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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just a quick one - not having used varnish much, what is the correct method to buff/rub out the last coat on a surface such as a table top? Steel wool and paste wax, like I've done with shellac before? - or is there something else I should do? I'm not so sure I want to add a coat of wax on this. Or maybe I just shouldn't bother - it's not too bad as it is.
Thanks in advance.
 

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What sheen do you have now and what are you looking for or are you just wanting to make the finish smoother. Varnish is not as hard as shellac or lacquer so it doesn't lend itself to finishing to a higher sheen. In any case wait atleast 4-6 weeks before doing anything.

Regards

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Hi Jerry,
I'm just looking to smooth it - it's gloss right now but I don't mind knocking it back to more of a satin - I'm just not sure of the best way to rub it out - I'm on coat three - and there's no rush - but I'm planning on doing more like this so I'm hoping to establish a sort of standard process to follow.
 

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If you don't mind lowering the sheen some finish just like you have finished shellac previosly. The thing I wonder about is the wax, it adds a never ending maintenance routine to the equation. While wax will make water bead up it offers no protection against water vapor and no other protection. Its your project if you like the look and feel of wax
then by all means use it.

Regards

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
By "no protection against water vapor" I take it that means if an idiot like myself set a beer on it without a coaster I'd get white rings? Maybe I'll just leave things as they are and give it one more rub down with steel wool and one more careful thin coat of varnish. I guess I was hoping there was something else I could use besides wax to buff it out. Thanks again Jerry.
 

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Water vapor is the water normally found in the air every where,but specificly in your home that causes wood to expand and contract. If you have atleast two-three coats of varnish there is no need to apply more. If you lightly sand with 600 grit,then 1200 grit and finally auto polishing compound the finish will have a nice sheen and be very very smooth. By the way if the varnish is cured it won't get white rings,just wipe up any standing water.

Regards

Jerry
 

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Jerry, have you ever tried polishing beyond the 1200 grit level? The reason I ask is I know granite countertops and eyeglass lenses are polished to 2400 and then 3000. This results in a clearer final finish. Seems like it should work the same way with a wood finish. I am not suggesting this for every project; but perhaps for a special piece?
 

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I answered this yesterday,but it seems to have disappeared. I have sanded to about 2000g on lacquer(shellac works as well) and then used an automotive polishing compound and then a-"swirl remover" I don't remember the proper name-. The finish is so bright you need sun glasses and as smooth as silk. This won't work on any varnish,it can be smoothed but the sheen that comes out of the can is about as shiny as it gets.

Regards

Jerry
 
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