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Old 08-26-2011, 10:43 AM   #1
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Protecting wood blinds with polyurethane?


I just bought wood blinds (painted white) for my kitchen, next to my sink, and concerned that the occasional water splashing will warp and crack them prematurely. I'm thinking of protecting the blinds with a poly (water or oil based), but not sure if that's a good idea or not.

Thanks for your advice and product recommendations.

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Old 08-26-2011, 10:53 AM   #2
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Protecting wood blinds with polyurethane?


Hello and welcome Kevin, to the best darn DIY'r site on the web.

I don't think that the occassional splashing would effect blinds which have been factory coated.

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Old 08-26-2011, 11:05 AM   #3
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Protecting wood blinds with polyurethane?


I didn't think it would affect it either, but after just 7 months, they're already cracking on the edges. I called the manufacturer today and they are sending me a complete replacement blind. I don't want the new blinds to get damaged too.
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:38 AM   #4
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Protecting wood blinds with polyurethane?


Factory paint is usually a sprayed lacquer- it can be brittle and then a crack lets moisture in.
I have rarely seen it have much problem though.
If you do clear coat- don't use oil. It will amber over that white paint and really change the look. A good quality acrylic , and possibly done with a spray can ( brushing louvers can be a pain) might be an approach.

Test this on something else white before committing to your blinds to make sure you like the result..
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:49 AM   #5
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Protecting wood blinds with polyurethane?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brushjockey View Post
Factory paint is usually a sprayed lacquer- it can be brittle and then a crack lets moisture in.
I have rarely seen it have much problem though.
If you do clear coat- don't use oil. It will amber over that white paint and really change the look. A good quality acrylic , and possibly done with a spray can ( brushing louvers can be a pain) might be an approach.

Test this on something else white before committing to your blinds to make sure you like the result..
Wouldn't spraying laquer cause all the connecting gear (strings) to become stiff to the point of not functioning? Or are you suggesting taking the whole blind apart to add the coating?

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Old 08-26-2011, 12:06 PM   #6
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Protecting wood blinds with polyurethane?


BrushJockey: I don't have a sprayer, plus I would have to remove the slats. If I brush on a good quality acrylic poly, would I expect to deal with bubbles? Also, the white paint is matted and I would want to use a poly of the same finish (not glossy). Do you have a recommendation?
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:25 PM   #7
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Protecting wood blinds with polyurethane?


I understand that the manufacturer is sending you new blinds. Have you given any thought as to using Faux Wood blinds rather than real wood. They are made from a composite material and would not split like real wood. Maybe your supplier would substitute faux wood for you.

You have gotten some good suggestions already here so I may be repeating some of their points.

To try and hand paint a poly on a slat - get around the cords - and get a smooth finish IMHO is next to impossible let alone the amount of work it would be. Water based polys come only in satin or gloss (semi glass too maybe) so there will be a sheen. You stated that you wanted to keep the matte finish. Spraying would get into the cords, not a good thing.

Could the damage on the ends of the blinds come from opening and closing them or raising and lowering them?? hitting something at the sides?? I agree that a little splash here and there would not cause your issue.

The price of blinds has come down so much in the past years that I would just replace them if they get to bad again. Just dont feel that trying to put on a protective coating will be your best solution.
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Last edited by m1951mm; 08-26-2011 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:05 PM   #8
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Protecting wood blinds with polyurethane?


I guess i was picturing wood shutter type, not with strings.
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:18 PM   #9
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Protecting wood blinds with polyurethane?


Faux wood is definitely a better choice in this case, but unfortunately we bought real wood. The manufacturer will warranty like product, but won't allow us to change product without out of pocket costs. This is why I'm trying to figure out the best way to protect the wood slats. Also, the damage definitely came from the water; nothing has banged into them and we hardly ever open and close them.
The good news is the the damage is limited to the bottom few slats, and only in the area directly behind the faucet. What water-based acrylic has the least amount of sheen? I may want to test it on another piece to see if the "look" is acceptable or not.

Thanks,
Kevin
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:44 PM   #10
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Protecting wood blinds with polyurethane?


Mini Wax is the only water borne poly I have worked with. Tricky to use as it sets up very quickly, not very easy to go back over and touch once applied. It will be shiny!!!!! The lowest sheen is satin which will have a sheen.

One thing that may work for you is to save the old blind. There are normally plastic buttons on the bottom of the blind bottom rail that hide the cord ends. It would not be that difficult to pop off the buttons exposing the knots of the cords and then remove the bottom rail, the fat one, and unstring a couple of the bottom slats and replace them with ones that are not damaged from the old blind. Just make sure when you reassemble the blind to do very GOOD knots under those buttons, lol.
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Last edited by m1951mm; 08-26-2011 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:11 PM   #11
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Protecting wood blinds with polyurethane?


Thanks for the tip Mickey, replacing the slats is a good idea. And since the slats would be away from the cords, I could use a sprayer instead of a brush.

Brushjockey...you mentioned using a spray lacquer. Would a lacquer solve my problem by sealing the slat AND keeping the matte finish?
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:23 PM   #12
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Protecting wood blinds with polyurethane?


I have played around with many of them.
Most have a sheen like a satin, even if they are called low luster.
The lowest i know of is Modern Masters dead flat. it is just that. Spendy, but you can get a qt.
Zar has Aqua Zar clear antique flat. It's pretty good. can get a pt.
In fact I recommend zar wood finishes in general, if anyone is interested. Good stuff.
Use a small soft brush and don't overwork. I like to add just a bit of water.

http://www.ugl.com/zarWoodFinishing/...WaterBased.php

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Old 08-26-2011, 04:26 PM   #13
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Protecting wood blinds with polyurethane?


Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinf. View Post
Thanks for the tip Mickey, replacing the slats is a good idea. And since the slats would be away from the cords, I could use a sprayer instead of a brush.

Brushjockey...you mentioned using a spray lacquer. Would a lacquer solve my problem by sealing the slat AND keeping the matte finish?
If you do try spraying the slats, start with an old one, the spray laquer may have solvents in them which will bubble the existing paint on the blind.

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Old 08-26-2011, 04:27 PM   #14
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Protecting wood blinds with polyurethane?


Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinf. View Post
Thanks for the tip Mickey, replacing the slats is a good idea. And since the slats would be away from the cords, I could use a sprayer instead of a brush.

Brushjockey...you mentioned using a spray lacquer. Would a lacquer solve my problem by sealing the slat AND keeping the matte finish?
No- I said the blinds are probably lacquer from the factory.
And then I talked about a clear acrylic in a spray can.
Go back and re read.
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:35 PM   #15
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Protecting wood blinds with polyurethane?


Brushjokey - Got it, thanks for the clarification.

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