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Spitcoating will give a professional "sprayed on" look to your project. It may look long and hard to do but it's not. It easy, fool proof, and durable. Additionally, spitcoating will allow you to recoat whenever the finish needs a quick touch-up. For instance, once a year I spitcoat the oak handrails in my house just to keep them looking new. Since the coats dry within a few minutes, I can put on a coat and not have to worry about dust settling in the finish.

Spitcoating... the easy way.

  1. Brush on a full strength coat of gloss polyurethane (oil based) and let it dry. This is the base coat from which you will build upon.
  2. Lightly sand with 220 grit or higher to remove any dust in the finish and wipe down the project with a tack cloth. Then brush on a second full strength coat.
  3. Lightly sand the project again and wipe it down with a tack cloth.
  4. Dump some of the polyurethane into a glass jar and add an equal amount of mineral spirits (you can also add a 1/4 capfull of Japan drier if you want).
  5. Take 3 paper towels and wad them into a ball.
  6. Wrap a clean, unprinted cotton T shirt around the ball of paper towels. We'll call this the "applicator".
  7. Dunk the applicator into the glass jar and press the applicator against the jar side to squeeze out any excess polyurethane.
  8. Wipe the polyurethane on to the surface in one direction with the grain. Start and finish each pass in one long and even stroke.
  9. Quickly return to the top and wipe a new path of poly trying not to overlap the previous path by more than a half inch. Reload the applicator with polyurethane as needed. You want it to put down a wet, flowing coat (but not so wet that it leaves heavy ridge lines.
  10. Continue doing this until entire work piece is covered. DO NOT re-apply the poly until the previous coat is dry even if it looks streaky. Failure to follow this step will screw up the finish.
  11. The first coat may take an hour to dry. After it is dry, lightly drag a straight razor blade along the grain of the wood at a 70 degree angle. This will pull up any dust flecks without removing the finish. On curved areas where the razor blade will not go, use #0000 steel wool. Then wipe the project again with a tack cloth.
  12. The subsequent coats will dry within 30 minutes. Apply at least 5 coats. On my dining room table I did 25 coats over the course of two days and it looks incredible!
  13. Even if you wish to have a flat or semi-gloss sheen, it's best to use gloss polyurethane as it is (supposedly) a chemically stronger finish than semi-gloss and flat. To bring the gloss down to flat, use #0000 steel wool. To bring the gloss it down to semi-gloss, use rotten stone powder mixed in water and a wad of T shirt to rub it down. To really bring out the gloss, wait 2 or 3 weeks and buff the surfaces with a fine automotive finish such as 3M Perfect-It polish.




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