Asked on Jul 8, 2013

Polyurethane over stain... question

Executive Handyman and Home Repair ServicesKrysFLLisa @ {createinspire}


Another desk question please. :) So I sanded my first coat of poly by hand with 600 grit sandpaper and then used tack cloth to remove the dust. When I did, it still looked like there was a white haze on some spots of the wood (cloudy like). I went ahead and added the 2nd coat and the haze went away. My question is, if I leave the 2nd coat as the final coat, should I run sandpaper over it again or just deal with the light brush marks?
I am afraid of getting that haze/cloud again since I don't want to add another coat.
What causes the haze? Did I do something wrong? If you do recommend I sand the final coat, what can I do to remove the haze if the tack cloth doesn't work?

Thanks !

6 answers
  • Lisa @ {createinspire}
    on Jul 8, 2013

    The white "haze" you saw could have been moisture in the wood which would leave a cloudy spot, but I'm guessing since you don't see it after the second coat of poly that the "haze" you saw was because of the light sanding you gave it with the 600 grit (which is why it went away when you gave it another coat). You do not want to sand your final coat of poly (sanding it dulls the surface which is why it looks "white"). Hope this helps. :)

  • KrysFL - I'm guessing the desk was originally finished w/ lacquer or varnish. Lacquer doesn't like water and will haze where exposed to it. Sanding was good move. The finer grit the better. I recommend sanding again [go easy, use a sanding block where possible] to remove the brush marks, clean with mineral spirits [cotton cloth], let dry. and then put another 2 coats of Minwax Wipe-On poly. You apply it with a soft cotton cloth. Try to single stroke moves. Not circular. Wipe with grain of wood. Short of spraying, this will give you the best final finish. I recommend Satin over Semi-Gloss or Gloss. Do not use any type of sandpaper after that. Good luck.

  • KrysFL
    on Jul 11, 2013

    Thanks, I am using satin and this was bare wood with dark walnut stain over it (that I stained/built from scratch). I am definitely going to try wiping on the final coat instead of brushing. Thank you! BTW, Parrish isn't too far away Sure you don't wanna come do it for me? lol

  • The Wipe-On poly is a thinner coat than applying brush [you'll see]. It's less viscous. 2 coats minimum - 4 will make you smile! 4 ought steel wool, circular motion, in between coats [just to knock off little flecks] but not on the final coat. I am a bit confused when you say it was bare wood with stain. If it was bare, that precludes any old lacquer or varnish on it. If there was still a haze than it was not in the lacquer like I thought. Is the haze still present?

  • KrysFL
    on Jul 13, 2013

    Nope. I ended up doing a 600 grit sandpaper, cleaning with tack cloth. Then did what you said, wiped on the poly and it looked great! The finish was really smooth after that so I just stopped there (didn't want to add another coat then not like it). Thanks again!

  • You're welcome. Glad I could help.

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