Application Steps for General Finishes FLAT OUT FLAT
FIRST, stir FLAT OUT FLAT topcoat to mix in the solids that have settled
to the bottom of the can before and throughout the application process.
Apply 3 coats. More coats will not improve durability.
If desired, thin with up to 15% distilled water or General Finishes Extender.
Start by adding 5% in increments until you reach the desired consistency.
GF Extender will improve flow and leveling and increase open time, which is helpful in dry climates.
No more than 3 coats are recommended.
Flat Out Flat contains more matting agents to decrease the sheen,
and the finish can get cloudy when excessive topcoats are applied.
Apply a liberal amount of product using a synthetic bristle brush,
foam brush, pad applicator, or roller.
Avoid pressure and excessive back-brushing.
Before spraying, strain topcoat through a fine-mesh filter. Spray wet films at 3-5-mil thickness.
HVLP: 1.1mm-1.3mm spray tip, medium air cap. Verify tip sizes with your equipment supplier.
See our general guide for spray tip sizes. Keep your gun at a 90° angle, 6-8" from the surface.
On large, flat areas, use wet, even patterns 6-8" wide. For narrow surfaces, reduce the fan pattern
to 2-3" wide to reduce overspray. Overlap each pass 25% to conceal lines.
Wear a full filter respirator (NIOSH/MSHA approved) and work in a ventilated space.
If a faster build is desired over raw wood, use General Finishes Sanding Sealer for the first coat,
followed by 2 coats of Flat Out Flat.
Dry 2+ hours between coats in ideal conditions: 70°F/20°C; 50-70% humidity.
Be sure to allow adequate dry time. You can tell if a water-based finish is dry if it forms
a powder when lightly sanded with a fine-grade (220-320) foam sanding pad.
If in doubt, wait longer. Rushing the dry time can cause "blush," which is clouding in the finish
due to moisture trapped between the layers.
Increase dry time if:
• Humidity is over 80%
• 3+ coats are applied
• Thick coats are applied
• Applying over a previously existing finish
• Applying over products from other brands
Layering General Finishes water- and oil-based products:
Water over oil: Let oil-based products dry 72+hr before applying water-based products
Oil over water: Let water-based products dry 24+hr before applying oil-based products
To accelerate dry time in humid conditions, add General Finishes Accelerator and work in a space
with good ventilation and air movement. If you decide to re-coat before the recommended time, test dryness.
Finish sand between coats with a fine-grade (220-320) foam sanding pad to improve smoothness and adhesion.
Remove dust with a vacuum, oil-free tack cloth or clean water-dampened rag before re-coating.
Water-based finishes cure and harden for full use after 21 days in ideal conditions.
Avoid placing heavy objects on surfaces that have not completely cured.
Treat surfaces gently, and do not clean during the curing period.
Tips to prevent streaking during hand-application
To avoid streaking, apply a liberal amount of product and avoid using pressure and back-brushing.
Wipe the wood grain using smooth, even strokes.
Use a large applicator, such as a paint pad, for larger surfaces.
Remove streaks by buffing with or fine-grade (220-320) sanding pad, or sanding well and re-coating.
For the smoothest result, apply with a spray gun.
Do not mix Flat Out Flat and High Performance topcoats.
They are engineered with different resin systems.
Flat Out Flat is not recommended for high-use areas such as cabinets and tabletops.
The popular flat sheens are lovely, but they have different properties than glossy finishes.
The flatting agents required to reduce sheen in matte topcoats also slightly reduce clarity, water resistance, durability and resistance to chemicals such as ketchup, soap, chemical cleaners or ammonia.
This is not much of a concern in low-use areas but is important for tabletops or kitchen cabinets.
Here is a tip to improve the performance of your finish and still obtain a matte sheen:
For optimum performance use a semi-gloss sheen for the first 2 coats and Flat Out Flat for the third coat.
Or, instead use High Performance Water Based Topcoat or Arm-R-Seal Oil Based Topcoat.