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4 steps to a perfect polyurethane finish

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Put on the polish
Spraying board
Enlarge Image
Hold the spray nozzle 12/16" from
the workpiece and sweep the can
across the surface without stopping.
Apply only one thin coat.
Buff pad on board
Enlarge Image
Apply a small amount of
automotive paste wax, working
in the grain direction to hide fine
scratches. Buff off the excess with
a clean, soft rag.

Put on the polish

The final coat gives your workpiece its smooth feel and flawless appearance, so give it extra attention. Spray on this coat using an aerosol polyurethane and let it cure overnight, photo right. Then, remove any dust nibs with 1,500-grit sandpaper or a piece of brown paper bag. Finally, using a soft cotton rag or polishing pad, buff the finish to a high shine using automotive paste wax, photo below right, which has fine abrasives that polish the finish even further.

More Resources

  • Choose your finishing brush wisely:
  • Watch a filled-pore finish in progress:
  • Find more finishing tricks here:


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