Taking table finish from high gloss to satin

Old 03-23-07, 09:31 AM
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Taking table finish from high gloss to satin

I have finished a dining room table top with Waterlox high gloss. It looks good but I may want to soften the gloss.

I am looking for ideas on how best to take the gloss down to a medium or maybe satin finish in steps, until I find the gloss I like.

My current ideas:
1. Use 0000 steel wool to lightly buff the surface by hand. I know this will work but I am concerned about possible uneven hand pressure and uneven gloss level. Is there any advantage to doing this wet with the Waterlox or with mineral spirits?
2. Using extra fine wet/dry sand paper (400 or 600 grit) by hand with mineral spirits as lubricant. Maybe wrap the sandpaper on a foam block to apply pressure evenly on the surface of the table.
3. Using 400 or 600 grit lightly with an orbital sander, done wet with mineral spirits. Will this be too agressive and work too quickly on the gloss?
4. Go buy the satin Waterlox and use as a final coat. I was hoping to avoid the additional cost of another can of finish.

Your suggestions/ideas are desired.
Old 03-23-07, 12:53 PM
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You've pretty much got the ideas covered as to how to drop the gloss. Yes steel wool can leave uneven streaks. 6oo or 800 grit is too coarse. Should you attempt to do it this way, use nothing coarser than 1000.

I personally would opt to do the latter. go ahead and spend the extra money and make it the way you want it. Chances are you'd probably end up doing that anyway. Rubbing down with steel wool, sanding with a block and especially sanding with a random orbital sander will leave uneven streaks and would have to be buffed out which would bring back the shine you don't want.

Old 03-23-07, 04:28 PM
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I agree that lightly sanding and apply a coat of your desired sheen would be the best way to go.

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