior 450 Stain: 1.1mm-1.3mm
Enduro Sanding Sealer: 1.3-1.4mm
Enduro White Poly: 1.3mm-1.5mm
Enduro Black Poly: 1.3mm-1.5mm
Enduro White Under Coat 1.5mm-1.8mm
Enduro Clear Poly: 1.1mm-1.3mm
Enduro Pre Cat Lacquer: 1.1mm-1.3mm
Enduro Conversion Varnish: 1.1mm-1.3mm
Air caps should be medium size. Contact your supplier to verify proper tip sizes for your specific equipment.
Break your work into sections such as dresser top or drawer fronts. Spraying too large of an area can result in a textured grainy surface. A correctly sprayed finish should appear even and glossy. It is important to spray enough material to allow proper flow and leveling of the finish.
Spray medium wet films at 3-5 wet ml thickness. Practice makes perfect. If you have never sprayed finishes before, take a large piece of cardboard and practice your technique first. Spray water on the cardboard to learn how the gun works. Check your fluid settings and adjust the controls to get comfortable with the spray angles and to develop your technique.
Keep your gun at a 90* angle, 6-8" from the surface. On large flat areas, use wet, even patterns 6 to 8 wide. For narrow surfaces, reduce the fan pattern to 2-3" to reduce overspray. For topcoats, overlap each pass 25% to conceal lines.
Keep your gun at a 90* angle, 6-8" from the surface. On large flat areas, use wet, even patterns 6 to 8 wide. For narrow surfaces, reduce the fan pattern to 2-3" to reduce overspray. Overlap each pass of stain 50% for even coverage and wipe back the excess with an absorbent cloth. For narrow surfaces, reduce the fan pattern to 2-3" to reduce overspray.
SPRAYING WATER BASED DYE STAINS:
Keep your gun at a 90* angle, 6-8" from the surface. On large flat areas, use wet, even patterns 6 to 8 wide. For narrow surfaces, reduce the fan pattern to 2-3" to reduce overspray. Overlap each pass of stain 50% for even coverage. If coverage is even, there is no need to wipe. If you have issues with uneven coverage, wipe back the excess with an absorbent cloth. For narrow surfaces, reduce the fan pattern to 2-3" to reduce overspray.
LIFE OF PRODUCT
Water-based products do not last forever, even when unopened. General Finishes products are best used within 1 year of the manufacture date listed on the bottom of the can. The life of the product may be extended to 2-3 years with proper care and storage.
Gravity can cause some solids to settle on the bottom of the can and slight separation on the top. This is normal. If working with older paint, use a paint mixing attachment on a drill. If the solids dissolve and clumps smooth out after mixing from the bottom, the product is in good condition for use.
See video tutorial: Tips on Storing Leftover Finishes
Water-based finishes crystalize and form a skin due to evaporation when the air-tight seal on a can is broken at first use. The following best practices will increase the life of your product:
Pry open sealed lid(s) with a paint can opener by hooking under the lid's rolled edge. The use of a screwdriver can disfigure the rim and lid, impairing a complete seal.
Keep lid(s) closed while working. Pour what you will use into a bowl, paper cup, or plate, and close can lid as you work.
CLEAN the chime of the can(s) thoroughly with a paper towel before closing to create a complete seal. Paint in the chime can be minimized by using a pouring lid, such as Fitsall. Avoid wiping used brushes on the lid.
Pound the lid(s) in place using a rubber mallet to avoid distorting the chime or lid. Dents in the lid from direct contact with a hammer can impair a complete seal. Alternatively, place a flat piece of wood over can lid and firmly pound shut.
Store in moderate temperatures. Avoid temperatures below 50*F/10*C or above 80*F/26*C. Frozen and heat-damaged product cannot be revitalized. Temperature-controlled spaces, such as a basement, are ideal for storage. Do not store product in an attic, garage, in direct sunlight, or next to something warm like a water heater or furnace.
Store the can(s) upside down to create a liquid seal, minimize evaporation and reduce the chance of crystallization. Decant remaining product from the can before stirring.
Decant leftovers to a smaller container when the finish is almost used up. Alternative storage containers for water-based products are plastic FIFO bottles or glass bottles. Do not fill metal-lidded containers completely to prevent them from rusting.
The following water-based product mixtures can be stored:
Until now, Matte sheens always came with a compromise in durability. Consumers have been asking for an ultra-flat topcoat that is as durable as our other sheens, and we are finally able to deliver!
Thanks to brand new patented polymer technology, we are now able to create a Matte sheen without waxes and matting agents that decrease durability.
All of our testing shows High Performance Dead Flat is as durable as High Performance Satin, which is a drastic improvement over Flat Out Flat topcoat.
Flat: (degree sheen)
Flat Out Flat: <5
High Performance Dead Flat: <5
Water Resistance: (max 5)
Flat Out Flat: 2
High Performance, Dead Flat: 4
Chemical Resistance: (0-100)
Flat Out Flat: 82
High Performance, Dead Flat: 92
Scratch Resistance and Marring:
Scratch Resistance is strong with both products.
Marring is better than Flat Out Flat and comparable to the Satin and Flat.
High Performance vs. Clear Poly
The main differentiator between these products is that Clear Poly is a spray-only product and High Performance can be applied with a brush or sprayed. Clear Poly is popular among high production contractors but both products produce professional results.
Patented self-matting polyurethane
Uses renewable resources, with no Prop 65 chemicals
Meets KCMA standards
VOC compliant nationwide
Warning: Do Not Mix!
Topcoat with a Dead Flat sheen CAN NOT be mixed with another sheen because a completely different polymer is used and the combined formulas will not perform well as one.
Leaders in Water-Based Finishing Innovation
General Finishes actively works to improve our products on an ongoing basis. As new finishing technology is released, we test and experiment to stay on the leading edge. Our chemist travels around the world and is sent new ingredients when they are discovered on a regular basis. We are one of the rare companies capable of incorporating new innovations and ingredients into our products, no expense spared, because of our dedication to staying on the leading edge and providing the highest quality product on the market.
High Performance Dead Flat is available in pints, quarts and gallons. Clear Poly Dead Flat is available in gallons. 5-gallon pails may be delayed due to label production and Canadian labels are pending translations.
Traditionally, flat topcoats were created by adding matting agents to gloss topcoat. These agents decreased the durability of the topcoat and produced a slight haze that reduced the vibrancy of an underlying stain or paint.
Using newly patented polymer resin technology, matting agents are no longer required. Our new Dead Flat topcoats produce a brilliant clear finish while providing significant improvements to chemical, water and mar resistance.
The new Dead Flat Matte sheen formula is available in the High Performance and Clear Poly lines. You can now achieve the look of our original Flat Out Flat while maintaining clarity and GF's high performance standards.
Superior water-based Enduro Tintable 2K Polys made in Wisconsin for professional, industrial, and OEM users. We hope you try it out; you’ll like it.
The term 2K references a product that is a 2-component polyurethane specifically catalyzed with Isocyanate to crosslink the polymer fully, which provides superior performance 1K coatings hardened PolyAzuradine or Carbodiiamide. To create Enduro Tintable 2K, General Finishes tested over 30 polymers, resins, and other ingredients sourced from around the world. These new coatings are engineered to prevent the biggest frustrations for today's professional, industrial and OEM users providing ultimate durability for interior/exterior use. General Finishes goes hard for great chemistry, so you don't have to worry when your clients are tough on the paint. Paired with Tintable 2K Clear Poly, you have a dynamic duo of 2 component finishes, the most durable interior/exterior coatings General Finishes has ever created. You can apply confidently, knowing that you are giving your customer the best the industry offers. Perfect for new or remodeled cabinets, furniture, woodwork, pre-primed steel, fiberglass, and exterior projects. Made in the U.S.A.
Ease of application. Whether in a shop or on-site, Enduro 2K is designed to flow and level for Professionals/Industrial users that apply with AAA, HVLP, Airless, or flatline systems.
Tintable to any major manufacturer's color deck. Enduro 2K hits the deepest darks, the bright whites, and everything in between. General Finishes recommends ColourFal Zero colorants.
Higher gloss standards for white and clear, with 90+ degrees on a 60-degree angle.
Fast production time: You can spray 3-4 coats of Enduro 2K and sand in between coats in one day. Enduro 2K cures for use in 5 days.
Fast film build: Enduro 2K'S are engineered with a combo of larger and smaller-sized resin particles, which, when combined with the catalyst, allows for a thicker, quicker film build than any 1K. It provides a better vertical hang when spraying built-in surfaces on-site, with fewer drips or sags.
Water and chemical resistance: Combining our new resin with catalyzation allows Enduro 2K to hit a commercial level of water and chemical resistance that *exceeds industry requirements and guidelines”. This is the perfect coating to stand the test of time on Wisconsin bar tops.
Excellent adhesion properties on properly cleaned and prepped wood, plastics, fiberglass, and pre-rimed steel. (It Sticks).
Exterior use:This new finish has an unusual balance of durability and flexibility, making it the professional’s choice for outdoor projects such as doors, benches, furniture, and tables. Do not use on deck surfaces.
Consistency. General Finishes prides itself on superior quality control to meet and exceed the customer’s expectations.