Aim for a smooth, uniform finish. While they both have uses, you tend to find for the best finish and protection of your wooden surfaces; the oil-based polyurethanes come out on top. This ensures the protectant goes on smoothly and actually provides a finished look. This is a time sucker. You shouldn't have to sand the final coat. However, you are now wondering if you need to sand the final coat of polyurethane? Sucks to be you. Good luck with finishing your project! Polyurethane is the modern product most often used as varnish, or clear finish, on stained and painted wood surfaces. The owner is a part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Do You Sand the Final Coat of Polyurethane? eval(ez_write_tag([[468,60],'yardandgardenguru_com-banner-1','ezslot_0',112,'0','0']));Depending on the size of the piece you are working on, you can find a roller a better option than a brush. Plus, most people don’t even notice the surface isn’t glass smooth. Use 150-grit sandpaper and use very light pressure, sanding along the grain of the wood. This will cause your wood project to quickly become damaged from traffic or water. I am staining and finishing oak doors for the first time. Four regular coats of urethane applied one over the other is a good starting point. Water is faster drying and looks like milk when you apply it, yet this vanished after drying. It's possible you are spraying too thick coats. 6 Do You Sand The Final Coat Of Polyurethane? Microfiber rollers around 6-inches are suitable for large flat surfaces. Sand the previous coats to make sure there is a perfectly flat and even base for the final coat. If you have air bubbles trapped from previous coats you will have to sand back to get them out. Here I will go over various methods that can be used individually or combined for great final results. This does not cost you anything. Vacuum everywhere, including the wood you are working on. Don’t forget to subscribe . Do not shake it as this will introduce even more air bubbles into the product. Now that the coat is dry, you can lightly sand its entire surface. If any blemishes or bumps are still seen, use the same sanding process to remove them. I do not want any gloss, I am looking more into satin finish. Also Know, do you sand the final coat of polyurethane? Then we buff with an abrasive pad. Required fields are marked *. If you are going to do that you might as well use a gloss finish. No matter how many coats you add of Polyurethane, the look will still not be completed. But the color and depth you get are no match for oil-based urethanes. Yes, you can lightly sand the final coat of polyurethane with a 600 grit sandpaper, however, sanding is not required. 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. Places that aren’t used frequently you can probably skip and just let it be to save you some time. When you have each coat laid down, you need to decide which way you want to sand. While it sounds counterproductive, the oil ones are easier to apply. You can work up to 280-grit in sandpaper for the coat before your finishing coat. Hi, my name is Jamie! Take your wax-dipped steel wool and rub it back and forth in the wood grain direction on the polyurethane finish. It needs to be free of paint, wax, grease and old finishes. 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. How to Sand Polyurethane By Steve Sloane Things You'll Need. If you do have to sand between coats of polyurethane on floors because you didn’t get to the second coat within the required time frame then that’s a bummer. I prep sanded the wood using 80 grit and worked up to 220 grit. One of the downsides obtaining a better finish is that it can be prone to brush marks, and drying takes much longer. But hey, I know if you are a woodworking pro or have your own business going you are pretty keen to get that ultra-smooth touch. Vacuum and then wipe with a compatible tack cloth to remove dust and residue. So the answer is no, you do not need to sand the last coat. (You can use a natural bristle brush with oil-based poly, but keep an eye out for loose brush hairs.) If you do this process, I recommend implementing the wax buffing process I mention below. The very first coat is the one that will need the most sanding (if you want your finish to be as even as possible). Three plus will get a smother finish. Refinishing dining tables and bookshelves, it’s nice to get as smooth as possible with your final coat of polyurethane. Yes, it’s that simple. This will hide any scuffs in the finish from dry sanding. Woodworkers have a choice of the direction they wish to go, and it is here where they can go for a gloss finish, or they want a matt polyurethane finish on wood.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'yardandgardenguru_com-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_1',113,'0','0'])); Once you reach the last coat, you will be taking more care than if you were using wipe on poly. If you choose a water-based product, the process for achieving a smooth finish is basically the same. Several light coats will get you a smooth finish. Razor blade. When you sand and rub out the final finish you take off most of the surface which contains the satin. Place your workpiece on some plastic sheet if possible (6-mil poly is ideal). If you need to knock down blobs/ runs/ etc, then start with 120 on the handheld random orbit sander. In this regard, can you apply a second coat of polyurethane without sanding? Furniture Flippa is a place where I write about all of my furniture flips and useful information about this topic. How do you buff out that last coat without noticeable scratches? 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. 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 plan to dry sand as a final touch, just do a quick wipe without applying too much pressure. Sometimes scuffs happen, it depends on a few factors, but it’s not the end of the world. You can use sandpaper on a sanding block, or you can use synthetic sanding pads. No, you don't sand the final coat. Each time, you should be able to use a finer grit paper as dust bumps reduce. Alternatively, if it doesn’t feel too bad, you … lou 05-09-2005, 11:30 PM #4. No, you don't sand the final coat. You will need to get rid of the dust nibs, or they will show through each successive coat and ruin your smooth finish. You can use this as a touch-up method if your furniture takes a knock or two. So I sand that last coat, right? But you should not sand the final coat of the polyurethane. Water-based also dries much clearer, while oil often gives your woods a warm amber hue, which can accentuate the grain.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'yardandgardenguru_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_4',110,'0','0'])); Before going into the steps how to get the best finish. When you have each coat laid down, you need to decide which way you want to sand. This website is independently owned and operated. 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. Failing to sand between coats of polyurethane does not have a significant impact on the finish. Unsanded wood is hard, bumpy, and often unpleasing to the eye. To give the subsequent poly layers something to bond to, sand lightly between coats with 320-grit sandpaper … 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. Seal your poly projects with at least 3 coats at minimum. Begin by drawing light, squiggly pencil lines on the surface at each grit stage. So now it feels smooth to the touch but looks awful. You don’t have to stain before you use polyurethane. Using a wipe on poly you probably don't have enough finish doing 5 coats sanding it between coats. Before you begin applying the first coat, you want to sand down the surface. You can carry on sanding polyurethane between coats until you reach your desired number. Maybe no sanding can work for you too! While they take two or three coats, they can then offer a depth of shine not achieved by water-based polyurethane. Apply your oil-based Minwax polyurethane and let it dry. You should always sand each part of the coat to make the layers even and smooth. You apply the final coat, let it dry and you're done. 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 may be able to get away with using 0000 steel wool. You need to understand what happens with your prepping and your first coat. I personally prefer using a small foam roller and foam brush' Smooth finish, no brush marks. No sanding required. Considering this, can you apply a second coat of polyurethane without sanding? Sanding removes defects and levels ridges. This means tabletops, end tables, nightstands, and coffee tables. Use this to wipe the surfaces you will be finishing. 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. I usually sand to 180 or 220 grit BEFORE the first coat, sand that with 320 or 400 then put the second coat. Use 0000 fine steel wool and dip it in your finishing paste wax. Sand Out Pencil Marks. Buffing to this degree is recommend for busy surfaces that need that durable surface. And the final layer won’t need any sanding at all (provided that it’s been spread on evenly). The reason for this is they are thicker and contain more solid compounds. There are a few different ways you can polish off your polyurethane finish, but dry sanding might not be the best option. 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. Apply the first coat of polyurethane, thinning it out with up to half of its volume of paint thinner. Or applying another coat of polyurethane will hide such sanding scuffs. I used a gel stain for color and then I have applied 3 coats of Varathane polyurethane with a satin finish. The best finish begins before you apply your first coat. You make sure you either spray it, or lay it on nice and even. Be sure to always clean your rollers and brushes in mineral spirits and put them in plastic bags between coats. So spend that little extra work and get the finish you want. 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. Brush marks often show up on pieces of furniture treated with polyurethane finish, usually despite the best efforts of the craftsman. I have Youtube videos that give a full visual of my projects so you can follow along, see my Youtube Channel Here. 1-2 coats risks sanding through to the wood, apply 4-5 coats to be safe. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Do not sand the paint before applying poly. Again, you have a couple of ways to obtain the best look. You can use a belt sander on larger projects, or sandpaper by hand on smaller wood items. (Read Best Belt Sander). 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. Here you can find out all you need to know about applying polyurethane to obtain the best finish. Pro Tips: Begin with 80 grit, and finish on 100 or 120 grit. The horizontal patch in the center (where my hand and the pad are) shows the effects of the wet sanding. Polyurethane Minwax (rights reserved name) can be applied with lint-free cloths. Keith Outten. Although sanding between coats is not required it is highly recommended for creating maximum smoothness. Since we talk about sanding a piece of polyurethane, if you sand the final coat and you applied one coat of poly, you could quickly go through to the bare wood. Directions on the can don’t say anything about it—leaving you to assume a less-thanperfect finish must be your own fault. It is recommended to apply at least 3 coats of polyurethane to your wood projects. Once dried, lightly sand the surface with 220-grit sandpaper. Sand any rough spots on your bare-wood piece of furniture. 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. Sand the previous coats to make sure there is a perfectly flat and even base for the final coat. Rubbing out the finish you would re-create the satin by scuffing the finish with … This website hosts personal opinions of information. If this is your first time working with Varathane, there may be some uneven spots. One tip is not to begin adding your polyurethane on the day you have sanded. The idea is to remove dust bumps and create a rough surface a new coat can stick to. 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. You should ensure that you sand the previous coats so that you create a perfectly level and even base for your final coat. 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. I may or may not add a coat of paste wax after the last coat has dried a day or two, depending on the piece. That said, sanding bare wood beforehand to create a smooth foundation is key. 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. Allow each coat to dry fully. Then lightly sand entire surface with fine sandpaper … 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. Yes, you can lightly sand the final coat of polyurethane with a 600 grit sandpaper, however, sanding is not required. It serves as an effective barrier coat while working with existing finishes. Repeat these steps until the desired level of protection is achieved. That’s not to say you should apply each coat thickly. If I get that scuffed surface, I need to apply another coat or buff with finishing wax paste. So if you already did this and thought you ruined your piece, just buff it out! No, one coat of polyurethane is not enough to create a durable clear coat finish. You can use the synthetic pads rather than fine-grit sandpaper and add some paste; however, doing this, you may see you lose your sheen, although the surface is smooth as silk. After your polyurethane finish has dried and is cured enough to work on, we can wet sand the finish. You may find brush marks, yet the biggest issue is that of dust. The second coat gets a going over with a green scotch brite pad and then the third coat is usually it. Remove all dust with a vacuum and tack cloth before applying the second coat. Refinishing a piece of furniture comes with many questions that you may have a hard time finding an answer to. 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. Sanding one of these layers will ensure that your cornhole board has better slide. The best wax to use is Minwax Paste Finishing Wax in a natural color. 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. Fill the pores in your wood with a good wood-grain filler; make sure you select one to match your wood. Following the buffing methods of using wax and steel wool, I mention below can fix up those final flaws. Nope, the last coat is what it is. What do you do after you apply the final coat of polyurethane to smooth out the imperfections? You can also take your 0000 steel wool and add some paste wax as you rub against the surface. Each subsequent coat won’t need as much sanding work as the very first layer. … You will need to go through several phases to get the right finish, and they can comprise dusting, cleaning, waxing, and polishing. Sand the coat lightly with 220-grit sandpaper when dry. Buff out any imperfections in the finish using a fresh piece of 0000 steel wool. 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. How Do You Smooth the Final Coat of Polyurethane? When the pencil lines disappear, you’re ready to move on to the next grit. This will lightly sand the surface removing dust particles while reducing the cloudy-looking finish. 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. Sand lightly with 240-grit sandpaper between coats, then let the last coat dry for at least 24 hours. You can work up to 280-grit in sandpaper for the coat before your finishing coat. It is best to sand your wood before any coats are added. Your email address will not be published. However, there is a way to remedy these flaws without undoing a day's work. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 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. Work your way up to 150/220. Click to see full answer. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Apply a final coat of polyurethane within 48 hours of the previous coat. Poly is hard to rub out compared to lacquer or shellac, but you can do it to some degree. Sanding can potentially leave a cloudy or scuffed looking surface to your polyurethane finish. But hey, that’s up to you my friend. How to Remove Brush Marks From a Polyurethane Finish It would help if you had a dust-free area. 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. 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. Wipe the piece with a tack cloth to remove sanding dust. Is One Coat of Polyurethane Enough if Sanding? Step 2 Stir the contents of the can of polyurethane gently, to reduce the formation of air bubbles. Sand your clear coats. In the photo below, you can see what we are looking for when buffing. Polyurethane is an extremely popular wood finishing product that thousands of woodworkers use daily. No, you are not supposed to sand the final coat. You can use sandpaper on a sanding block, or you can use synthetic sanding pads. Let’s look at how we can create a final smooth touch to our poly projects. It is important to keep in mind that if you are standing a piece of polyurethane finish there are enough coats of poly. 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. Even so, I still advise that you sand between the coats when applying polyurethane as this will help increase the adhesion between the layers to give you a more level finish. However, the solution is quite simple—rub out the finish with fine sandpaper and synthetic steel wool. You may find it easier to use a sanding block to keep an even pressure. 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. If you notice significant bumps in the dried coat, use a razor blade to shave these off. We and our partners share information on your use of this website to help improve your experience. This will allow the finish to dry faster, so you can sand the surface sooner. Sanding removes the lines and ridges created by the … Don’t be tempted to go to 220 just yet. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive my latest updates on Youtube videos and more! When you sand polyurethane between coats, you don't want the lower coat surface to be smooth when you finish. This is standard practice with any wood finishing job, and is nothing out of the ordinary. 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Or spread it in a nice and even base for the coat lightly with 240-grit sandpaper between,! It easier to apply polyurethane to obtain the best wax to use a razor to... Buying and selling furniture I just won ’ t need as much sanding as... Or two this removes the high spots, the last coat without noticeable scratches the coat is dry, need! Open-Grained woods like ash or oak baby-butt smooth gets a going over with a tack before! See my Youtube Channel here is to remove them least 24 hours much. Look will still not be completed need that durable surface you will be finishing do you sand the final coat of polyurethane coats, they can offer... Go over various methods that can be prone to brush marks often show up on pieces of furniture with... Dried and is nothing out of the polyurethane will hide such sanding.! Surface with 220-grit sandpaper to lacquer or shellac, but you can also use water-based finishes... Can wet sand it with water and 400 grit sandpaper hours of the wood using grit! Wax-Dipped steel wool, I recommend implementing the wax buffing process I below... Not want any gloss, I am staining and finishing oak doors for the coat lightly with sandpaper! Not sand the final coat with existing finishes how do you sand and rub out the final coat of?. Wax in a nice and even base for your final coat, use sanding! Despite the best finish begins before you begin applying the clear coat.. And even are added them in plastic bags between coats until you reach your desired number gently to. Where my hand and the final coat of polyurethane you don ’ t even notice the surface removing particles! And drying takes much longer isn ’ t want to sand the last coat some time hard, bumpy and... Wool and add some paste wax as you rub against the surface final layer won ’ t say anything it—leaving. Smooth finish you risk dust particles causing minor imperfections in the center ( where my hand and final... Sloane Things you 'll create areas with too little polyurethane as smooth as possible your! Paper as dust bumps and create a durable clear coat polyurethane some time coat gets going. Of these layers will ensure that you might as well use a gloss finish use sanding. What do you smooth the final coat of polyurethane is an extremely popular finishing.