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Old 11-23-2020, 06:13 PM   #1
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Clear Polyurethane for Inside Cabinet Touchup?

The finish around the inside cabinet door pulls has worn away, showing bare wood. This requires stain touchup and covering with a clear finish. In the past, I used one coat of Varathane water-based polyurethane. This wears off in a year's time and I have to redo the finish.

Questions:

Would it be better to use oil-based polyurethane and apply two coats?

Or, any other suggestions?

Thanks,

Rex
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Old 11-23-2020, 06:19 PM   #2
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I have used a good hardwood flooring finish with good luck.
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Old 11-23-2020, 06:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LK23 View Post
Questions:

Would it be better to use oil-based polyurethane and apply two coats?

Rex
The short answer - yes. Just my opinion.

RB
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Old 11-24-2020, 07:05 AM   #4
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I would use a wipe on polyurethane. (It is an oil based product.) Follow the instructions & do 3 coats. It goes on easy, looks great, and holds up very well. I've got a desk that is used daily and it still looks great 20+ years later
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Old 11-24-2020, 10:05 AM   #5
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What is "wipe-on" polyurethane? Any different than regular polyurethane?

And, what do you wipe it on with? Foam brush?

And lastly, are foam brushes preferable for polyurethane?
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Old 11-24-2020, 03:32 PM   #6
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I just use a clean rag. (New rag every coat.) Really easy to apply - just wipe it on, let it dry, lightly sand with 0000, vacuum & tack cloth to remove dust, repeat x2. Once finished you will be the only one who knows it was just wiped on. No brush marks, drips, etc. Just levels out very well.

Here is the product at Lowe's, but most big box stores will also have it.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Minwax-Wipe...l-oz/999914303
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Old 11-24-2020, 03:45 PM   #7
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Another option is to find draw pulls that mean you are not in contact with the wood!
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Old 11-24-2020, 03:57 PM   #8
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Water based polyurethane isn't worth the cost of the can that it comes in. Used it once, never again.
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Old 11-24-2020, 09:43 PM   #9
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This stuff is incredibly tough
https://glitsa.com/product/platinum-plus/
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Old 11-28-2020, 06:21 PM   #10
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2X on the wipe on poly. Did 2 coats on my cherry kitchen cabinets a couple years prior to selling the house and it looked great. Prior to the poly, I used a color matched felt pen from an art store to fix scratches, etc. Use the felt pen and wipe immediately with a paper towel to match the finish.

Minwax sells a satin wipe on poly and use a cotton t-shirt material to apply it. A very light sanding between coats with 320 is all that's needed. After cleaning the cabinets, wipe down with naptha and also between coats after a vacuum of the sanding dust.

On new unfinished wood after a couple coats of painted and sanded poly, I have cut down regular poly with naphta to thin it to wipe it on. A couple of coats and it comes out really smooth.
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Old 11-28-2020, 06:25 PM   #11
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2X on the wipe on poly. Did 2 coats on my cherry kitchen cabinets a couple years prior to selling the house and it looked great. Prior to the poly, I used a color matched felt pen from an art store to fix scratches, etc. Use the felt pen and wipe immediately with a paper towel to match the finish.

Minwax sells a satin wipe on poly and use a cotton t-shirt material to apply it. A very light sanding between coats with 320 is all that's needed. After cleaning the cabinets, wipe down with naptha and also between coats after a vacuum of the sanding dust.

On new unfinished wood after a couple coats of painted and sanded poly, I have cut down regular poly with naphta to thin it to wipe it on. A couple of coats and it comes out really smooth.
I also suggest taking the cabinet doors off prior to refinishing them and the remainder of the cabinet.
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Old 11-28-2020, 06:34 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies but, I am only repairing the the areas around the cabinet pulls and not the entire doors. I am thinking a natural bristle brush will work best after removing the pulls.

Rex
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Old 11-28-2020, 07:37 PM   #13
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Rex,

As a long-time woodworker, several things
  1. Any finish, properly applied, should last more than a year. Maybe you should be using a good hand lotion?

  2. The factory finish is probably sprayed on lacquer. Itís easy to apply, dries very fast, and looks good. All attributes valued by high-volume cabinet shops. Itís very thin and not too durable though, especially in high touch environments.

  3. Either water or oil-based polyís will work well. Clean the area well (soap and water) and sand (220) lightly to remove raised grain. Feather sand into where the existing finish is to give it some tooth. Then apply several light coats of whatever finish youíve chosen. Sand between coats with 320. Rub out the last coat with 0000 steel wool and apply a couple coats of wax to the whole door.

    You need two coats of poly, minimum, 3 to 5 is better. Put it on light and build the depth through repetition, donít try to do it all in one go. One of the nice things about water based is how fast it dries. You can lay down several coats a day depending on where you live (here in Colorado I add retarder to slow it down). With oil itís one per day or less, depending on humidity.

    The wax (I like good old Johnsonís Paste Wax in the yellow can) will even out the gloss between new and old finish and will help with the wear. Depending on how much you use your coach, renew every few months around the pulls. You should get years of service if you do.

  4. As I said, either water or oil based polyís will work. Water based is a little more forgiving, but oil is more durable. If you go with water based, multiple thin coats are imperative. I use water-based (Minwax Polycrylic) whenever hand rubbed oil wonít work. The normal stuff, not the ďone coatĒ stuff!

  5. The type of brush you use depends on the finish. Natural bristle for oil, polyester or nylon for water. With brushes, cost equates to quality, and you want a good one. But, water-based poly goes on great with cheap throw-away sponge brushes.

Regards,

Randy
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Old 11-28-2020, 09:17 PM   #14
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Randy,

Thanks so much for the reply. Great information.

I agree that the factory finish was sprayed on and very thin. On some cabinet doors the finish has worn off and others are still like new. Previously, I used one coat of water-based polyurethane and it didn't hold up. Now, I plan to use oil-based polyurethane and apply 2 to 3 coats.

Rex
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