How to Repair Overworked Finish

Sometimes it can be challenging to work on projects that involve the use of fast-drying finishes. If the finish has already started to dry, you might find that going over the finish again with the applicator will either make that finish streak or result in the creation of little air bubbles. This tends to happen any time you try to spread a new finish on top of a finish that has begun (but not finished) the curing process.

Fortunately, there are ways you can prevent this issue from occurring. Here’s some information from a lumber yard in Franklin County, MA that will help you prevent and deal with the nuisance that is an overworked finish in your wood projects:

  • Never use old products: Check to see if you can find the expiration date for the finish on the can or bottle before you start applying it to your project. An expired finish is more likely to be bubbly or foamy than finishes that have not expired, meaning you’ll end up having a much harder time getting an even, bubble-free application.
  • Do not wring out your applicators: It’s a common mistake for people to wring out the applicator device they use when applying the finish to the wood, but this is a mistake. Wringing out the applicator during the process of applying the finish only results in the unnecessary introduction of air into the applicator, and that air will come into the finish you’re applying in the form of bubbles. So rather than wringing out the applicator to prevent drips from occurring, just tap off the excess finish, or let it drip off into the pan or can.
  • Let it sit: Try to complete your finish in small areas. This is especially important if you’re working on a large project, such as a hardwood floor. Work in a manageable area, and once the finish has fully dried off, you can then go back and make some minor repairs, rather than trying to repair big areas of finish that you overworked by trying to get too much done at once.
  • Control airflow: Keep the HVAC system turned off if you’re working on a project in your house, especially a project involving your floors. This will prevent uneven finish. Once the floor is completely finished, wait a half hour to 45 minutes before you turn the system back on.
  • Add water: If you’re working in an area where there are particularly high temperatures or low humidity, you can add some water into your finish to extend its “open,” workable time. You can add up to 12 ounces of water per gallon of finish. Just make sure you mix properly before you begin applying the finish-water mixture.

These are just a few strategies you can use to prevent overworked finish from becoming a problem with your project. For more information about the best ways to apply finish to your wooden projects, we encourage you to contact our lumber yard in Franklin County, MA today.