How to Smooth Out Water-Based Polyurethane


Woodworking is a great way to get your mind off the rest of the day, or week. After you have assembled that table, bench or whatever and step back to look at your work, there is a sense of satisfaction in your creation. As you take another look you think to yourself that there could be more. A nice glossy finish would make this creation just perfect. That is when polyurethane comes into the picture.

Things You'll Need

  • 220-grit sandpaper 400-grit sandpaper Polyurethane Foam brush Paint thinner Bronze wool
  • Prepare your work area. Primarily, you want an area that is dust-free. You do not need to create a plastic shield around the area, but the least amount of activity and exposure to dust the better.

  • Brush on two coats of polyurethane with the foam brush. The foam brush prevents fine hairs from getting into the finish. Let the polyurethane cure before applying the second coat. Sand each coat with 220-grit sandpaper.

  • Brush on two more coats of polyurethane. Let each coat cure. This time use the 400-grit sandpaper dipped in paint thinner and wet sand each coat.

  • Brush on two more coats of a 50% polyurethane/50% paint thinner mixture. Let each coat cure. This will help get the polyurethane smoothed out and begin the glossy shine. Sand each coat with 400-grit sand paper and buff with bronze wool.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not use steel wool. Fibers left behind will eventually rust and mess with the finish. Do not shake the polyurethane before use. If can cause a rough finish and more work for you later.

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