How many coats of Poly?


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Old 01-21-08, 07:04 AM
J
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How many coats of Poly?

How many coats of polyurethane is one supposed to apply to a new piece? I built a book shelf out of oak veneer, and I've read so many different techniques on-line. What do you guys recommend? I'm using Varathane semi-gloss oil based polyurethane.
 
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Old 01-21-08, 08:33 AM
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It depends on how smooth you want the finished product. I normally use 3 coats.

On Oak, if you want a dead smooth finish, you'll need to use a paste filler to take care of the uneven grain. If you don't mind a little variation in texture, 3 coats of poly should be more than adequate.

Sand lightly after each coat as dried and dust thoroughly before applying the next coat.
 
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Old 01-21-08, 11:10 AM
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Thanks George. Three is what I've been using with sanding in between coats and it's working well for me.

Could you perhaps recommend a brush? I've been using the 2" Minwax brush specifically for oil based polyurethane, and it leaves a tremendous about of bristles behind, about 1 every 12 sq in. Then I have to use a tweezer to pick them off and go over that spot again. It's real pain.

Regards,
Jeremy
 
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Old 01-21-08, 02:51 PM
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I also prefer and recommend at least three coats
Sometimes two will do it, but three for sure
It can depend on the product and the look you are going for

I didn't know that Minwax had brushes
It sounds like they are not quite up to par, that should not be happening

I'd recommend heading to a Paint Store (not a bigbox) and seeing what kinds they carry

I'd recommend a china bristle, in the premium lines from either Corona, Purdy, or Wooster

They all have mid-lines and starting lines also, but that's what you have now, you need to step up to premium

If you go exotic (like OX ear hair), you will get a better finish, but for most projects the premium lines will do just fine
 
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Old 01-21-08, 05:02 PM
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Slickshift is right about using a quality bristle brush. I wish I had a dollar for all the ones I've had to buy over the years. Needless to say, my employees didn't do much of a cleaning job on brushes!

I have, however, been rather amazed at the finishes applied with sponge brushes. I resisted even trying them for years, but I've found them easy to use, very good at controlling the application of finish, and cheap enough to toss when finished.

Try one on a scrap piece and see what you think!

CD
 
 

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