Being a member of the Benjamin Moore PAB, I sometimes get products to review before they are released to the market. About six months ago I was selected to review BENWOOD Stays Clear, the newest gennex line of low VOC waterborne polyurethane. I had a lot of experience using the old line of stays clear on both wood flooring, furniture, and trim for many years. It was an easy to apply clear that dried very quickly and would harden after a two week cure. I like it so much that I chose to use it on my own oak flooring when I refinished it five years ago.
It has held up very well to lots of traffic, but could use a fresh coat. That is a wonderful thing about this product, you can scuff sand and re-coat easily. I was excited to try out the new formula, and am pleased to see some improvements in the hardness, and application. I applied to some oil stained birch bead board wainscot with my hvlp with a 2.0 tip reducing only with water by 10%. Finish applied easily without any fisheye issues or separation of the finish you find in many wb clears. Outstanding finish in this application and I wouldn’t hesitate to use it again.
My next test was for red oak. I was sampling some for a local builder and decided I would try it along with some oil base poly that was spec’ed. Below are some progression pics as I built the finish up in high gloss. The sample oak had not been planed, so it wasn’t as flat as possible and there were some chatter marks there from the mill. This was clear grade red oak, and I have to say I was extremely pleased with the outcome. The owner and builder both were so impressed they decided to go with the wb over oil after reviewing the samples.
Sanding between coats was tough, and even more so after I achieved a good film build. I had to get very aggressive hand sanding as I progressed to 180 grit to remove any material or even scuff the finish. It did come to a very acceptable flatness after the fourth coat however, and I feel confident this coating will perform wonderfully with regard to durability as a flooring clear. So all you finishers out there keep and eye out for when its released, and give it a go yourself. I hope you are as pleased as I was.
I welcome your feedback or questions you may have, and would be happy to share my experiences in the comments below.