It starts with a good surface. Polyurethane, whether it’s an outdoor or indoor formula, takes a little finesse to apply without bubbles or brush strokes. GENTLY mix the two together. . This will reduce the chance for bubbles to form and be applied to the wood surface you are working with. Before applying polyurethane make sure your surface is dust-free. I’ve avoided poly for so long that I’ve gotten pretty good at polishing wood with sand paper into the 4000 grit range and steel wool. Paint brushes glob on thick material to hide surface below. The worst that will happen is the thinning reduces the intensity of the color, at which point you can go over it with full strength and a brush. At 38″ wide you should be okay reach-wise. Applying Polyurethane Correctly – The Second Brush Stroke – Do not dip in poly. The coats were laying down so nicely that I thought I’d give it a shot. Just wait until the bubbles cease. Best to contact me on YouTube. Sorry for the length of my question. So here’s where we apply additional coats. Hey Bill. Because we had used gloss on the first two coats, will this third satin coat be any shinier than if we had used three coats of satin? Most attempts to make a nice finish really deep only result in cloudiness. Again sorry Dusty. For the last time to get a visual idea go my YouTube Channel and view “Bubble-Free Polyurethane Application Technique” . It actually creates scratches in the surface of the wood. Avoid all temptations to overwork the coating. as you work, shine a light at a low angle across the surface. Don’t sand harshly. best . What technique do you recommend? best . It is been re-sanded and ready to go. Cleaning is very important to get a beautiful topcoat. Would I approach the refreshing of my woodwork and cabinet doors as a “next step” based on your videos by cleaning, sanding, and applying stain and poly or is there a better method (short of hiring someone like you!). It’s simple, yet effective. The table is Mahogany – 55″ wide by 180″ long. Found your website today looking for info on refinishing my worn stained bathroom cabinets and baseboards. Rent or buy a medium-size sanding machine to start the process. Always apply thin coats. Tweet on Twitter. Let me know id I can offer any advice. Yep it’s true. I use an air compressor, with a water filter, and then follow with a good TACK CLOTH WIPE-DOWN. Apply the first coat of polyurethane using the best technique for the A sander machine works pretty fast and you are going to sand down a medium-sized room within 20-30 minutes. Of course using the tools properly is also an important ingredient. . “Bubble-Free Polyurethane Application Technique”, Polyurethane Application Rules, Tips and Paraphernalia, The Perfect Stain Application Tips and Techniques,, A Step by Step Guide to Refinishing Furniture or Finishing Furniture, How to Apply Boiled Linseed Oil Properly -Tips & Techniques, How to Apply Tung Oil Properly -Tips & Techniques, How to Sand Wood Efficiently Tips and Techniques. Since you are using a combo stain/finish product I would experiment on the underside of a chair or a spindle first. A friend recommended finishing by wet sanding and then using Renaissance micro-crystalline wax polish to finish. There’s catch in that you have to reapply while the surface is still somewhat wet so the next coat will adhere properly to the previous coat. I’m having two problems with that last coat. Anyway for those who prefer the written word I will give this my best attempt. Let’s assume we are finishing a 20″x40″ vanity top and your brush is 3″ wide (the procedure is basically the same for all surfaces but this is the easiest to describe). paul. . Did I mention that the brush in my video is over 20 years old? What is the best way to apply polyurethane on wood floors? I thin my polyurethane by a ratio of 3-1. Therefore, you will have to apply a few more coats than you would have if you used the finish without thinning it. And on new floors I want to level the boards quickly and easily. Spray can stuff is best for very small projects. Make a wipe on polyurethane dilution and apply it with a rag on the spindles. How to Apply Water Based Polyurethane on Wood Floors, ‘’ is a reader-supported Website/Blog. (You can use a natural bristle brush with oil-based poly, but keep an eye out for loose brush hairs.) Also, The slab has been tottaly dried and finished with fillers to correct the voids. Sorry I wish I had never mentioned the last coat going on at full strength. By the way, water-based polys are less likely to have bubbles than oil polys because each coat is much thinner. The open pour method does not involve any special equipment. Just follow the instructions on my pages here or watch my video on YouTube “Bubble Free Polyurethane Application Technique”. Note: Paper with a … Finish brushes delicately lay on a thin clear coat to accentuate the surface below. You need to let it cure before putting anything else on it. I’ve watched the two videos on prepping new wood for stain and poly. It is important to clean the wooden floor before adding another layer. Let the solvent dry completely. paul. Whats people lookup in this blog: How To Apply Polyurethane Wood Floors Without Bubbles Thinning reduces the thickness and makes it easy to apply. paul. Once done, GENTLY remove the brush and GENTLY drag it across old newspaper to dry it out. Glad to be of some help. My concern is that because I am short ( female) and my reach my be less than a taller person. Also – I am using a 2.5″ brush and it is very tedious. You need to coat three times with water based polyurethane. . Stir the contents instead with a paint stick in a gentle, swirling motion. This is Autem Decker. Hey Paul. Finish brushes are dense and soft. This type of tribal knowledge seems to be passed down less and less and I’m afraid it will vanish all together. I spray painted the black with a glossy paint. paul, Hi Paul, that’s perfect, thanks for the advice. Soaking and pressing the brush to the bottom of a container filled with solvent releases air (you’ll see air bubble out as you press lightly down). Laying it on thin is an important step in avoiding bubbling, puddling and running when applying finish coats, especially when applying polyurethane. Once done GENTLY pour 3 parts poly into a separate container. It picks up what you’ve already painted and drags it a bit. I’m also sure that, like me, you’ve googled it to death and watched more “experts” on one of the YouTubes than you can recall. One – it’s hard to put on thin without runs and even after brushing out my runs they started forming again as it dried near the ends of the countertops. best . How to apply polyurethane wood floors ask the home flooring pros how to apply polyurethane on hardwood floors you how to apply oil based polyurethane without the pits and bubbles wood floor refinishing tips complete expert guide. Air in polyurethane tends to get trapped and in the end creates bubbles on our surface. Hey David. Most regard European Ox hair as the gold standard for an ox hair brush. Usually, water based polyurethane is thin but never mix any other liquid with it to make it thick or do not provide any kind of heat to make it more condensed. . 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Furniture that will not receive a lot of handling – 2 COATS, Counters and bar tops. Granted polyurethane is a surface protectant and the thicker the coat the more protection it affords. When I look at the table with my bright LED work lights on, it appears patchy – some areas with more gloss and others with differing degrees of dullness. POLYURETHANE on my electric guitar, managed after many attempts to rid the bubbles and streaks by lightly sanding with moistened sand paper and applying light coats long even strokes. Gently stir for 5-10 seconds. Hi Paul, I too wish I would have found your video earlier. You can learn water based or oil based polyurethane applying process to make a glowing wooden floor. I’ll explain here. Come back after 3-4 hours when the coating is fully dried, softly sand the entire floor with 220-grit sandpaper. I really don’t like working with brushes wider than 3″. Before giving the second coat, use liquid white vinegar on the floor and wipe it out with microfiber cloth. Thanks Paul! Nylon repels water. It makes your wooden floor ready to apply polyurethane coating over it. Yep! Thanks Paul! In a couple of hours, the dried poly just peels right out of the pan. Manufacturers advertise that they have a “ONE COAT” product. I’m wondering how you recommend finishing to get high gloss shine? Hi Whitney. Also, when can I apply the paste wax – after the last coat is dried or after the 30-45 days required for full curing? Foam brushes, sponges, rags, cheese cloth are all over the internet as suitable methods for applying polyurethane. For oil-based polyurethane you want a brush with a natural bristle. Soak your brush in water(for water-based polyurethane) or mineral oils (for oil-based polyurethane). Synthetic bristle brushes. How to apply oil based polyurethane WITHOUT the pits and bubbles. Just put fingertip pressure on it. You can use oil based polyurethane if you want the floor to have a darker appearance. Could I try a 4″ to speed it up? I do this all the time but with pure stain and pure polyurethane. . Thanx for the positive feedback. That said, I would recommend oil poly for a few reasons. After securing the corners, use a renowned T-bar applicator for polyurethane to apply the first coating on the floor. I always plan my project so the last thing I do for the day is apply the coating. Applying polyurethane (and most other finishes) in heavy coats creates bubbles, puddles and runs and becomes a defect in and of itself. Carefully clean all the corners of the room so that small objects like hair, cotton etc cannot stay in the room. My thinking is too much product weight on the larger sized brush. Do not add air into the brush by dabbing the brush, wiping it on the side of the container, shaking it, tapping it or any other speed it up procedure you might dream up. With some resins (like clear polyurethanes) and/or large castings, the only way you can get rid of bubbles is to use a pressure pot. paul. Why? Waterlox is a nice combo finish but I like to make my own. It’s good for sales but bad for smooth finishes and is the prime source for bubbling, running and puddling. However, I’m a recently retired (71 this month) novice at woodworking and the idea of a DIY project has always been appealing but I’ve never had the time or resources. the blog loads very quick for me on Firefox. Is this something you’ve ever tried or is it best avoided? Step one is I soak and dab and mash and squeeze in the appropriate solvent (water or mineral spirits) not once, not twice, at least three or maybe more times in FRESH solvent until I see no more product leeching from my brush. May Read Also: How to Get Wax Off Hardwood Floors, How to Remove Paint from Wood Floors without Damaging Finish, How to Clean Laminate Wood Floors Without Streaking, How to Protect Wood Floors from Furniture Legs. Or how do I get a smooth finish with water based polyurethane? . If your table is for outdoor use a spar varnish is best. Hey Paul! I clean my brushes in mineral spirits for oil-based products and water for water-based products. Hi Paul, I do love your youtube channel, and I subscribed it as well. Varnishes of all types are prone to bubbles and different application processes each have their own challenges. After 3-4 hours, the water based liquid is going to dry. Lastly I thoroughly rinse the brush, hand spin it and hang it to dry. A light mist knocks them out. I just started using Tung Oil and found your “How to” guide very helpful. Nothing prettier than walnut. Not staining at all, as the wood is byond beautiful. How to Apply Polycrylic without Streaks, Brush Strokes or Bubbles How to Avoid Brush Strokes and Streaks. The rag eliminates air bubbles that can be created by the brush. paul. Hey Pete. Sanding is an important part of this process. Any recommendations? . Make sure that you have properly cleaned all edge and corners. After trial and error, I have a pretty smooth finish. best . They need polyurethane finish to stay strong. Is this necessary. I keep a can of spray poly handy in case of bubbles. Manufacturers like to advertise ONE COAT RESULTS. . It will run $40-$60 but will last a lifetime (with proper care). Notice that the middle of the 40″ strip where you first set your brush down has a little heavier puddle of poly. The only time one would sand is if the surface is too shinny. This process takes time but assures that there is no air trapped in the brush that can or will release on your project. Carefully follow this guide on how to apply water based polyurethane on hardwood floors to complete your next DIY projects. Ox hair by itself is too soft and a lesser quality hog hair too stiff for a truly smooth finish. It is immaculate but hard to keep clean looking. best . Use a big jar or can to get all polyurethane liquid in one container. It also eliminates the propensity to bubble, run and puddle. After each coat, re-dip the roller in mineral spirits and put it into a zippered plastic bag for the next coat and leave the wet tray to dry. I want all the poly (or paint, or varnish, or whatever) out of the bristles and out of the ferrule before quitting for the day. Suggesting not to do it. Finally, add the second coating just like you have applied the first coating and again let the polyurethane dry for another 3-4 hours. Step 2: Use the 5″ to 3″ brush to apply polyurethane to wood flooring edges, and use the roller or pad to apply it to the center of the floor. Natural bristle is the recommended choice for applying oil-based polyurethane. Keep your children and pets away from the polyurethane-coated wooden floor at the time of coating. Corners are often missed or unreached by the big applicator and uncoated corners can hamper the beauty of a coated room. Applying Polyurethane Correctly – The Feathering Strokes – Gently run your brush from one edge to the other until all eight rows are feathered. Not a problem. Sand Paper, Finish Brush; Thinning Agent, Tack Cloth Use the vacuum machine to clean all the dust and unwanted small particles from the floor. I just used 3 very thin coats of Minwax Polyshades oil-based stain in solid black on some dining chairs. Hi Linda. The initial coat should be dry within a couple of hours, and you can then apply a second coat. The new poly application video will have a lot more info and should be out sometime in February 2019. I’m excited to give this a try and I very much appreciate your detailed and informative videos that have inspired me to take this on. You may not find her on the list of top 10 contemporary Canadian interior designers, but everyone who knows her says she was born to be an interior designer. Hi Paul, I do love your web site, it is informative. Use circular motions when putting on the first coat. Bonus tip: If all else fails and find you are still struggling with removing bubbles from your castings — 11. . Generally, as each application of finish is applied, it tends to dry faster. I wouldn’t go to lambs wool unless you really thin it down to like 50:50 (in essence making it a wiping polyurethane) but you should NOT thin water based that much. Should I use a 3″ or do you think 4″ would be better. It is 7’4′ long by 38′ wide. I believe this is well worth the extra time, considering the results you will obtain. Don’t coat over any solvent, this will interfere with the poly and cause bubbles. . Apply sanding considering the condition of the floor. Shaking will cause bubbles in the dried finish. An Incorrect operation could lead to wastage of time and money. Thanks so much for your website! best . This my friends is how we “LAY IT ON THIN”!! Nick, Hey Nick. LIGHT sanding with 220 grit sandpaper slightly scratches the surface which is necessary for proper adhesion between layers. This can easily be avoided. It requires the most effort and is, by far, the most time consuming. This is my new favorite bolg/website. Viola again . Repeat overlapping each row approximately 1/2″ until you have the entire surface covered. Once done leave it alone. Pour some polycrylic on a piece of soft cloth and apply the finish. Thinning the poly made every bit of difference. But, to apply this liquid properly you need to follow the above-mentioned steps accurately. Soak the brush in either water or mineral spirits before using it, and you'll notice bubbles coming out from under the ferrule. Polyurethane will separate in the can, or other storage container. But be aware not all oxen possess the same texture of hair. Painters and furniture finishers hardly ever apply polyurethane with a roller because of its propensity for forming bubbles. paul. You’ve done a lot and if you’re happy leave it alone. It should be dense and almost have the feel of natural hair. Before applying polyurethane onto your prepared surface, dampen your brush in a solvent to remove air bubbles caught between the bristles and in the ferrule. Yeah, I agree, I liked the cleanliness of it immediately upon seeing it. A lot of times it’s tough to My theory, “do it right the first time to avoid looking for solutions”. Now be sure to experiment because the polyurethane HAS to be thinned to make it wipeable. In fact BAD FINISHES ARE SEEN and GOOD FINISHES GO UNNOTICED. Most natural bristle brushes are made from animal hair with ox hair being the most common. . Mixing polyurethane. Then … Hey Andrew. The lower the grit, the deeper the scratching. Nice to have one with a lid to seal for use on subsequent coats, A cleaning container for cleaning your brush after use, Patience and determination to get the job done right. My apologies I just saw your post this morning. Do you sand it like the other coats in between? Now GENTLY and SLOWLY drag your brush to the right side edge. You can also use a vacuum machine to clean small particles. Thinning the polyurethane makes it flow on more smoothly and reduces brush marks. Thanks for your excellent video and complete directions and hints. Hope that helps. This means only touch wet paint that you’ve just painted. Hardwood floors are getting popular day by day. A polyurethane coating is an extremely useful liquid to increase the durability of the surface. For polyurethane I recommend either a pure China bristle brush (Chinese hog hair) or a combination of European ox hair and hog hair. Animal hair genetics, just like human genetics and hair texture, play a huge role in the quality of finishing brushes. Hey Gator. Follow my application procedure and thinning recommendation but don’t dally too much to avoid drying before feathering. Your application environment should be free of most dust and your project should be free of all dust. Thank you for showing your skills and knowledge. I really don’t like it on furniture its way too hard to properly control. However, if you also want to know about the process of applying oil based polyurethane, you can check out my other article about oil based coatings. To reveal flaws (bubbles, brush marks, etc.) Hi Paul, Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. Sponge brushes are certainly another option, but the results are not always a significant improvement. Thanks for sharing your expertise. Do not put pressure on the applicator while coating. You can order online. Forget cheapo applicators as they will ruin a good project. Not to hard to remove the polyurethane, you just want to remove the bumps. You can subscribe to my YouTube Channel paulsDIYsolutions though if that is of interest to you. Never too late to start. . I didn’t save the original video so I am redoing it and will add the instructional text boxes before turning it over to YouTube. Of course all held to gether with jigs …. This step is necessary to achieve a durable coating. It dries three times faster than oil. There’s a big difference between a paint brush and a finishing brush. Air compressors: air, creating puddles and avoiding runs is Mahogany – 55″ wide by long. Before putting anything else on it at that point foot rests ( heavy traffic ) 4! Where we apply additional coats a commercial HVLP sprayer thinner ) coat on last even... 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Is typically use in outdoor applications and marine vessels go my YouTube Channel, and I subscribed it as.. Will vanish all together corners of the room dry quickly a nylon brush polyurethane brushed... Anything else on it means filling all the dust itself is too much to looking... Paint before applying polyurethane Correctly – the second coat, third coats they how to apply polyurethane without bubbles happy. Develop in the corner for an ox hair as the varnish fills the minimal scratches left by the lower! On new floors I want to use the right side edge of that row without bubbles can be by.