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CV to selfseal or not to (sealer)

pascal stgelais


I know I wont get a definitive answer but was looking more of a pros/cons of using CV as a self sealing or with a sealer.

I am currently using mohawk conversion sealer and conversion varnish (both post catalyzed).

I tried both selfsealing and with sealer and got about the same results. I have been digging the forums and both methods seems to have their followers but could not really find a kind of pros/cons of both. Some claim that self sealing is the best way to get the hardest finish and that sealers weaken the finish while others claim that to properly seal you need a sealer otherwise you wont get 100% performance.

I already asked the manufacturers opinions but there might be conflict of interest here since by advertising sealers he can sell 2 products rather than one. but would that be pointless to sell products that weakens topcoats.

Thanks for your answers

2/15/20       #2: CV to selfseal or not to (sealer) ...
Leo G Member

My take on it is the sealer is a weaker finish than the finish is. It is designed to be softer so you can sand it easier.

Pros for using it are usually the sealer cost less than the finish. It usually dries quicker. It usually sands easier.

Pros for self seal are you don't need to have two products available in the shop. You don't have to swap over from sealer to finish. I think it gives a harder finish because you don't have the softer finish under the harder topcoat.

2/15/20       #3: CV to selfseal or not to (sealer) ...
DannyB Member

Leo nailed it.
For self-sealing CV, it's basically cost of finish/energy to sand.

It provides no performance benefit.

There are types of not-self-sealing finishes that require sealer to operate at 100% performance. In these cases, the sealer is often closer to a clear primer, and promotes adhesion.

2/15/20       #4: CV to selfseal or not to (sealer) ...
pascal stgelais

thanks to both of you.

I also had the impression that the selfsealing was harder than the sealer. the first coat of CV was almost unscratchable using my fingernails while the sealer was a bit easier to scratch and lift

2/15/20       #5: CV to selfseal or not to (sealer) ...
Leo G Member

You should be able to scratch the sealer but not lift it. If it's dry-dry and you can still lift it you have adhesion problems. If you are pushing the time and the sealer is still a bit rubbery and you can lift it you should be waiting a bit longer for it to dry.

2/16/20       #6: CV to selfseal or not to (sealer) ...
Jim Clark  Member

The sealer gets a lot harder later on down the road.

2/16/20       #7: CV to selfseal or not to (sealer) ...
Leo G Member

It's still full of stearates to make it sand easy.

2/16/20       #8: CV to selfseal or not to (sealer) ...
dan shaf Member

I would invite everyone to read this pdf document "The Importance of Sealing".

The author of the article was a finish formulator, a consultant to the big factories, and he had many other distinctive titles.

The Importance of Sealing

2/17/20       #9: CV to selfseal or not to (sealer) ...
DannyB Member

The article was written at a time that lacquer was still super popular, and conversion varnishes were just coming into vogue.

It literally doesn't disagree with anything said here.

I bet if you emailed the author this thread, he would agree with every word written :)

2/26/20       #10: CV to selfseal or not to (sealer) ...
G Member

Do you spray a full wet coat then or reduce as the say if using as a sealer? I spray with a AAA graco and was told not to reduce with my unit.

2/26/20       #11: CV to selfseal or not to (sealer) ...
Leo G Member

For the most part I put in a reducer at about 2.5%. I find if I don't I get solvent pop. But that's just me using MLC Krystal.

But that's how I spray all my coats.

2/29/20       #12: CV to selfseal or not to (sealer) ...
Dan drb woodworks

Only time that I can think of using a sealer is if we use the level sealer under Krystal . Otherwise we just use Krystal . We add the flow enhancer in the summer months to prevent any solvent pop

3/4/20       #13: CV to selfseal or not to (sealer) ...

Always self-sealing. Always.

Invariably, I've found sanding sealers to be inferior to the actual topcoat in every respect except that it kicks over quicker and powders easier than CV topcoat.

Find a good clear CV that cures fast enough for your taste and skip the sanding sealer.

Also consider the benefit of having only 1 product that will take you start to finish. 1 product to order, 1 to inventory, 1 to train people how to spray, and I almost always spray the exact same mix for all coats. I find a thinner amount that works (usually 5-10% with a medium speed thinner) and leave it at that.

I've done this with several brands and have yet to regret it for any reason.

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