Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

Ask Danny

Solving Polyurethane Finishing Problems

By:

kitchen cabinets

I put polyurethane on cabinets after I stained them. Now a week later, I find oil on the surface of the cabinets, and when I try to clean it, it leaves dull spots. I don’t know what to do, or what is the problem. Help! -Thomas

Thomas,

Polyurethane finishes should dry hard in a matter of hours and not bleed oil as yours is doing. Here are some possible reasons for the problem:

  • Using an old or partially used can of finish.
  • Using a can of finish that has been subjected to extreme temperatures.
  • Not stirring the finish thoroughly before application.
  • Applying the finish outside the recommended temperature and humidity range.
  • Applying over an oily surface, or over certain exotic woods—like rosewood, teak, ebony, and cocobolo—that contain natural oils.

If you have followed these guidelines, the problem may be with the finish itself.

As far as solving your problem goes, if the finish has stopped bleeding oil and feels like it has dried hard, you might be able to even out the gloss by wiping the cabinets down with a rag dampened with mineral spirits (assuming it was oil-based polyurethane) followed by a dry cloth. Be sure to extinguish any pilot lights and open flames and use adequate ventilation when working indoors with mineral spirits.

If the gloss is still uneven, try sanding it lightly with 220 grit sandpaper and applying another coat of finish. Use a fresh can of the same finish from a different store in case the batch in question was bad. If you continue to have problems, the only alternative might be to strip the cabinets and start all over again.

Good luck,

Danny



Please Leave a Comment

71 Comments on “Solving Polyurethane Finishing Problems”

You can follow comments to this article by subscribing to the RSS news feed with your favorite feed reader.

  1. Harry Pascos Says:
    April 20th, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Hi Danny
    We are having windows istalled and wonder what is more toxic to a person having difficulty breathing fibre glass insulation or foam.My wife has many alergies and we have nowhere to go while the work is being done.Is there a safer product avaiable?
    Cleaning producte,strong cooking odours,smoke from fireplaces all bother my wife.

  2. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    May 22nd, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Harry,
    There are several new insulation products that are easier on your lungs, such as wall and ceiling insulation made from cotton and foam made from soybeans. You can read more about them in our article Green Products for Your Home. If you go with foam, ask for a safety data sheet on it and check to be sure the VOC emissions are low.

  3. jenny Says:
    June 22nd, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    I applied a PU flooring system and after curing, there were humps and cracks on the surface. What could be the reasons for these?

  4. Russ Says:
    June 28th, 2008 at 10:10 am

    I APPLIED A COAT OF POLYURETHANE AND 15 HRS LATER IT’S STILL TACKY

  5. Andy Says:
    July 3rd, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Danny, I had a hardwood floor refinished. a couple of small spots did not get the final ( 3rd. ) coat, when the finisher sanded them down and applied the material it came out much duller than the surrounding surfaces – same finisher / same product. Suggestions?
    Thanks

  6. Nicole Says:
    August 23rd, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    Dear Danny, My husband applied a coat of pu to our hardwood staircase. Half of the steps came out fine but the bottom half came out cloudy (milky finish). What should we do? If he puts a second coat on it would it come out the same way or would it solve the problem? I should tell you that it is a new can of pu and today was a pretty humid day. Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks.

  7. Kevin Says:
    September 2nd, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    I’ve applied a coat of penetrating stain, a coat of poly, sanded with 220 sandpaper & put another coat of poly on top of that. I used a tack cloth in between each coat, also. I’m getting a peeling of the last coat in some areas. I’ve done this application many times & can’t figure why this is happening now? The only thing done differently is we used a 5″ orbital sander. Any answers would be appreciated! Thanks.

  8. Jerome Scott Says:
    December 20th, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Danny,
    I polyed my oak floors after staining them. I did three coats and likes the results. Its been a couple of months now and I’m starting to see bubbling (white) in the seams of the floors. Can you tell me why this is occuring and what should I do to fix it? I used Min wax high build polyurethane (semi-gloss). Thanks.

  9. patrick reilly Says:
    January 31st, 2009 at 8:57 am

    I recently applied water based polyurethane on a new wood floor and am starting to get white hazy spots. How do I remove these spots?

  10. William Bickford Says:
    February 1st, 2009 at 8:21 am

    Danny,
    I just installed a new 3/4 inch hardwood flooring from Bruce. when we rolled our refrigerator back over the floor using heavy cardboard on the floor so we didn’t scratch the surface. We did get pressure marks from where the wheels went over the surface. Is there a way to get the pressure marks out of the surface. I heard that steam via a damp cloth and a steam iron might cause the area to swell the area. Do you have any suggestions to remove these pressure lines in the surface of the finish.
    Thanks
    Bill

  11. Mellie Says:
    April 24th, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Danny,

    I have installed the click-together engineered flooring in my house. We have had it less than 1 year and I’m noticing hazy white spots on the floor throughout the house. Even in areas where no liquids could be getting on the floor. The top layer of this floor is wood and I’ve read that you can sand this out. Do you know how we can get rid of these spots without replacing the floor?

  12. nancy Says:
    June 2nd, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    i have stripped sanded and re stained a dining table using minwax poly satin finish and now i have little spots all over the top. have resanded and washed with mineral spirits to no avail. is there something i can use that will fill the tiny holes where the finish will not stick?
    thank you

  13. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    June 3rd, 2009 at 8:39 am

    Hi Nancy,
    Sounds like a classic case of “fisheye,” which is a reaction to the silicone found in furniture polishes like Pledge. It can be difficult to correct, but you best approach is to strip the table again, then clean the surface thoroughly with multiple washes of lacquer thinner followed by naphtha or mineral spirits (these are highly flammable solvents that are also not good to breathe, so use them in a well ventilated area away from sparks or open flames). Scrub the surface several times with each solvent and wipe it clean, using fresh rags each time you do. Once dry, sand the piece and try finishing it again (use a new can of finish and new brush in case silicone residue has gotten on the old brush or in the old can of finish). There is no guarantee that this will work, as silicone is very hard to completely remove. Other options are to fight fire with fire by adding fisheye eliminator to your finish (available at auto supply stores). This is basically a dose of pure silicone, which makes the whole surface one big fisheye. It is usually used with lacquer, so check to be sure it’s compatible with your finish. Option #3 is to apply several thin coats of shellac to the surface before finishing to try and seal in the silicone. If you are spraying your finish, you can try applying several light mist coats of finish to try and achieve the same effect. Finally, you can use an oil finish rather than a built up finish, wiping off any excess after it has soaked in for a few minutes. For more shine, you can apply a coat of paste wax once the oil has dried.

  14. Dave McConnell Says:
    August 9th, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    I installed a New Bruce Urethane prefinished floor (Gunstock) and it looked terrific. My mother-in-law (bless her soul) lives with us so I thought I would top coat the new floor to seal the cracks since she often spills her food and drink due to dementia and Parkinsons. I used Bruce floor cleaner to clean the floor and top coated it with Bruce Urethane Top Coat. It dried all hazy and white. My call to Bruce elicited the comments that it was my fault and I alone was responsible. Bruce suggested I try Basic Coatings IFT and Squeeky. The floor looks a little cleaner maybe… but it is still white and hazy. Any suggestions on what I can do to remove the top coat and get back to where I started. Steel wool on a buffer? Please think of an affordable solution other than sanding.

  15. Jane Says:
    November 7th, 2009 at 10:44 am

    I’m refinishing my kitchen cabinets with Minwax Ebony Stain and their Helmsman Satin Polyurethane. I’m getting a bit of “frosting” in the finish. Is this normal with satin polyurethanes? It appears worse with each coat. I called Minwax. They said it was moisture trapped in the stain and I should sand off the finish and wipe off the stain with mineral spirits with would remove the color. I’m well into my project. They also said it could get worse with age, not better.

    Once I polyurethane and sand each coat several times, I will finally get them to look ok (the white cast is minimal), but now I’m worried they’ll start looking worse with time. The cabinets have a narrow oak frame with veneer beadboard inserts.

    I don’t know if I should continue or what to do now?

  16. John Says:
    January 3rd, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Danny,
    I built new mahogany cabinets, stained them with oil based stain(red mahogany by minwax),sealed with a clear laquer sealer and then put two coats for oil based poly on. After two weeks the poly is turning loose and is getting worse after six months. What to do?

  17. christin Says:
    April 12th, 2010 at 9:38 am

    We applied about 6 coats of polyurethane and started to sand the top coat, and a white film appeared where we had sanded and will not wipe off. Its as if the poly became “oxidized” (white). Is this normal? Did it not dry enough? How can we correct this? Thanks!

  18. debbie Says:
    June 20th, 2010 at 8:54 am

    I am refinishing outdoor wood benches. I sanded down the wood with course, 150 and 220 sandpaper. I applied two coats of minwax wood stain, each with 24hrs drying time in between. I then applied one coat of oil based polyurethane and within 10 minutes it seemed to have some type of chemical reaction with the stain and it removed the wood stain color. Any ideas as to the cause?

  19. joy james Says:
    August 17th, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    how can i safely remove stain and poly varnish from an already stain and sealed armiore? i made a mistake on a door and want to remove it and leave it the way it was.

  20. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    August 17th, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Hi Joy,
    Assuming your stain and polyurethane have dried, the only way I know to remove it would be by applying stripper, allow the finish to soften, scrape it off with a putty knife, clean off any remaining goo with steel wool and mineral spirits, allow it to dry, then sand and refinish. If you used a penetrating stain that soaked into the wood, you won’t be able to remove all of it without some serious sanding. Good luck with your project!

  21. helen Says:
    November 22nd, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    sanded table top, then stained pine color, then polyurethaned. (small) area of table shows nano bubbles and
    white surface areas, otherwise, no problems..please advise

  22. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    November 22nd, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Hi Helen,
    Sounds like it could be fisheye, caused by silicone contamination. See my reply to Nancy in the comments above.

  23. Julie Says:
    November 29th, 2010 at 8:46 am

    I have been finishing my wood floors and on the last coat of PU it has streaked with cloudy spots. I was wondering if I can correct this problem with out redoing the entire floor surface?

  24. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    November 30th, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Hi Julie,
    Sounds like moisture might have become trapped in the finish due to high humidity, or the polyurethane itself was defective. Once the floor has cured, you could try wiping down a small spot with a rag dampened with mineral spirits or naptha (provide plenty of ventilation) to see if that helps.

  25. Laurie Kohler Says:
    May 15th, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    I recently stainded a new wooden beadboard ceiling in my sunporch. After I put one coat of Minwax fast-drying polyurethane on it from a new can and brush, I noticed white spots on the surface. I tried sanding lightly with a foam sanding block, but this began sanding away the stain under it. I worked really hard to match the existing woodstain in the room and wood hate to start over. Note – it has been raining and 60 degrees.

  26. breann Says:
    June 9th, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    I recently sanded down my coffee table and stained it I just tried to spray a polyurethane on it and it has came out cloudy in spots what can i do to fix this without starting all over again? I am wondering if it was the weather i live in st. george and it is about 90 degrees outside.

  27. Jonathan Says:
    July 14th, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    i have recently redid my hardwood floors and have used the min wax high build polyurethane. oil base i believe. some spots of my floor have some what thicker polyurethane spots what can i do to get this to blend in? please help me im going nuts with this project its been over 3 weeks. please help me.

  28. diane Says:
    September 2nd, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    kids did great job in making a pong table out of beer bottle tops 1st coat of poly dried fine second coat is still tacky after several days please give a suggestion of how we can save the table

  29. michael d. Says:
    September 8th, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Recently restored the wood floors 324sq feet in a old old home. I am a first time do it yourself guy, there is a 3′x 1′ area that has bubbled. I peeled it away then sanded, restained and re=applied polyurethane. The Problem now is that the Poly will not bond as it seems to be being assorbed into the wood. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  30. Shane Wang Says:
    September 9th, 2011 at 10:40 am

    For furniture mfg. there are more and more factory changed to PU coating rather than those old NC systems due to the durabilities to the surface. my questions is How to make the PU top coat drying as fast as NC systems ?

  31. Ruth Y. Says:
    September 11th, 2011 at 1:45 am

    I have sanded my paneling and brushed on Minwax satin finish fast drying polyurethane. It has brightened my paneling, however, when the light shines on it I see shiny spots. What did I do wrong & how can I correct it?

  32. Ruth Y. Says:
    September 12th, 2011 at 2:00 am

    Can a wipe-on polyurethan be applied over a brush-on polyurethan? Will it have shiny spots?

  33. Jessie Says:
    October 11th, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    After spending hours on a six panel door, sanding, pre-staining, staining and pu’ing our doors are getting a white film, you cannot scratch it off, it is solid. It typically happens in the pu stage, the last door it happened to I put one layer of pu on, looked beautiful but the next morning my husband went to apply the second layer and within minutes he saw it turning whitish. I see another lady refered to it looking like a milky residue and that is a fair explination. What is going on? we have spent so much money on these doors and a lot of time has been put into them this has me very upset. HELP!

  34. Robin Matott Says:
    November 7th, 2011 at 9:50 am

    I made a floorcloth and applied PU to it then waxed it after. The wax got milky and needed to be removed. I used a product for graffiti removal because it was the only thing that worked. I applied an oil based PU and now it will not dry it has been a month and the cloth is still tacky. My husband wants to dillute a drying agent and brush it over the top but I am don’t want to do anything that will make it worse. Any suggestions? I am desperate. Thanks

  35. jodi-gayle barnes Says:
    December 7th, 2011 at 5:53 am

    hi danny, i started a cleaning job in july in a tyre shop and the front showroom has a poly floor. the guy that put it down did a really bad job, the edges are ruff and have lots of stuff stuck under the seal, there is roller marks across the whole floor, bubbles have come up and broken open and look like shooting stars all over the floor. i have stripped and sealed the floor and it will need doing again. the floor is uneven ect, ect. when my boss rang this guy he refused to come back and fix it. so i am left with a floor that is totally stuffed can you please tell me how to fix it myself

  36. Ralph Says:
    December 9th, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Hello, I have found your site on Polyurethane Finishing Problems, I have Redone my Kitchen Cubords and I used minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner. Next I used my Stain and followed The Instructions Putting Pre Stain on for the alouded time and Wiping; Also the same with the Stain.

    Then where the Semi Problem has come up I Put the Polyurethane Let Dry and Sanded and Put a Second Coat and I had a few spots with White Marks or Streaks on a few area’s so I sanded 220 just those area’s and it is drying, but I am still seeing those whit marks.

    Now I am second guessing if I should have put this Minwax Polyurethane Semi Gloss. Do I need to put the Polyurethane on for the protection?

    Any help would be greatly Appreciated

  37. Louise Raifsnider Says:
    January 15th, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Hello, my A,. bRANDT MAPLE DINING TABLE, BOUGHT IN 1963 HAD HEAVY POLYURATHANE FINISHED TOP. aFTER YEARS OF USE THE TOP IS MILKY LOOKING. hOW CAN i FIX IT? tHANKS FOR ANY HELP.

  38. MATT Says:
    January 22nd, 2012 at 9:57 am

    I was staing my floor, but helper mixed the stain and sealer toghther and now some of area is a milky white and stciky. Just need to know how to fix the problem. Not all of the floor got this on it.

  39. Shawn Says:
    March 31st, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Is minwax polyurethane fast drying clear gloss flammable when it’s dry? I made and a candle holder and I’m just curious of what I should put on it to get that glass like finish. Thanks

  40. Tony De John Says:
    April 3rd, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Applied Cabothane water borne semi gloss polyurethane to pine floors upstairs and result was good. Downstairs after sanding properly and using wood bleach to eliminate improperly stained areas (from the past due to a moronic tenant who left stain on too long) and rinsing with water and mineral spirits, initial application of poly seemed to darken some areas again, left a pink tinge in some areas and peeled in other areas. Forgot to rinse off wood bleach with baking soda or borax. Could that be the problem and how do we correct it before reapplying poly on the oak floor?

  41. Eddie DesPrez Says:
    June 3rd, 2012 at 6:46 am

    I have new walk in closet cabinets do I need to poly after staining or can I leave them or parts of them alone. And if I do need a finish after staing what should I use?

  42. Carolyn Says:
    August 23rd, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I decided to redo my living floor in two parts for easy trafic issues. I sanded down the entire floor and then put two coats of tung oil on the entire floor. I put a coat of polyurethane (semi-gloss) the first half and it turned out just fine. I then proceded to do the second half a few days later and I had NO SHEEN. I mean, absolutely dull. So, since it was from the same can, I thought maybe a second coat would do it. I even added it to a small portion of the first part of the floor that had turned out so well. Not only did it not shine up at all, it even took away the shine from the small portion that had looked so good!
    Any suggestions?

  43. fern Says:
    August 24th, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    just sanded a very old oak floor while it was bare wood looked great no stain in site . today appled min wax oil base stain and most of the floor looks like some splattered sploches every wher ? what can i do ? there was nothing that show before staining . the foor is oak. my son in law did the floor and he wants to put polycoat on it even with the spots i do not want to have a floor like that. i took a lot of work to sand this floor to refinih it . is there anything that would fix this problem. can you reply before monday/ thank you

  44. Dee Says:
    October 26th, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    I striped a wall with polyurthene. There was a drip mark, sanded it but needed to recoat base paint before putting poly back on that spot. Now I have a spot that appears lighter than the rest of the stripe. Is there a reason why this spot looks lighter?

  45. Marie Says:
    November 12th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Similar to Debbie from June of 2010, our stain on oak doors looked perfect and they dried for a week before we started to finish them with Minwax quick-drying polyurethane. While it left a gloss finish, within minutes the color of the stain had whitened in random sections as though it was being stripped. Why? I am guessing we will have to sand down and start over, but is there anything else? How can we keep it from happening again?

  46. Kendyl W Says:
    November 30th, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Danny,

    I was using pu to seal bottle caps onto a metal table for a bar top. Most of it had dried fine but a good portion on the outter rim is starting to curl up. 1/8″ topping is still pretty tacky feeling. Do you have any suggestions to keep it down or fix the curling up problem? Thank you in advance!

  47. brad mntexas Says:
    December 1st, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Danny, i had stained several 12 by 12 cypress post thati stained with and let dry for a good 72 hours then put a minwax polyurethane on them just one healthy coat and all dried and looked good except the four post on the northside of the house and just that northside of the post dried with white streaks and a white coating that looks like the glavezing on a donut what can i do to fix them???? Please help it looks really bad! thank you for your time!

  48. Hunter Says:
    December 24th, 2012 at 6:26 am

    I installed a T&G pine ceiling and used Cabot satin finish on the boards before I installed. I have air leaks, I did put insulation batts and later blown in cellulose and still have air leaks. Will brushing a heavy coat of Cabot poly on the ceiling seal the cracks?

  49. Cary walsh Says:
    February 4th, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I just installed a red oak wood floor and put 4 coats of poly on it. I find the new floor is scratching too easy. Why is this and what poly should I use? Thanks,

  50. Daniel Zellers Says:
    February 7th, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    I have just finished refinished a coffee table and a dining room table. On both fish eyes so called to speak in hundreds. Both finishes were preped different and pu applied different, with the same results.

    The coffee table sanded and tacked, brush applied
    Diningroom table, old finish removed with chemical and new pu sprayed on

    In both it looks like the finish had oil spots where poly did not stick in circles many of them. PU has been temp wise stored at around 50% and was applied at about the same can this cause the problem or is there a better answer.

  51. Laura Lima Says:
    February 13th, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    I am re-doing a 6 foot rail and newel post that separates my family room and kitchen, I purchased a fresh milled brazilian cherry newel post, rail and shoe rail. I chose this wood species because the floor in my family room is brazilian cherry that we installed 2 years ago. My questions are 1. Do I stain the wood, if so with what. If it eventually will darken without stain and catch up to the floor I am okay with that. 2 do I use a sealer of any type. And what brand poly urethane should I use. It is very confusing. I read that water based with NO modified oil. However every brand that I look at that is waterbased has modified Oil. Please tell me exactly what to use, I dont need more than a small can of each. Thanks

  52. Michael Hall Says:
    February 27th, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Hey Danny, I’m installing two new solid core doors in my daughters business. I’m using 2 rotary cut birch doors. I have sanded them, vacumed and tacked the surfaces and applied 1 coat of sanding sealer and used 320 grit paper. Then I applied 2 coats of Polyurathane, sanded with 320 and 400 repectfully and tacked between coaats. after my second Poly and tack, I see some real small voids all over the surface of the door. they look like very small buble holes. I’m thinking it’s the white China brissle brush. What kind of brush should I go too? The brush package said “Good for Polyurathane…” I’m not sure about that now.
    I thank you in advance for your help.

    -Michael

  53. anita pearson Says:
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:32 am

    I have a question, my moms tile in her kitchen is starting ti come up, it was preglued tiles,the floor underneath it is perfectly good congoleum, so we were thinking of removeing the top flooring, once we remove the top flooring we will need to use something that will remove any glue that might be on the top of the congoleum from the tiles being removed.what do you recomend to use for cleaning any glue,and also safe and will not harm the congoleum?

  54. Kim Boyko Says:
    March 29th, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    Is anyone answering these questions?

  55. Kim Boyko Says:
    March 29th, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    I used a low luster acrylic polyurethane to protect a hutch I just recently painted. After painting the finish on today noticed that parts of the urethane dried flat while the rest had a nice low sheen to it. What did I do wrong?

  56. Dennis White Says:
    March 31st, 2013 at 6:32 am

    My exterior solid hardwood entry door with polyurethane finish has oxidized through the last 10 years. How do I prep the surface to eliminate the white hazy appearance before applying new refinishing coats??? Is Helmans polyurethane with UV protection a good choice for refinish product??? Can you suggest a better product??? Choice of finish application method…bristle brush, foam brush or spray???

  57. larry dominguez Says:
    April 21st, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I am refinishing a dresser and I complety removed the old stain and finish. I stained it with miniwax ebony let it dry the nextday I sprayed it with polyurthane and let dry for 2 hrs went to add a second coat and saw only in the front part was turning white. Please help

  58. dan Says:
    May 11th, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    read all the comments about flooring and cabinets problems such as milky white spots or area still gummy. had these problems in the past ,, first the milky problem comes from moisture that is in the wood,, and if put down new hard wood floors i can tell you from past .. that even tho new wood flooring its not fully cured or dried out..n it has moisture still in it.. learned that again hard way .. if going to stain floor ..don,t try and glubb on and cover quick.. take time with coats and let dry fully between coats.. then let dry for at least a fully week to ensure completely dry ..as for the gummyness in area its that the poly wasn,t mixed fully.. and of course don,t use old cans use new…did my kitchen table and chairs n sanded and stained and sprayed with car poly clear… still look great after nearly 10 years,, and that was me wet sanding and polishing it to mirror finish..also if have flooring or cabinets and it real hardwood and grainy ,, should put first coats on with foam brush… to prevent bubbles ,, then if can sand lightly for adhesions purpose and imperfections,, and if can spray on last coat at low pressure with a automotive spray gun,, a hvlp spray gun . hvlp stands for high volume low pressure on these spray guns i just stated is a gravity feed gun ,,meaning the cup is on top of the spray gun instead of bottom ,, but always use mask u can use a cheap primer gun will work just as good n get results u want..learned all this from my own mistakes pluss nearly 30 years in auto body repair n painting

  59. Ballard depew Says:
    May 20th, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Hello I built 3 tables out of oak and some hickory,I used minwax golden oak put on 2 thin coats and let it dry for three weeks in my house, I took one to the wood shop and wiped it down to make sure it was dust free, I put minwax high gloss pu on it, one thin coat, it developed a whitish mold looking affect and the poly just scrapes righ off, what can I do to keep the whitish looking mold from reoccuring on other peices. Thank

  60. Vickie Says:
    July 11th, 2013 at 8:50 am

    We put pine v-groove panels on part of our ceiling last year, and are now trying to finish this project. The new panels are butting up to the older ones and we are using the sames oil based polyurethane on them. They are much lighter and I wondered if there was a technique to speed up the darkening of the polyurethane.

  61. Marcia Says:
    October 5th, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    We finished our oak cupboard doors with Minwax Polycrylic. After a few months I wanted to clean off kitchen grime with soap and water, but after they were cleaned the finish got very sticky – I reapplied the finish and it was fine for awhile, but everywhere they were washed it left a sticky surface. Is there anything or another brand that would work better? Ever heard of this problem?

  62. Debbie McKinney Says:
    November 25th, 2013 at 8:20 am

    can you cover two coats of semi-gloss polyurethane with a satin polyurethane? I find the semi gloss too shiny.

  63. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    December 16th, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Hi Debbie,
    Your question was answered in the second hour of our December 14, 2013, Today’s Homeowner radio show. You can listen to the show on our website at http://www.todayshomeowner.com/radio/2013/12/14/todays-homeowner-radio-show-for-december-14-2013/

  64. Ron Garcia Says:
    January 3rd, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Hi , I used Zars poly. over a stained redwood table and a lite coat of dust keeps collecting on top. I wipe it off and within 8 to 10 hours it’s back.
    Help!

  65. Barry Moorman Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Did a light coat of Helmsman spar Urethane over stained wood cabinets. It been raining cats and dogs for the last three days, and the finish is still tacky. Would it be helpful to direct a fan on the wood, or maybe a sunlamp would help. What suggestions do you have that would accelerate the drying time in prep for a second coating?

  66. Barb Sand Says:
    February 12th, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Hi, I washed, dried, sanded my kitchen cabinets, applied oak stain. When It was dried and smooth I polyurethane it working outside. I do not remember if it was water or oil based but it left lots of little lumps. So I sanded it lightly. wet tack and dry completely and again mixed the poly slowly and tried using a brush and also tried using the paint pad on the stick both left little lumps all over. I didn’t overlap much. I sanded it again and again did all I could and gave it another coat of poly. If i sand it a little it doesn’t look good so I gave it another coat of poly and again same little lumps. What did I do wrong. How can I fix this. Again I do not remember if I used water or oil base poly but it was a large new can. I do not know if I should now use oil or water based poly. I will probably find the can in my garage though.
    Thanks for your help.

  67. Chris Says:
    February 17th, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I completed an outside mural in acrylic then wanted to protect it.i used cats polyurethane.it was fine till it rained.the water got under the coating creating saging.i sanded and repaired then recoated with two coats using a roller.the wall is textured concrete.now after a month got more rain it is back

  68. christine Says:
    February 25th, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    I was trying to fill a same hole on my kitchen cabinet with wood putty. She I took off the excess putty it let a light spot on my cabinet. Can I do a quick fix with gel stain. I don’t want to make it worse

  69. David K Says:
    February 27th, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    To remove the white areas caused by moisture, use a hair dryer to apply even heat, and in two or so minutes, they will disappear. Worked for me on a table top.

  70. tyler Says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 11:37 am

    I recently just applied the second coat of polyurethane to a table top, but when you tried to sand it, it just looks like it scratched the surface and left a whitish residue that won’t go away, any idea how to get rid of this? If I apply another coat will it be able to fix itself? Thank you any help is appreciated

  71. Adams Says:
    March 24th, 2014 at 11:23 am

    We did 3 coats of polyurethane and sanded between each one on a new wooden table but the last coat left a dull finish. We tried sanding it down again and then started scraping the film with a razor and some of it is coming up easily showing the original tabletop, but some is very difficult to get up. Do you have any suggestions on how to get the tuff part up without scraping the table? At this point, we want to just get the original tabletop showing.

We want to hear from you! In addition to posting comments on articles and videos, you can also send your comments and questions to us on our contact page or at (800) 946-4420. While we can't answer them all, we may use your question on our Today's Homeowner radio or TV show, or online at todayshomeowner.com.

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.