How to make wood glossy and smooth
Polyurethane sheen will naturally catch more light, paying attention to rich woodwork. If you want the shine to be precisely applied, you must first prepare the surface by sanding it down and carefully cleaning it. After that, you’ll be able to seal the wood and apply the gloss undercoats. A final coat will leave your woodwork brightly gleaming, and some care recommendations will help the finish last longer.
1. Getting the Wood Ready for Gloss
1. Using a moist cloth, remove any apparent dirt. Add a dot of mild soap, such as dish detergent, for increased cleaning power. Wipe the wood down with a clean cloth until it is completely clean. To eliminate any leftover moisture, replace the wet towel with a dry one. When the wood is clean and dry, it is time to sand.
2. Set up your workspace. Tape around the edges of the wood where it joins other components of your house using painter’s tape. This will prevent the gloss from spreading by inadvertently. Tape should be applied as accurately as possible.
- When a tapeline is uneven, it is generally rather visible. Overlap the ends of tape sections to prevent seepage at the seam.
- If you’re going to shine a fixed fixture, such as a window’s wooden casement, you’ll need to spread out a drop cloth. Smaller pieces of wood may be painted while supported up on a workbench or between sawhorses.
- A flawless gloss finish may be destroyed by dust or debris that becomes trapped in its surface and causes cloudiness. Gloss should be avoided in filthy or dusty spaces.
3. Sand the areas of the wood where the gloss will be applied. Start with a medium grit paper, especially if the wood has previously been finished. Firmly sand the wood in back-and-forth movements until the naked wood is revealed. Then, using a fine grit paper, softly sand the wood until it is smooth to the touch.
- You don’t have to be too aggressive when sanding. Sanding too much can end up altering the shape of the wood.
- When sanding, try to follow the grain of the wood. The grain is the direction in which the wood appears to flow.
- This process shouldn’t create too much sawdust, but if you have lungs that are especially sensitive, you may want to wear a breathing mask.
4. Sawdust should be vacuumed and wiped up. Suck up the sawdust formed by your sanding using a shop vac or a regular vacuum with an appropriate attachment. Wipe down all surfaces of the wood with a clean, lint-free cloth after you’ve removed as much sawdust as possible with the vacuum.
- Take note of any corners, nooks, or crannies. Sawdust is occasionally driven deep into fractures.
2. Putting on the Undercoats
1. The polyurethane gloss should be opened and stirred. Avoid vigorously shaking or stirring the can, since this might cause bubbles to develop in the gloss. When you’re done mixing, place the paint stirrer on the gloss lid to keep it clean.
2. The wood should be sealed. The seal coat is a single coat that is applied before the gloss coat. This technique may differ depending on the product. Many glosses are either self-sealing or designed to be sealed with a layer of wood stain. Simply apply a uniform coat of wood stain on the surface of the wood to seal it.
- For optimal results, always adhere to the gloss’s label. Self-sealing glosses do not need a seal coat and may be applied on bare, clean wood.
- Use even, overlapping strokes while applying the seal coat with a brush. Keep an eye out for puddling at corners and edges; here is where it usually happens.
- Check the label of the wood stain to see how long you should wait before applying gloss coatings over the seal layer.
3. If required, seal the wood with a thinned oil-based gloss. Oil-based glosses are often thinned with mineral spirits before being applied as a seal coat. In a painter’s tray, combine half as much mineral spirits as gloss. With a paintbrush, apply it in an equal layer to the sanded, clean surface of the wood.
4. Using a brush, apply two coats of polyurethane. After the seal coat has dried, add a layer of undiluted gloss to the surface of the wood using a clean brush. After 24 hours, repeat the technique to apply the second undercoat.
- The suggested drying time between applications may range depending on the kind of glass you’re using. Before applying the gloss, double-check the information on the label.
- Water-based glosses are often sanded softly with a fine grit paper after each application dries.
5. Using a razor, shave away lumps and uneven places. Hold the razor at a low angle so that it may easily glide over the even surface of the uppermost layer. Slice off the uneven areas of the shine where imperfections are visible while holding the razor in this position.
- Drips and puddling in the undercoats will cause hardened droplets and unevenness. Dust or bugs might have also gotten into the finish. The majority of these flaws are easily eliminated with a razor blade.
6. Areas of sand where imperfections have been eliminated. Using water, moisten a 400-grit wet/dry sandpaper. Lightly sand any areas where you’ve eradicated imperfections with the razor blade using a delicate, buffing motion. This will increase the finish’s overall smoothness.
3. Completing and Maintaining
1. Apply the final layer of paint. The second undercoat should be entirely dry before applying the final coat, but no more than 48 hours should elapse before applying the final coat. Apply the last coating of gloss with a clean paintbrush in the same manner as the previous layers.
- If bubbles, dust, or insects cause your final coating to seem less than ideal, use your razor blade to gently slice out projecting imperfections in the same way you did previously.
- Some glosses may need up to six or seven applications to get a flawless finish.
2. If desired, polish the gloss’s dry surface. Examine your gloss data to determine the best strategies for polishing. To bring out the sheen, a little amount of automotive polish may be rubbed into gloss using a clean cotton cloth.
- If the finish is a little cloudy after using the polish, apply a little more and continue to buff the gloss. Allow this second application to dry, buff the surface once more, and it should look bright and new.
3. If the finish is foggy after using the polish, add a bit extra and buff the shine. Allow this second coat to dry before buffing the surface again. It should seem bright and fresh.
- The vacuum won’t always be able to remove all of the dirt from your wood. When required, be prepared to use a cloth and mild soap.
4.When cleaning, use gentle cleaners and delicate towels. Your wood will most likely need a thorough cleaning over time. For light to moderate dirtiness, mild detergents such as dish soap and water would suffice. Try a wood-formulated solution, such as Murphy’s Oil Soap, to restore the sheen to your gloss.
- Avoid using cleaners containing abrasives or surfactants, since they often lead to dullness in the gloss finish.
- When washing the surface of your wood, use as little water as possible. Excessive water may cause the wood to expand, causing the shine to fracture.
4. Obtaining Gloss
1. Choose oil-based glosses for longevity and water-based bases for clarity. The majority of glosses are either water or oil based. Oil bases will be more lasting, particularly in terms of heat resistance, making them perfect for use in the kitchen. Water bases are less odorous and poisonous, and they go on clear.
- If you wish to keep the color of the wood, or if small children will be exposed to it, a water base may be the best option.
2. Choose a gloss level. The greater the gloss rating, the shinier the gloss, and the higher the gloss rating, the more durable the finish. Although most hardware and paint shops provide a broad variety of glosses, the three primary types are:
- Semi-gloss provides a somewhat glossy appearance. It is great for cleaning areas that need a scrub brush, such as kitchens and bathrooms.
- Gloss: imparts a very glossy, smooth sheen to wood. This coating is resistant to finger oil and dirt. However, it tends to reveal flaws in wood.
- High gloss: produces the most reflective finish and is the most long-lasting. Cabinets that are subjected to grime and grease are ideal candidates for high gloss finishes.
3. Calculate the quantity of shine you’ll need. A single can of gloss will enough for most minor jobs, such as single pieces of furniture, window casements, and similar sized things. In its label information, most gloss includes an estimate of how much space it can cover.
- Paint and gloss are pretty similar. As a result, for bigger jobs, you may use an online paint calculator to determine the quantity of gloss you’ll need.