Circa 1850’s Nu-Lustre-55 finish is, without a doubt, one of the most resilient finishes you can achieve. It’s a two part epoxy that dries to a clear, glossy finish. A single coat is about 1/16″ thick – the equivalent of 55 coats of brushed on varnish.
Nu-Lustre is somewhat easier to apply than varnish. You simply pour it on a surface – the product self-levels fairly quickly, and cures within 24 hours. When using Nu-Lustre it’s important to mix equal parts of the hardener and resin. Measuring is crucial – no eyeballing amounts here. You have about one hour before the mix sets up. It’s a good idea to do a trial run on a small surface just to get the hang of the product before you commit to your finished project. Occasionally bubbles rise to the surface. The easiest way to remove these is to gently blow over them through a straw. When cured it’s a very durable finish that resists scratching. If it does get scratched judicious sanding with fine sandpaper will restore the finish. You can add universal tinting colours to Nu-Lustre as well. A new version, Nu-Lustre Anti-UV Formula, specifically designed for exterior and marine use, has just been announced.
Nu-Lustre is best used on flat, level surfaces. On vertical or round surfaces it will run and attempt to self-level. For these surfaces you can slightly heat the product before using it so that it can be brushed on. The resulting finish will not be as thick as on level surfaces. Nu-Lustre has been very popular for a number of years as a sealant for crafts. People use it as a finish over leather, puzzles, plaques, clocks, trading cards, photos, artwork and the like. Woodworkers could also use it on architectural trim (balusters, rails, pilasters and the like), and on bar tops, wood kitchen counter tops, and cabinetry in high humidity environments (such as bathrooms).
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