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Problem with Poly. Options?

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Forum topic by kocgolf posted 12-05-2016 02:23 PM 420 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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kocgolf

267 posts in 2013 days


12-05-2016 02:23 PM

I have a stained cherry project (I know, why stained? Client wanted darker color.) I used a gel stain that I let dry for 2 days. Now my satin Poly refuses to play nice. Milky, small puddles and streaks. Tried many times. Stripped more than once. I just can’t believe that it’s moisture from stain that isn’t set. I have brushed and wiped. Tried new mineral spirits and have diluted. At this point I am moving on. What is my best chance? I was thinking of sanding my last try at Poly with 320 and doing shellac on top and see if that smooths it out. Or maybe strip and spray lacquer. I just don’t know that I can fully strip so that is why I was thinking shellac. I have fully stripped once and re-stained, but my match isn’t perfect and I don’t want to try to match stain again.


8 replies so far

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bondogaposis

4477 posts in 2185 days


#1 posted 12-05-2016 02:26 PM

What kind of poly are you using?

-- Bondo Gaposis

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kocgolf

267 posts in 2013 days


#2 posted 12-05-2016 02:34 PM

Minwax Clear Satin. Not my favorite, but this is not a glamorous project and it’s for a friend. I had never had issues before and figured this was the easy way to finish it off. I have stirred very well to make sure I am getting the particles mixed as well. I generally don’t like poly too much and chose it for the ease. Funny how it’s the problem now.

If I wipe heavily diluted it doesn’t pool or streak much, but the build takes forever and it still is getting a little frosted and milky. Not clear at all. Maybe just a bad can of the stuff?

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Julian

1234 posts in 2525 days


#3 posted 12-05-2016 04:04 PM

Are you using a water based or oil based poly? If the stain is oil based I would use an oil based finish. It could be the gel stain is not completely dry. I would also suggest a better brand of polyurethane.

-- Julian

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kocgolf

267 posts in 2013 days


#4 posted 12-05-2016 04:15 PM

All is oil based, which adds to my confusion. At this point I am just thinking I will sand lightly and go with clear dewaxed shellac. Maybe also do a test piece with some water based poly on top on the desk surface that might see drinks sitting and such. If I run into more issues, I will strip it all and just do shellac. Man I don’t want to do that though because I have some profiles that will be a bear to strip.

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Rich

1976 posts in 424 days


#5 posted 12-05-2016 09:26 PM

I had that happen on a cherry table as well some years back. I emailed Joe L’Erario (remember him from The Furniture Guys—those two used to me up on that show), and he said the poly was dissolving the oil based stain and causing it to be uneven. If you seal it with shellac, that will protect it, and you can go back to your coats of poly. You could also use water based poly, but I find that stuff difficult to work with. It doesn’t seem to level as well. Maybe it’s the dry air here in Arizona.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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Richforever

757 posts in 3554 days


#6 posted 12-05-2016 10:08 PM

On a project a few years ago, I had similar problems. It was the Minwax brand that lacks bonding agents. I’ve used the Varathane water-based poly over oil-based stains and not had problems.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

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kocgolf

267 posts in 2013 days


#7 posted 12-06-2016 02:09 AM

Thanks guys. At this point I am fairly certain it is the can of minwax that is the problem. I suppose it’s possible it’s the stain, but anyway I have put some shellac on it and tomorrow I will hit it with some Varathane I picked up. I usually use varathane water based, but in a “quick” decision I made the minwax purchase because the place I stopped had it. No more rush jobs. Doesn’t pay.

View Nikki's profile

Nikki

80 posts in 606 days


#8 posted 12-06-2016 11:45 AM



On a project a few years ago, I had similar problems. It was the Minwax brand that lacks bonding agents. I ve used the Varathane water-based poly over oil-based stains and not had problems.

- Richforever

Yep! I tend to agree. You most certainly can mix and match water and oil with good quality products.. I’ve had problems finishing projects before but it had to do with my wood not being dry enough. I added poly and it made the wood sweat. There were too many oils in the wood. What helped a lot was using sanding sealer first. I don’t always use it but it sure can be helpful at times. I think you can’t go wrong with using dewaxed shellac to seal and protect before adding any finish OR on its own.

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