Can you sand poly with steel wool?


  #1  
Old 06-26-22, 04:49 AM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 210
Upvotes: 0
Received 5 Upvotes on 5 Posts
Can you sand poly with steel wool?

I'm putting trim molding around my window, I put 3 coats of water base poly on waiting an hour between each coat. The last coat I let dry overnight and when I ran my hand over the trim this morning it feels a little rough, maybe dust bumps? Can I lightly use steel wool to remove the roughness from my trim, I plan on putting one last coat of poly on after using the steel wool..
 

Top Answer

 
06-26-22, 05:43 AM
XSleeper's Avatar
XSleeper
XSleeper is online now
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 27,121
Received 1,924 Upvotes on 1,728 Posts
Using steel wool with a water based poly is not recommended because if you miss even one speck of steel wool you can get a rust stain when you coat it again. You should usually be sanding lightly between EVERY coat. (but follow label instructions) 220 grit or a special sanding pad meant for between coats. (Like 3M Sandblaster pads) You don't want to sand so aggressively that you sand through the finish and damage the color of the stain.

Water based poly is generally a thinner finish than oil so you need to be even more careful about sanding through it. But yes, you should lightly sand it and apply additional coats.
 
  #2  
Old 06-26-22, 05:37 AM
Marq1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 9,745
Received 1,210 Upvotes on 1,098 Posts
sand paper would be better, it will smooth out/remove the imperfections where steel wool tends to just scuff/polish the surface
 
  #3  
Old 06-26-22, 05:43 AM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 27,121
Received 1,924 Upvotes on 1,728 Posts
Using steel wool with a water based poly is not recommended because if you miss even one speck of steel wool you can get a rust stain when you coat it again. You should usually be sanding lightly between EVERY coat. (but follow label instructions) 220 grit or a special sanding pad meant for between coats. (Like 3M Sandblaster pads) You don't want to sand so aggressively that you sand through the finish and damage the color of the stain.

Water based poly is generally a thinner finish than oil so you need to be even more careful about sanding through it. But yes, you should lightly sand it and apply additional coats.
 
marksr, stickshift voted this post useful.
  #4  
Old 06-26-22, 06:48 AM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 210
Upvotes: 0
Received 5 Upvotes on 5 Posts
I'll try using sand paper first and see how it turns out. I'm using colonial molding so it's not actually flat, I'll try a test piece. I knew if I didn't remove all the steel wool that I may get a bleed through of rust seeing it water base, the stain color is between a mahogany and a cherry so I thought you wouldn't really notice. I'll try the sand paper, if I do it lightly enough hopefully I won't remove any finish...

 
  #5  
Old 06-26-22, 07:32 AM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 27,121
Received 1,924 Upvotes on 1,728 Posts
I like the 3x5 sandblaster pads for any curved moulding or mouldings with detail.
 
  #6  
Old 06-26-22, 09:30 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,693
Received 840 Upvotes on 737 Posts
Either a sanding sponge or 220 grit sandpaper should do fine. I'm also partial to the sanding sponges.
 
  #7  
Old 06-27-22, 02:54 AM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 980
Received 9 Upvotes on 9 Posts
Something a painter showed me years ago was to tear off a chunk off a paper shopping bag and rub the poly down after the final coat to smooth out very minor roughness. Just be sure not to use the side of the paper that has any printing on it. It's what I've done for years and it really works well for minor roughness
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: