I’m in the process of designing a couple projects that will come into contact with water, so I looked through the forums on what other folks have used, went to the local hardware store, dropped some money on a bag full of sealants/finishes, and decided to give them all a try. Since it looks like there isn’t too much information on how proofgrade materials look with stuff coated on them I thought I’d share what I found out.
First I cut a bunch of (about) 1" by 1" standard test designs on the proofgrade draftboard and maple hardwood I got with my GF. These designs have both levels of scoring and etching from the GF app, as well as a small hole cut into the top. I then applied the following on the design:
1 - nothing (control)
2 - Minwax water based polycrylic, 1 coat
3 - Minwax oil based fast drying polyurethane, 1 coat
4 - Howard cutting board oil
And here are the results. Draftboard is on top and maple hardwood is on the bottom:
So yeah, the draftboard just soaked that butcher block oil (4) right in. And the oil based polyurethane (3) too to a lesser extent. The polycrylic (2) looks nice on the draftboard, but it has a really rough texture. It may just be me not applying it correctly? Hopefully it’ll improve after I sand it down a little and toss on another coat because it’s the only finishing that preserves (most of) the scoring contrast on the draftboard.
As for the maple hardwood I honestly didn’t expect too much of the finishing to stick because the wood was already finished. But it definitely worked. I don’t like the way the polycrylic (2) looks on finished maple but the polyurethane (3) and butcher block oil (4) look good—the 4th one looks better in person than on camera—and I can both feel a difference between them and the control and see that they reflect light differently. I’d say the polyurethane one is even shiny.
Next week I’ll put a second coat on all these samples, do the same on maple plywood once I get them in, and update with some better pictures during the day. And then once I get the backs coated as well I’m planning on doing some submersion tests as well.