by Alan Noel
Professional Wood Finisher
When a silky smooth finish is what you are after, wet sanding is definitely
the key to success. Achieving that flawless surface is what we all desire
on our projects after all of the hard work and effort. Here are a few tips to
help along the way to a flawless finish.
1. Be sure enough finish has been applied so as not to sand through the
surface of the finish.
2. For a varnish finish, apply at least three coats on soft woods, two to three
on hard woods.
3. Shellac, at least three coats on soft woods, two to three on hardwoods.
4. Lacquer, after one coat of lacquer sanding sealer apply at least four to
five coats since lacquers have less solids than shellac or varnish.
5. Wet sanding requires using a lubricant to keep the paper wet and sharp. I
use mineral spirits or water with dish detergent.
6. It is imperative to keep the paper wet at all times or the paper will dull
as soon as the surface is touched.
7. Start with 3M 800 Imperial Wet or Dry using a sanding block with a felt backing.
Start by gently sanding in a circular motion making sure to keep the paper/surface
wet. Feel the surface from time to time to check for smoothness. Sand any remaining
trash imbedded in the surface out.
8. After drying the surface and inspecting for any remaining trash, change to 3M 1200
Wet or Dry and repeat. After a thorough drying, inspect the surface again and if all
looks and feels smooth and you haven't sanded through the finish, you are ready
to "finish the finish" or, rub the finish out using any method of your choice.
Visiting Atlanta? Attend one of Alan's upcoming highly informative Highland Woodworking wood
Visit Highland Woodworking's Online
Finishing the Finish, Feb. 22, 2012
French Polish Workshop, March 7, 2012
Antiques Show and Tell, March 10, 2012
Finishing the Finish, March 21, 2012
Wood Finishing Supplies Department
Alan can be reached directly via email c/o Alan Noel Furniture Refinishing at firstname.lastname@example.org.