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Please help!!!!!! Poly question from a newbie

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Forum topic by josephos posted 466 days ago 647 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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josephos

3 posts in 466 days


466 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: help poly new

I’m a new woodworker and I followed some bad advice. After carefully building a chest for my wife’s birthday I applied a sealer layer of 50/50 poly to mineral spirits to bring out the natural beauty of the grain. I loved it, looked great.

Then I went against my instincts and did what my neighbor suggested. An additional layer of polyurethane “straight from the can”. 24 hours later I’m not happy. All that great wood now looks like plastic.

How can I thin this out before her birthday. I’m willing to give myself tendonitis sanding some of the thickness but I’d rather not use stripper. I think I’d only goof it up further. I just want to make it not look like it’s under glass. Any ideas? Wet sanding? How far? THanks and please help.
Joe


11 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13247 posts in 936 days


#1 posted 466 days ago

If it appears too thick, sanding is probably it. It does seem odd that a couple coats built up that much.

Welcome to LumberJocks

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View sgv's profile

sgv

266 posts in 490 days


#2 posted 466 days ago

Sand sand sand sounds like you put to much on at one time a to glossy you may want to try a cote of satin before you sand

-- Tite Lines, May the wind be at your back

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Craftsman70

241 posts in 723 days


#3 posted 466 days ago

Is it the thickness and uneven coat with brushmarks, or the shiny gloss you dont like?

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15655 posts in 2816 days


#4 posted 466 days ago

Craftsman70 is asking the important questions.

Is it possible you used a gloss poly instead of satin for that top coat? Or do you have runs, sags, and/or brush marks?

Either way, here is my recommendation: Sand just enough to scuff the surface and remove any uneven spots, then wipe on one more coat of your original 50/50 mixture.

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

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1643 posts in 1091 days


#5 posted 466 days ago

You may have trouble sanding that back for it cures enough, and that may take a while. I like CharlesM idea, smooth it out, and try a wipe on coat. If it doesn’t work that’s minimal damage.

-- I long for the days when Coke was a cola, and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard)

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

1940 posts in 874 days


#6 posted 466 days ago

+1 Charlie1958
If you have only 2 coats…1 with 50/50 and 1 with “straight out the can” sanding/scuffing it down and re-coating with 50/50 shouldn’t be a problem.

+1 Fred Hargis
Wait for it to cure….otherwise you open another can of worms

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View vonhagen's profile

vonhagen

483 posts in 962 days


#7 posted 466 days ago

sand it out, this is why i use lacquer.

-- no matter what size job big or small do a job right or don't do it at all.

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josephos

3 posts in 466 days


#8 posted 466 days ago

Thanks everyone. I’m not afraid of a little sanding so putting my elbow into it will be fine. It’s really that I don’t like the type of finish the poly provided. It’s definitely satin, or at least the can says so, it’s even and the brush strokes are well within acceptable.

Glad I joined, I’ll post a picture when I’m done.

Joe

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1385 posts in 959 days


#9 posted 466 days ago

Sanding will just screw it up further. Do it right, and strip it,

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1643 posts in 1091 days


#10 posted 466 days ago

Just to throw this in for future consideration on your next project. Try a non-poly varnish….the easiest ones to find might be Pratt and Lambert 38, or maybe Sherwin Williams Fast Dry Oil Varnish. The first is an alkyd/soya oil formula, the second an alkyd Linseed oil formula. I’ve completely given up on all polyurethane products for several reasons, one of which is the plastic look it has.

-- I long for the days when Coke was a cola, and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard)

View scotsman9's profile

scotsman9

134 posts in 486 days


#11 posted 466 days ago

I am in the process of stripping a Gun stock that had a very similar problem as you. My wife brought home mineral spirits which I mixed with Poly & tung oil. The finish was nice but did not set up properly. Upon further inspection, the mineral spirit can was clearly printed with the words MINERAL SPIRITS, reading the fine print underneath it, the words stated a “safer alternative to mineral spirits”. So, I had to strip it all off back to bare wood.

Strip it off, start over. You wont regret it.

-- Just a man and his opinion.

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