Streaks after finishing Walnut veneer plywood


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Old 05-08-17, 11:30 AM
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Streaks after finishing Walnut veneer plywood

I've been building a simple coffee table from a piece of walnut veneer plywood over the last couple of weeks and noticed these odd streaks when I was doing the last couple coats of poly to finish the project up this weekend. I tried searching the forum but only saw 1 similar post that didn't quite match up with what I'm seeing. As you can see below, the wavy streaks are perpendicular to the grain.

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Process I followed was gently sanding with 220 grit sponge, applying pre-stain conditioner, applying the stain and wiping off after 5 minutes, then applying several coats of wipe on poly, sanding with the 220 grit sponge between each coat.

Applying the wipe-on poly has been a fairly long process, occurring over several weekends.

Anyone seen this issue before?
 
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Old 05-08-17, 11:38 AM
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Your process sounds fine. How have you been applying the poly?
 
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Old 05-08-17, 11:57 AM
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Can you feel those area as ripples? Or are they dead flat and just variations in the color? They look to me like ripples in the veneer that were pressed flat when the panel was veneered. I don't think there is much you can do to correct. Commercial veneers are so thin these days that there is little leeway for additional sanding.
 
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Old 05-08-17, 12:14 PM
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I agree with Paul, looks like it's in the wood veneer and not the finish. It will be less noticeable with a satin finish, more so with gloss.
 
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Old 05-08-17, 01:30 PM
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My guess would be that the veneer plywood was not sanded enough prior to staining. Prior to staining, the surface needs to be sanded to ensure its clean and flat. I would usually start with 120 grit on an orbital sander, then finish with 150 or 180. There is generally no need or benefit to sand the wood with 220.

But it's also possible that is just natural clooking common to black walnut.

Figured Black Walnut Wood Texture Series stock photo 92209531 | iStock

220 is used between coats.
 
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Old 05-08-17, 04:47 PM
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I agree with X that this is natural variation in what I think is quarter sawn.
If this were a guitar neck people would go crazy over it/love it.

It's common for wood like maple, cherry and mahogany to have these side rays.

I'm no expert on wood, just seen a lot of veneer and solid wood. To me this look is almost desired, like birdseye maple.
 
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Old 05-08-17, 04:59 PM
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natural clooking
I think that was supposed to say coloring. (grain) My autocorrect sucks... have to watch it constantly.
 
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Old 05-08-17, 06:31 PM
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Carbide - they are completely smooth.

StickShift - I put the poly on one of those thick staining sponges and wiped it on, letting it set for at least 3 hours before sanding and doing another coat. Some coats probably had a full week before I came back to it.

It's possible I didn't sand it enough - I was honestly scared of overdoing it and going through the veneer so was pretty gentle with it.

Thanks for the responses guys.
 
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Old 05-09-17, 03:50 AM
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If it's in the veneer you should be able to feel it, might need to wipe across it with a thin/slick rag like a handkerchief to feel it. Or if you lightly block sand, the high spots would get the poly removed first.
 
 

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