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oil over water

1296 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  Steve Neul
hi guys- first time posting here, i hope i'm in the right thread!

so here is my problem: 3 yrs ago i applied Behr premium polyurethane, WB, to every stick of oak in my house, doors, windows, stairs, floors, literally everything. 6 months ago my brother did the same when building his house, except he used oil based. i am really kicking myself now, my wife and i just love the darker look of the oil based. furthermore the WB i used is slightly turning a yellowed color. i didnt notice before, but i've recently started redoing my door/window trim in a craftsman style trim, and after finding out the Behr i used 3 yrs ago is no longer made, i had to switch to Minwax polycrylic. its similar but i notice the 3 yr fade of the Behr. we really want to switch to oil based now, esp. since a bit of trim is being replaced, i figured now is better than after. any tips? can i just rough everything up with a mid grade paper and go, or should i take everything down to bare wood? there are a lot of intricate details with some of the doors.

ps- using a 15 ga nailer, i dnt like the hole size, any issues using an 18 ga on oak? thanks for any help!!


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In the long haul I think you would be best to stay with the water based poly. You can't really change the appearance by putting oil based poly over water based. The wood is already sealed and you would have to strip the finish off to have the grain pop with the oil based. Then oil based poly is really not a good product over light colored wood. Yes it has a amber color to it but it will get more and more yellow over time. If you were starting with new wood, then you could coat the wood with linseed oil to make the grain pop and then coat with the water based poly for a protective coating.

Without stripping the woodwork you could scuff the surface and spray some aniline dye over the finish to give it some golden oak color and then put another coat of water based poly over it.

A lot would depend on your nail gun if 18ga would work. A lot guns won't set the nails in oak and you would have to go back over it with a nail set making a 15ga or bigger size hole.
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