Mixing Paint & Polyurethane?


Old 03-02-00, 08:43 AM
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My question is twofold. First, I have seen painted tables where the top is as smooth as glass, no brush strokes whatsoever. How is this effect obtained. Is it simply sprayed or is something mixed with the paint to avoid the brush strokes. Secondly, I am painting a dinning room table so I believe it needs some protective coating over the paint. Can I mix a polyurethane or something else with the paint? Should I? If so, what works best? My paint is an interior latex. Thanks!
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Old 03-02-00, 06:19 PM
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Glass smooth surfaces are obtained by wet sanding multiple coats with very fine wet sandpaper (fine rubbing compound afterward is optional). Wet or dry paper ranging from 1000 to 8000 is available. Some hardware stores and home centers carry 1000, 1500, and 2000. The finer grades can be purchased where automotive body shop suppiles are sold, at some retail paint stores, and some plastics suppliers also.

Having saved a bath vaniety (that was scheduled for replacement) using the very same technique, I can assure you that relatively fresh latex paint can be wet sanded.

For glass smooth, start with a smooth surface, and stay smooth. How smooth is up to you. Before wet sanding seal exposed end grain or exposed composite products with a thin coat of polyurethane. I used 1500 for the inital smoothing and after the primer, 2000 between each of three thin wet coats, then 3000 before applying gloss polyurethane.

Strain the paint prior to every use and apply thin wet coats with a good brush. Add some Foletrol if more open time is needed.

Wet sanding latex makes a mess, so be prepared. Use plenty of water, almost no hand pressure while sanding, wipe the slurry from the surface when it becomes thick, and sand the length of the work or with the grain of the wood. Allow latex to dry for at least 12 hours before sanding. Apply the ploy 48 hours after the last sanding.
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