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No. of coats required for rubbing out poly

1146 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  bandit571
I will be rubbing out an oil based poly finish after it has had a few weeks to fully cure. The advice I read in all forums was to really build up the finish. But they also discussed the witness lines that occur if you sand through one coat into another.
So here's my question;
If the rubbing out has to take place within just one coat to avoid witness lines, what's the point in having so many coats under it?
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I usually have three coats. Base coat, sand with 220, second coat to cover the first, 0000 Steel Wool to clean it up for final coat. After the third is just tacky to a fingertip, I grab a lint free rag, and rub it HARD. That is the way to rub out poly. The heat from rubbing a cloth rag hard over it will polish without any marks left behind. No mess either…
Now that's a technique I haven't heard of before. I'll do a sample of that next time I get the poly out.
Doesn't answer my question about what logic there is in the typical directions, but Thanks.
Simple. Thicker coat more protection.
I understand you have to have a certain build up just for protection from everyday wear and tear. What I don't understand is why soooo many coats above and beyond that are suggested for rubbing out. Sounds like you only have the very top layer to work within anyways unless witness lines aren't a problem as implied. Seems like you could do the minimum required for protection plus just one more coat for rubbing out.
I must be missing something, just can't get my head wrapped around it.
FWIW, I did 5 rolled/tipped off with brush coats anyways just in-case it does make a difference. I lightly sanded between each coat.
First coat just seals the wood. Second coat seals the scratches on the first coat, AFTER all else has been cleaned off. Then the wool to clean up the second. Clean off all the residue and add the third coat. Rub that one out, call it done. How much shine is up to you.

If using semi gloss, first two will be Gloss, final will be the semi-gloss.

Unless you are thinning the poly, three is about all you need to do.
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