Once you’ve completed a wood project, you’ll want to add a polyurethane finish to add both beauty and protection. Use the following tips to finish your wood:
Make sure you are working in a dust-free setting.
Apply the stain to your wood and then let it dry.
If you aren’t using water-based polyurethane, you’ll want to reduce it by 10 percent using mineral spirits. This will reduce brush marks.
Use a foam brush to apply three thin coats of polyurethane. Let each coat dry completely before adding another one.
Sand the wood lightly between coats using 320-grit sandpaper wrapped over a hard block. This will give the polyurethane something to bond to.
Once the third coat has dried, sand it with 320-grit sandpaper followed by 400-grit sandpaper and then finish up by using 600-grit sandpaper. Alternate directions to remove scratches – your final pass should be sanded along with the grain.
The last coat you’ll add should be applied using an aerosol polyurethane. Let it cure overnight and remove any dust nibs that are present with 1,500-grit sandpaper.