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Senior Something
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I hesitated asking another stupid question, but here goes.

I had a small dent in my finished top that I raised the grain with an iron. I then sanded out the remaining dent and restained the area successfully. But a small depression is noticable when you run your hand across it. I had put 2 coats of poly on and after it was dry, the depression, as expectected, was still present.

I had the bright idea to pool poly in the area and strike it level. Once dry, I would sand and then recoat the whole top in another coat of poly. The patch area looked good, but being impatient, I only let the surface dry overnight. The inner surface wasn't dry yet and gummed up. So I resanded the area to bare wood and restained.

Will the leveling technique work with oil Poly if I allow a week to dry or will the patch pop off over time.

In Hind sight, I should have lived with the depression; no one else would have noticed it; But I still would have know it was there.

Thanks

Edit: My basement is only around 70 F, so I don't have to worry about it drying too fast (cracking).

The area is an oval approximately 2" x 3 " (sanded) and maybe 1/32" at the deepest.
 

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I hesitated asking another stupid question, but here goes.

I had a small dent in my finished top that I raised the grain with an iron. I then sanded out the remaining dent and restained the area successfully. But a small depression is noticable when you run your hand across it. I had put 2 coats of poly on and after it was dry, the depression, as expectected, was still present.

I had the bright idea to pool poly in the area and strike it level. Once dry, I would sand and then recoat the whole top in another coat of poly. The patch area looked good, but being impatient, I only let the surface dry overnight. The inner surface wasn't dry yet and gummed up. So I resanded the area to bare wood and restained.

Will the leveling technique work with oil Poly if I allow a week to dry or will the patch pop off over time.

In Hind sight, I should have lived with the depression; no one else would have noticed it; But I still would have know it was there.

Thanks

Edit: My basement is only around 70 F, so I don't have to worry about it drying too fast (cracking).

The area is an oval approximately 2" x 3 " (sanded) and maybe 1/32" at the deepest.
That was a pretty resonable way to fix the dent. I've done it many times and you can even buy clear burn-in sticks to melt shellac into a dent like that. The only problem is you being impatient and sanding too soon. Depending on the thickness of the polyurethane since it is a slow drying finish might take a month to dry enough to sand like that. It would be faster to use a brush and put several coats on the spot over several days then to pour a puddle. Pouring a puddle would work better if you were using a faster drying finish like lacquer but you can't put lacquer over poly.
 

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Senior Something
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, it's done. I didn't do quite like I said, just put in on a little thicher in that area and then brushed it out from end to end. We'll see how it looks in the morning.
The restain job didn't go as well as the first time; it came out looking a little circular, so I feathered in a lilttle more stain to break the edges. Now it looks a little blotchy like pine gets. Before I dropped the top twice:furious: the finish was perfect. Short of stripping and sanding everything off again and starting over, I can live with it. This is a practice piece really, so I learned a lot about what not to do.

Thanks
 

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Sanding to bare wood isn't a good means of stripping the finish. There are resins in the finish that penetrate into and seal the wood preventing from staining properly. When you sand you are just getting off what is on the surface. It's always best to take a finish off with chemical removers first and then sand. It opens up the pores of the wood so it is closer to what it was to begin with. More than likely the blotchy spots were do to having more of a concentration of resins in some spots.

Try to let the finish dry as long as you can before trying to sand flat. Sometimes you can sand a place flat and put a finish over it and it looks great. Then a few weeks later the finish cures more and shrinks showing the dent again.
 

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Senior Something
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Can a paste wax be put on over oil poly? I have a can of Johnson's Paste Wax for hardwood floors that I could use in a couple of days.

If so is there an art to putting that on too?
 

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I would wait for the varnish to cure before waxing (if you really want to do that). Like Steve said earlier, varnish cures very slowly....so "a few days" would likely not be enough.
 

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Can a paste wax be put on over oil poly? I have a can of Johnson's Paste Wax for hardwood floors that I could use in a couple of days.

If so is there an art to putting that on too?
I would wait at least a month before using wax on the poly if that's what you want to do. If the poly isn't cured sufficiently you could undermine the durability of the finish if you get the wax into the finish. It won't really do anything for the finish other than the feal of it to the touch. Some finishes like varnish and lacquer there is a benefit to putting wax on it. It works like hand cream for your hands moisturizing it so it is not as likely to crack. Cured polyurethane is closer to plexiglass impervious to the wax.
 

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I wouldn't use wax at all. The polyurethane is more than a suitable finish IMO. You can over a period of time fill low spots and dents by layering the poly. Each layer should be fully cured. You have to use care in sanding out the final finish, as you can sand through one layer and the edges can show from one layer to another.





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