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  • Wet Sanding

    I do not quite understand the concept and procedure for Wet Sanding. I've got some pine that I want to stain with Danish Oil and was advised by a salesman to apply the Danish Oil directly on the unfinished (but sanded) wood and then Wet Sand with 400 grit paper.

    I've found very little of this even scouring the Web. Any suggestions as to what the proper procedures are, or where I can obtain additional information?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    The answer to your question relies heavily on what you are trying to accomplish with the wet sanding. I've never heard of wet sanding a stain. If you wet sand stained wood that has not been sealed, you will just raise the grain and force another sanding step. I only do it for Polyurethane stains or similar products that provide a gloss finish. I use wet sanding for two reasons; 1. Surface preparation between coats and 2. To remove minor imperfections in the finish like overspray, brush marks or dust. In the first case, the main goal is to scuff up the surface so the next coat adheres properly. In the second case, wet sanding on the final coat is followed by a polish to restore the gloss. Either way, I always spray the surface with a water bottle (I use an old 409 bottle) and use long parallel strokes with slight pressure on the paper. Don't use a circular motion. Periodically while sanding, look closely at the surface of the paper. If the grit is worn off in a pattern that matches the outline of your fingers, your pressing too hard. Sand just enough to make the surface slightly cloudy, then wipe dry and inspect. Repeat if necessary. You can't tell what you've accomplished while wet sanding until the surface is dry. Hope this helps.

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    • #3
      It helps much - thanks!

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      • #4
        actually danish oil is just boiled linseed oil with some fancy polimers added and if your useing it what you do is apply to the wood and while its still wet you start sanding with fine sand paper to make a slurry of oil and sanding dust this fills the poors of the wood which will produce a very rich "touchable" finish. many famous furniture makers use this process on fine furniture, I'm not sure its appropriate for pine or the project your useing it on as it scratches easily but can be easily repaired

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        • #5
          Thanks Bvww. Let me ask this: is wet sanding pretty much reserved for stains such as Dainish Oil and the such like? Or is it also suitable for, say, MinWax Stain? The latter suggests using just a cloth, hence the question.

          It's begining to become clear that the Wet Sanding process is more of a preferred (or not preferred) method of staining depending on whom you ask.

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          • #6
            when you say "stain" i think "coloring" when what i think you mean is " finish" wet sanding works on danish oil and Boiled linseed type finishes because they soak into the wood and the sanding process acts like a wood filler filling the grain of the wood. the process used on film finishes like polly and varnish and such is much more complicated and is done on cured finishes to produde a flawless mirror finish, Its usually refered to as 'rubbing out'. you can get some good info on "wood on line" in the finishing and refinishing forum from S.A. Mickley the moderator he really knows his stuff.bill

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            • #7
              This is the first I have heard of wetsanding wood. Its a very interesting concept. I just wanted to add I have been wetsanding surfboards for 30 years and a rubber automotive sanding block is a must.
              Barrell

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              • #8
                bvww is right you can wetsand BLO, tounge and danish oils into the bare surface. I would not try it with a minwax type stain. I think you would wind up with a very blotchy look. There only purpose is to color the wood not seal it.
                I've only heard of this being done on hardwoods, if you do try wet sanding oil into pine do it on a scrap pirce first.

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                • #9
                  I wet sand poly and most other finshes after it has dried. I use a very fine wet\dry paper and some mineral sprits for a lubricant insted of water. If the paper you use is fine enough it is like polishing it.
                  Steve

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