Is it OK to (wet) sand in between stain coats?

jasonkAugust 31, 2007

I'm refinishing a dresser and I've got 2 stain coats on now but it's not quite where I want it to be, so I'm going to do a final coat tomorrow. I'm staining outside and the top has picked up some rough spots from dust, bugs etc that i'd like to get rid of before the final coat and my finish, but the stain I'm using (Minwax oil stain) says not to sand.

What's the worst case scenario for going over it with some 320 or 600 paper or even wetsanding with those papers? Am I going to do some serious damage or is Minwax just telling me I don't have to sand, not that I absolutely cannot sand.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Since minwax is extremely slow to fully dry, you can probably rub the imperfections out with a cloth. Don't be in too much of a hurry to apply another coat; unless fully cured, the previous coat will be partially dissolved by the next coat; net effect being not darker.
Sanding will take off more than just the imperfections. Some interesting timeworn/antique effects are achieved by sanding through the stain layer and exposing bare wood.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 9:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think the worst case scenario is that you have a pigmented Minwax stain, and when you sand, you remove the pigment from the high parts of the surface and leave it in the low parts (pores), accentuating the contrast, then further, the first two coats of stain have sealed the high points and don't allow the "penetrating stain" to soak in and there's no where for the pigment to lodge. Worst case.

If it was up to me, I'd try a white Scotch Brite pad (finest), and rub in the next coat of stain. But I'd try it in an inconspicuous spot first, not dead center on the top. real preference: I'm presuming if you're using Minwax stain, your probably going to use the ubiquitous Minwax Polyurethane. I thin the first two coats 50-50 with mineral spirits, then sand almost all of it off to be a self-sealer. That should take care of your bugs. Then sand again between each subsequent coat of finish.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 9:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Actually I'm going to be finishing with Behr Tung Oil Finish.

Could I get smoothness by just sanding after the first coat of finish and applying a 2nd coat? The surface isn't horribly rough now, just rougher than I would like.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 10:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A light sanding as you describe will do absolutely no damage, just sand straight with the grain. Sanding between topcoats will improve the finish. I use 280 stearated paper.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 10:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wait....did you say Wet sand? No, unless you use mineral spirits. That won't add anything though and will wash off some of the stain, just scuff off the foreign material that is stuck in the stain.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 10:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the advice everyone. I can always count on Gardenweb for help with my problems...

What I ended up doing was giving it a good hard rubdown with a tack cloth and that seemed to do the trick.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 12:56PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Advice on finishing outdoor cypress mantel
Hello all, I have a wood finishing dilemma. I have...
Jack Mason
sanding sealer on cherry?
Hi all! I'm having a painter do some new doors along...
Fori is not pleased
Finish for mantle
We had someone make a mantle from pine and while it's...
Jennifer White Green
black lacquer touch-up
how do i touch-up black lacquer furniture? Small areas...
Wood Countertop Oil? Tung vs Mineral
I am going in 2 different directions for my Island...
Sponsored Products
Radial White 16-Inch Outdoor Wall Light
$213.95 | Bellacor
Darlee Series 60 Cast Aluminum 42 x 72 in. Rectangular Patio Dining Table
$910.99 | Hayneedle
Darlee Nassau Swivel Rocker Chair - DL13-5/101
$309.99 | Hayneedle
ALFI Solid Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink Grid - 27.5 x 17.125 - GR510
$94.99 | Hayneedle
Moda Square Lace Chrome Nine-Light 22-Inch Pendant with Swarovski Strass Sapphir
Wrought Iron Chair Outdoor Patio + Free washable cushion - DIAMOND
Illusion Table Lamp in White
$39.00 | LexMod
Bling II Matte Chrome Mini Pendant with Amber Glass
$228.75 | Bellacor
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™