How do i remove microscratches from polyurethane top coat

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Forum topic by Revhard posted 06-07-2018 04:28 PM 6173 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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41 posts in 2215 days

06-07-2018 04:28 PM

Im finishing up a round slab sycamore coffee table. Ive put about 10 coats of thinned 50/50 semi gloss poly /mineral spirits wiped on. Sanding lightly between coats. I decided to wet sand with
1500 grit sand paper and achieved a super smooth surface. The only problem i have now are the micro scratches that are left behind. Looks like swirl marks like on a car. Will buffing with a automotive scratch remover work to remove it? Any suggestions are appreciated.

On a side note…. i tried a automotive clay bar on a piece of scrap wood with polyurethane finish and surprisingly, it removed the dust nibs from the finish without scratching the surface! Has anyone tried that technique?

9 replies so far

View Loren's profile


11550 posts in 5141 days

#1 posted 06-07-2018 04:39 PM

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3050 posts in 3483 days

#2 posted 06-07-2018 08:11 PM

I use Meguairs auto polishing products on my stuff if I want hi gloss. For a rubbed gloss, steel wool or scotchbrite pad. I usually use the scotchbrite with a powered polisher – helps get a very even gloss level.

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6333 posts in 4737 days

#3 posted 06-07-2018 08:38 PM

Simichrome polish uses one of the finest abrasives available in their polish. It is used on all metals and on automotive painted surfaces. Although it is not recommended for lacquer surfaces, it was/is supplied with new cars made in Germany (it is a German product). It’s cost is around $10 for a 1-3/4 ounce tube, but it goes a long way.

View tomsteve's profile


1200 posts in 2712 days

#4 posted 06-08-2018 12:58 PM

i think id apply a coat of poly full strength and see how it looks.

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8283 posts in 2082 days

#5 posted 06-08-2018 01:11 PM

i think id apply a coat of poly full strength and see how it looks.

- tomsteve

+1. I’ll add that I’d spray it. The whole purpose of sanding to finer grits is to create scratches that the finish can fill completely. You’ve done that, so do your last coat.

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

View DS's profile


4120 posts in 3913 days

#6 posted 06-08-2018 01:23 PM

After 1500 I would move to 2400, then 3600, 6000, 8000 then 12000 grit.

That usually gets it done for me.


-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS

View John_'s profile


251 posts in 3199 days

#7 posted 06-09-2018 04:21 PM

3M Trizact in 3000 grit (they have several grits available)

Wet sand with it – it is like a thin, foam pad. You see this stuff a lot in ‘headlight polishing’ kits. It really comes in handy when sometimes you get overspray on another finished part and that area feels kind of rough to the touch

View Revhard's profile


41 posts in 2215 days

#8 posted 06-11-2018 03:26 AM

Thanks for all your input! I went and ordered the sanding pads DS recommended but it wont arrive til tomorrow. In the meantime i applied one more thin coat of 50/50poly and that covered up some of the scratches. After i applied and let it dry dust settled on the finish. so instead of sanding i tried the claybar technique and THAT removed the dust nibs without producing any more scratches while still leaving me with a smooth finish. Next i applied Meguiars swirl mark remover with a Surbuf pad on my random orbital sander. Had to do it 3 times and the scratches were finally gone. I then buffed it with Meguiars polish/wax. I was going for a semigloss look but with all the buffing and waxing it came out glossy, almost mirror like. I guess i could live with it.

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9200 posts in 4070 days

#9 posted 06-11-2018 03:48 AM

Excellent finish!

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