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Smoothing a stippled finish

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Forum topic by Rink posted 07-01-2019 03:59 PM 254 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rink

127 posts in 519 days


07-01-2019 03:59 PM

I asked about buffing in a previous post and I’m still mulling my options. But my question here is whether this is a situation that buffing remedies. Below is a close-up of a live edge bowl that I’m working on. I used some spray paint and dry brush to color the outside (the inside is a spray-painted sunburst). After that, I used sanding sealer and then numerous coats of ArmRSeal gloss (rubbing with 0000 steel wool between coats). I would prefer a very smooth surface, but what I’ve got is what’s shown in the picture (smooth but bumpy). Is there a way to make this glassy smooth (and keep the gloss)? I have another bowl that I finished in a similar way, I rubbed some Renaissance wax on, but that didn’t smooth out the stippled finish on that bowl.

A secondary question is, why does this happen?

David


9 replies so far

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LesB

2172 posts in 3924 days


#1 posted 07-01-2019 05:00 PM

First answer is that you will have to sand out the finish to smooth it. Unfortunately that may cut into your color layers.

Second there could be several reasons for the problem from a reaction between the coats you have applied to a more likely having one or more of the coats dry to quickly before it could level out.

-- Les B, Oregon

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Rink

127 posts in 519 days


#2 posted 07-01-2019 07:10 PM



First answer is that you will have to sand out the finish to smooth it. Unfortunately that may cut into your color layers.

Second there could be several reasons for the problem from a reaction between the coats you have applied to a more likely having one or more of the coats dry to quickly before it could level out.

- LesB

Thanks.

I think what I’ll do is put one of the bowls back on the lathe and try to sand it lightly with 0000 steel wool. See if that smooths it out. Another thought I’m having is that maybe I didn’t wipe off the excess enough on each coat.

This whole business of finishing is very confusing to me. So many different methods and chemicals and opinions. I’d like to settle on, and perfect for my purposes, two or three different protocols to achieve different results.

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BlueRidgeDog

499 posts in 261 days


#3 posted 07-01-2019 07:20 PM

If you have enough clear depth, you can dust on a “guide coat” of a contrasting color then sand in the lathe until it goes away (common approach in auto body). I would start at 400 then work up from there. If you get it all out, you can press on to 8000 then to polish.

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Rink

127 posts in 519 days


#4 posted 07-01-2019 07:35 PM



If you have enough clear depth, you can dust on a “guide coat” of a contrasting color then sand in the lathe until it goes away (common approach in auto body). I would start at 400 then work up from there. If you get it all out, you can press on to 8000 then to polish.

- BlueRidgeDog

“Dust on a guide coat”?

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Dark_Lightning

3530 posts in 3590 days


#5 posted 07-01-2019 07:35 PM

You either didn’t wait long enough between coats or the finish went on too dry. Or both. The guide coat method mentioned should stand you in good stead. If it appears that you are going to cut through the clear into the paint, you can apply more clear. You won’t be cutting into the paint before the high points are gone, but will be close. I’d recommend something like a sanding block with lots of swirling around to avoid taking too much off in one place.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

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Rich

4831 posts in 1071 days


#6 posted 07-01-2019 07:51 PM


“Dust on a guide coat”?

- Rink

What he’s saying is to apply a very thin coat of a contrasting color. Sand on the lathe until all of that color is gone. That will ensure you have no valleys left in your finish.

A thin spray lacquer would work well since it will dry enough to sand pretty quickly.

-- There's no such thing as a careless electrician

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Rink

127 posts in 519 days


#7 posted 07-01-2019 08:25 PM



You either didn t wait long enough between coats or the finish went on too dry. Or both. The guide coat method mentioned should stand you in good stead. If it appears that you are going to cut through the clear into the paint, you can apply more clear. You won t be cutting into the paint before the high points are gone, but will be close. I d recommend something like a sanding block with lots of swirling around to avoid taking too much off in one place.

- Dark_Lightning

Thanks. I waited 24 hours as per instructions on the can…. If I understand what you mean by going on “too dry”, I don’t think that’s the case. If anything, I may have put on too much and failed to wipe off the excess enough.

“Dust on a guide coat”?

- Rink

What he s saying is to apply a very thin coat of a contrasting color. Sand on the lathe until all of that color is gone. That will ensure you have no valleys left in your finish.

A thin spray lacquer would work well since it will dry enough to sand pretty quickly.

- Rich

Would applying blue acrylic very lightly with my airbrush do the trick?

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Rich

4831 posts in 1071 days


#8 posted 07-01-2019 09:42 PM


Would applying blue acrylic very lightly with my airbrush do the trick?

- Rink

It should. Make it thin and even.

-- There's no such thing as a careless electrician

View BlueRidgeDog's profile

BlueRidgeDog

499 posts in 261 days


#9 posted 07-02-2019 12:24 AM

A guide coat is an old school trick to deal with minor or not so minor paint imperfections when you want “perfect”. Basically you cover the surface with a light contrasting coat of paint, let it dry then sand until all the contrasting paint is gone. Typically it is prior to a final spray or a clear coat, but can be used as a step in hand polishing if there is enough finish left behind and the finish is hard enough to take a polish.

The term “dust” is used as most shops use a powder type guide coat that has a large applicator much like a lady’s makeup pad.

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