getting a nice shinny effect to projects

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Forum topic by mary69 posted 10-08-2012 02:56 PM 1478 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 2084 days

10-08-2012 02:56 PM

I am wanting to get a nice shine to my projects. I have tried polyurethane but still not get the sheen I want. Please help

17 replies so far

View jlasersmith's profile


45 posts in 2179 days

#1 posted 10-08-2012 03:04 PM

I sand to 1500 grit then use boiled linseed oil and paste wax. It tends to leave a nice shine. Just apply BLO liberally and let it soak in. apply more on the end grain and areas that soak it up. Let it sit for a few hours. I take a dry rag and wipe it dry then liberally apply wax. let it dry then buff it out.

I really dont know what I am doing when it comes to finishes… this is how i finish all of my stuff. I have tried poly and was never happy with it.

good luck!

-- I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different. -Kurt Vonnegut

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3336 days

#2 posted 10-08-2012 04:36 PM

What are your projects? How do you apply your polyurethane?
I get the desired shine I want by sanding after each finish coat and then extensively buffing and waxing. I learned many years ago from friends that restore old cars that a good buffing/waxing will make a world of difference in a finish..and this most certainly applies to woodworking as well regardless of the finish you use.

View Bobert's profile


8 posts in 2088 days

#3 posted 10-08-2012 04:52 PM

So, Stain > linseed oil > wax. I will give that a try. What kind if stain and wax are you using?

-- Bob, McDonough, GA

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4246 days

#4 posted 10-08-2012 05:05 PM

There are too many variables to give you a good answer.

It could be not enough sanding before you finish, it could be the way you are applying the finish, or it could be that you are trying to get a glossy finish on an open-grained wood like oak or walnut (which require you to fill the grain in order to really get a smooth finish).

If there is any way you can post photos, it would really help you get some useful advice.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3675 days

#5 posted 10-08-2012 05:05 PM

Let the finish cure thoroughly, whatever it is. Then it is
hard and you can buff it out to whatever sheen you
want. Topcoating with paste wax looks nice.

Finishes sold as less glossy than “gloss” have flattening
agents in them that weaken the finish. Thus with
high wear surfaces like floors it is a good idea to go with

View Woodknack's profile


11809 posts in 2407 days

#6 posted 10-08-2012 06:03 PM

Stain > linseed oil > wax

Oil and wax finishes give you a nice satin look.

For a glossy finish you need a film based product without additives to dull the finish (gloss polyurethane, gloss lacquer, shellac). Sanding after the first coat is most important then I sand each additional coat with progressively smaller grit sizes. For example, on the footstool I’m working on I started with a Vinsser shellac mixed 50/50 with alcohol then sanded with 220. The next coat was slightly thinned shellac sanded with 320. The next coat was sanded with 600 grit. When sanding I just spend a few seconds, the intent to be smoothing out the finish. The final coat is pretty smooth as is but I’ll buff it out then apply a paste wax. Thin coats are easier to smooth than trying to use one or two thick coats.

-- Rick M,

View oldnovice's profile


6901 posts in 3395 days

#7 posted 10-08-2012 11:27 PM

When I want a poly finish to shine I use Plexiglas fine scratch remover followed with a good wax. I don’t use it on very large projects because the fine scratch remover is expensive. There are three grades available from coarse to very fine.

Tap plastic scratch removers

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Gary's profile


9333 posts in 3460 days

#8 posted 10-08-2012 11:36 PM

If you use oil, especially BLO, you are going to need to give it time to cure. It will keep seeping out for a while. If you don’t want color, Beall’s buffing system is really good… $69.00 Works over colors too. I don’t use stains…

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2658 posts in 2949 days

#9 posted 10-09-2012 02:43 AM

I spray on lacquer to get a gloss sheen.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2604 days

#10 posted 10-09-2012 04:54 AM

I use a spray gloss waterborne clear coat, crystalac super premium. If I take my time tuning the spray pattern and technique for the particular project I can get a near mirror finish out of the gun.

More often than not, this is accomplished with a lighter spray pattern and slower feed rate.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3312 days

#11 posted 10-09-2012 01:10 PM


You can rub out your finish with pumice or rotten stone. Just make sure your finish is totally dried and cured. (at least 72 hours). It’s a little more involved than that, but you can read up on pumice or rotten stone and it will give you all the details on how to use and the results.

-- John @

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2542 days

#12 posted 10-09-2012 01:30 PM

For that Chinese Lacquer shine, try filling your grain until totally smooth, sand to 600 grit, then spray on lacquer sanding sealer-two coats, sand again to 600 or even 1000, then two-four coats of gloss lacquer. (I use Deft) The last coat should be wet, but not running.
When FULLY cured, maybe 36 hours, go back in with a soft cloth and Novus polish Number Two. Apply a small amount at a time and work over the finish. You will be able to count the hairs on your head.

The really amazing thing is you can do this with open grain wood, if you like. Just skip the filler. It will, however, get a multi-faceted cut diamond look to it as the light reflects off the different angles of the grain pattern. Some love that, some do not on an ultra-shiny surface. Also, with open grain, make sure not to let any of the Novus polish remain in the grooves. Wenge is particularly bad about holding polish. My guitars, for example, are all open grain, but mirror shiny.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Woodknack's profile


11809 posts in 2407 days

#13 posted 10-09-2012 06:14 PM

Does sanding the wood to 600 grit instead of say 220 actually do any good? I always have to sand down the first coat of finish anyway. Seems to me any difference between 220 and 600 is going to be covered by finish anyway.

-- Rick M,

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2388 days

#14 posted 10-09-2012 06:52 PM

Spray can lacquer.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View WhoMe's profile


1564 posts in 3271 days

#15 posted 10-09-2012 07:09 PM

If you are looking for really shiny finishes, try looking up french polishing. There may be some info in the articles as to what finish works best prior to polishing.
Maybe that might help.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

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