OK, I got out the 60 grit (HD didn't have any 40) and took it down to
the wood. Don't know whether it was another few days of curing, or the
coarser grit, but it went much quicker and smoother than when I used
the 220. No plastic melting, etc.
So I need to do passes with 150 and 220, but does anybody have any
thoughts on wood filler? Should I just assume the deep grain pits are
full of Polycrylic and don't worry about it? Didn't worry about it
with the Polycrylic and it seemed OK.
Now I just gotta find the Varathane DWF Floors. HD didn't have it, and
neither did the local Ace hardware (except one 4oz can of gloss). They
had all kinds of Varathane products but not the DWF WB.
I went over it with 150 and 220, and got it to a glassy-smooth finish.
But I apparently have troubles running my new random-orbit sander
The first time I did this, I found two small spots (after staining)
that showed corkscrew sanding marks. I sanded them out by hand and
restained over them, and they seemed OK.
This time, even though I was being extra-careful, I've got corkscrew
marks all over the place. There must be at least 6-8 of them. And
naturally you can't see them until you stain.
Am I doing something wrong here? Should I only use the random-orbit
sander for rough sanding, removing material, etc, and use a regular
sander for everything else? Except most of these marks probably came
from the 40/60 grit, didn't they??
This is why I gave up on the random orbital sanders - seemed like maybe
some spot got clogged and *that* made the marks? Wasn't sure and the marks
really stand out. I've noticed the same in some craft show work.
Those marks you got are from moving the sander too fast over the
surface. Slow down, and don't put apply hardly any downward pressure;
you don't want to bog (slow) down the sander.
Gary Fritz wrote:
<snip of some additional hard lessons>
Well, after the ROS, at each grit, the procedure is to clean the surface.
Air, a soft bench brush, a shop vac, something. Then a quick wipe with a
rag, dampened with mineral spirits. That will show you what there is to
pay attention to.
With the ROS, I stop at 120 or 150. Everything thereafter is hand sanded,
with a block, to whatever the final grit is going to be. If oak, it's
often only 180, sometimes less, depending on what I'm going to do with it.
Someone said, probably more than one someone, that each grit is only to
take out the scratches from the previous grit. If you leave something
nasty from 60/80, then trying to take it out with 220 is a study in
frustration, and a waste of time.
If it were me, and it's not, I'd take a sharp card scraper, and go after
the spots with the swirls, then touch up the surface with the last grit you
used, only by hand, and with the grain, then clean and dampen the surface
one more time with the mineral spirits. That will give you the best
estimate of what the finish will look like, before you open another can of
Remember the patience part. Thanksgiving is still weeks away.
:-) But I'm sick of using the folding table!!
Well, I took it down to the wood, stained it, and as I said the stain
showed up a few corkscrews. But I said screw it, I am sick of spending
up-close & personal quality time with this table. I went ahead and put
on 4 coats of the Varathane DWF, hand-sanding lightly after the 1st and
3rd coats with 320.
The Varathane didn't make the grain pop NEARLY as much as the
Polycrylic. The wood was satiny-smooth after I stained it, and the
first coat came out fairly smooth.
The corkscrews are barely visible. I have to look hard to find them.
I doubt anybody else will ever see them.
18 hrs after the last coat, I can still dent it with my fingernail, but
it's already WAY harder than the Polycrylic. I'll let it cure for a
couple of days and hope it's hard enough for kid use by then.
Thanks for all the tips, everyone!
It should cure a bit faster in the warm house, anyway.
I have a table that sits in our dining area, that my parents bought when
they bought a new home in 1955. The top has needed refinishing since about
1960. We keep a table cloth on it, and enjoy the best family dinners
around that table. I don't really know when I'll get around to building a
'fancy' one. Grandkids are too much fun.
Although I DID have a brief conversation with my daughter-in-law over the
wisdom of someone buying the kid a maple mallet and tool bench, and then
bringing same to my house. It left.
I let it cure for 3 days, then put it into service. We're using
placemats for now to reduce wear & tear until it can cure for a few
weeks. It's already pretty hard. The surface is much smoother and
easier to clean than the old flaking-off poly, and it looks beautiful.
This table is too pretty to cover up. Big family dinners are a rarity,
unfortunately, since both sides of our family live 800-900 mi away.
But we've had as many as 15 friends around the table for holiday
feasts. Now it's in good shape to do that again. Unfortunately
everybody already had out-of-town plans for Thanksgiving, ohwell...
it takes a while.
there are two things going on. first, the water used as a carrier has
to evaporate. that takes anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or so.
at that point it's dry to the touch, can be sanded and recoated and
the new layer will bond chemically. second, there is a cure process
where the polyurethane/acrylic does it's crosslinking bit and releases
it's primary solvent, usually one of the slower alcohols. this takes a
few days, during which it becomes harder and more chemically inert.
once this is complete new layers no longer bond chemically, and
witness lines and delamination start to become problems.
One thing to watch for is making too many layers with a semigloss
finish. Each layer reduces the clarity and begins to hide the wood.
Usually you do all the base coats with "clear" and then do the final
satin coat with the satin or SG finish.
I've only used the minwax stuff and have applied extra coats within
minutes and sometimes weeks later. I would avoid any recoats in the 4-24
hour range since the surface is too dry for the next coat to adhere well
and too soft to properly "scuff" it up.
After 24 hours you can do whatever leveling sanding you need and apply
I make it a point NEVER to put on more than one coat of any finish
('cept shellac) within 24 hours. Giving the finish time to dry between
coats is half its hardness factor, IMHO. And putting another coat
on top of a gooey coat keeps the lower coat from hardening in a fair
amount of time...if ever.
You're using a PLASTIC finish, so moisture removal is of utmost
importance between coats. The upper coat could keep the bottom
coat wet forever.
"Excess regulation and government spending destroy jobs and increase
unemployment. Every regulator we fire results in the creation of over
acrylic polyurethanes are an exception to that rule. they do their
final cure mostly by crosslinking rather than by drying. you're
supposed to recoat soon after they are dry to touch. otherwise the
layers won't bond well.
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