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Polyshades question

Posted by shappy (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 16, 08 at 22:22

Don't throw rocks at me, there's a reason I used it. I tried sanding and refinishing an oak table the traditional way, however, it would not take a stain and looked horrible.

I've put on three coats of polyshades and it looks pretty good. Unfortunately in my area they only sell glossy and I would like a satin finish. I was thinking of just using 000 steel wool and finishing with oil based satin poly. However, I've gone to two hardware stores and neither had oil based poly, I'm beginning to think they don't sell it in So. California.

The clerk suggested I rub it down with Restor-A-Finish.
I'm hesitant to do that on the table top because if it lifts or gunks up the finish I'll be in a world of hurt and probably just toss the table.

Any suggestions on how to dull a glossy oil based finish??

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Polyshades question

I think they do have spray oil lacquer. Would that work?

RE: Polyshades question

Well, the typical way would be to rub the finish to a satin finish. However, polyurethane is not very agreeable to rubbing. You really need about 3 weeks cure time before trying to rub. You might try 0000 steel wool and a little furniture wax. Or you could try to dull it with Scotch-brite pads.

Forget the "Restor-a-finish" and "spray oil lacquer" (whatever that is). RAF is little more than a polish that will evaporate away in a few weeks. A spray lacquer's solvents may be too strong and wrinkle the Polyshades.

RE: Polyshades question

So you can't find any oil based satin poly in your area? It's a very common product made by a different companies, someone has to sell it. Do you have any big home improvement stores near you?

I just did all the new pine trim and doors in my house with polyshades. On one door I only wanted one coat of polyshades instead of two. I just 0000 steel wooled it and applied a coat of Minwax satin poly and it turned out great. So you should have no problem doing so if you can find some.

RE: Polyshades question

I went to two hardware stores and couldn't find it. I'll look again today.

Can someone explain the "rub the finish to satin" technique. I obviously know how to rub the finish with steel wool but what do I put on top of it afterwards?

RE: Polyshades question

Don't put anything on it. After the finish is completely CURED (not just dry), rub the 0000 steel wool all over the surface like you would sand it by hand but quicker strokes. When the glossy look dulls to the desired level of sheen, put the steel wool down and take some lint free rags (old bed sheets are the best) and buff the surface. The steel wool will leave lots of bits of steel dust that need to be wiped away. The finish will look dull until you buff it with a dry rag. Use the same buffing technique as shining shoes or waxing a car, fast strokes. This will bring the dull surface back to a shine, but it will have a satin sheen to it rather than gloss.

I use this technique on woodwork finished with varnish. I have never used polyshades or ever intend to. Sorry in advance if this is not an agreeable technique for the polyshades finish you used. I encourage you to consult this forum for advice in choosing the best finish for your project. I doubt woodworkers would recommend polyshades for any application. There is always some better choice.

RE: Polyshades question

Southern California seems to have lots of restrictions on finishes. You may not have looked in the right place yet.

The link below is an article on rubbing out finishes. To reinforce Aiden's advice, there is a world of difference between dry and cured. That's why I recommended three weeks.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rubbing finishes

RE: Polyshades question

One quick note on steel wool. Because it IS steel, it's treated to keep from rusting. Some paints and stains don't stick to the oil left behind from the wool. There is aluminum wool which is NOT treated, sometimes harder to find. Scotch Brite pads work just as well if not better, they also come in different grades.


First thank you for the responses.

I was able to find a Varathane oil-based satin poly (minwax only sells in No. California). I didn't purchase because I am intrigued by rubbing the finish. I don't need any additional protection or the table top since I have a glass top for it.

I read the link--when they say "soap and water" - what kind of soap do they mean?

I wouldn't wish Polyshades on my worst enemy, however, with the limitations of this project I think it will come out well in the end. I was aware of the dripping problem and avoided that. Surprisingly the table looks pretty nice if I am just able to successfully get the desired sheen on the finish.

RE: Polyshades question

"One quick note on steel wool. Because it IS steel, it's treated to keep from rusting. Some paints and stains don't stick to the oil left behind from the wool. There is aluminum wool which is NOT treated, sometimes harder to find. Scotch Brite pads work just as well if not better, they also come in different grades."

Steel wool for rubbing finishes should be rinsed in paint thinner before use.
There are always lubricants left from manufacturing.
They are not there to prevent rust, but the manufacturer has no reason to spend money removing them.

The non-woven pads (Scotch brite) work well, but you may need to go to a commercial supply house to get the correct grit.

Manhattan Supply Co. (MSC) has them.

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