I used Helmsman Spar Urethane spray on a computer desk table top and
although it has been 24 hours it still feels tacky, but my big concern is
that it feels bumpy. The humidity level here in Arizona is 68% so the tacky
doesn't worry me as much as the bumpy thing.
I sanded the table top down reaeeealy smooth, and stained it. It was nice
and dry and smooth before I applied this stuff.
Did the Home Depot man sell me the wrong stuff? Is this stuff any good for
desk tops? I wanted something really smooth. Am I supposed to sand this
down? This was a spray can and I think I'm feeling the small particles that
sprayed out onto the surface. I followed the instructions.
Is my table top screwed? Should I sand it down and put something else on it?
I'm not a furniture builder, I'm a desperate software programmer who
couldn't find a certain type of computer desk after 2 weeks of searching
funiture shops... I about have this thing finished and it looks really nice
but this surface don't look right.
Well, Spar Urethane is made to be flexible. Spar, as it a part of a
sailboat or ship's rigging. And the UV filters probably aren't going to
be all that necessary for a computer desk, even in Arizona, although I
could be wrong on that. So, yes, the man in the orange apron steered
you a bit off course. A spray lacquer might have been a better choice.
Say, a Deft product, or something similar. Helmsman is good for front
doors and outdoor furniture, where the wood has to deal with moisture
and sunlight. And there still are likely better products for that use.
What you used for a stain could have an influence on what the spray
varnish is doing. As could the humidity, and the temperature. The best
advice, from a finishing standpoint is to be patient. Unfortunately, it
may be another two weeks until this cures hard enough to be a desktop
surface, and then, maybe not.
Are you in a huge hurry? The best writing surface I have ever had on a
desk was plate glass, custom cut and polished to size. Once the stuff
starts to not be tacky, you can put the glass on it, and go back to
Thanks. The glass idea might work but I really wanted a wood top... I don't
do any writing, just typing. I don't chop meat on it or anything like
that... just wish this would have turned out better.
And you can still have it. If the urethane does not work out, sand it
smooth and put on a couple of coats of shellac. The nice thing about
shellac is that it adheres to just about anything. Just keep your dripping
soda cans off of it.
I suspect you are getting large drops that are not thoroughly mixed.
See if they have the same varnish in a can and try brushing instead of
spraying your last two coats. Make sure you use a good nylon or poly
brush, preferably tapered. I like a 2 1/2" sash brush.
When using a can which I occasionaly do, I always put the can in warm
water before starting. This thins out the spray and atomizes the spray
better. Wipe the can well. What I am assuming that is happening is that
you are getting a little spitting, the warming of the can prevents that
from occurring. Follow the directions that DIYGUY gave you they were
very accurate... But try the warming of the can... Yea I know you live
in AZ, but the nights and mornings are cold, and your home is probably
air conditioned... So the can might be cold.
Urethane is not my favorite finish because it can be tricky sometimes,
and it is a bear to remove, but don't panic yet because chances are what
you are feeling is buildup where you stayed too long in one place with
the spray. This can be evened out by going over the dry finish with a
block wrapped with sandpaper. Take your time and don't be nervous when
seeing "white spots" appearing as this is normal. And don't be overly
aggressive with the sandpaper or you will cut right through the finish.
You probably want no lower than 220 grit or so. After you have
leveled the surface you can then go over it with extra fine steel wool
(000). When you have done your best to even out the surface and your
fingers tell you it is no longer bumpy you can clean up the dust with a
tack cloth made from the same urethane. Just spray a clean, fine cotton
cloth with a pass or too and fold it in half. Let is sit for a bit.
When the cloth feels mildly sticky to your fingers drag it over the
surface. This will remove any residual debris. Next clean the surface
with denatured alcohol in another cotton rag. Don't go overboard here,
less alcohol is better (both for you and your top!)
Now you are ready to continue finishing your top. I like brushing but
to each his own. Make your spray passes very, very light and thin.
Plan on having to do the above steps again and again - likely three more
times. After each coat be sure the surface is completely dry before
going over it. For the last coat use just steel wool (0000) wetted with
alcohol. With each pass of the spray you should be gaining in
confidence about how much to lay down but always remember to err on the
"less is more" side of the equation.
Good luck ..
I've used spray poly on a bunch of projects and the first coat seems to take
several days to dry completely. The second and third coats dry in a more
reasonable period of time it seems.
As for the roughness, that's pretty normal. You need to take fine (220
grit) sandpaper and go gently over it. Apply a second coat, allow to dry
and then sand it again. Apply a third coat and you should be done. A dust
free environment is of utmost importance here. After sanding be sure to
thoroughly clean off the project before applying another coat. Try to keep
the area as dust free as humanly possible.
"A ship carrying blue paint collided with a ship carrying red paint. The
After sanding I wait overnight for all the dust to settle, wipe off dust as
suggested in other posts, wait an hour or so, wipe off dust again, and then
varnish or finish. Small things can be placed under a canopy of dish
cloths or sheet of plastic but for the large things - I give dust time to
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