Brush marks in my finish - Page 2 - Router Forums
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Bill, I apply Zar polyurethane all the time, but never a stain. As others have said, use a paper towel. I use the blue shop towels that I cut into 1/4. Then I fold until it is about 2" square. I dilute the poly almost 50% with quality mineral spirits. I apply 2-coats a day. No runs and no brush makes and no sanding between coats.

Most woods after a couple coats I apply a heavy coat with a 1" foam brush and go over it with the orbital sander on medium speed using a 400 grit wet / dry sandpaper. This really mades the wood slick and seems to help the grain. I let that dry for 12 hours or so then apply a couple more coats with the towel. Then I use a 500 grit foam pad that fits on the orbital sander that I go over the piece lightly to removed any grit or dust. Then apply the last coat of poly.

Hope this help. Malcolm / Kentucky USA
Thanks Malcolm. I am going to give this a try. If it turns out even close to your boxes I would be a happy camper.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 09:07 AM
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I use disposable chip brushes for staining these days, it makes it easy to work stain into crevices on picture frames, which are my most frequent project. I use a prestain as well, which produces better results than applying to bare wood.

I like the paper towel results very well indeed. Use the corners to apply the poly to those tight spots. I also use disposable clear plastic food cups, pour in enough poly for one coat, then squeeze out all the air and close the plastic bottle. I put a lid on the 2 ounce food container if it has to sit more than a minute. Haven't noticed much thickening as a result, but I also have mineral spirits handy. I used a Forstner bit to drill a recess into a short 2x4 to hold the food container, without it, you WILL get a spill.

Sanding picture frames was no fun until I discovered these sanding pads and the new, flexible 3-M sanding sheets. The sheets conform to the shape of the pad, both the U shape and the rounded end and sanding is done in minutes on picture frame stock. Best $10 investment in accessories yet. I generally sand down to 220 grit, with the occasional quick pass with 320 grit to lightly clip off the fuzz that gets raised by the stain. The 3M sheets are really aggressive, almost like card scraping. Next comes a large paint brush to remove the bulk of sawdust, then a very light rub with a waxed cheese cloth to knock off the dust. For picture frames, I'm generally going for a very high gloss, glassy finish. I highly recommend the sanding blocks, which you can get in angled and curved versions from Amazon or woodworking stores..
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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I use disposable chip brushes for staining these days, it makes it easy to work stain into crevices on picture frames, which are my most frequent project. I use a prestain as well, which produces better results than applying to bare wood.

I like the paper towel results very well indeed. Use the corners to apply the poly to those tight spots. I also use disposable clear plastic food cups, pour in enough poly for one coat, then squeeze out all the air and close the plastic bottle. I put a lid on the 2 ounce food container if it has to sit more than a minute. Haven't noticed much thickening as a result, but I also have mineral spirits handy. I used a Forstner bit to drill a recess into a short 2x4 to hold the food container, without it, you WILL get a spill.

Sanding picture frames was no fun until I discovered these sanding pads and the new, flexible 3-M sanding sheets. The sheets conform to the shape of the pad, both the U shape and the rounded end and sanding is done in minutes on picture frame stock. Best $10 investment in accessories yet. I generally sand down to 220 grit, with the occasional quick pass with 320 grit to lightly clip off the fuzz that gets raised by the stain. The 3M sheets are really aggressive, almost like card scraping. Next comes a large paint brush to remove the bulk of sawdust, then a very light rub with a waxed cheese cloth to knock off the dust. For picture frames, I'm generally going for a very high gloss, glassy finish. I highly recommend the sanding blocks, which you can get in angled and curved versions from Amazon or woodworking stores..
I have not had good luck with the disposable chip brushes. They tend to lose bristles. Where do you buy yours?
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 12:19 PM
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Bill I tried using that poly/stain mix too, and I didn't like it either. I don't remember that it was the brush marks or not, I just remember I didn't like it.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 02:14 PM
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Bill; just out of curiosity, why did you go to the stain~poly mix? Were you having difficulties with the stain you were using previously, or was it a time saving thing?

Is the product you're using now a Minwax stain~poly?

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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 02:44 PM
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Interesting. I would have said wipe it on too, but too many beat me to it. First I ever heard of using paper towels tho, but that sounds like a good idea.

In truth, it's been so long since I used anything but thinned Titebond II as a finish, I don't recall if I ever had problems with brush streaks or not, but certainly don't remember any.

I have never seen any brush marks in any of my Titebond finishes. Could be some, but if so never noticed any. The Titebond is ready for more coats in a very short time, maybe 15 minutes or so max, never timed it. I use reasonably good nylon brushes. Thinking about it, I think that the Titebond is thinned so much, it not only dries fast, but it tends to level out after applying. One of these days I'll try some stain in it, and see how that works out.

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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Bill; just out of curiosity, why did you go to the stain~poly mix? Were you having difficulties with the stain you were using previously, or was it a time saving thing?

Is the product you're using now a Minwax stain~poly?
Dan I tried this thinking it might save me some time but it has cost me considerably more in time and effort than using a stain followed by poly. And yes the product is a Mini-wax stain-poly.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 09:19 PM
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Dan I tried this thinking it might save me some time but it has cost me considerably more in time and effort than using a stain followed by poly. And yes the product is a Mini-wax stain-poly.
*Lips are sealed*
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-14-2017, 01:00 AM
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I have not had good luck with the disposable chip brushes. They tend to lose bristles. Where do you buy yours?
Got them in bulk from Amazon in batches of 50. I have half inch, one inch and 1.5 inch (although I rarely use the last). I only use them for staining and for padding forms.
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