Water-based clear finishes

The Old House Web
When applying a water-based clear coating on oak, walnut of certain othertypes of bare wood, water in the coating can "raise the grain" of thewood, creating a rough, or fuzzy surface.

By properly planning you job, you can avoid this problem and get a perfectfinish:

  • Sanding First, sand the wood as smooth as possible.
  • Next, deliberately raise the grain by pre-dampening the wood with clean water, using a wet rag or sponge.
  • Allow the wood to dry for at least half an hour.
  • Sand the wood with fine-grit sandpaper (garnet paper; 180-220 grit) in the direction of the wood grain.
  • Dust off the surface.
  • Apply the first coat of clear finish.
  • If slight "fuzzing" still occurs, lightly sand and dust off the surface again.
  • Apply additional coats of clear finish to achieve the desired result.  

-- Text and photo from the Paint Quality Institute

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