How do I combat polyurethane clouding?

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Forum topic by ptkaster posted 09-27-2013 08:54 PM 4723 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ptkaster's profile


36 posts in 2114 days

09-27-2013 08:54 PM

I just finished a coffee table with minwax high-gloss polyurethane. I sanded from 400 to 15000, but it still looks cloudy whatever I do. Any techniques or tips to combat the cloudiness?


11 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10384 posts in 3645 days

#1 posted 09-27-2013 09:02 PM

How long has it cured?

View pintodeluxe's profile


5657 posts in 2810 days

#2 posted 09-27-2013 09:55 PM

Wait until the stain has fully cured 24-48 hours usually.
Apply poly in a low-humidity environment.
Often blushing can be corrected by sanding and re-coating with poly.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2358 days

#3 posted 09-27-2013 11:25 PM

Try rubbing it out with auto rubbing compound, followed by polishing compound. If that doesn’t work, you’re SOL.

-- 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 ptkaster's profile


36 posts in 2114 days

#4 posted 09-28-2013 05:07 AM

It’s cured for about a week. I might just recoat w/poly and forget about it.


View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3558 days

#5 posted 09-28-2013 12:40 PM

I can’t answer the clouding issue, but sanding to 15000, or even 400 is way over the top. In fact, depending on the wood type may even cause adhesion problems. I only sand to 220.

-- Joe

View oldwormy's profile


16 posts in 1887 days

#6 posted 09-28-2013 12:44 PM

I sand with 220 between coats and then burnish the last coat with crumpled up brown paper bag. Try it, it really works.

-- AlW

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 3717 days

#7 posted 09-28-2013 05:47 PM

This happened with me on a recent project. I had to sand it down and use non-minwax products for it not to turn cloudy or flake off. Apparently minwax has high amounts of dye, but very little bonding compound. The local HD dumped all minwax products and went to Varathane (which seem to work very well).

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3574 days

#8 posted 09-28-2013 06:23 PM

Blushing is usually a result of moisture and to of low temperature. Sanding to 15000 grit is completely unnecessary .I usually don’t sand beyond 180-220. I’m not a fan of most Minwax products.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View CharlesA's profile


3320 posts in 1794 days

#9 posted 09-28-2013 06:54 PM

Use Arm-R-Seal? It seems almost foolproof.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View CharlesNeil's profile


2399 posts in 3867 days

#10 posted 09-28-2013 07:44 PM

if its a blush., meaning moisture trapped in the wood , you will need to open the wood up , try taking a cloth damp with BLO , and using a dry iron, lightly iron it ,if it clears you have a blush issue, however ironing it will clear it, if that does nothing and you have sanded it to 15000, odds are you have the typical dull look from a rubbed finish, they all do it, you can go to the local Auto body supply and get either a finishers glaze or swirl rmover, and it will clarify the haze.

TYpically I would tell you to wipe the finish with a very thin coat of denatured alcohol and set it on fire, sound nuts I know, but it will open the finish and clear it, the alcohol burns above the surface and is ony there for a split second, just don t pool it, my concern here is that the finish is probably not totally cured, so the iron is the safest bet. Be sure to clean the iron really well, or you could be in trouble, I know . A little mineral spirits or any solvent will clean it, probably the only use I have for BLO in finishing,

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20476 posts in 3102 days

#11 posted 09-30-2013 03:06 AM

I would take it to a low humidity area like your furnace room where it might be warmer too and let it sit for a couple days. I have this happen to small parts I spray and I set them close the top of the water heater and they are fine the next day. Humidity and too low of a surface temp cause blushing. Boy do they get bad when it is raining out. I usually wait for the rain to stop before doing any finishing!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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