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View Brokenanew's profile

Bubbles NIGHTMARE! HELP!

by Brokenanew
posted 12-13-2018 04:17 PM


16 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

3100 posts in 2534 days


#1 posted 12-13-2018 04:59 PM

Temperature is most of your problem. Finish is too cold to release the air bubbles, Get it up in the 60’s. Try a foam brush and lay it on in one direction, don’t brush back and forth. The haziness is just the sanding of the gloss off the finish. You may have to put several coats sanding between coat to get the bubble pockets filled from the first coat. You need to get the temperature up.

I am not a fan of Minwax esp. their polyshades but I just finished a desk with Minwax polyurethane semigloss and it came out really nice. It took about 5 coats total on red birch to get the thickness and coverage I wanted. I used cheap foam brushes and had no problems with bubbles air temp in shop was low to mid 60’s. I would use the Minwax polyurethane again.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View jutsFL's profile

jutsFL

167 posts in 203 days


#2 posted 12-13-2018 05:06 PM

Thin your poly 50-50 with MS or turpentine, ditch the brush, and use it as a wipe on. Agreed with above though, cold temps are your only real issue.

-- I've quickly learned that being a woodworker isn't about making flawless work, rather it's fixing all the mistakes you made so that it appears flawless to others! Jay - FL

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2637 posts in 1584 days


#3 posted 12-13-2018 05:52 PM

If the temps are good and the product is thinned properly, any bubbles will work out before things set up.

Try it on a scrap (where you get similar bubbles) and just let it dry without messing with it. If the bubbles disappear, your project should react similarly. If the bubbles remain after drying, try to up your application temp to at least the high 60’s

View 000's profile

000

2859 posts in 1261 days


#4 posted 12-13-2018 05:54 PM

Next time you wipe it off, use a cloth dampened with mineral spirits, not water.
It takes a lot of time for the moisture to go away.
IDK what your timing was but that could have helped it trap moisture.

Last pic looks like you may have sanded into the stain,
try wiping some poly on a small spot and see if the color comes back,
if not you may try re-wiping a stain coat over it and see what it does, or you’re going to have to resand it all.

Stay off of it with the 50 and 80 grit paper. 100 should be rough enough to take down anything you need to.
(looks like you took a framing hammer to it?)

View Jeremymcon's profile

Jeremymcon

342 posts in 1041 days


#5 posted 12-13-2018 06:41 PM

I’ve had this happen with red oak too. I think the solution will be to thin the polyurethane and use it as a wipe on poly. You might also try a couple seal coats of shellac over the stain? Sometimes I think the big open pores of red oak contribute to the bubbling. Maybe if you can fill them a bit with shellac it’ll help.

The stain doesn’t look blotchy to me, I don’t think. That’s what red oak looks like when it’s stained. If you want more even color between early wood and late wood rings, try a dye or a toner (shellac with dye in it). Not sure a straight dye would go well over a stain – usually you’d dye first.

If you can’t bring the project somewhere where it’s warmer, maybe try to use a water based finish instead? Polycrylic can look really nice, and goes in fine over an oil based stain as long as it’s fully cured/dried. You could also do a seal coat of shellac before the polycrylic if you’re concerned about the stain not being fully cured. Shellac is great stuff.

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1378 posts in 3211 days


#6 posted 12-13-2018 06:48 PM

Also keep in mind that you will not get a smooth flat furniture showroom finish on Oak without filling the pores, it is impossible to get a flat surface thinking that each poly coat will eventually fill in the pores and the surface will self level DAMHIKT

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

534 posts in 265 days


#7 posted 12-13-2018 08:51 PM

+1 on previous post (ChefHDAN)

Oak is a porous grain wood. You cannot achieve a glossy, flat tabletop without filling the grain.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1378 posts in 3211 days


#8 posted 12-13-2018 08:55 PM

I sanded that damn top for almost a month before I gave up, wish I had LJ back then…

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

3100 posts in 2534 days


#9 posted 12-13-2018 09:01 PM

You can get a flat surface with numerous coats of finish on red oak but it takes a very long time. Much easier and faster to use a filler first.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Brokenanew's profile

Brokenanew

9 posts in 162 days


#10 posted 12-14-2018 03:00 AM

Awesome! Thanks for the feedback! I feel confident in trying again. I’m actually going to break out my router sled and plane it down. One because I did end up sanding to much now the stain is uneven and blotchy. Also, there were a few sanding marks show up after the stain so I kind wanted to go darker.

So I’m going to plane it down. I just hope I can plane enough before I hit any pocket hole screws. I’m fairly certain I’ll be fine. Then I’ll try your suggestions. I’ll put some space heaters in the shop. Warmer temps ( how warm 80°?), thin 50/50 instead 10/90, wipe on with foam applicator, and maybe apply shellac before the poly. Did Imiss anything.

Also, yes, I was going for lightly distressed. I wanted a few marks here and there. There’s more the camera doesn’t see but I like it.

View 000's profile

000

2859 posts in 1261 days


#11 posted 12-14-2018 03:28 AM


Also, yes, I was going for lightly distressed. I wanted a few marks here and there. There s more the camera doesn t see but I like it.

- Brokenanew

Sometimes when I get mad, I end up with the distressed look, so, was just checking. :)

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1378 posts in 3211 days


#12 posted 12-14-2018 11:31 AM



So I m going to plane it down. I just hope I can plane enough before I hit any pocket hole screws.
- Brokenanew

DOH!!!!!!

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View Brokenanew's profile

Brokenanew

9 posts in 162 days


#13 posted 01-02-2019 02:50 AM

Ok. HereswhrreIm at. After planning then sanding, stain. Went on well. I’m going to wait for a few days to make sure the stain drys. Next would be something to help fill the pores before polyurethane? I saw shellac was suggested. I’ve never used it. Any type I should look for? Any tips and tricks to keep in mind? Thanks so much for the help!

View Brokenanew's profile

Brokenanew

9 posts in 162 days


#14 posted 01-02-2019 02:51 AM

Ok. Heres where Im at. After planning then sanding, stain, went on well. I’m going to wait for a few days to make sure the stain drys. Next would be something to help fill the pores before polyurethane? I saw shellac was suggested. I’ve never used it. Any type I should look for? Any tips and tricks to keep in mind? Thanks so much for the help!

View Jeremymcon's profile

Jeremymcon

342 posts in 1041 days


#15 posted 01-02-2019 03:02 AM

Ok… Are you sure they were bubbles in the finish and not dust? Did you wipe down the board with a tack cloth or a micro fiber cloth to remove all the sanding before applying the finish? Looking back at the original pictures I’m not so sure that they were bubbles at all.

I don’t think you should be having so much trouble – people put poly on oak every day. It shouldn’t need much fussing over. Just make sure the workpiece is clean, don’t shake the can of finish, and do nice even strokes with the grain.

I’d recommend doing a test board – sand some scrap just like you did the top, and apply some poly. See what happens. I don’t think shellac is necessary – I just suggested that if you decided to use polycrylic since its water based.

View Brokenanew's profile

Brokenanew

9 posts in 162 days


#16 posted 01-03-2019 03:33 AM

That makes sense. I think there was a lot of things I didn’t do right. I do think dust was a culprit but this time around I’m doing it in an isolated room inside with heat. I’ve used polyurethane on pine plenty of times but always when warm. I’m glad I planned it down and restained… really didn’t have a choice but at least I was able to get the stain a bit darker.
Once this stain fully dries, I’ll do the polyurethane again with everything I did wrong corrected.

I plan on tracking the shop vac with brush attachment then wiping it down before applying the polyurethane. I feel confident it will work the second time around, thanks to ya’lls help!
I’ll post results.

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