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Best tools and methods to apply polyurethane

I've just completed staining my kitchen cabinets, now I want to use polyurethane on them. What is the best brush to use that will leave a smooth finish with no streaks but will also be easy to clean? Also, how do I correctly apply polyurethane? I tried applying it on one cabinet door, using smooth, even strokes, following the grain of the wood and the result is that the polyurethane has dried to a very streaky finish. How do I fix this? 
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Posted 2017-10-01T20:58:28+0000  by Jackie824 Jackie824

Hey Jackie824,

Thanks for joining us here on the community.

It sounds like if the existing finish either didn't dry completely or you used an improper brush on your cabinets.

You also did not state whether or not you were using specifically a water or oil-based polyurethane, which can affect your final finish depending on what type of brush you use.

If you are using a water-based polyurethane, using a synthetic bristle brush is adequate, but an oil-based type will require you to use a higher quality natural bristle brush, such as horse an example.

A higher quality bristle allows for minimal streaking and if you are using an oil-based version, it has a much slower drying time, allowing the finish to settle more evenly. 

Make sure you are aware of what type of polyurethane you are using, and use the correct brush for the project so history doesn't repeat itself.

In terms of removal of the existing finish, you can opt for liquid sander deglosser, or lightly sanding the undesired area with a high grit (220) sandpaper to remove it.

Additionally, for best application results, it is best to remove the doors completely and apply it horizontally so it dries more evenly vs. leaving them vertically on their hinges.

For another other questions, please let us know here.


Posted 2017-10-01T21:56:52+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
Both the Minwax and Varathane oil based urethane spray cans give an extremely good spray pattern, resulting in a very professional finish without brush marks.

One of the secrets to applying varnishes is to have very good lighting in the workplace. Unlike paints, which have pigment, it is often difficult to see how evenly the clear varnish is being applied, especially after the first coat. If you can set up a light to that you can see the light glaring off the surface, it is much easier to see how uniform the coat is. Variance in sheen is most often caused by uneven film thickness.

Also, it is critical; that the varnish be thoroughly stirred from the bottom of the can, as the lower sheens have chemical additives which control the sheen. If you simply open up a can of satin sheen and begin varnishing, the varnish from the top of the can will dry glossy, and that from the bottom dull!
Posted 2017-10-06T00:24:06+0000  by ordjen
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