Prefinishing Steps?

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biz_kid1's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-12 21:43
Prefinishing Steps?
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Do I have these steps correct?

For Staining:
1) Sand
2) Paint/wipe clean with mineral spirits
3) Paint with pre-stain wood conditioner
4) Stain
For Painting:
1) Sand
2) Paint/wipe clean with mineral spirits
3) Paint with primer; repeat if necessary or desired
4) Paint; repeat if necessary or desired
dave's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-09 16:40
I would not use mineral

I would not use mineral spirits on the wood. Any time you get wood wet with anything it will raise the grain up and you will see it threw your paint or poly. I would wipe off with dry cloth or cheese cloth after sanding then stain or prime.

Tsu Dho Nimh's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-05 20:30
Mineral spirits do not raise

Mineral spirits do not raise any grain that I have ever noticed.

hillarylouise's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-21 19:59
My steps

For painting, I fill, sand, vacuum, wipe with a damp rag or tack cloth or microfiber cloth, prime, sand, vacuum, wipe, paint, sand, vacuum, wipe, paint, sand, vacuum, wipe, poly, sand, vacuum, wipe, poly. Sometimes I do three or four coats of paint, depending on how much I've thinned the paint.

I've heard that using a sanding sealer can be better than using a primer, as it won't raise the grain and it sands super smooth. And if you're going to distress, you won't see the primer through the paint where you distress. I haven't tried that yet.

cdswhite's picture
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Joined: 2011-03-09 18:54
Sanding Step

How well do you sand the piece before applying any finish? I use the 120 sandpaper that Ana suggests using but it doesn't get it super smooth.

Tsu Dho Nimh's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-05 20:30
I'm lazy ... I usually just

I'm lazy ... I usually just call it "rustic" and enjoy the texture. I like seeing the wood grain under the finish. Or I flow on several coats of finish and let the finish fill in the dents and grain.

If I want a superb smooth finish, it's worth it to me to buy S4S (smooth 4 sides) wood because it takes less time to prepare for finishing.

Usual sequence is sand until smooth enough (80, then 100 then 120 or 150), wipe with mineral spirits to remove any debris, and apply the finish.

One trick to super-smooth finish is Floetrol (for water-based finishes)  or Penetrol (for solvent-based finishes). They alter the surface tension of the finish and let the brush marks and roller dimples flatten out. Just folow the directions on the bottle.

tncraftsman's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-14 12:40
I've never heard of applying

I've never heard of applying mineral spirits.  I think that could do more harm than good.

For staining all that is needed is to sand then apply your stain.  It's up to you to determine how much sanding is needed.  Using a random orbital with 120 grit usually produces great results for me.  The pre-stain conditioner is generally used for the "softer" woods like pine, birch, poplar.  Without a pre-stain these woods tend to blotch.  However a pre-stain with lighten you next coat of regular stain b/c the wood pores will already have a layer of stain on it.  My results with pre-stain are mixed.

The same goes for painting, stay away from the mineral spirits and primer depends on what you are painting and what effect you want.  Black on Spruce only needs one coat.  White on Spruce may require on multiple.

At a minimum I would mist water over the wood surface before you start sanding or right before your last sanding pass.  The water causes the wood fibers to raise and will feel like peach fuzz.  Otherwise this peach fuzz might appear once you apply a coat of stain or paint.

For the best results with paint I recommend using milk paint.  Latex will eventually peel.  Milk paint is designed for furniture and was originality used before latex and oil based paint existed.

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Tsu Dho Nimh's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-05 20:30
Wiping the boards with

Wiping the boards with mineral spirits removes a lot of sawdust and doesn't raise the grain. Then it evaporates and I paint.

I usually am using solvent-based stains and finishes, so there is no problem with raising grain.

aria_dia's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-08 03:01
mineral spirits

Im refinishing a dresser and followed the directions of my varnish stripper to use mineral spirits to "clean up any residue" of the stripper... well the mineral spirits left a residue of their own that actually had to be sanded out. I definitely wouldn't use it just before getting ready to paint or stain.

From what I've read...
If you want to make sure you dont have any "fuzz" on your project you're supposed to lightly wipe down your project with a (barely) damp cloth, do your last sanding, wipe off with a dry cloth (or vacuum), then paint...

claydowling's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-26 17:28
Mineral spirits

You shouldn't flood your surface with mineral spirits, just a little on a rag to help it bring up dust.

The sanding sealers are wonderful. It's a type of shellac and seals the wood quite well. It's also fast to apply and fast to dry (half hour to an hour later you can apply your finish). It also prevents blotchiness in your stain.

The one thing to be careful about is that it really is a sealer. If you're trying to use a penetrating stain, it's not going to penetrate.

aria_dia's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-08 03:01
I only put enough mineral

I only put enough mineral spirits on my rag to make it damp. It still left the residue.

claydowling's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-26 17:28
A lesser known property

of mineral spirits is that they make a fine paint carrier. My guess is that you has more residue left over from the stripper than the rag could pick up. I don't have a lot of experience stripping furniture, so I'm not certain what is involved there.

A good precaution though would be to apply a sanding sealer after stripping. Locks stuff down so any residual stripper can't cause trouble for your paint.

biz_kid1's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-12 21:43
Mineral spirits...

didn't do anything to my finish, either. I applied with a foam brush then came back and wiped the board with a rag. In fact, the stain seemed to soak very richly with the mineral spirits applied.