Sand or buff after final coat of poly? opinions/suggest.

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Forum topic by Kwit posted 02-19-2013 01:14 AM 1859 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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103 posts in 1987 days

02-19-2013 01:14 AM

Hello all

What is your opinion on sanding or buffing after your final coat of poly?

How fine of grit? Steel wool? other?

I just finished the third coat of oil based poly on some stock I am finishing before I assemble face frames;

Used flexible 3M 320 grit before the last coat – I used satin finish because I’m not a big fan of gloss

all suggestions welcome


-- don't talk about it - be about it

4 replies so far

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


4890 posts in 2437 days

#1 posted 02-19-2013 04:23 AM

Crazy as this sounds, .... car wax, lightly buff and you are done. Years ago I tried this on a painted red box I used for work as a replacement for a 4 drawer file cabinet. 18 years later it still looks good and it has been in a mechanics shop all this time. Grease, grim, grit, nothing bothers it, occassional wipe on of fresh coat of wax and all is well. Wroks for furniture as well, have several shelves in the house done this way. Seems to me Bearpaw told me this trick..

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2389 days

#2 posted 02-19-2013 04:37 AM

It’s OK to do nothing, but if ya gotta, just rub it out with 0000 steel wool lubed with paste wax, and buff with an old tee shirt.

-- 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 ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3589 days

#3 posted 02-19-2013 04:56 AM

I put on several layers of gloss and sand each layer. I’ve found that 320 or 400 grit works good. When I get the smoothness and levelness that I want I rattle can spray the final layer using semi gloss. If there are any nibs I lightly rub with 0000 steel wool. If there are any defects I spray another coat of semi gloss and usually it looks perfect at that point. Final step is to wax it with Johnson’s paste wax or Trewax using a 0000 steel wool applicator and polish with a T shirt or a bath towel.

I find that the gloss followed by semi gloss gives a sensation of depth that is lost if you use semi gloss for all the layers. IMO the satin does not give the smoothness or clarity that I like. This project kind of shows what I achieve.

EDIT – sometimes things don’t go right and I have put on as many as 7 coats to get it right. (This usually happens on open grained wood like oak. Cherry or walnut is much easier.

-- Joe

View ksSlim's profile


1276 posts in 2918 days

#4 posted 02-19-2013 05:44 AM

Ultra fine Scotchbrite and wax. The grey Scotchbrite is close to 3 or 4 aught steel wool.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

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