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Hey guys. I'm trying to finish this little nightstand I built for my fiance for one of her birthday presents. She is not into fine woodworking and likes the "ikea" look - that is, no wood grain/looks like plastic. I made it out of clear aspen because I wanted to avoid knots and didnt want to spend that much money on it.

Because she likes the "Ikea" look - I sanded the nightstand up to 220, I put three coats of FLAT spray-paint (black) on it, and let it dry the appropriate amount of time. I then sanded it with 600 Grit, and got my air compressor out and removed all the dust from it. I then put on ONE coat of wipe-on poly so far. I would like to put at least 2-3 coats on it so it gives it that nice glossy/smooth plastic look (that she likes so much). After about 2-3 hours, I went back into the shop to check on it, and saw that it was really streaky on the top and sides. Is this normal? Will more coats of poly cover this up??? I just want to check with you guys before I move on to putting another coat of Poly on. I dont want to have to scrap this project. Any help would be appreciated.

This is my first time trying to do a nice paint finish. Did I do this correctly? Should I have done something different? What do you guys do to get that nice glossy/smooth Paint finish? When I'm all done putting coats of poly on it - how do I buff it out to give it that nice glassy/glossy/smooth look? Thanks a lot in advance!

PS…i just lightly screwed the knob on the front to see what it is going to look like…..i did not finish it with the knob on it! :) i also did not finish the drawer while it was in the stand…..

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
hey Steve. Not sure. Its all from a big box store. Regular flat spray paint, and wipe on poly from Lowes. Spray paint isn't oil based is it? so if it is a water based poly, that shouldnt matter? I will check tomorrow to see which products I used…maybe I'll post some pictures of them
 

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I only sanded the wood to 220. So that wasn't too much sanding. I did sand the paint w/ 600 though. Is that where I sanded it too much?? I will post pictures of the two products I used later today! UGH - I hope I dont have to sand this thing down to the wood again! What a pain in the butt!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Cr1 - is it really called "Evil Empire MinWax Alkyd" ??? or just Minwax Alkyd? haha. Is that something I can get at the big box store?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Tim - yes, black paint DID come off onto my rag when I applied the poly. This sucks!! haha. I do NOT want to redo this…UGH

Here are the two products I used together…..

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Steven - I'm beginning to think I didnt remove all the dust as well. When I first sanded the paint, I only blew the dust off with my air compressor. I'm thinking I should have wiped it down with a wet rag or something. I have reapplied another coat of poly. I am about to go into the shop and see what it looks like. I will post some pictures when I return…...thanks for all the help guys, I really appreciate it. I can't wait until I can get my own shop and have space for a finishing room, so I can spray all of my finishes on instead of wiping/brushing. Seems like all the REALLY REALLY nice finishes are sprayed on….
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Here is the second coat. It is not quite dry…the picture was taken about an hour after applying the second coat. I'm going to let it sit all tonight, and maybe tomorrow apply another coat, or maybe try buffing it out with something. Do you think that would help it?

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Tim, I do not have any regular poly. I kind of like what Cosmicsniper said above about adding some black dye to the wipe-on-poly to cover up the streaks underneath. Problem is I dont have any dye. So unless a big box store sells dye, then I am out of luck. Otherwise anyone know places you cant get it? If I can get my hands on some dye, what part dye to poly?

This is for a gift in 2 days, otherwise I'd just sand everything down and start over. Unfortunately that isnt an option for me anymore! Not enough time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
well I do have some ink but man…that stuff is expensive…Not sure if i want to ruin my cartridge to go buy a new $30 one - that would be more expensive then my whole project so far! haha. That is a very cool idea though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
David, I will give it a try. Tomorrow evening I will shoot a coat of Deft lacquer on it. That will give it over 24 hours of drying since the last Poly coat. I have to ask though…if the streaks are way down in the first layer of Poly, how will the Deft lacquer hide it? I only ask because I dont know…..
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Thanks David. Yeah, I cannot feel the streaks. Just see them. So it must be underneath the poly. Let me just make sure I am understanding - I can just go get some of that universal paint and spray it over the poly? Even though I have sanded the Poly pretty smooth (600 grit)? one coat, two coats? Then do I sand the Universal and buff it? or just sand and wipe clean or what? haha - sorry if I sound dumb…mostly because I am…and i want to make sure i get this right this time!! Thanks a lot for yours and everyones help!!!
 

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man….i love woodworking, but sometimes the simplest things are so frustrating. I understand now why it often takes a lifetime to become a master woodworking….just the finishing aspect alone would take me an entire lifetime!! So many "Do's and Do not's".....
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Thanks Cosmic. I think I will try that tomorrow. Unfortunately this project is being given to my fiance on Wednesday…..so….running out of time. haha. I'll try one coat on a scrap piece and see what it does, and go from there!
 

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hey David. I decided to go with Cosmic's idea of putting Minwax ebony stain in with poly. Mixed 1:4 poly. I applied it earlier tonight. Tomorrow I will see how it looks and try buffing the finish out. I will post pictures so people following/participating in this thread can see what happened. The streaking has definitely gone away. And I think that is due to multiple coats of poly (3) and then the final coat of poly/ebony stain. But now I see scratches and other things wrong with it. The table FEELS smooth as a baby's butt, but after inspecting the table over and over and over again, I think I had multiple problems. One, i think the paint and the poly definitely were not compatible - causing streaks in the paint. But I think I also did not sand it well enough as I can see scratches through the finish. I'm not sure if those scratches are on the wood itself, or from sanding the poly and not properly removing the dust. I think a lot of dust got into the finish, etc, etc, etc. There seems to be tons of problems with it. You guys have helped A TON, and I am definitely a more knowledgable person because of it. As of now, I'm just trying to make it presentable!! haha. I dont want to give a piece of crap as a gift. I'd rather just go buy her something then giver her something I made that is horrible. I bought some automotive rubbing and polishing compound today. Hopefully that'll take some of the scratches out (if its scratches in the poly and not in the wood itself). We'll see. Either way I'll post pictures. The good new is, is that it is DEFINITELY better than that first picture i posted
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
i just watched the video! very interesting. I'm looking forward to how it actually worked out for you! Hope you have some good pics!
 

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Hey Jim. Yeah I got your comment earlier I think. I will keep that in mind for my next project I use poly on…..Even though I think my next project I'll try and us Lacquer for the first time.

Tim. It came out pretty nice. The streaks are completely gone. I used Cosmic's idea of mixing some Minwax Ebony stain in with the poly. I added two more coats of it like this, which completely hid the streaking. I then buffed and polished it with some automotive products. I definitely saved the finish. However after it was all polished out, i noticed little scratches everywhere in the finish. I dont know if those scratches were way down in the wood (maybe I didnt sand it properly)....or in the finish. Oh well. It turned out pretty good! my fiance loved it! :) Thanks a ton for your help!!

There's just so many things that can go wrong when trying to get that "glass like" finish. Its a learning experience, and I definitely learned A LOT!! Next time I feel will be much much better/easier
 
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