12 votes
Accepted

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

For starters, I am going to guess you used a water based urethane instead of an oil based product? I have never seen a good oil based product react as you described to simple spills. I have seen some ...
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8 votes

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

It's all about adhesion. When you recoat after 2 hours you get a chemical bond between layers. If you let it go longer than that, you need to wait 24 hours so it's hard enough to sand and get a ...
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7 votes

Would it be appropriate to sand a floor between coats of poly with a handheld orbital sander?

I had two floors to do once and between coats I used a broom with 3 bits of fine sanding paper taped to the broom head - cheap, cheerful and effective... Also, had to punch down the floor brads (...
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  • 20.7k
7 votes
Accepted

Would it be appropriate to sand a floor between coats of poly with a handheld orbital sander?

You could use a hand-held orbital- like you mentioned the biggest downside is time. But you're correct, sanding between coats of poly isn't stripping an old floor- it's just scuffing up the previous ...
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  • 1,001
6 votes

How to put polyurethane on wood, one side at a time

Doesn't make any difference, really; the question is number of coats per surface, not order they're applied in. The thing to watch out for is that there will be a tendency for drips to run down the ...
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  • 16k
6 votes
Accepted

Avoid bubbling when applying polyurethane

Polyurethane and other varnish type coatings are usually installed with a very good fine bristle brush. Brush only one way and use as little brush movement as possible. A back and forth motion will ...
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  • 12.1k
5 votes

Why did polyurethane make wood feel coarse?

The first coat of finish will raise the grain of the wood, so you need to sand it down with some sandpaper (220 grit or so) before you put on the next coat. This is mentioned in the directions.
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5 votes
Accepted

Why did polyurethane make wood feel coarse?

First of all, I'm assuming you already sanded the surface smooth enough before you started. If you put polyurethane on a rough surface you will get a rough finish. Second, as @keshlam says, make sure ...
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  • 13.7k
5 votes
Accepted

How should I sand before the final coat of polyurethane?

Depends on the quality of the existing finish... if it's as flat as you want it to be, then I'd kiss it with 150 on a pole sander. Link for illustration purposes only: there are many out there... ...
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4 votes

What grit sandpaper should I use between coats of polyurethane?

Lots of good answers here. I was a finisher in a cabinet shop for many years and this is how used to do it. Avoid anything with silicone to get on your hands or near your wood project. It causes fish ...
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4 votes

What are the steps to cutting polyurethane?

If I may add something here: they sell polyurethane that is pre-thinned. One brand I've used is Min-wax Wipe-On Poly. It's intended to me wiped on with a rag and I've never had any issue with ...
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  • 296
4 votes

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

The drying times on the can are usually very optimistic in my experience. They sometimes state the drying conditions the times are intended for, like 78 ºF and <20% humidity. If you are colder and/...
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  • 13.7k
4 votes

What are the steps to cutting polyurethane?

I normally would not recommend thinning urethane. If you have a new can of fresh urethane, it should be ready to go. I would try to apply it thin rather than a thicker coat. If you feel you really ...
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4 votes

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

I would use a dual action orbital sander and wet/dry paper @1200 grit a very wet sponge to dampen the area dont press down let the sander float and as the streaks are cut out the residue will turn ...
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  • 95.7k
4 votes
Accepted

What materials can be used to prevent polyurethane glue from sticking to unwanter surfaces?

The following is a carry over from a CNC video I saw many moons ago, but have lost the link. Give the selected adhesive a sacrificial material on which to bond. Your thoughts of using plastic bags ...
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  • 9,293
4 votes
Accepted

Will wood glue hold two pieces of wood with a polyurethane finish?

Bonding anything together without sanding either down to bare wood grain, or at least scuffing the finish surface prior to bonding, will be tenious at best. Having said that, if all you are trying to ...
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4 votes

How are Clopay Intellicore garage door R-values so high?

I contacted Clopay. They sent the attached general information regarding thermal testing of garage doors, however, they did not specifically address how they could achieve the 18.4 R value of my ...
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  • 41
4 votes

Why does my wooden table have streaks after refinishing it three times?

As Harper mentions old poly can be a problem, but poly that is not well mixed (stirred not shaken) can also be an issue. If you sand you may well have scratches but don’t strip again--you need more ...
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  • 95.7k
4 votes

My apartment still smells like polyurethane after over a month! I have a toddler with respiratory issues, please help

From what you've told us, it sounds like you are trying a number of good ideas to help mitigate the smell and lingering off-gassing but maybe not optimally. I actually would advise against using ...
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  • 1,976
4 votes

Oil- or water-based polyurethane to refinish stair banister?

I've been prejudiced toward oil based polys for years, but having used water based polys on some projects that weren't all the important, I've been impressed. Water based is much less toxic, easier ...
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4 votes

When do you use polyurethane vs. water based construction adhesive?

I use water-based (project or panel) adhesive on foam board or any plastic which the solvent will dissolve, or where cleanup of spills is a concern. Solvent-based (heavy duty) for almost everything ...
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  • 104k
3 votes

Is wood strength affected after weathering wood?

I've used the steel wool + vinegar method before*. It's essentially a stain so really only affects the surface layer. It shouldn't have any meaningful affect on the strength of the piece of wood. ...
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  • 23.8k
3 votes
Accepted

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

Interesting question... I'd never think to use scotchgard. It might work, but if it doesnt, any finish you try to apply on top will not stick. Maybe try this in a hidden area to see if it provides ...
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  • 1,153
3 votes

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

This article says it is food safe only after it is fully cured. According to finishing expert Bob Flexner, all finishes are food-safe once they have cured. Polyurethane varnish does not present any ...
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  • 131
3 votes

How best to remove fumes after applying polyurethane in a hardwood refinishing project?

Turn up the heat while opening windows across the house. Put in fans in windows/doors blowing in the house on one or two sides. Just don't put fans blowing in all windows so air has an easier chance ...
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  • 1,261
3 votes
Accepted

Can wallpaper be coated with a protective finish?

Generally, yes - you can help protect the wallpaper with polyurethane. However, once the paper is on, it's not coming off without a complete overhaul (sand it all off and redo it), and you should be ...
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  • 6,064
3 votes

Applying polyurethane to a vertical surface?

Preventing runs is as easy as following one simple approach: Start heavy, finish light. What that means is that you immerse your brush to maybe inch of depth, scrape off one side on the can, and ...
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  • 104k
3 votes
Accepted

Are there masks that will reduce polyurethane's VOCs?

Yes, their are things that help with polyurethane fumes, masks with volatile organic vapor cartridges, usually activated charcoal. VOCs are not particles of "stuff" so a particulate filter (N95, P95, ...
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  • 1,261
3 votes
Accepted

How are Clopay Intellicore garage door R-values so high?

Note the fine print in the chart: "Calculated door R-Value is in accordance with DSAMA TDS-163". Here is DSAMA TDS-163. From the PDF: Refer to Figure 1. A typical insulated door has an exterior ...
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  • 6,239

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