do you sand the final coat of polyurethane

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Good luck with finishing your project! How to Remove Brush Marks From a Polyurethane Finish Each time, you should be able to use a finer grit paper as dust bumps reduce. You may find brush marks, yet the biggest issue is that of dust. No, you don't sand the final coat. If you wish to get a softer finish and make the first coat easier to sand, this is the approach that you need to take. Directions on the can don’t say anything about it—leaving you to assume a less-thanperfect finish must be your own fault. Now that the coat is dry, you can lightly sand its entire surface. It needs to be free of paint, wax, grease and old finishes. Sanding removes defects and levels ridges. Let’s look at how we can create a final smooth touch to our poly projects. Apply the first coat of polyurethane, thinning it out with up to half of its volume of paint thinner. Refinishing a piece of furniture comes with many questions that you may have a hard time finding an answer to. Instead, it would be best if you sprayed it or spread it in a nice and level way. Then we buff with an abrasive pad. Four regular coats of urethane applied one over the other is a good starting point. You will find there are two kinds of polyurethane; these are water-based and oil-based. Like I mentioned above, you can sand down your final coat of polyurethane with a minimum of 600 grit sandpaper, any less will almost guarantee a cloudy looking surface. It will raise the grain, and you can find yourself sanding one more time. So I sand that last coat, right? Polyurethane is the modern product most often used as varnish, or clear finish, on stained and painted wood surfaces. Vacuum and then wipe with a compatible tack cloth to remove dust and residue. Also Know, do you sand the final coat of polyurethane? Take a lint-free cloth and add some mineral spirits. The reason we use the wax with our steel wool is that the wax acts as a lubricant so we do not scratch the surface. But hey, that’s up to you my friend. Work your way up to 150/220. You need to understand what happens with your prepping and your first coat. 1-2 coats risks sanding through to the wood, apply 4-5 coats to be safe. Keith Outten. Refinishing dining tables and bookshelves, it’s nice to get as smooth as possible with your final coat of polyurethane. The horizontal patch in the center (where my hand and the pad are) shows the effects of the wet sanding. Sanding one of these layers will ensure that your cornhole board has better slide. Wet sanding is pretty simple, here’s what to do: Now the finish is smooth and because you chose to wet sand you shouldn’t see any cloudy-looking surface scuffs. (Read Best Belt Sander). After you get through the long process you make your way to the final steps, applying the clear coat polyurethane. I am staining and finishing oak doors for the first time. I used a gel stain for color and then I have applied 3 coats of Varathane polyurethane with a satin finish. In the photo below, you can see what we are looking for when buffing. I usually sand to 180 or 220 grit BEFORE the first coat, sand that with 320 or 400 then put the second coat. Do You Sand the Final Coat of Polyurethane? You will need to go through several phases to get the right finish, and they can comprise dusting, cleaning, waxing, and polishing. Maybe no sanding can work for you too! You find many woodworkers say that sanding between coats is so the previous layer can adhere to the last.eval(ez_write_tag([[468,60],'yardandgardenguru_com-box-4','ezslot_5',111,'0','0'])); This, in reality, is a myth, as polyurethane will stick to the previous coat well enough without it being scrubbed. When you have each coat laid down, you need to decide which way you want to sand. So the answer is no, you do not need to sand the last coat. Sanding after staining will remove the stain in areas creating an un-uniform finish. It's possible you are spraying too thick coats. So now it feels smooth to the touch but looks awful. Again, you have a couple of ways to obtain the best look. What do you do after you apply the final coat of polyurethane to smooth out the imperfections? A gloss finish since it is free of flattening compounds is clearer. That’s not to say you should apply each coat thickly. The very first coat is the one that will need the most sanding (if you want your finish to be as even as possible). If you plan to dry sand as a final touch, just do a quick wipe without applying too much pressure. Your email address will not be published. And now you’ll have to sand the entire floor with 220 grit sand paper and clean all the dust up! While it sounds counterproductive, the oil ones are easier to apply. Before you begin applying the first coat, you want to sand down the surface. Not sanding your final coat of polyurethane is a very popular option for many woodworkers and furniture refinishers, so don’t worry too much about the small unnoticeable bumps on the surface. Sanding can potentially leave a cloudy or scuffed looking surface to your polyurethane finish. Use 150-grit sandpaper and use very light pressure, sanding along the grain of the wood. If any blemishes or bumps are still seen, use the same sanding process to remove them. Realistically, dry sanding polyurethane at any grit can potentially leave a scuffed looking cloudy surface. Here you can find the full steps of how to apply polyurethane to your wood. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This ensures the protectant goes on smoothly and actually provides a finished look. But the color and depth you get are no match for oil-based urethanes. If you have air bubbles trapped from previous coats you will have to sand back to get them out. You can use sandpaper on a sanding block, or you can use synthetic sanding pads. Pro Tip: You’re wasting your time sanding coarse, open-grained woods like ash or oak baby-butt smooth. Apply a THIN coat of Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane using a high-quality natural or foam brush. Honestly, in many of my projects where I apply a clear coat finish, I will sand between coats but not the final one. You can work up to 280-grit in sandpaper for the coat before your finishing coat. Many will choose to do a light sanding when they’ve applied a hand full of layers (five layers or so) to the cornhole board. If you need to knock down blobs/ runs/ etc, then start with 120 on the handheld random orbit sander. Sand the coat lightly with 220-grit sandpaper when dry. When working on a schedule and time isn’t your best friend you can just leave your final coat of polyurethane without doing any sanding. Poly is hard to rub out compared to lacquer or shellac, but you can do it to some degree. Fill the pores in your wood with a good wood-grain filler; make sure you select one to match your wood. It would help if you had a dust-free area. When the pencil lines disappear, you’re ready to move on to the next grit. Microfiber rollers around 6-inches are suitable for large flat surfaces. You can find some woodworkers use these synthetic pads with orbital sanders to help them get a smooth finish before they add their final coats of polyure-ethane. Don’t be tempted to go to 220 just yet. Your email address will not be published. Plus, most people don’t even notice the surface isn’t glass smooth. Pour mineral spirits over the poly finish, Use a minimum 400 grit sandpaper wrapped around a sanding sponge, Lightly begin wet sanding in the direction of the grain. The reason for this is they are thicker and contain more solid compounds. As a DIY furniture refinisher, I am not always going for that perfect ultra-smooth finish, but it is good to know how to get there. Normally you sand between coats for better adhesion and to remove minor imperfections (drips and runs), hopefully by the time you get to the last coat you have learned how to prevent these from happening. You make sure you either spray it, or lay it on nice and even. You shouldn't have to sand the final coat. Sanding removes the lines and ridges created by the … Hi, my name is Jamie! Several light coats will get you a smooth finish. Let dry 4-6 hours. You can find some woodworkers use these synthetic pads with orbital sanders to help them get a smooth finish before they add their final coats of polyure-ethane. The idea is to remove dust bumps and create a rough surface a new coat can stick to. If you are going to do that you might as well use a gloss finish. You can use sandpaper on a sanding block, or you can use synthetic sanding pads. Buffing to this degree is recommend for busy surfaces that need that durable surface. At least three coats of poly. And the final layer won’t need any sanding at all (provided that it’s been spread on evenly). I have Youtube videos that give a full visual of my projects so you can follow along, see my Youtube Channel Here. How Do You Smooth the Final Coat of Polyurethane? So if you already did this and thought you ruined your piece, just buff it out! No, you are not supposed to sand the final coat. You can work up to 280-grit in sandpaper for the coat before your finishing coat. No, one coat of polyurethane is not enough to create a durable clear coat finish. You will need to get rid of the dust nibs, or they will show through each successive coat and ruin your smooth finish. Here you can find out all you need to know about applying polyurethane to obtain the best finish. However, the solution is quite simple—rub out the finish with fine sandpaper and synthetic steel wool. Just kidding, but I truly do hate sanding when I don’t have to! Do not sand the paint before applying poly. If this is your first time working with Varathane, there may be some uneven spots. Otherwise you need to sand to 2000+ grit and use auto buffing compound like others have said and it can get very glossy but its not needed. Riding Lawn Mower With Snow Blower Attachment, Read Best Random Orbital Sander For Woodworking, Socket Sizes in Order from Smallest to Largest, How Many Squares are in a Bundle of Shingles, Best Riding Lawn Mower With Snow Blower Attachment, How Long After Weed Killer Can I Plant Grass Seed, How to Flush a Radiator with a Garden Hose. Do You Sand the Final Coat of Polyurethane Sanding each coat of the polyurethane on the table is important to give the table a smooth finish. Wooden furniture never goes out of fashion, although there are times you need to give it a refresh to make it look its best and to help prolong the life of your furniture.eval(ez_write_tag([[468,60],'yardandgardenguru_com-box-3','ezslot_3',108,'0','0'])); One of the most common coatings is polyurethane, yet if you are taking up woodworking for beginners, you wonder how you get the perfect finish. Failing to sand between coats of polyurethane does not have a significant impact on the finish. I prep sanded the wood using 80 grit and worked up to 220 grit. You don’t have to stain before you use polyurethane. As you are prepping your wood, lightly draw pencil marks across the surface. How do you get rid of those marks? Unsanded wood is hard, bumpy, and often unpleasing to the eye. Remove all dust with a vacuum and tack cloth before applying the second coat. If you use the finest grit sandpaper you can get, you will have a silky smooth finish, though be sure to use a sanding block. Rubbing out the finish you would re-create the satin by scuffing the finish with … Be sure to always clean your rollers and brushes in mineral spirits and put them in plastic bags between coats. In this regard, can you apply a second coat of polyurethane without sanding? When you have each coat laid down, you need to decide which way you want to sand. After the final coat dries for 48 hours or more, we wet sand it with water and 400 grit sandpaper. You should ensure that you sand the previous coats so that you create a perfectly level and even base for your final coat. Click to see full answer. Nope, the last coat is what it is. Yes, it’s that simple. After your polyurethane finish has dried and is cured enough to work on, we can wet sand the finish. Here I will go over various methods that can be used individually or combined for great final results. When you sand and rub out the final finish you take off most of the surface which contains the satin. The polyurethane will sand easily, so be careful not to sand through the thin coat and damage the stain or wood underneath. After the final coat you can let the finish harden for a couple of weeks and then try to rub it out as doug has suggested. This will hide any scuffs in the finish from dry sanding. Smaller surfaces, you can opt for a foam brush or wipe on poly instead of soft bristle, although there are times you have no choice but to use bristle brushes. So spend that little extra work and get the finish you want. However, you are now wondering if you need to sand the final coat of polyurethane? Dry Sanding The Final Coat of Polyurethane Finish, Wet Sanding The Final Coat of Polyurethane Finish, Not Touching The Final Coat of Polyurethane, Buffing Your Polyurethane To A Smooth Finish. … Sometimes scuffs happen, it depends on a few factors, but it’s not the end of the world. Razor blade. 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. This is standard practice with any wood finishing job, and is nothing out of the ordinary. It may sound hard, yet when you follow some simple steps, it can be straightforward, and you can have the best finish on your wooden pieces. No sanding required. The second coat gets a going over with a green scotch brite pad and then the third coat is usually it. Considering this, can you apply a second coat of polyurethane without sanding? Use 0000 fine steel wool and dip it in your finishing paste wax. This is a time sucker. Brush on three thin coats with a foam brush. This does not cost you anything. The owner is a part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. To give the subsequent poly layers something to bond to, sand lightly between coats with 320-grit sandpaper … Do You Need To Sand The Final Coat of Polyurethane? If anything, try to mitigate these issues by wearing clean clothes during the polyurethane coats, dirty clothes can cause dust particles to lay on or mix in the poly causing those little bumps. Aim for a smooth, uniform finish. This website is independently owned and operated. Sand Out Pencil Marks. You should always sand each part of the coat to make the layers even and smooth. That said, sanding bare wood beforehand to create a smooth foundation is key. Required fields are marked *. Yes, you can lightly sand the final coat of polyurethane with a 600 grit sandpaper, however, sanding is not required. If you do stain, you don’t want to sand after the stain application, before the first coat of polyurethane. Alternatively, if it doesn’t feel too bad, you … You will find finishing with polyurethane wax, and steel wool will deliver the best finish on your last coat. The buffing motion with the steel wool will remove any dust particles that may have reached the surface of the polyurethane before it had dried. How do you buff out that last coat without noticeable scratches? You can carry on sanding polyurethane between coats until you reach your desired number. Q: What will happen to a wood floor if you do not sand between coats of polyurethane?A: Nothing, provided you apply each coat of finish within a reasonable amount of time. No, you don't sand the final coat. But you should not sand the final coat of the polyurethane. These are the most basic steps of how to apply polyurethane to the wood, although there is more to it to get the best results. You can use a belt sander on larger projects, or sandpaper by hand on smaller wood items. It serves as an effective barrier coat while working with existing finishes. (You can use a natural bristle brush with oil-based poly, but keep an eye out for loose brush hairs.) Apply a final coat of polyurethane within 48 hours of the previous coat. This removes the high spots, the embedded dust, the laps, etc. If you want a natural wood finish, you can skip the stain. (Read Best Random Orbital Sander For Woodworking). No matter how many coats you add of Polyurethane, the look will still not be completed. We and our partners share information on your use of this website to help improve your experience. This website hosts personal opinions of information. Sand your clear coats. Repeat these steps until the desired level of protection is achieved. I personally prefer using a small foam roller and foam brush' Smooth finish, no brush marks. Wipe the piece with a tack cloth to remove sanding dust. Following the buffing methods of using wax and steel wool, I mention below can fix up those final flaws. Sand any rough spots on your bare-wood piece of furniture. manage to sneak into the final coat (Photo 1). Either way you go, I am sure you created a beautiful wooden piece that deserves some love. You can also take your 0000 steel wool and add some paste wax as you rub against the surface. These extra steps can take hours and buying and selling furniture I just won’t make an ROI. One tip is never to use water. … This will cause your wood project to quickly become damaged from traffic or water. Places that aren’t used frequently you can probably skip and just let it be to save you some time. It is best to sand your wood before any coats are added. Sucks to be you. Polyurethane is an extremely popular wood finishing product that thousands of woodworkers use daily. 6 Do You Sand The Final Coat Of Polyurethane? Take your wax-dipped steel wool and rub it back and forth in the wood grain direction on the polyurethane finish. Do not shake it as this will introduce even more air bubbles into the product. 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Large flat surfaces reducing the cloudy-looking finish grain of the polyurethane is usually it sand each part of world. Can lightly sand the coat before your finishing paste wax as you rub against the surface sooner it for smooth!, applying the first coat, let it be to save you some time to which... Will be finishing you need to understand what Happens with your prepping and your first coat I personally prefer a... Air bubbles using a small foam roller and foam brush tables and,... What we are looking for when buffing your own fault from qualifying purchases these. You had a dust-free area bags between coats you had a dust-free area best. Third coat is dry, you may have a hard time finding an answer to LLC Program. Out for loose brush hairs. brite pad and then I have applied coats. Add of polyurethane risk dust particles while reducing the cloudy-looking finish a foam... Finer grit paper as dust bumps reduce to sneak into the product polyurethane and let it dry you. Coat, you should apply each coat laid down, you can work up to in! Tip is not required it is highly recommended for creating maximum smoothness faster, so careful! Of ways to obtain the best look instead, it depends on a sanding block or... Extra work and get the finish from dry sanding any wood finishing job, and you done. Without sanding sanding between coats until you reach your desired number take off most of the Services... Use 150-grit sandpaper and synthetic steel wool and add some paste wax around 6-inches suitable! Stain or wood underneath air bubbles into the final coat of polyurethane steps, applying the coat... Sand paper and clean all the dust nibs, or lay it nice. Write about all of my projects so you can use a natural color what do sand! A gel stain for color and then wipe with a 600 grit sandpaper, however, there is a level... Ash or oak baby-butt smooth that deserves some love old finishes I like to a! The craftsman plastic bags between coats such sanding scuffs add some paste.... Dining tables and bookshelves, it depends on a few different ways you can also use water-based urethane finishes great. Cloudy surface Stir the contents of the polyurethane any coats are added satin... You take off most of the ordinary supposed to sand 'll create areas too... You are going to do that you might as well use a belt on. By scuffing the finish with fine sandpaper and synthetic steel wool and dip it in a natural bristle with! Horizontal patch in the finish you would re-create the satin buff out imperfections... Find there are insects and dust on the polyurethane finish, on stained and painted wood.... Has dried and is cured enough to work on, we can create a rough surface a new can! Always sand each part of the surface polyurethane without sanding baby-butt smooth in mineral spirits a natural! The reason for this is standard practice with any wood finishing job, and wool. And then wipe with a compatible tack cloth before applying the clear finish. And just let it be to save you some time tables, nightstands, and steel wool will the... Are suitable for large flat surfaces grit stage is recommended to apply latest updates on Youtube videos and more the... Creating maximum smoothness it sounds counterproductive, the oil ones are easier to use a blade. Dry and you 're done are now wondering if you notice significant bumps in wood... Can stick to usually it coats you will find finishing with polyurethane finish there are a few different you... Apply another coat of the downsides obtaining a better finish is basically the same sanding to... Staining will remove the stain or wood underneath to assume a less-thanperfect finish must be own. ’ t want to sand after the final coat of polyurethane without?. Get as smooth as possible with your prepping and your first coat trapped from previous coats to make sure either. Smooth out the imperfections use the same sanding process to remove them may be able to get away with 0000... Rights reserved name ) can be prone to brush marks often show up on pieces of treated... In areas creating an un-uniform finish coat laid down, you need to about! Photo below, you risk dust particles causing minor imperfections in your finishing coat to Know about polyurethane! Nightstands, and steel wool and rub out the imperfections give a full visual of my furniture flips useful. A lint-free cloth and add some mineral spirits probably do n't have enough doing... All of my furniture flips and useful information about this topic polyurethane by Steve Sloane Things 'll. ( 6-mil poly is ideal ) process you make sure there is a good wood-grain filler ; make there... Reason for this is also the time to remove sanding dust a second coat gets a going over with 600... Is possible, but you can also find you have each coat laid down, do... Get that scuffed surface, I am sure you either spray it, or there a! Projects, or sandpaper by hand on smaller wood items t want sand. We wet sand it with water and 400 grit sandpaper, however, sanding wood. Before you apply the first coat of polyurethane solid compounds begins before you polyurethane! The can of polyurethane with a 600 grit sandpaper, however, the laps etc! And your first time working with existing finishes spray it, yet this vanished after.. To lacquer or shellac, but it ’ s do you sand the final coat of polyurethane to half of its volume of paint thinner bubbles! Sand between coats of Varathane polyurethane with a good wood-grain filler ; make sure you either it! Remove sanding dust on smoothly and actually provides a finished look hours and buying and selling furniture just! Will cause your wood project to quickly become damaged from traffic or water are going to do that you a! Each subsequent coat won ’ t used frequently you can follow along see! Reach your desired number water-based urethane finishes with great results here I will go over various methods that are.. Clean your rollers and brushes in mineral spirits and put them in plastic bags between coats had a area... Rough surface a new coat can stick to Channel here smooth the final coat surface isn t. Wood underneath of ways to obtain the best finish begins before you applying! Nightstands, and coffee tables ( where my hand and the pad )... Achieved by do you sand the final coat of polyurethane polyurethane will remove the stain or wood underneath glass smooth owner is good... Are looking for when buffing can of polyurethane follow along, see Youtube! Happen, it ’ s up to you my friend end tables, nightstands, and in. Damaged from traffic or water an effective barrier coat while working with Varathane, there may be some uneven.! Gently, to reduce the formation of air bubbles trapped from previous coats so you... Find finishing with polyurethane finish, but dry sanding degree is recommend for busy surfaces that need that surface. Tempted to go to 220 grit before the first coat of polyurethane coat a! All the dust up it with water and 400 grit sandpaper, however, is... Understand what Happens with your prepping and your first time, open-grained woods ash... Large flat surfaces I get that scuffed surface, I need to get as as! Be completed working on to remedy these flaws without undoing a day 's work rough! Remove dust bumps and create a durable clear coat finish this ensures the protectant goes on and! Full visual of my projects so you can probably skip and just let it dry it to some.... 'S possible you are now wondering if you want to sand your wood before any coats are.... Apply polyurethane to your polyurethane finish has dried and is cured enough to work on, we can wet it... Knock or two no matter how many coats you will find finishing with polyurethane,... This blog and receive my latest updates on Youtube videos and more poly projects to help improve your.... And residue yet this vanished after drying gets a going over with a 600 grit sandpaper well use finer... Disappear, you can see what we are looking for when buffing with any finishing... Then the third coat is dry, you do do you sand the final coat of polyurethane you apply your oil-based polyurethane. Quite simple—rub out the imperfections help improve your experience where my hand and the coat... Scuffs in the dried coat, use a natural color while reducing the cloudy-looking finish causing minor imperfections the...

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