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Wet sanding down coats of varnish

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Forum topic by BalsaWood posted 10-22-2019 07:36 PM 343 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BalsaWood

169 posts in 1694 days


10-22-2019 07:36 PM

I’m trying to remove a bunch of scratches I missed. There are 3 coats of Waterlox on the tabletop. Would it be alright to wet sand the finish down with an orbital sander to remove the coats and get to the scratches or would that make things worse


13 replies so far

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LittleShaver

595 posts in 1155 days


#1 posted 10-22-2019 07:44 PM

I have no experience with Waterlox, but I would NEVER use a ROS on a finish unless I was trying to remove it. Wet hand sanding, absolutely, but with a solvent that won’t ruin the finish.

-- Sawdust Maker

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BalsaWood

169 posts in 1694 days


#2 posted 10-22-2019 09:01 PM



I have no experience with Waterlox, but I would NEVER use a ROS on a finish unless I was trying to remove it. Wet hand sanding, absolutely, but with a solvent that won t ruin the finish.

- LittleShaver

I was thinking of either mineral spirits or mineral oil which would be less aggressive. The goal is to get rid of the couple coats covering the scratches.

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Lazyman

4080 posts in 1923 days


#3 posted 10-22-2019 10:50 PM

Are you saying the scratches are in the wood or the finish? If they are in the wood, I don’t think that there is any point trying to protect the finish. You have to basically sand all the way down to the wood anyway. If in the finish, I would try using a wax and steel wool or 3M sanding pads. I’ve never tried it with Waterlox but I frequently wet sand with Howards Feed and Wax. Of course if you are planning to put on another coat of the finish afterwards, the wax is probably not a good idea.

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

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bondogaposis

5555 posts in 2887 days


#4 posted 10-22-2019 11:01 PM

If you are trying to remove the finish entirely, there is no point in wet sanding.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Sark

217 posts in 896 days


#5 posted 10-22-2019 11:31 PM

I’ve never used Waterlux, but I think you should consider the advice from the manufacturer about what to do with scratches. It seems like very good advice.

And Lazyman raises a good point, are the scratches in the wood or in the finish? If they are in the wood, and you want to remove the scratches, you’ll be stripping and refinishing. If in the finish, then the Waterlux directions should serve you well.

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Sark

217 posts in 896 days


#6 posted 10-22-2019 11:35 PM

Duplicate

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BalsaWood

169 posts in 1694 days


#7 posted 10-23-2019 05:06 AM



Are you saying the scratches are in the wood or the finish? If they are in the wood, I don t think that there is any point trying to protect the finish. You have to basically sand all the way down to the wood anyway. If in the finish, I would try using a wax and steel wool or 3M sanding pads. I ve never tried it with Waterlox but I frequently wet sand with Howards Feed and Wax. Of course if you are planning to put on another coat of the finish afterwards, the wax is probably not a good idea.

- Lazyman

The scratches are in the previous coats- not the wood itself.

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OSU55

2437 posts in 2525 days


#8 posted 10-23-2019 12:01 PM

Since they are only in the finish wet sand with 400 – 600 gr by hand. I’d use ms, you could sand thru and water could mess things up. Dont have to get the scratches out completely, the next coat will fill some, depends on your application method. The more left on the surface the more it will fill scratches.

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BalsaWood

169 posts in 1694 days


#9 posted 10-23-2019 11:43 PM



Since they are only in the finish wet sand with 400 – 600 gr by hand. I’d use ms, you could sand thru and water could mess things up. Dont have to get the scratches out completely, the next coat will fill some, depends on your application method. The more left on the surface the more it will fill scratches.

- OSU55

If I sand it really smooth, will the varnish have adhesion issues?

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5799 posts in 3029 days


#10 posted 10-24-2019 10:34 AM

If it’s Waterlox Original, it’s has very good adhesion and you shouldn’t have a problem. It’s the urethane products that normally require a little scuff to give the surface some tooth.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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OSU55

2437 posts in 2525 days


#11 posted 10-24-2019 02:31 PM

400 to 600 will provide plenty of adhesion for a urethane.

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davezedlee

37 posts in 1360 days


#12 posted 10-24-2019 05:42 PM

the thing is, how will you know if you got down far enough to remove the scratches?

having tried exactly this, and missing “only a couple”, i ended up using liquid stripper and starting over

you’ll probably end up doing the same….

what’s the harm in trying?

the wasted time, effort, and materials lost chasing a short cut to an obvious solution, plus the experience of knowing what to do “next time”

YMMV

View TEK73's profile

TEK73

246 posts in 242 days


#13 posted 10-24-2019 05:56 PM

It seems a bit over the top using wet sanding and 400-600 grid.
Why not just go 180 or something in that range, dry sanding?
I would expect that the next coat would fix aby minor scratched from the sand-paper?
Much faster…

-- It’s good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. - Ursula K. LeGuin

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