prepping wood for water based finishes video screenshot

Water-based finishes can raise the grain fibers, leaving a rough surface. Before applying water-based finishes, it's a good idea to wet the surface with water to intentionally raise the grain. Then sand the surface with 400 grit sandpaper to smooth the surface. Now you can apply the finish and it will not raise the grain.

Skill Builder Video

Prepping Wood For Water Based Finishes - Video Transcript

Speaker: If you're going to put water on raw wood, either from a water-based finish or from a dye, it's not a bad idea to raise the grain first. Because once you sand wood, it leaves the fibers with shredded ends. Once those all get wet, the fibers stand up. Hence, raising the grain. Once it's dry, you can just whisk those fibers off and have a smooth surface. I'm going to show you how to do that.

Flood the wood liberally with plenty of clean water. Then, wipe off all the excess. That way there won't be any standing puddles to leave watermarks. Now, people tend to get a little nervous when they see this much water going on freshly sanded wood, but you really need to use enough water to raise the grain. You need to get it wet, not just damp. Then, let it dry overnight. When you come back the next day, the grain will be raised, which is what you're looking at. Now, you can just sand them off. Use 400 grit or finer, and a light touch. It's like shaving. Remove the hair, but don't go any deeper. You don't want to create new shredded fibers.

It's a pretty quick process. What did this take? Just a couple of seconds. In fact, the most time-consuming part of it is waiting for the wood to dry.