Bubbles in Water Poly

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Forum topic by richardchaos posted 08-27-2017 08:08 PM 613 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View richardchaos's profile


583 posts in 1156 days

08-27-2017 08:08 PM

No matter what I do I keep getting many tiny bubbles in my Water Based Ploy using a foam brush? How can I get that fixed?

NO I DONT SHAKE THE CAN! I stir gently

The Poly is a well known Water Poly from Lowes

-- “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” ― George Orwell

6 replies so far

View Kazooman's profile


1492 posts in 2729 days

#1 posted 08-27-2017 08:36 PM

Foam brushes vary quite a lot. You can get a decent brush with dense foam and get good results. You can purchase a cheap foam brush with really coarse, open foam and generate a million bubbles. One thing that can cause bubbles is pressing too hard so that you are essentially squeezing the finish out of the brush. Any trapped air blows out the pores in the foam and makes bubbles. A gentle touch really helps a lot.

Why not purchase a really good quality bristle brush? Clean up of water based poly is a snap and the brush should last a very long time.

View firefighterontheside's profile


21052 posts in 2633 days

#2 posted 08-27-2017 09:07 PM

+1 to the above. That can happen with a foam brush. You can usually remove them by finishing up with only the weight of the brush for final strokes.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Lazyman's profile


5444 posts in 2164 days

#3 posted 08-28-2017 03:41 AM

Almost impossible to prevent bubbles in poly with a foam brush. I use a high quality natural bristle brush anytime I use either water or oil based poly because you get a much nicer results. Also, don’t try to apply too much finish in each coat. Better to do several very thin coats than a few thicker ones. Another option is a wipe-on poly. It will require more coats but will yield the smoothest, most natural result.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View TungOil's profile


1382 posts in 1271 days

#4 posted 08-28-2017 03:56 AM

+1 on the wipe on. I gave up on brushing varnishes years ago, never could get a satisfactory result with them. Or if the project is small enough, get a rattle can and spray it.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1368 days

#5 posted 08-28-2017 03:57 AM

I always shake the jar with poly very well turning it upside down at times to distribute the dulling agent evenly. I never get bubbles in the finish. It is an urban legend.

View Rich's profile


5621 posts in 1366 days

#6 posted 08-28-2017 04:07 AM

+1 on a bristle brush. I get bubbles, and find that waiting a few minutes and doing a soft drag with the brush at close to 90º wipes them out. Another thing that works for smaller surfaces is to go back and dab the bubbles with the brush to pop them. Either way, the finish levels out pretty well in the end.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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