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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm completely new to this and have googled this question to death to no avail.

My father in law made a table out of pine for me. I stained it with vinegar and steel wool, and because I wanted to keep that weathered driftwood look but still have the table mostly protected, I went with rustoleum ultimate soft touch matte water based polyurethane. I did 3 coats with a brush on the legs and 4 coats on the top, its been 48 hours since I finished the top coat. It didnt have bubbles but it did have a few little crunchy spot, so I went over it with the grain really lightly with a 220 sanding block. It smoothed it out, but looking at it on an angle it seemed to take off the finish? (I realize the bumps in the wood aren't ideal, but I'm not worried about them :smile:)
Is there a way to get the smooth top and an even sheen? It evens out when I run a slightly damp tshirt over it, but of course it dries and is back :yes:
 

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I'm completely new to this and have googled this question to death to no avail.

My father in law made a table out of pine for me. I stained it with vinegar and steel wool, and because I wanted to keep that weathered driftwood look but still have the table mostly protected, I went with rustoleum ultimate soft touch matte water based polyurethane. I did 3 coats with a brush on the legs and 4 coats on the top, its been 48 hours since I finished the top coat. It didnt have bubbles but it did have a few little crunchy spot, so I went over it with the grain really lightly with a 220 sanding block. It smoothed it out, but looking at it on an angle it seemed to take off the finish? (I realize the bumps in the wood aren't ideal, but I'm not worried about them :smile:)
Is there a way to get the smooth top and an even sheen? It evens out when I run a slightly damp tshirt over it, but of course it dries and is back :yes:
When you stained the wood did you rinse off the vinegar with a damp cloth? There may be some chemical reaction between the vinegar and the poly causing the spots. Generally too you have to be real careful using steel wool around water based poly. If there is any fibers of the steel wool left when you put the poly over it it can cause problems especially rust. If it's just a few tiny spots I wouldn't worry about it. I would just sand it and apply enough coats over it sanding between coats until it is smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I didnt rinse :/ I let it dry overnight though, I figured excess would evaporate. The steel wool was dissolved in the vinegar, and I applied with a brush, hopefully there arent steel bits! Oy. The spots only show up after I do a light sanding, it seems to be a toss up between having a solid sheen or a smooth board. I was hoping to not have to recoat again with poly, just because I'm impatient and dont want to wait longer to put it in my kitchen :icon_smile:
 

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I didnt rinse :/ I let it dry overnight though, I figured excess would evaporate. The steel wool was dissolved in the vinegar, and I applied with a brush, hopefully there arent steel bits! Oy. The spots only show up after I do a light sanding, it seems to be a toss up between having a solid sheen or a smooth board. I was hoping to not have to recoat again with poly, just because I'm impatient and dont want to wait longer to put it in my kitchen :icon_smile:
It sounds like there were bits of the steel on the surface and now it's mixed into the finish making the bumps. The easiest solution would be to sand it and recoat it but first I would set in it some really good light and see if there is any rusty spots before you procede.

I don't know what the long term effects will be not rinsing the vinegar off. Vinegar is an acid and the chemical may or may not react with the finish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The waves/bumps are from my husbands sanding, first time with a palm sander :D they arent as obvious if I dont sand it. When I do the sanding with a little block to smooth the wood and get the handful of tiny spots off, the finish seems to come off on the peaks of the waves but only in a way that you can see it at a steep angle. What I'm trying to figure out is if I should just try a polish or wax to even out the sheen, I dont think more layers of poly at this point would work simply because it was smooth before I put on my final coat and it had the same issue then.
 

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The waves/bumps are from my husbands sanding, first time with a palm sander :D they arent as obvious if I dont sand it. When I do the sanding with a little block to smooth the wood and get the handful of tiny spots off, the finish seems to come off on the peaks of the waves but only in a way that you can see it at a steep angle. What I'm trying to figure out is if I should just try a polish or wax to even out the sheen, I dont think more layers of poly at this point would work simply because it was smooth before I put on my final coat and it had the same issue then.
Ok that sounds like what happened is the finish wasn't dry enough for electric sanding. Instead of it turning to powder the sander rolls the bits of finish into balls and it stuck to the finish making bumps. Wet sanding would be the best way to get rid of the bumps. I would use 400 grit wet and dry automotive paper with a block of wood and water and rub out the bumps. I think it would be far easier and better for you to recoat the project then to hand rub it and wax it. The finish would really need to dry a month before putting wax on it anyway. Then if it didn't work you would have a hard time cleaning the wax off good enough to put poly on it again.
 
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