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Countdown-to-Christmas finishes

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'Twas the night before: Water-based Poly

'Twas the night before: Water-based Poly

Water-based polyurethane has many advantages: It dries fast, builds fast, and puts off only minor fumes, so you can finish indoors.

For best results, stir the can well, and apply with a synthetic or foam brush. Use a brushing technique similar to that for shellac: Work fast, apply a thin coat, and avoid overworking the finish.

Allow two hours for the first coat to dry. If the grain raises noticeably, don't sweat it. Sand it smooth again with 220-grit sandpaper, remove the dust, and apply the next coat. Water-based poly builds fast, so two or three coats usually suffice.

The downside: Because it dries so quickly, water-based polyurethane can be finicky to brush. It is temperature-sensitive. And it raises the grain. But follow the steps above, and when the last coat dries, the minimal fumes mean you don't have to wait. Drop the gift under the tree, nestle yourself snug in your bed, and watch visions of sugar-plums dance in your head.

More Resources
Bob Flexner's book Wood Finishing 101 offers a step-by-step look into a variety of finishes. Buy it here:


Comments (4)
jmc1324 wrote:

All I use is Lacquer from Sherwin Williams buy it the 1 gallon can or the 5 gallon bucket,

12/19/2013 08:38:35 PM Report Abuse
speyerer wrote:

joanne, here you go:

12/19/2013 06:49:44 PM Report Abuse
joanneandweb wrote:

Thanks for the info..perfect timing. Also,can I purchase plans for the rocking horses in the photo? Web

12/19/2013 12:16:16 PM Report Abuse
drharter2001 wrote:

Im finishing projects now and was trying to figure out the finishes...Your article couldn't of been timed better thanks....Doug

11/14/2013 02:53:49 PM Report Abuse

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