Waterlox satin finish problem

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Forum topic by RCFrugé posted 04-27-2014 04:58 AM 2968 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1693 days

04-27-2014 04:58 AM

Topic tags/keywords: waterlox waterlox satin finish rubbing out with steel wool question walnut finishing trestle table steel wool foam brush

OK. I’m using Waterlox to finish a walnut trestle table I’ve made. Applied four coats of the ORIGINAL SEALER with a rag as per the Michael Pekovich ONLY FINISH YOU’LL EVER NEED article in Fine Woodworking – it looked great though very shiny – but instead of trying the steel wool rub out process which I was afraid to attempt I used Waterlox Satin finish and got a very streaky finish. Concerned that maybe the problem was I used finish that I had been storing for too long. I bought a new can and after a light sanding retried the finish with a foam brush applying a thicker coat but again I got a very uneven streaked finish. Really depressing after all the work to build my table. I’m wondering if I might just try 0000 steel wool and even it out that way. I’m not sure if that’s an option after using the satin finish on it. Any ideas would be appreciated. – RCFrugé

5 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5798 posts in 3015 days

#1 posted 04-27-2014 06:55 AM

I would wet sand it with a 1500 grit sanding sponge. It has a similar effect to fine steel wool. I rub out my final finish this way, and it only takes 20 minutes on an average sized project.

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

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3 posts in 1693 days

#2 posted 05-02-2014 07:52 PM

Thanks, PD – In rubbing out with 1500 – always with the grain or in a circular motion? – and in the 90 degree spots where joints come together is it difficult to get it evenly sanded? I’m concerned it will look terribly uneven after the rubbing out process. R

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2563 days

#3 posted 05-02-2014 08:43 PM

Having suffered a few finish failures over the years, when/if it happens now I don’t try to recover what’s already gonzo. Strip it and start over. I’d redo with either an oil or waterborne poly on the bare wood. A “sealer” is unnecessary as there’s nothing to “seal” that the poly won’t take care of.

-- 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 Earlextech's profile


1162 posts in 2892 days

#4 posted 05-02-2014 08:48 PM

Rubbing it out is what you do to make it even out. Steel wool is fine for this, although I use Micro Mesh myself. Then I wax. It will be beautiful.

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

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1302 posts in 1836 days

#5 posted 05-02-2014 08:52 PM

too bad you didn’t use the steel wool. It gives a beautiful satin finish.
I prefer that to a satin liquid finish.
You can control it the way you want.

Since we don’t know what is causing the streaks at this point. I would start wet sanding.
Start with 320, 400, to get rid of the satin finish. 600 , 800, 1200, 1500..
This should leave you with a nice satin finish if you don’t over do it and remove all the finish.
I assume you finished the bottom to prevent warpage .. didn’t you?

you can either use compound , rottenstone, or just leave it as is… If you don’t like the looks, try a wax over it.
Try a small section… you can remove the wax with Mineral Spirits if you don’t like the wax, but I think you will find the finish to be just beautiful. Of course you need to share what method and how it looks when you are done.

Good luck.

-- Jeff NJ

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