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sanding between clear coat applications

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Forum topic by Pabs posted 462 days ago 1042 views 1 time favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Pabs

175 posts in 2052 days


462 days ago

hey all

I just put my second of coat of clear coat last night on a couple of pieces I’m working on for my kitchen

question regarding sanding..
do you guys sand (lightly) between each coat? or simply on the last one?

the few times I’ve done it I sand between each coat but was wondering if I would obtain the same results or better if I waited until the last coat

if it matters I’m using this product

water based clear coat

-- Pabs


12 replies so far

View jimmyb's profile

jimmyb

172 posts in 490 days


#1 posted 462 days ago

Sand between coats and then on second to last and the last I use 0000 steel wool.

-- Jim, Tinley Park, IL http://jbuda.net

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51451 posts in 2078 days


#2 posted 462 days ago

I sand between coats too. Just said lightly using a fine sandpaper like 220 grit.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1643 posts in 1091 days


#3 posted 462 days ago

Sanding between coats is needed with polyurethane finishes to provide a little “tooth” for the next coat, polyurethane resins inhibit adhesion. So if I use polys I sand between coats. For everything else I’ll normally put on a few coats, smooth out the dust nibs, and then apply the final coat. With waterbornes, I’ll usually sand after the first coat to smooth out the raised grain, then proceed as I do with all other non-polys.

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

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SnowyRiver

51451 posts in 2078 days


#4 posted 462 days ago

Anytime you expose wood to something with moisture in it like the finish, it causes the wood fibers to stand up. This is the rough feel you get after putting the first few coats of finish on. The fibers stand up and then are suspended in the finish. By lightly sanding, you remove these fibers and eventually build up the finish so it is above the fibers and it creates a smooth finish.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1385 posts in 959 days


#5 posted 462 days ago

Sand the first coat to knock down any fuzz. Don’t sand after that.

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

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

903 posts in 1288 days


#6 posted 462 days ago

NO STEEL WOOL on waterborne finishes! Sandpaper or Scotchbright pads. Wet the project with water before you spray your first coat, this will raise the grain, sand it out then start spraying. Sand between each coat, increasing grit as you go.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "finished"!

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1756 days


#7 posted 462 days ago

No reason to sand between coats with water-borne…it does not require a mechanical bond. It generally dries fast enough where dust nibs aren’t a problem. However, I always smooth out with a 3M pad, just in case.

Oil-based poly needs the mechanical bond.

And yes, sand the first coat of water-borne, like you would any first coat of any finish…that’s where the smoothness comes from.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View Pabs's profile

Pabs

175 posts in 2052 days


#8 posted 462 days ago

thanks everyone! on my way home soon in a few minutes for coat #3!

-- Pabs

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1385 posts in 959 days


#9 posted 462 days ago

Contrary to some opinions (speculative perhaps), it’s been my experience (real life) that latex/acrylic wall paint is the performance equivalent of any other cabinet finish in actual use.

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

View teejk's profile

teejk

1206 posts in 1282 days


#10 posted 462 days ago

Clint…I used the ACE brand cabinet paint on my kitchen and I think there is a noticable difference. It forms a much tougher “rubber” coating than any paint I use on walls. Of course that means it is a real PITA to finish. It has a long “cure time” and heat from sanding will make you swear until you realize that everything will be fine once it cools down and the curing process resumes. The other issue I had was color. The full color doesn’t arrive until it fully cures (weeks). That was a problem since I used a white primer and with my old eyes it got hard to see where the paint was.

View cutworm's profile

cutworm

1058 posts in 1391 days


#11 posted 462 days ago

Just refinished a chest and used 3m scotchbrite pads. The have some for between coats and for the final rub down. I liked them. On the final I used the pads with paste wax. Turned out nice.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3046 posts in 1273 days


#12 posted 462 days ago

Sand between coats of oil based poly. I never use steel wool until the last coat is on. I always end up with bits of steel wool in my finish no matter how hard I try to get it off my project. I sand and I learned the hard way to be VERY careful to not hit the corners. If you go through the stain you are in trouble. I like steel wool (0000) on the final coat. If you want a really smooth finish you can use an eraser from a chalk board (new and clean) and use automotive polishing compound to rub out the finish. We used this in high school and took some blue ribbons home from the state contest.

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