How to Repair a Polyurethane Wood Finish


A polyurethane wood finish needs to be repaired in a very particular way for the best possible results. Find out how to repair a polyurethane wood finish with help from a 46-year-old master precision craftsman in this free video clip.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Todd Languell They Flying Furniture Guy from R and D Woodshop in Scotia, New York. Today, I want to show you how to repair polyurethane wood finish. You can see I've got some damage here. Most of this damage is below the surface. So you're still going to see that damage underneath. But how to fix the polyurethane finish is very, very simple really. You want to take your Keystone abrasive 400 grit silicone carbide non-loading paper. A very key point there. Now the sanding process is definitely with the grain and what you're looking to do is you're looking to scratch coat just the top surface of this table. So you can see I'm going to turn it white. And what this is is the top layer of finish I'm slightly sanding. You can see, I'm going to show you what's great about this sandpaper is that all of the finish doesn't load onto the sand paper. That's what's really a key point with this type of sandpaper. So I'm just continuing sanding for another minute. Okay, so you can see the contrast from what I did and what I haven't done. At this point you want to take your rage and you're going to just take off the scratch coat debris or the finish that was on there. You can see it's slightly skeened over a little bit. At this point what you do is you take your polyurethane, now you can spray this with any kind of a spray can polyurethane as you like. I like to use a rag myself. I put the polyurethane right on a rag and I kind of flow it back and forth over the area that has just been sanded. It's needing a little bit more in the middle. You can pour it right on if you want. Go back and forth with it. What I like to do, and a key point here, is to go in one direction. You roll the rag nice across. Polyurethane is self leveling so you just take the rag and you kind of flow it right off the edge. Nice and even coat, back and forth. When it starts to get a little tacky you want to stop this process because you're going to leave dry marks on it. Once you get it there take a look at the sheen. The sheen is the reflection of the lights off the surface to see if you have any run marks, to see if you have any drips, to see if you have any bubbles and to see if you missed anything is a real key point here. I missed a little spot right there. Once I work myself right up and over to the edge I cover it all the way around. That's pretty much it. You can let that dry as normal and if you want to put another coat you scratch it even lighter this time but the same 400 grit sandpaper. You can use steel wool, 4 ought steel wool, to very lightly scratch the surface. Make sure that you vacuum and tack the surface if you're going to use steel wool and then apply another coast of polyurethane. If the polyurethane is a little thick you can thin it out with a little mineral spirits and that'll give you a great coverage right there. And I'm Todd Languell the Flying Furniture Guy and this was: how to repair polyurethane wood finish.


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