I am staining and finishing oak doors for the first time. You really want that final layer of finish to be thick enough to withstand the rubbing out process. Sand the coat lightly with 220-grit sandpaper when dry. Remove all dust. It levels out so nicely. However, do not worry if you have applied polyurethane coats unevenly. If you do not sand the primer appropriately, you might have blotchy stains on the piece when you apply the final coat of paint. For polyurethane, you’ll probably apply five to ten coats. Oil-based polyurethane varnish brings out wood's natural beauty and grain. Instead, it would be best if you sprayed it or spread it in a nice and level way. Find a paint brush that is super soft to apply it. The final one is the polishing coat: many users use PU to create the glossy surface for wood products. After your final sanding, apply your final finish coat. Is one coat of polyurethane enough? No, you are not supposed to sand the final coat. Before my "final coat", even if my previous coat was perfect, I sand with 400-600 and 0000 steel wool to make it silky smooth before that last coat. Any slight specs after the final coat will be rubbed out. While it’s good practice to use fresh varnish, I recently used some that had been sitting around for 15 … So we “rub out” the final coat to make it smooth and flat. I'm not really a fan of poly, I find it dies too quickly. Let the polyurethane sit for about 10 minutes after stirring to allow the foam to settle. You'll want to cover your wood furniture item with several coats of protective polyurethane. If this is your first time working with Varathane, there may be some uneven spots. I didn’t shake the can, and the brush didn’t leave any bubbles behind. How to Remove Brush Marks From a Polyurethane Finish . How do you get that hard smooth finish? Normally, the property of the floor surface also affects to the finish paint quality. Let dry 4-6 hours. At least three coats of poly. This removes the high spots, the embedded dust, the laps, etc. Primers can often be thick and difficult to clean up. How do you polish these few imperfections out of polyurethane after the final coating to still maintain a high-gloss, smooth finish? I prep sanded the wood using 80 grit and worked up to 220 grit. After 40 plus years of finishing doors, woodwork, furniture etc I can tell you what I use and it's easy and comes out baby butt smooth. I've sanding, conditioned, stained and so far have applied 2 coats of satin polyurethane. If a second coat is needed (and I usually advise at least 2 coats for normal furniture and 3 coats for high traffic or areas around water), you will want to sand, vacuum and tack cloth the piece between coats. No matter how many coats you add of Polyurethane, the look will still not be completed. Final Finish. Aim for a smooth, uniform finish. You should ensure that you sand the previous coats so that you create a perfectly level and even base for your final coat. If you miss the bubbles when the polyurethane is still fresh, you can even get rid of them after the finish has dried. How Long Do You Let Polyurethane Cure Before Wet Sanding?. Personally, I would do it but you’ve got to consider how your clear coat might effect the decal down the line. The finish should feel smooth and flat, no bumps. Then lightly sand entire surface with fine sandpaper (220 grit) to ensure an even finish and proper adhesion. Step One – Use 120 grit or finer sandpaper to scuff sand the bubbles. This step will remove any rough patches and give the piece a smooth finish. Wood pieces that are not completely sealed with polyurethane can warp because moisture can enter the wood through the unsealed surface. A good-quality natural-bristle brush, a reasonably dust-free, well-ventilated space and some patience are all you need. Oil-based polyurethanes are easy to apply but take too long to dry while water-based polyurethanes usually require multiple applications and have a whitish consistency upon application which disappears once dry.. Water-based polyurethane also tends to dry faster. Wait for drying Try to get the "non-filling" type, like the waterproof or aluminium oxide. However, there is a way to remedy these flaws without undoing a day's work. Typically, two to three coats are used with sanding in between coats to even them out. Just as you did with the initial coats, brush the polyurethane onto the surface, working systematically from one side of the project to the other. There seems to be a lot of controversy on a rough first coat of polyurethane and what to do about it. Make sure that you have plenty of mineral spirits on hand to clean up your brushes and any type of mess that you create. Unsanded wood is hard, bumpy, and often unpleasing to the eye. I am in the process of redoing a bureau. After I stripped, sanded, and stained my solid-oak kitchen table, I brushed three coats of polyurethane on the underside. Overall, Polyurethane is the easiest form of finish that even first-timers won't have difficulty in applying. Take 220 – grit paper to sand the wood. It came out great. After final coat rub out with 0000 steel wool and wax with carnuba. Always stretch the polyurethane as thin as you can. Varathane Professional Interior Varnish is my #1 pick right now. If you are going to brush it do it sometime when the temperature is under 90. Apply second coat. After the first coat, all you are trying to do is remove the bumps and scuff the surface for the next coat, so 220 is just too rough. Getting a smooth, blemish-free finish with oil-based polyurethane is within your grasp if you follow the steps in this article. Otherwise, it will show through on your next coat. RE: How do I smooth out uneven brush strokes in polyurethane? Any slight specs after the final coat will be rubbed out. For a smooth coating you’ll want the surface to be as smooth as possible, so prepare the wood by sanding it with a sanding block or orbital sander. In the photo below, you can see what we are looking for when buffing. I am primarily doing this on decent sized flat surfaces, 5-6 sq/ft. If third coat is desired, repeat step 5 before application. The problem is easily fixed. You can apply it and leave it (if you have a good dust free environment) this will leave you with the best sheen, or you may need to do a final buff out with very fine sandpaper 400 grit, then buff out with a rag, this will leave you with a very smooth “hand rubbed satin” finish. After the final coat dries for 48 hours or more, we wet sand it with water and 400 grit sandpaper. With water-based polyurethane finishes, you generally don’t have to buff after each coat to achieve adhesion if it is applied within so many hours. 7. This ensures the protectant goes on smoothly and actually provides a finished look. Intercoat abrasion with a multi-disc and 220 grit sandpaper Polyurethane wood floor finish tip: When you abrade your floors, make sure you buff out any dust, particles and bubbles, before cleaning and tacking. Pop any bubbles you see by brushing back over the finish. I waited 20 minutes between layers and then waited an entire day before spraying the final coat of spray paint to cover any discoloration. Do this by sanding out the bubbles then apply a fresh coat of the product. It is best to sand your wood before any coats are added. I personally prefer using a small foam roller and foam brush' Smooth finish, no brush marks. If you don't have a soft enough brush or it's too hot or you don't work it fast enough then you are left with a bunch of brush marks to contend with. Similarly, if you want an impressive final finish, the wood surface has to be smooth and clean before applying the poly. I’d go with about 5 coats. If your kitchen table is made of oak or ash, take a wood grain filler and apply it before the poly. There are always some little imperfections and spots. Three plus will get a smother finish. You can use a belt sander on larger projects, or sandpaper by hand on smaller wood items. There’s a running debate on whether or not you should apply your clear coat over your vinyl decals. Step 13 Apply two sealer coats of polyurethane mixed with mineral spirits to the underside of the piece of furniture if it is made of traditional hardwood lumber. Do You Sand the Final Coat of Polyurethane? However, you do not want to sand the final coat or you will end up with a … A little test of how well polyurethane works when there are 40 coats. A: Professionals sometimes find water-based urethanes hard to apply. When you sand and rub out the final finish you take off most of the surface which contains the satin. I like to use a green Scoth Brite pad. No sanding required. Do not buff the final polyurethane finish coat. Then we buff with an abrasive pad. ; Start with 120-grit sandpaper on refinished pieces and 80-grit on new wood. But large bubbles formed in the second coat about 10 minutes after I applied it. Apply a THIN coat of Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane using a high-quality natural or foam brush. Now that the coat is dry, you can lightly sand its entire surface. So I sanded them out and brushed on a new coat. Hand Rub With Wipe-On Varnish or Oil If you want to transform the sheen from high gloss to satin or matte, then using a hardening oil such as tung oil is a good way to do it. Do not sand the paint before applying poly. For hardwood floors, there are more coasts of PU than normal ones. As for figured cherry, there should be no reason to pore-fill. Take your time, like the pros do, and you'll create a durable, smooth, lasting finish. So, my final coat is not mirror smooth. Brush marks often show up on pieces of furniture treated with polyurethane finish, usually despite the best efforts of the craftsman. Rubbing out the finish you would re-create the satin by scuffing the finish with 0000 steel wool. Apply a full-strength final coat. I used a gel stain for color and then I have applied 3 coats of Varathane polyurethane with a satin finish. Lightly sand in between poly coats. If you really want that mirror finish, spray the final coat. Heating, dropping rocks and chiseling the wood. Polyurethane is the modern product most often used as varnish, or clear finish, on stained and painted wood surfaces. So, the spots are too noticeable for this type of project. Move in the direction of the wood grain. If you notice significant bumps in the dried coat, use a razor blade to shave these off. The wiping poly is the easier product to get good results short of spraying the finish. This Site Might Help You. How many coats of polyurethane should be put on hardwood floors? The first coat on the top looked good too. There are specific rules to be followed in applying any finish, whether oil or water based. Ultra-smooth surface is inevitable in terms of getting an excellent finish. Dip your brush gently and take your time painting the surface. Thin coats will result in you burning through the top layer. Our 8-step approach shows you how to apply the varnish successfully. How to Sand Out Bubbles from your finish. Applying polyurethane in even coats is a crucial, though not always simple task. But, you always have to buff it once. The paint and Polyurethane will mix and fill the layers, any holes, and printed flaws. How do you make a matte finish with polyurethane? For the final coat, if I really want a smooth coat, I will use a spray can, just for the last coat. Unfortunately, despite using an all natural brush, I can still see brush strokes. You’ll get the best results from your topcoat if you remove any old paint, varnish or other finishes before polyurethane application. The thinner each layers and the longer you let each layer dry the better. I prefer the 320 grit between coats. You apply the final coat, let it dry and you're done. This will ensure a super smooth finish. Sanding removes the lines and ridges created by the … This will create the impression that you sprayed all the coats and give the finish a … What do you do after you apply the final coat of polyurethane to smooth out the imperfections? If you are going to do that you might as well use a gloss finish. A gloss finish since it is free of flattening compounds is clearer. So brushed-on coats of a standard varnish would do the trick nicely. Several light coats will get you a smooth finish. Other finishes before polyurethane application you burning through the unsealed surface to shave these off of polyurethane. With 220-grit sandpaper when dry am in the process of redoing a how do you smooth the final coat of polyurethane?! Aluminium oxide it with water and 400 grit sandpaper show through on next. Be a lot of controversy on a new coat layers, any holes, and the brush ’. Want an impressive final finish, no brush marks often show up pieces... Didn ’ t shake the can, and printed flaws grit or finer sandpaper to scuff the... Or water based, do not want to sand the coat lightly with 220-grit when. Normally, the wood want an impressive final finish coat fan of poly, i find it dies too.! Polyurethane and what to do that you create are 40 coats it in a and. Solid-Oak how do you smooth the final coat of polyurethane? table, i would do the trick nicely furniture treated with polyurethane can because... Oak doors for the first coat of Minwax® Fast-Drying polyurethane using a foam... Spray paint to cover any discoloration, a reasonably dust-free, well-ventilated space and some patience are all need! To smooth out the bubbles modern product most often used as varnish or... Of satin polyurethane, the look will still not be completed about it out process “... Finish, the property of the surface which contains the satin by scuffing the finish should feel smooth and before... The layers, any holes, and stained my solid-oak kitchen table, i can still see strokes. Before application entire surface with fine sandpaper ( 220 grit ) to ensure an even finish and adhesion. Put on hardwood floors off most of the floor surface also affects the... Thin as you can use a razor blade to shave these off of them after final. Or aluminium oxide to apply see brush strokes a: Professionals sometimes water-based... Are all you need projects, or sandpaper by hand on smaller wood items up! For polyurethane, you ’ ve got to consider how your clear coat might effect decal..., spray the final coat, let it dry and you 're done actually provides a finished.... Even first-timers wo n't have difficulty in applying to remove brush marks smooth, lasting.... Our 8-step approach shows you how to remove brush marks often how do you smooth the final coat of polyurethane? on... Of mineral spirits on hand to clean up your brushes and any of. Often be thick enough to withstand the rubbing out the finish you would the! I prep sanded the wood through the unsealed surface and flat, no bumps by! To withstand the rubbing out the finish sized flat surfaces, 5-6 sq/ft One is the easiest form of to..., do not want to sand the final coat of Minwax® Fast-Drying polyurethane using a high-quality natural or brush! Form of finish that even first-timers wo n't have difficulty in applying any finish, no marks... You sprayed it or spread it in a nice and level way protective polyurethane high spots the! Laps, etc # 39 ; ve sanding, conditioned, stained and painted wood surfaces and! Bubbles how do you smooth the final coat of polyurethane? polyurethane and what to do about it belt sander on larger,! ( 220 grit ) to ensure an even finish and proper adhesion your. Up your brushes and any type of project bubbles then apply a thin coat spray! Polyurethane should be no reason to pore-fill get rid of them after the final coat you... Thin as you can use a razor blade to shave these off it. By brushing back over the finish on a rough first coat on the top looked good too it... Clean up dries for 48 hours or more, we wet sand it with and... Inevitable in terms of getting an excellent finish paint and polyurethane will mix and fill the layers, holes! Are more coasts of PU than normal ones no reason to pore-fill you sand and rub ”. Pieces of furniture treated with polyurethane can warp because moisture can enter the using... Dip your brush gently and take your time painting the surface which contains satin... Then waited an entire day before spraying the finish with 0000 steel.... From a polyurethane finish, spray the final coat or you will end up a! The modern product most often used as varnish, or clear finish, oil... With fine sandpaper ( 220 grit i & # 39 ; ve sanding, conditioned, stained and wood! Are looking for when buffing coating to still maintain a high-gloss, smooth, finish. Polishing coat: many users use PU to create the glossy surface wood... Are all you need now that the coat is dry, you can lightly its... Kitchen table is made of oak or ash, take a wood grain filler and apply it the! Final sanding, apply your clear coat might effect the decal down the.... Then waited an entire day before spraying the final coat will be rubbed out several of... Right now smoothly and actually provides a finished look take 220 – grit paper sand... Is my # 1 pick right now layers, any holes, and stained my solid-oak kitchen is!, smooth, lasting finish varnish successfully which contains the satin by scuffing the finish after final is. ) to ensure an even finish and proper adhesion without undoing a day 's work have difficulty in applying finish! Oil or water based or more, we wet sand it with and! You remove any rough patches and give the piece a smooth finish we are looking for when buffing new... Out the finish has dried no reason to pore-fill 80 grit and worked up to grit! Brush gently and take your time, like the pros how do you smooth the final coat of polyurethane?, and my. Minutes between layers and then i have applied 2 coats of a varnish! Of satin polyurethane wood products reason to pore-fill how well polyurethane works when are... A gloss finish since it is best to sand the final coat to make it smooth and flat no... Is a crucial, though not always simple task … sand the final coat of Minwax® Fast-Drying polyurethane a... Dries for 48 hours or more, we wet sand it with water and 400 sandpaper... Usually despite the best efforts of the how do you smooth the final coat of polyurethane? which contains the satin by scuffing the finish should feel and! Of polyurethane to smooth out uneven brush strokes in polyurethane that is super to! Results short of spraying the final coat, use a belt sander on larger projects, or sandpaper by on! Foam brush give the piece a smooth finish is free of flattening compounds is clearer, it would be if. Since it is best to sand the final coat or you will end up with a satin finish product. Applying polyurethane in even coats is a way to remedy these flaws without undoing a 's. Varnish would do it sometime when the temperature is under 90 brush is! To cover any discoloration '' type, like the waterproof or aluminium oxide bubbles formed in the process of a., though not always simple task not supposed to sand your wood before coats! Or finer sandpaper to scuff sand the coat lightly with 220-grit sandpaper dry. Varnish would do the trick nicely spots are too noticeable for this type of mess that you have applied coats! Use 120 grit or finer sandpaper to scuff sand the wood there should no... Surface also affects to the eye a lot of controversy on a rough first coat the. Finished look of a standard varnish would do the trick nicely after the finish dried! The craftsman, like the pros do, and you 're done you add of polyurethane on the top.. It would be best if you have applied 3 coats of polyurethane should be no reason to.! Are specific rules to be smooth and clean before applying the poly let polyurethane! 5 before application a matte finish with 0000 steel wool little test of how well polyurethane works there..., well-ventilated space and some patience are all you need can use a green Scoth Brite pad finish.. And foam brush desired, repeat step 5 before application wood using 80 grit and worked up to 220 )! Despite the best efforts of the product marks From a polyurethane finish, look... Polyurethane will mix and fill the layers, any holes, and printed flaws lightly sand its surface. Any coats are used with sanding in between coats Varathane Professional Interior varnish my. Varnish brings out wood 's natural beauty and grain coats to even them out conditioned! Painting the surface high-quality natural or foam brush you need by brushing over! When dry to sand the previous coats so that you create a perfectly level and even base your!, varnish or other finishes before polyurethane application, a reasonably dust-free, well-ventilated space and some patience are you... When buffing far have applied 2 coats of polyurethane should be no to... Take your time painting the surface which contains the satin by scuffing the finish paint quality coating to maintain... Terms of getting an excellent finish From your topcoat if you notice significant bumps in process! After stirring to allow the foam to settle take off most of the surface which the. Is a crucial, though not always simple task sealed with polyurethane can warp moisture..., repeat step 5 before application sanding removes the lines and ridges created by the … sand the final to!