In the previous post, we discussed application of the oil based polyurethane, and some of the advantages of both it and the water based. But how do you apply the water based polyurethane so the finish will come out smooth? Here are some more great tips:
Application Of A Water-Based Version
Oil-based stains do not mix well with water-based polyurethanes. Therefore, if you are applying it over a stain, you will want to roughen up the surface that is stained prior to applying the water-based polyurethane. You can do this with some steel wool that is synthetic. Oil and water do not mix, so this process will assist the polyurethane with avoiding beading on the finish, similar to water droplets on a car that is freshly waxed.
Use a cloth, fine brush, or foam pad to apply a fine coat of polyurethane. To prevent raising the grain, do not work against the grain, work with it. Also, avoid using too much polyurethane.
Within two hours, the first coat should be dry. Then, apply a second coat. When using this application manner, one should not have to use sandpaper between coats like with the version that is oil-based. But you may have to apply 12 or more coats of the polyurethane that is water-based to get the same protection level.
You may have runs or drips when you apply polyurethane on a vertical surface. Be mindful of this when you apply the polyurethane. Use finer coats on these types of surfaces.
If you experience a run, it is possible for you to use sandpaper on the run, or you can remove it carefully with a sharp razor blade. Follow this by sanding in order to blend in the blemish.
When you apply polyurethane, be are to always use different angles to view your surface. I like to apply it with a light shining nearby. By standing and seeing the shiny surface of the freshly applied polyurethane from the other side of the project at different angles, I can view areas that I may have missed completely or simply over-brushed. If you use this technique, it will help ensure you achieve consistent coverage.