Have gloss finish but want satin - best process??

I've completed my mission style coffee table and am very happy with the results. My last remaining step is to get the gloss finish to become satin. (the finish is about 10 light wipe on coats of wiping varnish made by mixing 1/3 Behlems Rock Hard Varnish with 1/3 BLO and 1/3 Turpentine).
Is 0000 steel wool and wax the best method to get to satin when a wipe on varnish is used? Should I search out Liberon steel wool or is the std. stuff OK? Do I go in only one direction? (long/light sweeps with the grain?)
Is there a better process then the steel wool/wax method?
Thanks!
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Your eye will tell you if 0000 is the look you're after. Don't over-complicate things by worrying about grain direction, etc. though. Just buff it down in whatever direction you decide to go. I would do circular because circular gives a cross hatch to the scruff and when done sufficiently, will create more of a satin look than it will a scruffed look. You really don't want to see the individual scratch lines - you want them to blend into one another.
I have no idea what "Liberon" steel wool is, but like I said, don't over-complicate this. Use a light touch when you buff it down so that you don't dig in at all. You're just looking to scratch up the surface, not gouge it.
I would suggest that the next time you simply get the right material. A satin finish will give you the look you want with an unbroken surface. Steel wool over gloss isn't the worst solution in the world, but using the right product first generally results in a better finish.
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muddy looking), but found steel wool works better.
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It will look ok - that's what I had stated in my original reply. That said, it is better not to open up the surface of a finish such as will happen when rubbing down with steel wool. It's a marginal thing, I agree, but it is nonetheless better not to open the surface. If you want a satin look - use a satin finish. I suspect the muddy look you experienced was more a reflection of the product you used.
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The muddy look can come with using a satin finish for all coats. Better to use gloss for all coats and use satin for a final coat.
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wrote:

Thanks for the rubbing tips but all my research suggested that satin products reduce clarity and adhesion. Getting to satin by starting with gloss produces superior results. (although more labor intensive)
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Ok - I'll accept that. I didn't know that there were adhesion issues with satin. I've never considered the clarity issues the way you and another poster have, since I've always thought that one of the very attributes of a satin finish was a reduced clarity. Both of your points make my earlier reply to that other poster somewhat irrelevant now.
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pv=nrt wrote:

OK, I'm with Mike on this one. If you are using the same product from the same manufacturer (or you mix of same) what are the adhesion issues? Are you saying that the flatteners make adhesion difficult?
Robert
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pv=nrt wrote:

Favorite recipe.

Nope, just be sure to let the finish cure for a month first. Rubbing might be easier with a harder finish. Try a couple of thin topcoats made from Rock Hard and turps, no oil or maybe a dash if the rag sticks.
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You can steel wool and wax but I would simply add a final coat of satin varnish.
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Yes, you have the right process in mind.
Depending on the design and how much unfilled grain you have, steel wool might leave lots of residue down in the detail lines and grain. The gray dust can be really hard tro remove. So for an alternative you can use a maroon syntheitic scrubbing pad.
You are 100% correct about using clear without flattners and buffing down to a satin finish. However most of the people that are suggesting this method are talking lacquer which is really easy to buff down. A poly or varnish finish will take a lot longer to buff down. Just be careful to use the same amout of work and pressure on all adjoing surfaces. For instance, on a table top make sure you do a good even job of buffing it.
Just lots of hand work. I suggest circular on all large flat surfaces but on legs, etc, you will have to use strokes.
Buff it out to the satin look first. Then apply a good paste using the same circular motions and buff pad or steel wool. When you buff out the wax (and be sure you do buff it oiut well with terry cloth, etc.) you will get your gloss finish back but don't worry too much. After a few weeks the wax will tone way down to your satin look.
If it aint satin enough, you can strip the wax with naptha and start over.
Any 0000 steel wool is ok. I'm not sure you can even still get Liberion brand but it was nothing special.
P.S., I use NC lacquer and like to spray only two thin coats if I can get away with it. In this case I have seen very little if any difference with using a semi gloss or satin in terms of clarity. I think if you build 4 or 5 layers it would make a difference.
pv=nrt wrote:

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