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I have sanded smooth a walnut piece with 220g. I applied a Rusteolum water based Polyurethane clear coat satin sheen. After drying, it feels rough. Why would that be? What should I do to smooth is out?
 

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The water in the polyurethane raises the grain. It could have been prevented by sealing the wood first with Zinsser Sealcoat however all you have to do is sand the finish smooth and apply more coats. Each time it's sanded between coats the finish will get smoother. I would recommend using 220 grit or finer paper for this.
 

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The water in the polyurethane raises the grain. It could have been prevented by sealing the wood first with Zinsser Sealcoat however all you have to do is sand the finish smooth and apply more coats. Each time it's sanded between coats the finish will get smoother. I would recommend using 220 grit or finer paper for this.
Agreed.

My father just had the same thing happen staining his oak cabinets with water stain - even after pre-raising the grain (they were really old, REALLY dry cabinets that have been sitting in the basement for 10 years unfinished).

Personally I prefer sanding more around 400 grit between coats, just because you are less likely to accidentally over-sand and go through the stain. But a light hand with 220 works great too!
 

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I was told to mix mineral spirits in equal parts to poly and it will not cause the rough finish. Is this true?
You are referring to an oil based polyurethane where the topic was a water based polyurethane. Anything you put on wood is going to raise the grain, even an oil based polyurethane. Mixing mineral spirits to oil based polyurethane won't make it any less grain raising. It will just take more coats to achieve the desired finish. Personally I believe a person should thin an oil based polyurethane as little as possible. Applying it by hand I don't thin it at all. I only thin it for spray purposes.
 

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Take a piece of brown paper bag, fold it, and polish. It will make it a lot smoother. Want a really nice look? Buy a pack of 4 inch micromesh. Usually after the first 5 colors you will be amazed. I use renasssaince for final wax coat. You will be way pleased
 
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