Finishing with Bona Mega

Discussion in 'Other Home Decorating & Remodeling Projects' started by otterslide, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. otterslide

    otterslide Well-Known Member

    Bona Mega is advertised as a floor finish, but since I'm doing stairs, I don't want to have one finish on the stairs and a different one on the stringers, posts and handrails..
    So I just did a post with Bona Mega finish, but it feels a little difficult. I've never finished anything before though, so I'm just wondering if anybody else has used Mega on vertical surfaces?
    I have to be very careful with it so it doesn't run.. it seems it's possible, but the coat has to be very thin. I may end up with 4 coats... I really wonder if anybody has had experience with Mega as well as the usual water based topcoats like General Finishes Endurovar etc. or Minwax Polycrylic, and what the difference is between them? Does Bona say this is for Floors because this stuff is considered too thin for vertical surfaces? Or maybe they just don't want to deal with supporting the general public?

    I called them and they say this is for PRO use only, they can't help me, they don't know if it can be used for posts or not, PROs know what they're doing and only PROs should handle this product. It says that on the bottle too.. Professional Use Only... Why wouldn't they want homeowners using it?..

    I picked it because it dries in 7 days fully, and it's very likely one of the hardest finishes compared to what you find in big box stores like Minwax. I just found out about General Finishes, but I had already bought the Bona. I think the Endurovar could've worked quite well.. now I don't know if I should start using endurovar for the posts and stringers, it will probably have a different sheen and not match the steps.

    Any tips of applying the Bona would be appreciated! I'm using a foam brush, it works very well for treads and handrails, but for the post it was a little difficult to get in the nooks and crannies.. I'm afraid a brush may leave too many brush marks. I can always sand the final coat with a very high grit.. and sand the runs if any between coats..
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  2. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti Senior Member

    I wonder if a pro would spray it. HVLP style. It would be a hardwood staircase professional that would know.
  3. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    With water based finishes you don’t want to put them on so thick like you would an oil based finish. I’d try and brush on multiple light coats.
  4. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    All the ballasters and railings I've ever seen done was done with laquer and sprayed.


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  5. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I've seen the wood guys using paint pads and not foam. The type with the fine soft short bristles.
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  6. otterslide

    otterslide Well-Known Member

    Well, I put it on with the HD foam paint brushes that you find at Home Depot and it worked, but I had to be very careful. I did get a few drips, the layer has to be very thin on vertical surfaces, but if the temperature is quite high, it dries fast and it doesn't get a chance to drip (80F). Lower temps are worse and keep it thin for a long time (70F and below).
    You have to be quick when it's hot,.. and when it's cold, careful.. Probably 75F is ideal..

    I ended up having a big problem.. the Bona Mega is very slippery, so I have to go and buy Traffic Anti Slip.. Mega in semi-gloss is terrible for stair steps, but looks great on everything else, turned out very shiny and nice, everyone likes the pieces I did. It worked perfectly over the General Finishes stain, didn't re-activate the stain , allowed me to brush 3-4 times, no problem.. but if I brushed a 5th time a couple of minutes later, it would leave streaks , but not very bad. So all in all, it's possible, but you have to be very careful, and just barely wet the surface with it, otherwise it will run. 3 coats are required to get the full glossiness.
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  7. otterslide

    otterslide Well-Known Member

    Bona Mega worked great for balusters and railings in the end, I just had to be careful to not apply too much. It shrinks nicely and all brush marks disappear. It also has good strength and bonded well with the General Finsihes water based stain.

    On the other hand, Endurovar was a terrible product. I don't know how other people managed to like it.. maybe they never tried Bona. Bona is superior and costs less, smells less, dries faster.. levels better, hide brush marks better.. I was completely let down by general finishes with this Endurovar topcoat. 3M medium adhesion tape peeled it off 3 weeks after applying it. Didn't have this problem with Bona Mega just days after applying it.

    I think Bona Traffic can sustain medium adhesion tape within hours, but of course it's a superior product.. unfortunately my Bona Traffic jug was sold to me expired and I ended up with this terrible Endurovar stuff thinking it might be somewhat better than Bona Mega.
    Next time it's Bona stain and Traffic all the way.. Bona stain is oil modified just like General Finishes and Bona Mega is oxygen crosslink just like Endurovar, but somehow Bona manages to make the topcoat smell less and cure better and stronger, so likely the stain will also have superior qualities.

    I believed in the whole General Finishes hype that everyone seems to talk about how great they are online, only to end up with an inferior product. Plus I had to inhale a terrible amount of stink from this Endurovar for many nights, since it cures quite slow and emits a lot of smell compared to Mega.. 3 coats on 18 steps.. and now more coats again to repair the peeled parts.
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
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  8. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    Don’t use blue tape on wood anymore is what I’m told. 3m changed their formula and now will remove finishes when removed. The time it takes to chemically react with the finish is varying so better off not using it, especially if more than 24 hours. Frog Tape was suggested as a better alternative. Also can take finish off of LVP
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  9. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti Senior Member

    I’ve always used masking tape. The amount of tape would be pricey for blue and green is even more expensive. I stretched out the tape as I pulled across the boards. I don’t recommend using it of course, i take responsibility of my actions finding every once in awhile I do with contractors. Septic guy, backhoe go ahead and dig, I’ll pay for any fiber optics/wires you cut. Termite guy, go ahead and drill through that area, I’ll pay for water line rupture.

    Kinda annoying when Lowe’s was getting rid of the cheap 1” masking tape or price was going up. I understand, how can a good profit be made with cheap tape.

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