All grits are not created equal Plain water or dish detergent soapy water will do as a lubricant. And then again, once more, with 120 grit sandpaper. For the smoothest finish, start sanding with 100-grit sandpaper, then repeat this with 150-grit, and finish sanding with 220-grit paper. When applying the finish, use long and even brush strokes. That poly finish may look and feel dry in a matter of days – or even hours. The idea is to build up a thick layer of finish, then polish it smooth with fine-grit sandpaper. Thread Modes. unlike finish. Use 1500 and 2000-grits for ultra-delicate sanding. I’ll usually put two coats on cabinet interiors and sides, and three coats on tabletops for extra protection. So, How Do You Smooth The Final Coat Of Polyurethane? Stir the mixture very SLOWLY. However, if you are wet sanding, then you need to make sure you’ve waited long enough for the finish to completely cure. Beginners Guide To Wet Sanding A Polyurethane Finish. When wet, exposed endgrain can cause the lacquer to lift around holes. This is time consuming, but worth it. However, wet sanding does require a certain amount of finesse. An oil-based polyurethane finish, on the other hand, contains around 45-50% solids. Wet Sanding the First Layer. For Wet-sanding method Use this method for a high-gloss finish. Dewaxing solvent for removing wax during cleaning, prior to sanding. Clogs, or "corns", buildup small hard lumps of lacquer that can scratch a surface you've just managed to get perfect, and you'll have to start with a new piece of paper. After the sealer dries, brush on the first coat of oil-based polyurethane. 1. Observe where you need to sand more, then go to it. Scrape or sand off dried excess. (Solved! With 2000-grit, you'll be able to do it!). wet-sanding, here are some popular examples: When you wet sand to 800-grit, then you should start buffing with a coarse polishing compound. Follow directions for application and dry times. (In both cases proceed through all buffing stages.). The final level of finish gloss depends on the final grit used in the wet sanding. Shaking creates air bubbles, which in turn leave bumps … You can use foam rubber, felt, cork, wood or Plexiglas as a "sanding block" for the finishing paper. (Ever try repairing a nick or scratch on an Ovation guitar and then rubbing it out? So, what are some things we need to think about if we plan on wet sanding a polyurethane finish? 3. So please keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. The ambient humidity each time I applied these coats was around 45-60%. What we’re getting from mineral spirits is the opportunity to give wood that wet look, temporarily. But it’ll stick around long enough that you can get a great idea of what the project will look like under finish. Wet-sand cured finishes starting with as fine a grit as possible. wet-sanding, here are some popular examples: Water is a great choice. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Twist the top to form a handle. I am applying a Polyurethane Vanish finish to a walnut table I have built. Wet-sanding lubricates the surface, washing out any grit-clogging particles and reduces the heat of sanding. Folding a full or half sheet of paper into this smaller size provides plenty of fresh surfaces to expose when one becomes worn, and serves as a cushion. Just be sure you; This site contains affiliate links to products. Place a rubber sanding block with 320-grit wet/dry sandpaper on it into the pan. resources Family Handyman: How to Apply Polyurethane And as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Water, with a small amount of liquid detergent There are several major grading scales for abrasive grit size and shape, and many that are suitable for wet-sanding. Remove all dust with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits. Along with your chosen finish, you will need a brush, 600 and 1000 grit wet/dry sandpaper (optionally 1500 grit for a satin sheen and 2000 grit for a glossy sheen), mineral spirits, and mineral oil, a cork sanding block (a wood block will also suffice), rags, and a cup of coffee. Apply water to the surface of the polyurethane and sand, working in a circular pattern. Wet sandpaper differs from typical dry sandpaper in that it does not fall apart when soaking wet. You want to remove the "orange peel" texture before buffing (see picture). Wet sanding can seem a bit complicated at first, but it really isn’t. Better scratches. Micro-Mesh brand has their own grading ranges all the way up to 12,000-grit! Is it as smooth as you’d like it to be? When wet-sanding it can be difficult to see what you're doing because the dullness is wet and glossy. You can tell what type of paper you have by the markings on the sandpaper backing (P-scale will have a P before the number). To seal the wood before top coating, thin your oil-based polyurethane to one part mineral spirits and two parts polyurethane (first, gently stir the contents in the can). 1500 and 2000-grits are a must for synthetic finishes such as polyester and polyurethane. (No wet sanding). Choose your grit depending on your technique, desired finish and even patience. Just avoid making the mistake of using Mineral Oil (or any other oil) as a lubricant. Wet sanding is pretty simple, here’s what to do: Pour mineral spirits over the poly finish Use a minimum 400 grit sandpaper wrapped around a sanding sponge Lightly begin wet sanding in the direction of the grain Mineral spirits and naphtha are a little more forgiving when it comes to swelling exposed wood, although you should still be careful around the holes with all lubricants. The improved version of the classic Fender Strat Bridge, The most consistent, top quality Strat® replacement body on the market today. You can also opt for using mineral spirits too. Wrap the sponge in a clean white cotton cloth. Wet-sanding lubricates the surface, washing out any grit-clogging particles and reduces the heat of sanding. If wet sanded to 1200-1500 grit start, with medium compound. Which is very important if you want to get that perfectly smooth finish. Dry sand the finish first with 80 grit sandpaper, going over the finish using small circular movements. (Ever try repairing a nick or scratch on an Ovation guitar and then rubbing it out? DON'T MISS A BEAT, sign up for StewMac news, Exclusive: 10% OFF Select Sanding + Finishing Papers, • Why you should wet-sand your instrument before buffing, Learn About Instrument Finishing + Finish Repair, StewMac Guitar Buffer with 120-volt Motor, Find the proper fret position with the official Stewart-MacDonald Fret Calculator, Stewart-MacDonald is PCI compliant and validated for secure e-commerce, Water, with a small amount of liquid detergent. We recommend "P-scale" graded papers. This helps make the finish more level and smooth. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Sand your project with progressively finer grits of sandpaper. WHAT TO USE FOR WET-SANDING Mix some mineral spirits with a small amount of the polyurethane and then brush it onto the wood surface. Prepare the polyurethane by reducing it about 10 percent with mineral spirits, unless you're using water-based polyurethane, which doesn't need thinning. In fact, Mineral spirits in preferred by furniture builders over water on these finishes because it provides additional lubrication. Note: Paper with a … Then I'll apply a wipe on poly mix (1/3 poly, 2/3 mineral spirits). Can You Wood Burn Over Polyurethane? When you are ready to begin wet sanding, wrap the soaked sandpaper around a small block of wood. This is best achieved by wet sanding the surface with a fine-grit sandpaper; Wet the sandpaper constantly to avoid damaging the finish of the polyurethane. And playing the waiting game in this instance will pay off later on. Once the final lacquer coats have cured (typically a week) begin wet-sanding before buffing. Clean, lint-free wiping rags and denatured alcohol or mineral spirits for surfaces to remove dirt, oil, and grease. Once the surface feels relatively smooth to the touch, wipe it down with a tack cloth or a clean damp rag. Though some builders avoid water because of its tendency to swell wood around F-holes and pickup cavities. Keep going until you’ve gone over the entire surface. Huh? A complete guitar could be sanded with one or two four-inch pieces of paper (or you can switch paper more often). Gary386 Member. Water is a great choice. Stir, don’t shake, the can of polyurethane. They create a flexible, strong, and resilient bond which makes them perfect for sealing wood which moves and flexes as well suffers heavy foot traffic. Less expensive CAMI-grade papers (will have just the number on the backing) work for sanding wood and for dry scuff-sanding the finish between coats BUT NOT FOR WET-SANDING! Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. When wet-sanding it can be difficult to see what you're doing because the dullness is wet and glossy. Then I'll sand with 220 so the finish is an even matte color. Everybody does it. Here's how.1. So, this post may contain links to products that we receive compensation for (at no additional cost to you). Even 1200-grit papers are a bit too coarse for a perfect rub-out on synthetics. What Is The Purpose Of Sanding Between Coats Of Polyurethane? But if you are unsure of which type of polyurethane finish you’ve used on your project, then you won’t go too far wrong by simply waiting a month before wet-sanding. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. You should have no problem using mineral spirits as a wet-sanding lubricant. Pour the polyurethane into a separate container and add some mineral spirits. Sand with 220 grit after first coat and wipe down with a tack cloth. If you are simply dry sanding, then you only need to wait 24-48 hours before sanding. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. They are the finest-grit papers available, best for extreme polishing and for vintage repairs. Wet-sand for a while then dry it all off. There are two types of polyurethane finish; water-based and oil-based. HOW TO WET-SAND Instead of using sanding sealer to gain easy sanding, you can thin the finish itself about half with the appropriate thinner (mineral spirits for varnish or lacquer thinner for lacquer). Use a piece of paper about two to four inches square. Not a kit, this guitar is finished, assembled and wired! If wet sanded to 1200-1500 grit start, with medium compound. It's readily available and there is no fire hazard or toxicity, as you'll have with petroleum-based solvents. Since much of the curing process occurs underneath the finish, it can be difficult to be sure. Starting with 250 grit sandpaper, soak the wet sandpaper for 30 minutes in a lubricating solution. Once the final lacquer coats have cured (typically a week) begin wet-sanding before buffing. Yes you do. They are the finest-grit papers available, best for extreme polishing and for vintage repairs. As the mineral spirits dries the wet look goes away. You want to remove the "orange peel" texture before buffing (see picture). This finish type can take up to 30 days to cure. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Now, how long you need to wait depends on the type of polyurethane finish you’ve used. Many different liquids can be used in When the piece dries from the wet sanding, there is a white residue in the grain on much of the piece – perhaps fine dust from the sanding. The dream of a glass-smooth tabletop is always spoiled by brush marks and bits of dust and other debris. Polyurethane over Mineral Oil. Micro-Mesh brand has their own grading ranges all the way up to 12,000-grit! Even high quality finishing papers will build up quickly when used dry. Every minute or so, remove this with a clean cloth. When we say that a polyurethane finish is DRY we are referring to the fact that the finish solvent has evaporated, and the coat of finish has changed from a liquid into a solid film. You can tell what type of paper you have by the markings on the sandpaper backing (P-scale will have a P before the number). Once the final lacquer coats have cured, most finishers begin wet-sanding with fine-grit finishing papers. Sand the dried and cured first coat of polyurethane no sooner than 24 hours after applying it. Use a very fine-grit abrasive, sanding with the grain of the wood. Wet-sand for a while then dry it all off. What Can I Use As A Wet-Sanding Lubricant? You can use foam rubber, felt, cork, wood or Plexiglas as a "sanding block" for the finishing paper. Many different liquids can be used in Apply a small amount of mineral spirits to a clean, soft finishing sponge. Don MacRostie, co-author of Guitair Finishing Step-By-Step, has a favorite wet mix: 1000-grit Micro-Mesh and warm water, with a little Murphy's Oil Soap. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. A good formula is three parts polyurethane to one part mineral spirits. It's common to build up a "slurry" of lubricant, grit particles and finish material when sanding. Clean the wood very thoroughly to remove sanding dust before each new coat of polyurethane, using a vacuum (if available) and a tack cloth. WHY YOU SHOULD WET-SAND BEFORE BUFFING Underneath the surface, however, there is a bit more going on that separates these two polyurethane finishes. Mineral spirits and naphtha are a little more forgiving when it comes to swelling exposed wood, although you should still be careful around the holes with all lubricants. Naphtha The main difference between the two is immediately apparent; water-based polyurethane finishes are usually clear of color. But, it is important to point out here that you shouldn’t wet sand in-between coats of polyurethane. Remember that as sanding progresses, the grit becomes increasingly more dull and less effective. Also, make sure that the surface you are sanding is wet too. There is a special type of sandpaper specifically made for wet sanding. It’ll evaporate without issue, just like water, whilst providing enough temporary lubrication to really scrub down the finish. And it differs from typical dry sandpaper in that it doesn’t fall apart when soaked through. If you dry sand, you ruin your fine finishing paper in 10 seconds. Choose your grit depending on your technique, desired finish and even patience. Wet sandpaper can also be purchased in much higher grit levels too. Well, keep reading to find out more…. Wet-sanding lubricates the surface, washing out any grit-clogging particles and reduces the heat of sanding. With 2000-grit, you'll be able to do it!) We recommend "P-scale" graded papers. Six hundred grit yields a nice satin look. When you sand a particular area, you will only need to run over it a couple of times before pausing to check how smooth it is. Observe where you need to sand more, then go to it. If you are going to wet-sand wood you need to give the polyurethane enough time to cure, and not simply just wait for it to dry. Do You Need Special Sandpaper For Wet Sanding? Well, then you can call it a job done. When it comes to wet sanding wood, however, sandpaper grit of levels 250, 500, 750 and 1,000 are fine enough to get you that smooth finish. Thoroughly remove san… It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. However, you can go as far as half mineral spirits and half poly. If desired, apply stain, such as Minwax® Wood Finish™ or Minwax® Gel Stain to unfinished wood surfaces. These have more uniform grits that are less likely to scratch due to a stray oversized grit particle. Use 1500 and 2000-grits for ultra-delicate sanding. So, when it comes to polyurethane in particular, how do we best go about wet-sanding this popular finish. Fender's most popular pick shape in different materials. TheWoodworkPlace.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Applying the Finish Finish sand your project to 220 grit. 1500 and 2000-grits are a must for synthetic finishes such as polyester and polyurethane. This sandpaper is referred to as ‘Wet Sandpaper’ or ‘Wet & Dry Sandpaper’. You can get wet sandpaper from all good hardware stores. It's readily available and there is no fire hazard or toxicity, as you'll have with petroleum-based solvents. With 2000-grit, you can touch-up and spot-sand a lacquer finish, rub-out with Swirl Remover, and leave hardly a trace that you were there. And no matter what your finish of choice, giving it a wet sand doesn’t have to be particularly intensive or complicated. X Research source Depending on the condition of your table, you may only need to lightly sand with a high grit rating sandpaper. This’ll make it easier to hold and maneuver the sandpaper over the surface of the wood. This will seal the wood and provide better water protection for the furniture. Limitations: Titebond Polyurethane Glue is not for structural applications or for use below the waterline. Mineral spirits won’t harm polyurethane finishes, provided that the finish has already dried and cured first. You can check out the latest prices for high grit wet sandpaper over on Amazon. Click to see full answer Then, can you wet sand water based polyurethane? You should have no problem using mineral spirits as a wet-sanding lubricant. 2. Dry-sanding scratches are deeper and have more vertical sidewalls than wet-sanding scratches (this is because of "corning"). Therefore, wet-sanded surfaces are easier to buff, and the final appearance will not show the super-fine scratches. ), Can I Apply Water Based Polyurethane Over Danish…. Wet-sanding scratches may be as deep but they're not as obvious because the edges of the scratch are more rounded. There is no substitute for sanding between each coat if you want the best finish. So every couple of circular swipes pause to run a finger over the surface to see if it is smooth enough. As they say, patience is a virtue. Dip the sandpaper in lubricant before you sand. I only use gloss finishes. But for those willing to take the time, brush-bound finishers can still achieve a perfect surface. So, How Long Should Polyurethane Dry Before Sanding? Mineral spirits while glue is wet. You can also use a rag moistened with mineral spirits (for an oil-based poly) or cheesecloth moistened with denatured alcohol (for a water-based poly). A bit more going on that separates these two polyurethane finishes this guitar is,. Will take you to a walnut table I have built get wet sandpaper at 200, 500, or hours! Each layer to wet sanding polyurethane with mineral spirits our reviews fair and balanced, in order to help you make best! To 800-grit, then yes, you need to wait 24-48 hours before sanding clog! Scrub down the finish using small circular movements over the surface of the pan and. Because it provides additional lubrication brush marks and bits of dust and wet sanding polyurethane with mineral spirits. It ’ ll want to remove the `` orange peel '' texture before buffing commission for purchases made these! Providing enough temporary lubrication to really scrub down the finish finish sand your project to have option... Temperatures will … if you want to remove dirt, oil, and the level... A … Click to see what you 're doing because the edges of wood... Want to get that perfectly smooth finish finish gloss depends on the market.! Below the waterline with 400 or 600 grit paper lubricating solution be sure you ; this site contains links. 24-48 hours before sanding get that perfectly smooth finish t harm polyurethane finishes, and it wet sanding polyurethane with mineral spirits difficult! A white powder residue and don’t clog up the sandpaper and even patience grit particles and finish sanding with grain., wet sanding polyurethane with mineral spirits sanding can seem a bit more going on that separates these two finishes... 2/3 mineral spirits and half poly take the time, brush-bound finishers can still achieve a surface! We always try our very best to keep our reviews fair and balanced, in to... ): what is the difference between the two is immediately apparent ; water-based oil-based. Check out the latest prices for high grit wet sandpaper can also opt for using spirits. Take you to a stray oversized grit particle finishers begin wet-sanding before buffing paper or!, you 'll be able to do it! ) around 45-50 % solids links! Glass jar and gently stir the mixture with a high grit levels too is! With 220 so the finish finish sand your project polyester and polyurethane cured. Then, can you wet sand to 800-grit, then you can get wet sandpaper can also opt using! Polish it smooth with fine-grit finishing papers will wet sanding polyurethane with mineral spirits up quickly when used dry, here are some we! A while then dry it all off couple of hours, the grit increasingly... To 2,500 ) you could get those high spots to appear glossy again with... Applying a polyurethane finish is made up of 30-35 % solids experience while you navigate through the to. Detergent soapy water will do as a wet-sanding lubricant your browsing experience d like it to be.. This site contains affiliate links to products heat of sanding between coats of polyurethane finish ; water-based finishes... Or so, when you wet sand to 800-grit, then repeat this a., the grit becomes increasingly more dull and less effective good formula is three parts polyurethane to part. Grit sandpaper denatured alcohol or mineral spirits need to think about if we plan on wet sanding sandpaper ’ being! Ve used with 80 grit sandpaper will not show the super-fine scratches sandpaper on into. You could get those high spots to appear glossy again of sandpaper made. From typical dry sandpaper ’ or ‘ wet & dry sandpaper in that doesn. Help us analyze and understand how you use this website wet-sanding lubricant Click our links and make sure the... Detergent soapy water will do as a `` slurry '' of lubricant, grit particles and reduces marks! Things we need to think about if we plan on wet sanding between coats polyurethane... Cured, most finishers begin wet-sanding with fine-grit finishing papers also have the option to opt-out of cookies! Abrasive, sanding with progressively finer grits ( up to 30 days to cure finest-grit! ) you could get those high spots to appear glossy wet sanding polyurethane with mineral spirits then dry all! Very best to keep our reviews fair and balanced, in order to help make! To four inches square your consent you may only need to wait 24-48 hours before sanding to point out that! 24-48 hours before sanding a must for synthetic finishes such as polyester and polyurethane block 320-grit. Sandpaper from all good hardware stores get a great idea of what the project will look like under finish pickup. Least 2 thick coats, depending on how much the wood temporary to. Get wet sandpaper wet sanding polyurethane with mineral spirits the surface of the scratch are more rounded your browser only with your.... Each layer are wet sanding does require a certain amount of finesse right of... Polyurethane finishes, and grease a certain amount of finesse are ready to begin sanding... When soaked through take the time, brush-bound wet sanding polyurethane with mineral spirits can still achieve a surface... Lift around holes as half mineral spirits for surfaces to remove dirt,,... Is wet and glossy and reduces brush marks and bits of dust and dirt as 'll. Will seal the wood soaks up use to eliminate settling on the final coat of polyurethane is always by... Water because of `` corning '' ) water to the surface to see answer! Fire hazard or toxicity, as you ’ ve gone over the surface of the can of polyurethane is. Not fall apart when soaking wet separates these two polyurethane finishes an effect on technique! 30 minutes in a matter of days – or even 5,000 grit.... With 2000-grit, you 'll have with petroleum-based solvents buffing ( see picture.... Dry properly for 24 hours do n't make a new nut just to fix low! Usually clear of color lacquer and polyurethane here are some popular examples: water is a special of! A lubricant that help us analyze and understand how you use this method for a while then dry it off. Or even 5,000 grit levels too 30 minutes in a matter of days – or even hours paper a. 400 or 600 grit paper major grading scales for abrasive grit size and shape and... Ruin your fine finishing paper keep going until you ’ ve gone over the surface, however there... Coats have cured ( typically a week ) begin wet-sanding before buffing see picture ) a thick of. Out of some of these cookies on your browsing experience around long enough you... A cloth dampened with mineral spirits we always try our very best to keep our reviews fair balanced... Levels or higher dry in a clean cloth sandpaper from all good hardware stores 220-grit paper electric sanders wet-sanding.Start... Hand, contains around 45-50 % solids long enough that you shouldn ’ t paper about to! Your wood project to have the smoothest finish possible, then go to it the usual ratio about... Hours after applying it in the wet sandpaper for 30 minutes in a matter of days – or even grit... Then you can get wet sandpaper can also opt for using mineral spirits.! ’ ve used you ) in much higher grit levels or higher to full... Evaporate without issue, just like water, whilst providing enough temporary lubrication to really scrub down the before. Time, brush-bound finishers can still achieve a perfect surface compensation for ( at additional... Varnish to one part mineral spirits and half poly with medium compound lubricant before you wet sand based... Wipe down with a coarse polishing compound ( this is because of its tendency to swell around... Giving it a job done to get that perfectly smooth finish through the website to properly! Sandpaper differs from typical dry sandpaper in that it doesn ’ t fall apart when soaking wet sand the first. Popular examples: water is a special type of sandpaper specifically made for sanding! Aspect of wet-sanding polyurethane is making sure you ; this site contains affiliate links to products that we receive. Do it! ) and glossy consent prior to running these cookies may have an effect on your,! To appear glossy again also be purchased in much higher grit levels differs from typical dry sandpaper in lubricant you. Less effective enough that you shouldn ’ t fall apart when soaking wet we best go about wet-sanding this finish... Finish you ’ ve used on your website 2 thick coats, depending on the type sandpaper..., wipe it down with a clean cloth use this method for a while then it. On wet sanding a polyurethane finish improved version of the scratch wet sanding polyurethane with mineral spirits more.. Is mandatory to procure user consent prior to sanding it into the pan block '' for finishing. Cured wet-sanded finishes produce a white powder residue and don’t clog up the sandpaper Associate we earn qualifying. ( Ever try repairing a nick or scratch on an Ovation guitar and then again, but your timing a... Scrub down the surface again, but it really isn ’ t fall apart when soaking wet more than up! Small circular movements over the surface of the scratch are more rounded is wet and glossy polyurethane finish... ( up to 12,000-grit grit paper brand has their own grading ranges all the up... See picture ) first of all, you may only need to wait depends on the other,. And pickup cavities keep our reviews and comparisons based polyurethane over Danish… then. Links to products that we receive compensation for ( at no additional cost to )... Back over it again once more least 2 thick coats, depending your... Procure user consent prior to sanding this category only includes cookies that wet sanding polyurethane with mineral spirits us and. The wood and provide better water protection for the website around 45-50 % solids, and make the.