Help! I put varnish on top of polyurethane

SlushmonkieAugust 29, 2011

I'm finishing a staircase and I goofed. The trim has been stained and I applied one coat of Varthane satin oil based floor polyurethane. The next day I goofed, and I applied a coat of Pratt and Lambert gloss varnish. What do I do? Sand off the varnish? Put a coat of polyurethane on top of the varnish? Thanks for your help.

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Let it sure completely and then decide.

It can take a week or longer.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 10:12AM
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Don't panic, polyurethane finish is also a varnish. The beauty of varnish is that it should have more than one coat anyway. I'm not familiar with the P&L varnish. Is it thinned with turps or paint thinner? Varnish should be sanded lightly between coats any way. Anything finer than 150 will be OK, I use P-350 between varnish coats. Varnish is just resin dissolved in oil. Poly is just a synthetic resin, I don't know which resin P&L uses. It's probably on the label. The only question is do you prefer gloss, semi-, or matte? Just let each coat get hard before re-coating. I give mine 4-10 days. But I use "old-timey" varnishes. read label

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 10:23PM
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Old Pratt & Lambert oil varnish was good stuff; I used a lot of it in the 80's, and their "Tonetic Wood Stains" too! Whatever happened in the ensuing years (formula changes) I don't know. If the poly had some degree of sanding prep, or was very recent it will probably be fine. If the poly was old and hard and had no sanding at all you could get peeling in the next few decades. Oil varnish sticks pretty well to just about anything. It will be as long as a year before the new varnish is dry enough to begin to crawl or peel.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 8:32AM
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