Gnats in your poly?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by CharlesA posted 08-26-2014 08:03 PM 1384 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View CharlesA's profile


3387 posts in 2337 days

08-26-2014 08:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing

I’m putting the final coats of Arm-R-Seal poly on my project, and noticed some gnats flying around as a was applying it (no air-conditioning). Went in this morning and there were 15-20 gnats embedded in the top! Fortunately, they were relatively easy to get rid of, but it was a pain since they disturbed the poly surface as they dried to their deaths.

Anybody else have this happen?

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

16 replies so far

View Earlextech's profile


1162 posts in 3230 days

#1 posted 08-26-2014 08:27 PM

The majority of my cabinet career was in Florida!

Problems in order of PIA – #1 bugs #2 blushing #3 different bugs.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View pintodeluxe's profile


5999 posts in 3353 days

#2 posted 08-26-2014 08:38 PM

The only thing I can suggest is to try quicker drying finishes, like lacquer. However if the bugs find it when it’s wet, they will still stick to it.
I had some bugs attracted to shellac once, but luckily that dries quickly so it wasn’t an issue.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View HorizontalMike's profile


7802 posts in 3454 days

#3 posted 08-26-2014 08:52 PM

Don’t store your bananas near your finishing station!


-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View nicksmurf111's profile


369 posts in 1990 days

#4 posted 08-26-2014 08:55 PM

Yes, bugs like paint. Especially if your working in the evening outside.

-- Nicholas

View muleskinner's profile


941 posts in 2976 days

#5 posted 08-26-2014 09:33 PM

I think everybody has had this problem at one time or another. Only solution I’ve come up with is a positive pressure paint booth. Sadly, though I’ve come up with the solution, I haven’t implemented it.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3848 days

#6 posted 08-26-2014 09:39 PM

Mix a little insect repellent in with your finish before applying..!~~

View oldnovice's profile


7505 posts in 3907 days

#7 posted 08-27-2014 04:21 AM

I hate to say this gnaturaly I have had this and worse.

I had one of those very large moths, that seem to have powder on their wings, which when you touch them gets all over the place. Luckily it was a small project, a plate shelf, which I had to sand down and refinish, this time in my basement.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Billy E's profile

Billy E

162 posts in 2620 days

#8 posted 08-27-2014 11:52 AM

I’ve had that problem. Only thing I’ve found that helps is to sand each layer if you’re trying to build, and sand the the last heavy coat with really fine paper (like 800) and then wipe on very thinned, >50% thinner, varnish and buff off. This might take a couple of coats and all you’re trying to do is fill those 800 grit scratches. Of course you can just get heavy coats on there and try to polish it all out but I’ve had mixed results doing that myself. I think it depends on how hard the poly is that you’re using.

I’ve had the powdery moth wing problem on a set of wheels that I let someone else try to refinish. It was that experience that helped me realize I have to do EVERYTHING myself if I want it done to my satisfaction.

-- Billy, Florence SC

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2307 days

#9 posted 08-27-2014 11:54 AM

They are attracted to shiny things, that’s why they dive into your eyes as well. You can use “Bugs be gone” on your lawn a week before finish work.


View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2585 days

#10 posted 08-27-2014 02:10 PM

(Crazy) unproven idea – Setup a “honeypot” to draw the bugs to a nearby temptation. Sugar water, bright lights, whatever you want.

PS: I will deny I suggested this ;-)

-- paxorion

View Billy E's profile

Billy E

162 posts in 2620 days

#11 posted 08-27-2014 02:24 PM

I wonder if running one of the air filters mentioned in a recent project would help?

-- Billy, Florence SC

View oldnovice's profile


7505 posts in 3907 days

#12 posted 08-27-2014 04:37 PM

Billy E, perhaps Gefilte fish would attract them and filter them! humor intended for a buggy problem

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2612 days

#13 posted 08-29-2014 09:51 PM

What about a version of those ‘tent’ looking things that get put over pies at potluck partys??

-- Who is John Galt?

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5228 posts in 4500 days

#14 posted 08-29-2014 11:58 PM

Shotguns! :)
I guess that the bugs are just a hazard unless you have a dedicated environment for finishing.

-- [email protected]

View JAAune's profile


1872 posts in 2856 days

#15 posted 08-30-2014 03:27 AM

Give them something more attractive and most will leave the finish alone. We set out jars with apple cider vinegar covered in plastic wrap with pinholes poked in the plastic. The gnats flock to them, crawl inside and can’t get out.

A drop of soap in the vinegar removes surface tension so they are more likely to sink and drown.

The question is though, are they gnats or fruit flies?

-- See my work at and

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics