Step 13: Finishing
The thinned polyurethane was easy to apply and I had no trouble with brush-marks. You do need to be alert for runs and drips though.
I sanded lightly between coats with 320 grit sandpaper. You can also sand out any drips/runs.
Finishing can be the most boring part of a project. To speed things up, I:
- Hung the shelves from the ceiling in my workshop to make it easy to apply finish to both sides of the shelves at the same time.
- Wore an old coat to protect my clothes (no need to put on old clothes for each coat)
- Wore disposable gloves (no need to wash polyurethane off hands)
- Used cheap, throwaway foam brushes (no brushes to clean)
I did a few more coats on the tops of the shelves, where the wear will be. I did the final coat with the shelves horizontal on my sawhorses, so there would be less chance of runs.
The polyurethane came out looking very shiny and plastic-looking (I prefer danish oil finishes), but it will be a tough coating which should work well against the mugs and beer bottles that the coffee table will encounter.