Buffing out a table top

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Forum topic by doninvegas posted 06-12-2010 01:32 AM 7838 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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334 posts in 3176 days

06-12-2010 01:32 AM

I am doing a refinishing job and I just got the last coat of semi gloss GF High Performance on it. I have been sanding very lightly with a 400 grit sanding cloth between coats but I want to buff out this last coat to make it smooth without loosing the sheen. I don’t have access to the good 2000 or 4000 sanding pads so I need to get something maybe from an auto parts store. Can I use some high grit wet-dry sanding sheets? And how do get it even?
Thanks for your help with this. I charged the customer $700 and I want the table top to be very smooth.

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

9 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117468 posts in 3846 days

#1 posted 06-12-2010 02:28 AM

How about some extra fine buffing compound.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3279 days

#2 posted 06-12-2010 03:24 AM

Wet sand up to 800 or 1200. Use a sanding block to keep things even.

Then for the final buffing, you could get some Meguiar’s polishing pads and polishing compound from the auto parts store…

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View swirt's profile


3674 posts in 3241 days

#3 posted 06-12-2010 03:25 AM

There was a great article in Fine Woodworking a month or two back on this. I’ll see if I can go dig it out.

-- Galootish log blog,

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 3754 days

#4 posted 06-12-2010 03:54 AM

This video from our own Steve in Marin may help.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View bill1352's profile


130 posts in 3390 days

#5 posted 06-12-2010 04:17 AM

I use micro mesh disks. woodcraft has 5” & Peachtree has 6” disks. woodcraft has a video with Charles using the micro mesh disks. I’m tellin ya there is nothing easier. a little soapy water in a spray bottle and an orbital sander or polisher and 30 mins later its like glass. I use a car polisher from harbor freight, costs $17.00 but you need to get self stick velcro for the polisher pad. The disks are about $20. you dont want the polisher running over 3500rpm, 2500 is perfect. I use the polisher because a variable speed sander has dust collection or in this case water collection, not a good thing.

-- Keep Your Stick On The Ice

View thatwoodworkingguy's profile


375 posts in 3198 days

#6 posted 06-12-2010 04:20 AM

Steel wool always does the job for me when I tackle this part of the finishing process

-- ~Eagle America~ ~Woodcraft~

View doninvegas's profile


334 posts in 3176 days

#7 posted 06-13-2010 01:52 AM

OK great suguestions. I used GF High Performance which is water based. How long would let it cure before buffing? I don’t want to reactivate the finish with water. I got the last coat on yesterday and I would like to buff it next Sat.

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

View pmayer's profile


1032 posts in 3334 days

#8 posted 06-13-2010 02:02 AM

Buff out the final coat with the back of the sand paper. it has enough abrasive quality to do a nice job on this. The texture of most sand paper backing is about the equivalent to 2000 grit, and since you have sanded between coats I would think this would be adequate.

Waiting a week is decent since you are in Vegas where you don’t have much humidity to contend with. In MN right now, I would probably wait 2 weeks if I could.

-- PaulMayer,

View Kelly's profile


2205 posts in 3213 days

#9 posted 06-13-2010 03:54 AM

All my 2000 grit is wet-or-dry from auto parts stores.

I also use powders and polishing pads, which are also available from auto parts stores (I put them in labeled one gallon Zip Lock bags so I know which pad was used for pumice, which for rotten stone, which for baking powder and which for one was used for cerium oxide)

Just for reference, I use a Porter Cable random orbit, variable speed sander-polisher and a hook and loop backer pad for quick changes.

Oddly enough, I haven’t had a lot of luck getting to a mirror gloss finish with 2000 grit. I usually finish with cerium oxide or plastic polish from an auto parts outfit. Today, I rattled canned a friends hood (his idea, I told him about my HVLP, but he always knows better). It made hell look good, until I polished with pumice, then cerium oxide.

A few months ago, I did a oak table and chairs and finished with poly. I don’t have a finishing room these days and the finish was applied by brush, so it was far from a sprayed finish. I did the final with 0000 steel wool and wax and it turned out glass smooth (I snuck up on that one with pumice and rotten stone).

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