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18
votes
8answers
109k views

What grit sandpaper should I use between coats of polyurethane?

I'm planning on applying polyurethane to a pine bench I've finished staining. I decided on foam brushes for application, but I wasn't sure what grit sandpaper I should use between coats. Is 400 good ...
11
votes
7answers
193k views

What is the proper procedure to apply multiple coats of Polyurethane?

Polyurethane is confusing me. ;) I'm finishing a table top with polyurethane. I've sanded down the original finish to bare wood down to 220 grit paper. I vacuumed and wiped it all down, then did a ...
8
votes
1answer
8k views

Is there a more rugged finish than Polyurethane for a heavy use table?

A few years go I sanded a stained table we had. Upon doing so, we discovered that it had really nice wood underneath. So instead of restaining, I applied about 4 coats of satin polyurethane. It looked ...
7
votes
1answer
5k views

Why do we need multiple coatings of polyurethane?

I just finished my first wood-working project ever, and applied the first layer of polyurethane last night. This morning, it looks beautiful. So I have a few questions: Do I need a second (or more) ...
6
votes
2answers
15k views

If polyurethane is not food safe, why is it used on dining tables?

Why do online sites say that polyurethane isn't food safe, and is there some way I can use it on my kitchen worktop and still be safe? I don't prepare or store food directly on it or use it as a ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

What could cause polyurethane to dry with excess gloss?

I'm having trouble with polyurethane (Helmsman semi-gloss) drying much glossier than it should - like an extra-gloss instead of a semi-gloss. I'm using it on stained wood moulding, and when I did the ...
6
votes
4answers
21k views

Can I apply water based polyurethane over oil based polyurethane and vice versa?

I can see brush strokes on a dining table from a previous application of polyurethane. I want to sand these and re-apply polyurethane. I do not know whether the previous application was a ...
6
votes
4answers
29k views

How can I protect my (engineered) hardwood floor from scratching?

I have engineered hardwood that scratches easily (be it from furniture being slid on it, a kid playing with hard toys on it, or simply from regular wear and tear). We currently mitigate the scratching ...
5
votes
4answers
32k views

Why is my desk still tacky two weeks after finishing it with a polyurethane clear coat?

I've recently built a standing desk out of sandply with a mahogany veneer. I have stained it, and two weeks ago added a polyurethane clear coat to protect the stain. However, after doing this, the ...
5
votes
1answer
697 views

Why does some polyurethane need to be wiped off, and what happens if I don't?

So, I stupidly applied some polyurethane to my project without reading the instructions on the can. After it was dry several hours later, I finally read the instructions, and to my horror, I saw it ...
5
votes
1answer
833 views

How do you finish a polyurethane coat?

I'm building a table and finishing it with a high-gloss polyurethane. I've seen how to apply the poly and what to do between coats, but what do you do after that last coat? Is it done? Do you wet ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

What is a “wet edge” and how do I maintain one?

I'm about to polyurethane my floors, and all the instructions I've come across (including the ones on the can) say to "maintain a wet edge". What is a wet edge and how can I maintain it?
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I apply polyurethane to my hardwood floors in sections?

I have a hardwood floor I've recently finished staining. I'd like to apply polyurethane but I don't think I can cordon off the entire area for the duration. Is it alright to apply the sealer in ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Does No VOC Polyurethane Work Well?

I am finishing a piece of furniture for my home and would like to use a no (or low) VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) product. However, there does not seem to be many on the market. I found one so ...
4
votes
1answer
377 views

Can I apply polyurethane to my hardwood floors one room at a time?

I have hardwood floors on almost all of my floors. Most rooms have large (5') openings with no doors or thresholds. When I start applying the polyurethane, is there anyway to do one room at a time ...
4
votes
2answers
293 views

Why is the polyurethane finish I applied a month ago still tacky?

I recently decided to embed my niece's picture into a serving tray style tabletop. I printed the picture, had it laminated, bought polyurethane, followed the directions to a "T". It's now one month ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

For pine shelves, do I need to stain before applying polyurethane?

I built some pine shelves. They're pretty, but I don't want them to darken. I'm told I can apply polyurethane to ensure they stay nice and bright. My question is this: do I need to apply some kind of ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Is polyurethane too slippery to use as a protective layer on a deck?

I am in the process of repainting my deck. I'd like to have a protective layer (like clearcoat on a car) that will allow easier cleanup, and would help to pretect the new paint. Is polyurethane ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

Why did polyurethane make wood feel coarse?

I have a piece of pine I want to use for shelving. I added some finish and then added a thin layer Minwax Fast-drying Polyurethane (clear semi-gloss) with a foam brush. It looks great, but the wood ...
3
votes
1answer
232 views

How should I sand before the final coat of polyurethane?

I have applied 3 coats of poly so far. I'd like to smooth out the surface before the final coat. What type of sander should I use: Square Buff Floor Sander , Random Orbit Floor Sander , or just a ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I use different brands of Polyurethane on a single project?

I was applying Polyurethane to a wood bookshelf that I made yesterday evening. Unfortunately I ran out before I was finished. There is a small area that has not been covered at all and I need to ...
3
votes
1answer
737 views

Are there any DIY polyurethane foam insulation options available?

I recently had a leak (hurricane Sandy) in an "eave"-like space that required the removal of a part of my drywall ceiling. All of the insulation that was above the ceiling was drenched. To replace it, ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Can you put a matte polyurethane over a semi-gloss polyurethane to make it a matte finish?

I have a piece of furniture that my mom has painted and she put on a semi-gloss polyurethane finish. It is way too shiny for the type of painting. Can we put a matte polyurethane finish over the ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What's wrong with the polyurethane on this hardwood floor refinishing job?

This is basically what I've done so far: I sanded the floor down to 120 grit with a drum sander (did a pretty good, time consuming job) Put 1 coat of polyurethane down - these problem-spots soaked ...
3
votes
3answers
781 views

What is the proper way to clean a paintbrush and metal pan with KleanStrip paint thinner?

I am finishing my hardwood floors tonight with an oil-based polyurethane. I bought a natural bristle paintbrush and a metal pan, as well as some KleanStrip paint thinner that is "made with Mineral ...
2
votes
2answers
56 views

Can I use 0000 steel wool to remove streaks in my polyurethane finish?

Can I use 0000 steel wool to make a better uniform finish?
2
votes
2answers
10k views

How can I clean and dry a lambswool applicator quickly?

I'm refinishing my floor, sanding / stain / poly. One of the most frustrating things is clean up. In particular, the lambswool applicator. It cleans with mineral spirits but it takes forever to dry. ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What should I do about partially tacky urethane finish?

so I've been refinishing an interior bench. The bench had a very old polyurethane/resin finish which I sanded completely off, there was nothing other than bare wood when I stained it. I stained the ...
2
votes
1answer
287 views

Stain, poly, cut… What order should I use when installing window trim?

This is my first carpentry project where 'looks matter'… I recently installed a new window in my living room, and it's now time to trim out the interior. The other windows in the house have simple ...
2
votes
1answer
389 views

Why did my third coat of polyurethane finish “buckle”?

I'm refinishing a table I built about 10 years ago. I put 2 layers of gloss polyurethane down and sanded between coats. All was fine at this point. I gave it another light sanding and put a third ...
2
votes
2answers
745 views

How do I fix bare spots on my table after applying polyurethane?

I polyurethaned my table and when it dried, it had spots. That is the best way to explain it. It looks like the eraser-sized spots are bare wood, almost like something made the polyurethane push away ...
2
votes
2answers
140 views

streaks in polyurethane finish on freshly stained farm table

I applied too much polyurethane finish on newly stained wood farm table while applying third coat. I tried sanding with 220 grit and applying a 4th coat but there are still very visible streaks. ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Should I wax or polyurethane an old pine floor?

I found another question that sort of asks this, but the answers don't provide any detail. We bought a 1918 house in somewhat rough shape. The second floor (with two bedrooms and a nursery when ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

What are the steps to cutting polyurethane?

I've seen a lot of tips about cutting the first coat of polyurethane with mineral spirits to reduce drying time. However, given that it's the first coat, I have a full can of polyurethane. I'd pour ...
1
vote
3answers
121 views

How much clearance should I allow for a coat of poly?

I'm working on a project that will have wooden inserts sliding into a groove. I've done something similar before and ended up with too small of a groove after a few coats of paint (even though I ...
1
vote
1answer
557 views

Should I use oil or polyurethane to protect new cane chairs?

My wife and I have just bought 6 cane (wicker) dining chairs. I would like to protect them from the inevitable staining from spilt food and drink, grubby hands etc. What is the best way to protect ...
1
vote
1answer
722 views

Will the shiny and scratched appearance after sanding between coats go away after applying another coat of polyurethane?

I have a table that has a veneer inlay that my grandkids put huge scratches in. I decided to sand it and coat it with polyurethane. Long story short, I even ended up adding stain. The sanding block ...
1
vote
3answers
56 views

Is a “painting pad / sponge square” indeed the way to get a smooth wood surface after applying polyurethane?

My last polyurethane finishing experiment failed. I applied fast-drying Varathane to 3/4" maple plywood shelves. They were very finely finished before applying the polyurethane, and became very rough ...
1
vote
1answer
522 views

How can I remove scratches in polyurethane?

My husband and I have been building a farm table and we are oh-so-close to being done, but we are having issues in the final coats of polyurethane on the top. Here's a rundown: We stained the wood ...
1
vote
2answers
83 views

How do I avoid taking off the finish at the corners when sanding between coats?

I just refinished a dresser with a tinted poly finish to roughly match the other wood tones in its new room. I didn't do the greatest job in many aspects - it was my first experience with poly and I ...
1
vote
1answer
300 views

how to keep a wet edge applying poly to the floors of a whole house

My floors are ready for poly. Is it possible to keep a wet edge, when the whole house needs poly, and every room conects to another with 2 diffrent doorways? Every path i can think of to take will end ...
1
vote
2answers
152 views

How do I keep this polyurethaned oak floor in good condition?

I rent a heritage home and the polyurethane has been lightly wrecked, but also the wood is drying out from the dry weather and curling up and separating. I am extremely confused about cleaning and ...
1
vote
2answers
8k views

How can I finish and seal an interior exposed brick wall?

I have exposed a 100+ yr old brick wall inside, tuckpointed, cleaned with cup brushes on a grinder, and Sureklean 600. I don't have a picture right now but it looks beautiful. Two questions: I ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

Does oil-based polyurethane have any residual toxicity past setting?

Oil-based polyurethane reportedly has some toxicity during application, but it is easier to apply and provides a superior finish compared to water-based polyurethane. This means that while I may get ...
1
vote
2answers
110 views

Refinishing chop block counter top

I have bought my first house. I am DIYing my kitchen renovation. I have chop block countertops from IKEA and an undermount stainless steel kitchen sink. I know its not wise to undermount with a wood ...
1
vote
1answer
136 views

How can I repair or hide dings and scratches on polyurethaned trim?

I have lots of trim, ledges, and doors in my house that were covered with a dark stain and then polyurethaned. Looks great until the tiniest ding or scratch, at which point it turns white. Even minor ...
1
vote
2answers
358 views

How can I remove polyurethane while it is still wet?

I applied a coat of Polyshades on top of a cabinet I am refinishing. It looks HORRIBLE! I'm trying to be patient but I have other things to do and don't want to wait a day or two to remove the ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

What can I do about softened polyurethane finish?

I have a (bed) headboard that was refinished about 25 years ago. The original finish was a white French Provincial. The refinish consisted of white latex paint covered with a glaze. A protective top ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Why is the finish coming off while sanding between coats of polyurethane on glazed cabinets?

I am refinishing my kitchen cabinets. I have sanded them, painted two coats of paint and then glazed them. I have put one coat of polyurethane on them, and am trying to put a second coat on. When I ...
1
vote
2answers
51 views

Polyurethane “separating” on table top

Refinishing my kitchen table. The process so far: strip, sand (progressively moving through the grits), condition, stain, finish, sand,'finish again. Any ideas as to why a coat of Oil-based ...