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I've been making candle holders and business card holders out of pine and white wood. I have obviously been staining the pieces with a oil based stain and the after about 24 hours I apply my first coat of semi gloss poly, then sand with 220 and apply my second coat, then I sand with 320 and apply a third coat. After the third coat is dry I finish everything off with a 600gr wet sand with a little lemon oil. I've been having problems with the corners and edges of the pieces when I sand after the first and second coats. A lot of times the stain gets taken off or messed up. The best thing I've ever stumbled across was the finishing wet sand because it does not take the stain off and doesn't make the ends looks dusty or cloudy. My question is should I just wet sand the entire process since the wet sanding at the end preserves the stain? Would the wet sand cause problems for the coats of poly or would it be ok? Here is a pic of the problem I'm having. You can see where the stain got sanded off even with a very light sanding but you can also see how nice the rest of the piece turned out after the wet sanding at the end.
 

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When you wet sand I would use water as a lubricant rather than lemon oil. The lemon oil would make it difficult to apply another coat if you do sand through. It's best whether you sand wet or dry not to sand the corners but to sand up to them. Then with a pretty worn out piece of sandpaper just scuff the corners a little. It's too easy to put too much pressure on the corners because of the narrow surface so much care is needed to sanding there.
 

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Steve Neul said:
When you wet sand I would use water as a lubricant rather than lemon oil. The lemon oil would make it difficult to apply another coat if you do sand through. It's best whether you sand wet or dry not to sand the corners but to sand up to them. Then with a pretty worn out piece of sandpaper just scuff the corners a little. It's too easy to put too much pressure on the corners because of the narrow surface so much care is needed to sanding there.
Good advice I appreciate it. I plan to go to a lumber supplier tomorrow to see what they have in domestic 2x or 6/4 to make those things out of that and just poly finish them so I don't have to mess with stain and I'll just charge a little more
 
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