polyurethane problems

Old 11-19-05, 08:47 PM
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Question polyurethane problems

I recently stripped, stained, and finished an oak diningroom table. I used a water-based polyurethane finish, and did three coats, spread out over 3 days. For a novice, I thought it was looking pretty good. Then, several days after the final coat, I used Endust to dust the table. Not long after that, white streaks started appearing across the tabletop. I did some research on the internet and one suggestion was to use murphy's oil soap to lift wax marks...so I tried that. Well, it made it worse. Much worse. How do I fix this? Do I need to strip it again?!?
Old 11-20-05, 06:40 AM
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Sad to say, I haven't had the opportunity to work with water-based poly, I only use oil-based poly. But I do know that you have to be very careful when applying it over oil based stains, waiting up to 3 days to ensure the solvents are completely dry. My guess would be that the chemicals in the sprays aren't compatable with the finish.

The first thing I'd try is washing the finish with soap and water to remove any oily or waxy residue. The effects of this will likely be invisible, but it probably needs to be done. Then you should probably try to sand the surface lightly with 220-320 sandpaper or sanding sponge. Wipe the table with a damp cloth to remove any dust, then allow the table to dry. If you can still see the streaks, they have penetrated deep into the surface, and the table either needs more sanding or needs to be stripped again. You could attempt to put on another layer of poly, and see if that covers the streaks, but that would just be a shot in the dark.
Old 11-28-05, 08:12 PM
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Thank you for the advice. I stripped off the top layer of poly with a sander, and then decided to strip it further, because the white streaks went pretty deep intro the finish. I then re-coated with oil based stain and finished with tung oil. So the table looks much better now and I'm relieved that I don't have a bigger mess on my hands.

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