How To Apply Polyurethane

Of all the steps in finishing the one that people seem most hesitant about is rubbing.” Yet rubbing a finish is as simple as sanding wood, and rubbing is the only step in finishing that can raise the quality of your work from average to special. You first layer on the raw wood is what will seal it, and this needs to be especially thin, it depends upon the specific varnish type, but you might also find it is better to have the first layer thinned out. After applying a sealer according to the manufacturers instructions, if you choose to use one, let it dry, sand smooth with 220 grit to 400 grit sandpaper and clean the wood as dust-free as possible.

If you are working with an open grained wood like walnut, you need to use a grain filler of some kind. Shellac,” Hoyas maintains, brings out the natural beauty of wood grain that very few other products can do. It dries quickly and is easy to use, touch up and repair.” And contrary to popular belief, he adds, shellac won’t darken over time. You level a finish the same way you level wood to remove machine marks and other minor flaws—by sanding through several grits of sandpaper from coarse to fine. With my 1-1/2′ brush, I apply a 50/50 thinned mix of varnish, working quickly to get the wood thoroughly coated.

Rubbing lets you quickly remove any dust nibs, surface and brush marks or sheen anomalies. Many automotive polish brands will provide a rubbing compound and a final polish as a two-step procedure. The table is so big that my eye is drawn to imperfections in various lights… I’m interested in rubbing out the finish. It is very thin and soaks way into the wood and seals it against water quite well.

It’s unlikely you will rub through to the wood if you have applied at least three coats of a film-building finish. After dry buffing, we polish with a finer pad lubricated by a compound made for the purpose. For semi-gloss, follow the same procedure but replace the wax with automotive rubbing or polishing compound. Doctor’s Woodshop High Build Friction Polish 16oz … Howards Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish and Conditioner 16oz … Add to Cart Behlen Deluxing Compound. You could have gone directly from the clean, stripped, sanded wood to one of the Varathane polyurethanes.

A buffing compound made of tin oxide and a binding wax that polishes fast and provides a moderately high shine. It will take finishing each side individually, but I will get the glass like finish that I am seeking. SealCoat Universal Sanding Sealer, a brand new product from Zinsser, solves that problem because it is guaranteed to be compatible with all clear wood finishes. Gives a smooth, satin finish to copper, aluminium, pewter, gold and even hard plastic surfaces.

Then, using a fresh pad, clean the area with polishing compound to remove the fine scratches left by the rubbing compound. But as we mentioned above, advanced rubbing out is more involved; if you’re new to it, we recommend further research. If you’re not satisfied with the results from either product, rub the finish with long, straight strokes using fine-grit steel wool.

If you cut through all the coats of finish in some spots, you have to start all over by sanding and applying more coats, so BE CAREFUL, especially on edges and corners where it can be very easy to cut through to the raw wood. All products can be applied by hand with a soft cloth or buffer, after the initial flattening and leveling of the finish is done with sandpaper.


A few more sessions of rubbing with the charged rubber/fad and then let it sit overnight. To achieve a satin/semi-gloss finish, skip the wax and rub Meguiar’s Fine-Cut Cleaner (195895) on the finish with a clean, lint free cloth (195993). Let the finish dry for at least a day, maybe two, then wet sand with 400 grit to 600 grit using a rubber pad under the sandpaper-‘block sanding’. So take the rubbing compound and your hand or a car polish bonnet and lightly buff it. It will get a lot nicer.

The clumps of dried finish that quickly collect on uncoated, un-lubricated sandpaper are called corns” and will damage the surface of the finish. Wood can be stained to change its colour or left unstained before application of lacquer, or other types of top-coats. For the record, you did not need the Teak Oil at all if you were planning on ultimately creating a polyurethane finish.

The hangline approach to automated wood finishing also allows the option of moving items up to warmer air at the ceiling level to speed up drying process. The rotating top platens allow the operator to have easy access to all sides of the wood item throughout the various wood finishing processes such as sanding, painting and sealing. After allowing the dye to completely dry for 24 hours, the wood has a slight fussy feel to the touch. Compounds designed for buffing out scratches on automotive finishes are commonly used on wood surfaces.

Wood can also be coloured by exposing it to chemicals that react with the wood to form coloured compounds. It is for that reason that we generally suggest one does not wet mop waterbased floor finish for the first month. Restor-A-Shine works by polishing or burnishing the surface of the wood finish itself. Load your brush by dipping it about 1 in. into the mixture and brush the wood with long, even strokes from end to end (Photo 2). Keep a wet edge by overlapping each pass until the surface is completely coated.

The first is simply practical; it is nearly impossible to get a perfectly smooth finish no matter how you apply it. Even in a dedicated clean room, the odds against getting a finish to dry without picking up dust nibs are astronomical, and for those of us who finish in our wood shops, the odds are even worse. The wet sanding, pumice, rottenstone is not the only method for rubbing out a finish. Place the paper on a rubber sanding block or a wood block, then dip it in a bowl of cold water. It was still a semi-gloss finish and the guys on the forum were talking about having to take out the sanding scratches. In fact, most of us finish outside where bugs, pollen and other perils invade our films.

You’ll want to treat the whole surface the same way since you’re effectively scratching the finish. The compound has a fine abrasive that’ll remove any scratches left by the 400-grit sandpaper and restore the luster in the finish. I’ve never heard of it, but it sounds like it is probably a polyurethane varnish; these go on thick and produce a nice glossy finish, but it’s unlikely to be a level glossy finish – the end result usually has a sort of bumpy orange-peel texture.

If you use either of these buffing compounds, remember to keep separate wheels for each compound and only use a tiny bit to charge the buffing wheel. It is possible I missed it but remember there are different strengths in rubbing compound! It didn’t provide the shine I was hoping for, but that was probably due to the original finish beings so damaged. I finish my guitars with a water-based lacquer from Grafted Coatings called KTM-9.

They will rarely need stropping on a leather or wood strop, using a buffing compound to maintain the sharp edge. I was thinking about buying a mirror glaze compound like meguiars m7 but i dont know if thats the answer. The wax keeps the compound suspended, so you get an even cut and it also helps to remove residual dust and debris, instead of kicking it up into the air. Add more polishing compound as necessary and buff until the wood is glossy but feels dry. I tried the Towel and Iron suggestion on my teak wood table to remove white water stains.

In contrast, varnishes dry by oxidation.” Lacquers are generally sprayed on because they have fast solvents, but Deft has one that you can brush on, namely a Clear Wood Finish brushing lacquer,” which, he adds, was introduced some 20 or so years ago. Depending on the type of finish you have applied, the temperature, humidity and how many coats of finish you have applied, the finish can take anywhere from 36 hours to a couple of weeks to cure. However, matching the original finish is tricky and might best be left to the pros. The principle is that you need to sand the finish, just as you would sand the wood – only you have to use much, much finer abrasives.