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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello I am very new here and I want to say I am very impressed with all the great information here. I know very little about woodworking in general. I find it facinating and decided to jump right in. What better way to learn right. I am realizing now it would have been better to do more research up front. I built a desk for my husband and was amazed that it turned out pretty good. So we got ready to finish it and went to lowes. I bought a can of Olympic brand One Step (Gloss). It said it was a stain and polyurethane in one. We put it on and the color looks nice but, The surface is not very glossy and it is kind of scratchy. I don't want to put on any more of this stuff because I don't want it to get any darker in color. So I wondered if anyone could recomend a good clear varnish or other type of product to go on over this. I want the smoothest possible surface with no brush strokes. I really appreciate any help I can get on this.

Thanks

Katie
 

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Hi: I would sand the finish down with 220 grit sandpaper, very lightly to take off the rough spots. Clean it with a shop vac. and then use rags dampened with water to remove any dust. Then apply a clear high gloss polyurethane. If the original finish is completely dry you could use either water base poly or regular. I use foam throw away brushes, they don't leave marks. A couple of coats should do it. Woodnut65
 

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A little more information please such as : what wood did you use, what sanding,if any, did you do before appling finish and after and by scratchy do you mean small nubs or bumps in the finish?. With a little more info, I'm sure we can help.
Regards

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I used Birch with Oak trim. I did alot sanding with 140 grit sandpaper. I dusted off with a tac cloth. It felt very smooth beore putting on the One Step. Now it feels like little tiny bumps in the finish. I am realizing now I should have worked up to finer sanding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for the info and links everyone. I went ahead with the 220 sandpaper and the foam brushes. Thanks Woodnut. It worked great. I used a clear shellak instead of the polyurethane and I am very happy witht the results. The finer sanding really smoothed out the surface. And the shellak is nice and glossy.
 

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Glad to hear you are happy with your finish. Just a couple of points for the future. When sanding before finishing it is rarely,if ever, necessary to sand with a grit over 150-180. We have done many tests and it is not possible to perceive scratches smaller than those made by 180 g. Also lose the tach cloth none of the woodworkers or finishers I know use them any longer,they are just dust magnets that we keep our dirt ,grease and such in so we can spead it on our next finish.

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Jerry
 

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Jerry,
I would like one clarification from you. In mentioning not to use a tack cloth, which is your prefered method of removing dust? I am hesitant to use a damp cloth fearing the possibility of raising the grain. Your knowledge of the finishing process is awesome. Thanks -Derek
 

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What I usually use is a clean cotton cloth,or a shop paper towel,the blue ones sold at the big box stores, wet with whatever solvent is handy (mineral spirit - denatured alcohol - naptha-etc. If you also do this before applying a finish it will give you an idea of what it will look like with a clear finish. This also will highlight any glue that has not be entirely removed. If its a large project first use a vacuumn cleaner with the soft brush attachment then wipe lightly with solven wet rag. Sorry if this is more info than you need.
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Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Thanks for the tips. It is very helpful. I need all the help I can get. I am very new to this and am really enjoying learning about it. It did seem like the tac cloth was was pretty full of dust after just one wipedown. I figured they were intended as a one time use. Makes for and expensive disposable. Here is a link to my picture in the Show and Tell section. http://www.routerforums.com/showthread.php?p=21238#post21238


Thanks again
Katie
 

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I'm not Jerry but I quit using tack cloths years ago. The old Dust Vac with a bristle end works well. If a project really needs to be spotless I've been using naptha on a clean rag. Some folks I think use mineral spirts.

One of the advantages of using naptha or mineral spirits is that if you hold it so light bounces off the surface it's easy to spot areas that need more sanding.

Berry in St Paul
 

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Jerry,
I would like one clarification from you. In mentioning not to use a tack cloth, which is your prefered method of removing dust? I am hesitant to use a damp cloth fearing the possibility of raising the grain. Your knowledge of the finishing process is awesome. Thanks -Derek
I have always used compressed air just be sure to get all the powder out &some stains will bleed out of the grain minwax is bad for it. I still use tack cloth like insid spots wher the dust is hard to blow out. Hope that helps.
 
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