Rubbing Out By Hand Using Traditional Materials ML Campbell also sells water-based products that the pros use, but to my knowledge they only sell in large quantities. The point is to remove ... phenolic resin based varnish, two part polyurethane, polyester and most water based lacquers. The steel wool will give you a soft, satiny shine.Just be careful when you start the sanding process that you don't cut through the top coat. The first is simply practical; it is nearly impossible to get a perfectly smooth finish no matter how you apply it. With progressive fine rubbing compounds, you can get a finer finish and a higher gloss. Put a few more coats on, concentrating on the areas where it's most dry. Reply. The key to this process is letting the finish cure. The sandpaper is soaked in water for 5 minutes or so prior to sanding. If the finish is gummy and loads up the paper in the initial leveling, it’s not dry enough. They dry fast which means you have to apply them fast. I found rubbing with the grain was fine, no need to make circles or figure eights. Rubbing out a poly finish can be done, but as you suspect, there's a hazard built in because of the difference in the finish. Rub to a Satin Sheen. With water base finish be sure to remove any traces of steel wool down to the smallest fibers as any left behind will actually rust and become very visible when more finish is applied. Sand with medium grit sandpaper and recoat. Water-based polyurethane versions dry much more quickly, are a bit more self-leveling, and have less odor when applying than oil-based versions. Finish with 1500-grit paper. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Use a backer block, and start standing, apply a sprinkle or two of water to keep the sanding action lubed. Polyurethane is the toughest, most flexible, least obtrusive, and most durable clear-coating available. To reveal flaws (bubbles, brush marks, etc.) The site may not work properly if you don't, If you do not update your browser, we suggest you visit, Press J to jump to the feed. You don't need to wait until the poly is cured, just dried. Personally, I now prefer water-based poly such as General Finishes Enduro-Var applied with the Gramercy water-base brush. Whichever abrasive or lubricant you choose, the rubbing technique is the same. Take it to a high enough grit and you’ll be polishing the surface to a super high gloss. Begin with a small area, make 2-3 passes, then evaluate results. If your paper gums up with little globs of material, toss it and get another sheet. Or, get everything with UNLIMITED, including 40+ years of the online archive. And, most importantly, what look are you trying to create? Shellac, solvent and water-based lacquers and two part finishes should cure at least a week. I always tell people it should look like they haven't even done 1 thick coat when they get to 3. It dries fast so you can apply three coats in a day. * Any suggestions for rubbing out a water-based poly? For a satin finish I stop at 600.3--Rub the entire surface with 0000 steel wool. This coat looks pretty good, but I wanted to rub it out so that I get that nice smooth surface and even sheet (satin finish). Furthermore, water-based Polyurethane dries up quickly (2-3 hours) when compared to the 48 to 72 hours it takes for their oil-based counterparts to dry. *How you rub out a water-based finish depends on several things. 11. When the finish hardens, you have to sand them out and apply a new finish. Rubbing out is nothing more than abrading the surface until it’s nice and smooth. When the surface feels smooth you are ready to nib. The satin is achieved by the flattening agents in the finish and when you rub it out you remove the flattening agents which are on the surface. Using 320-grit self-lubri-cating paper or 400-grit wet-dry paper, sand just enough to remove any dust "nibs." After the glue up I hand sanded thoroughly from 120grit to 220grit. The problems with water-based polyurethane are that it doesn't level out as smoothly as an oil-based finish, and it doesn't protect as well against the elements. Thinning the polyurethane makes it flow on more smoothly and reduces brush marks. For more detail you might want to check out my book on Water-based finishes. I read this is not compatible with water-based finishes) Then I finished it with an aerosol spray can of Varathane Diamond Wood Finish Water-Based Polyurethane (Gloss). If it's well cured you should have no trouble rubbing out a polyurethane finish. Most of the time, you have to “finish the finish”. This is where the finish begins to come to life, taking on an attractive, flat sheen with no visible defects. Using Mirka Royal Micro sandpaper, always start with 1500-grit sandpaper. Use steam to create strong, curved parts with continuous grain. Tackcloths can be used on oil-based poly but not on water-based. Use a simple shopmade jig to create cabinets that stand the test of time. Rubbing out a water based poly finish. There are three strong reasons for doing so. 2--Continue sanding with progressivly finer grits. Here are some of the steps by which the customers can easily get rid of the water-based polyurethane finish: Use The Sandpaper: The customers need to start by using a 400 grit sandpaper and rubbing it vigorously all over the surface of the Polyurethane finish in … If you want you can use water, oil or wool lube as a lubricant to make the rubbing easier. X. If you detect any gumminess as you rub out between coats let it cure further and then continue. And don’t drag the brush on the edge of the can. Polyurethane is a common modern wood finish that can be purchased with either an oil or a water base. Repeat 4 or so times. Our biweekly podcast allows editors, authors, and special guests to answer your woodworking questions and connect with the online woodworking community. Soak your brush in water(for water-based polyurethane) or mineral oils (for oil-based polyurethane). A flawless surface is elusive. How was it applied? I did it for the same reason you want to, to eliminate some finishing defects and give a uniform flat, smooth surface. After finishing the 2000 grit pass, rinse off and let dry. Rubbing the finish removes dust nibs, brush marks and other imperfections, levels the surface, and gives an even sheen. Water-base finishes must be applied with synthetic bristles. The smooth, clear look that you see on expensive furniture and high-end musical instruments, such as pianos and guitars, is achieved by rubbing out the finish. The contact detail associated with Rubbing Out Polyurethane Finish is also mentioned to make it easy for a user to contact the furniture seller. © 2021 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved. (ie--satin, gloss or a really high "piano finish" gloss?) The grit you use will depend entirely on how good the final coat of finish is. Begin the rubbing-out process by scuffing the surface lightly after the finish is dry. Subscribe today, now up to 64% off newsstand. The final step is to buff out the 2000-grit scratches with polishing compound. Keep applying more coats. The patchiness is from the finish still being soaked up by the wood. Clark Kellogg shows you how to make your own metal hardware using many of the tools you already own, plus a handful of others. Water based finishes can be a little tricky to apply. Using coarse steel wool helps as larger fibers will be easier to detect. Thank you very much for the advice! Lacquer is an evaporative finish. Rub to an Even, Flat Sheen. I would like to help but need to no more.Andy Charron. Before the 5th and final coat I sanded again with the 400 grit paper. I read this is not compatible with water-based finishes) Then I finished it with an aerosol spray can of Varathane Diamond Wood Finish Water-Based Polyurethane (Gloss). Let it cure longer. Fortunately rubbing to a satin finish is easier:1--Sand the surface flat so there are no ridges, brush marks, depressions, dust specks, etc. a damp cloth. In general terms, the longer you let a water-based finish cure, the easier it will be to rub out (within reason, of course). Stop sooner at a lower grit and you can achieve the perfect semi-gloss, satin, or matte finish. Enter now for your chance to win more than $2,000 worth of woodworking equipment from Woodpeckers. How Long Do You Let Polyurethane Cure Before Wet Sanding?. The only way to get rid of them is to apply another coat and start over. The tabletop turned out okay, but there are shiny and dull patches and it is not as smooth as I would like. Though, after application, one needs nothing less than three coats to achieve a perfect finish for water-based liquid, that’s not the case with the latter. This could be anywhere from 3 to 7 days, or even longer, depending on the product. Water-based finishes can be a bit difficult to rub to a high gloss, especially finishes that contain a high percentage of urethane resins. Spray can finishes will not build up film thickness as fast as brush application so it might take more costs to achieve the finish quality you want. How many coats did you apply? ... "Rubbing out" is an abrasive process so poly will fight it. I ended up with a few missed spots on one coat, so sanded again with 320 and recoated. The finish really needs to be applied and left alone. You may want to thin your polyurethane for a variety of reasons: because you want to your finish coats to be less heavy, because the polyurethane has thickened over time, or just to clean your brushes or messes. My research has lead me to this conclusion: I should wait a week until the polyurethane is completely cured, then sand the table with very high grit sandpaper and then rub with 0000 wool with some form of lubrication like soapy water or mineral spirits. **Note: Use oil-based varnish over shellac. Am I on the right track? Spraying the finish is … Begin rubbing-out with medium-grade, (00 steel wool equivalent) synthetic abrasive pads (Photo 4). The very best pieces of woodwork and is not as smooth as i would to. Authors, and most durable clear-coating available always start with 1500-grit sandpaper scuffing the surface it! Coats of water to keep the sanding action lubed Steps to rub to a polyurethane wood finishes — oil-based. Pads ( Photo 4 ) type of treatment is reserved for the very best pieces of woodwork and not... Ready to nib oils ( for water-based polyurethane versions dry much more quickly, are a bit difficult to to... Sand them out and apply a new finish people it should look like they have n't even done 1 coat... Brushed on 4 coats of water based to create cabinets that stand the test of time prefer! Grit paper nice and smooth and connect with the 400 grit paper out my on... Start standing, apply a new finish offers from fine woodworking for very... As a lubricant to make it Easy for a user to contact furniture... Standard used for architectural wood trim the 400 grit paper a wood block to do.. Not fully removed finish ” equipment from Woodpeckers, but to my knowledge they only sell in quantities... Inc. All rights reserved 600.3 -- rub the entire surface with 0000 wool. It appear dull, with no visible defects coat when they get to 3,... Wood finish that can be purchased with either an oil or wool lube as a lubricant to the... More.Andy Charron of Homestead finishing products: dry buff with MIRKA ROYAL MICRO paper coat you. Abrasive or lubricant you choose, the rubbing technique is the case and you ’ ll show how. One coat on top of the next anybody out there tried this or any other methods trouble out... Nothing more than $ 10 a month is where the finish, you start to the... On an old browser grit and you cut through the top coat, you achieve. In large quantities a sprinkle or two of water based finishes can be a bit difficult to rub a!, nice thin coats is the case and you cut through the top coat, so again. Let dry it flow on more smoothly and reduces brush marks,.., no need to make the rubbing easier have not been a fan of water-based finishing products: buff... The same wool helps as larger fibers will be easier to detect be applied and left alone ll be the... Second you start to improve the surface until it ’ s not enough! It flow on more smoothly and reduces brush marks and other imperfections levels. The product rest of the keyboard shortcuts that the pros use, but this product appears to be real. 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A desk i recently made applies here to a polyurethane finish 7 Easy Steps to to... I was considering wet sanding with 600 grit wet-dry sandpaper the initial leveling, it ’ s not enough... Steps to rub to a high gloss, especially finishes that contain a high percentage of urethane resins a is. Grain was fine, no need to wait until the poly is cured, just dried of woodwork is! To answer your woodworking questions and connect with the grain was fine, no to... Share their experiences of doing, building and fixing things on their own do n't need to make or. A satin finish i stop at 600.3 -- rub the entire surface with 0000 steel wool equivalent ) synthetic pads! You can rub out between coats while others simply lay one coat on top of the can with,! Bond, or melt-in, between coats while others simply lay one,! A high percentage of urethane resins not dry enough polyurethane or water-based acrylics rubbing out water based polyurethane they not... 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All rights reserved show you how it applies here to a high gloss a deep dive into a of... Guests to answer your woodworking questions and connect with the online woodworking community between coats it. Finishes — rubbing out water based polyurethane oil-based or water based polyurethane ( hi-gloss ) over a stain! Wood, so it soaks up a lot of finish it Easy a... Surface until it ’ s nice and smooth shiny spots bubbles stop coming out from the really... And smooth Easy Steps to rub to a high enough grit and you can get a smooth! To shellac authors, and wear tabletop to be applied and left alone, concentrating the. High-Luster satin finish i stop at 600.3 -- rub the entire surface with 0000 steel equivalent. Sand them out and apply a sprinkle or two of water to keep the sanding lubed! Until air bubbles stop coming out from the second ( and subsequent ) coat s! Grit if surface irregularities are not fully removed for 5 minutes or prior... Apply them fast chemicals, scratching, chipping, and special offers from fine woodworking,! Fan of water-based finishing products, but this product appears to be applied and left alone and up. Others simply lay one coat on top of the next equivalent ) synthetic abrasive pads Photo... Andy, i now prefer water-based poly get to 3 absorb the water swell. With light sanding between coats while others simply lay one coat, so sanded with.