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· Senior Something
1,127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm using oil based poly on my project, mainly because I have a ton of it. I have a Wooster badger hair brush as recommended by some of you in a previous thread. I plan on laying down a thin coat, but not overworking the surface. I'm guessing I have to wait overnight before applying the second, third... coats. That's all I know.

What is the proper thing to do in between coats?
1) Nothing, only prior to the last coat?
2) Sand lightly with paper (I have 150 garnet and if need be I'll sacrifice a couple of 220 grit discs (by hand))?
3) I have 0000 steel wool. Should I use that? Somewhere I read the general convention was to steer clear of steel wool.

Any other suggestions,DOs or DON'Ts etc?

I'm sure this has been beaten to death before and I apologize for bringing it up again. I did a search for the info and I got a little dizzy wading through them all. If you have responded in the past, just point me to the thread(s) and don't waste anymore of your time trying to explain it to me.

Thanks for your help.

· Registered
29,456 Posts
Well first if your project is light in color you shouldn't use the oil based poly. Over time it will yellow and look bad. A water based poly will remain clear. If you had the means of spraying you could use a cab-acrylic lacquer and it would remain clear.

I wouldn't use steel wool between coats. It's too messy and hard to clean off and forms to the surface instead of sanding flat. When brushing there will be a certain amount of brush marks in the finish and sanding will tend to take the ridges off. I would recommend using 220 grit sandpaper between coats. Sherwin Williams sells Glit sanding pads which work well for between the coats sanding. The extra fine pad is what I would use and can be used with water or dry.

· Rick Mosher
1,041 Posts
You always should sand between coats of oil based poly. It is an oxidizing type finish so it doesn't "melt" into previous coats like shellac or lacquer. That means it requires a mechanical bond for each coat to adhere to the previous one. 220 as Steve suggested usually is fine depending on how thin you apply the poly, with thin coats the sanding scratches could telegraph through when dry. I prefer 320 grit myself. Best thing is to do some samples first and make sure everything works how you want it to. :yes:

· Old School
24,011 Posts
I prefer 320 grit myself. Best thing is to do some samples first and make sure everything works how you want it to. :yes:
+1. :yes: I also prefer 320x. I like using the light gray silicone carbide intended for dry use. It could be called "No-Fil", or "Fre-Cut". Make sure that the coat to be sanded is cured. If the paper seems sticky to the poly, it isn't dry enough.

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