Place a rubber sanding block with 320-grit wet/dry sandpaper on it into the pan. FWIW I usually clear or paint after 800. it leaves a smooth finish with enough bike for most paints. Question I have been doing a few projects lately with high-gloss polyurethane finishes. Tip 4: Use a roller on large, flat surfaces. After building up enough thickness with sealant, varnish, or polyurethane, you use a wet sander to smooth out little imperfections, bumps, or scratches on the surface, and this is an effective way as a final polish. 11 / 24. Step 3 – Apply the Polyurethane. 1-2 coats risks sanding through to the wood, apply 4-5 coats to be safe. Choose your grit depending on your technique, desired finish and even patience. Using a gloss finish will give a glossy finish, but it will not be a flat surface. You’ll also want to choose wet sandpaper and soak it for a while before you use it. Use a clean foam brush to apply the polyurethane coating. May 24, 2006 . Tip 3: Wipe the project with mineral spirits. And use a sanding block too, this will help keep the surface flat. Smoothly remove materials or sags if any created due to the clearcoat layers. You can get it silky smooth this way, but it's a lot of work and not easy to obtain consistency and evenness. Sand the dried and cured first coat of polyurethane no sooner than 24 hours after applying it. Minimize this problem by applying thinner coats or by switching from standard brush-on poly to a wipe-on or spray finish, both of which can be applied in very thin coats. But its application is demanding and aggravating. Sand the surface to 320-grit. Wet Sanding The Final Coat of Polyurethane Finish. Pro tip: If the finish is still a bit cloudy, apply more automotive polishing compound using the same method. Stearated paper has dry lubricants that help prevent “corning” or the balling up of finish on the paper. Before finishing my furniture, I always sand up to 220 grit. The final coats keep having minor bubble spots and/or lint/dust spots. Beginners Guide To Wet Sanding A Polyurethane Finish If you want your wood project to have the smoothest finish possible, then wet-sanding it is your best bet. After applying the first two coats of polyurethane, it is important to remove any blemishes in the dried polyurethane by both wet sanding and using a razor blade. (In both cases proceed through all buffing stages.) Wet sanding is a process that's often used on car paint jobs, guitars, and even 3D prints to give them a mirror-smooth look.Wet sanding is typically done after dry sanding to get an even finish. It's been my experience to only wet sand with a high grain paper. Sand down the brush marks lightly with the fine-grit sandpaper. Remove The Finish First: This method involves you having to start all over again by removing the scratched-up finish. Without the liquid, material can build up in the sandpaper and leave behind scratches that are larger than the particle size, ruining your finish. The dream of a glass-smooth tabletop is always spoiled by brush marks and bits of dust and other debris. May 24, 2006 . The first thing to understand is the need to begin with a thick polyurethane finish film to ensure that you don’t buff right through to bare wood. • If you’ve used a finish that seals the wood like varnish, lacquer, shellac or polyurethane for example, I’d recommend spraying on a bit of water both to the project and to the abrasive paper and wet sanding – this forms a slurry on the surface and helps keep things smooth and removes any particles a little easier. How do you get brush marks out of polyurethane? How do you make a matte finish with polyurethane? Leave the first coat to dry properly for 24 hours. It is imperative that polyurethane be allowed to cure thoroughly before wet sanding to get the best results. As with all wood finishes, good results depend on smooth, clean wood surfaces, but this goes double with clear finishes such as polyurethane. With a wipe on poly 3 coats usually equal 1 coat of brush on poly so since you sanded between coats you probably are at about 1 coat. Use enough water to lubricate the sandpaper so you won't burn through the delicate finish. Once the final lacquer coats have cured, most finishers begin wet-sanding with fine-grit finishing papers. Apply a new coat of polyurethane over the area you sanded. It can be used on both single and two stage paints. 1-2 coats risks sanding through to the wood, apply 4-5 coats to be safe. Image Credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images Cloudy finishes appear for several reasons, including using an old product or one that's been stored in a very cold or hot environment. If the spot is small, you can touch it up with a furniture marker. This type of polyurethane dries up easily so one can walk on the floors within 10 hours of application. If the sanding was minimal, you can get away with just re-coating the sanded area. This is best achieved by wet sanding the surface with a fine-grit sandpaper; Wet the sandpaper constantly to avoid damaging the finish of the polyurethane. Then sanding polyurethane can be done. Wet sanding is good for getting a smooth, glossy finish, especially on flat areas. Family Handyman. Wet-Sand Before Final Coats. Wet-sanding is a technique that’s used to give wood a fine, smooth finish. Do not spend a lot of time sanding, you don’t want to risk going through the finish and exposing raw wood. If you dry sand, you ruin your fine finishing paper in 10 seconds. To achieve the highest level of gloss, and to create the smoothest possible finish, wet sanding each coat of polyurethane is the preferred method. I would wipe the table down with naphtha if you have it or mineral spirits would be my second choice. In general you don't just sand, you then polish the surface. Spritz over the finished surface with tap water. Then wipe the table dry, look for flaws and rub some more. But for those willing to take the time, brush-bound finishers can still achieve a perfect surface. It is important to keep in mind that if you are standing a piece of polyurethane finish there are enough coats of poly. Fill the grain with an oil-or water-based wood grain filler. That required 1500 and 2000 grit wet sanding. Can you use rubbing compound on polyurethane? Allow the varnish or lacquer to dry for one day, then level-sand with 400-grit sandpaper to remove bumps and imperfections. If they are still showing wet sand … When applying polyurethane on vertical surfaces, you may experience drips or runs. For open-grain woods (like oak, ash, or walnut), you can apply a wood grain filler before the polyurethane, to create an ultra-smooth finished surface. Buffing works beautifully, even if you've applied a finish that's not too smooth to begin with. After you’ve applied your polyurethane and let it dry completely, fill a plastic spray bottle with cool tap water. Film-building Finishes Film-building finishes include varnish, lacquer, shellac, water-based finish and two-part catalyzed finishes. Using 320 grit wet-or-dry paper (cut with scissors into 1 1/2" squares and backed by a squared rubber eraser), the stock is wet sanded with the same 1 to 2 solution of finish. The final coats keep having minor bubble spots and/or lint/dust spots. When you wet sand to 800-grit, then you should start buffing with a coarse polishing compound. Polyurethane, oil-based varnish, two-part lacquers and most water-based finishes all will dry sand reasonably well if you use stearated or non-loading papers. 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