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water_cutter101 09-07-2009 07:01 PM

Air Bubbles after finishing Stair Treads with Polyurethane
Hello All,

Not sure where to put this post, so I put in both painting and Flooring.

I have a small problem and wanted to ask some advice.

I purchased a new set of treads and risers for my stairway.

I just finishing staining and putting 3 coats of floor grade Polyurethane finish on all of it (satin). I used a good quality natural brush for this DIY. The polyurethane is oil based.

For the most part they look good. I sanded with 220 grit between coats and each coat had less bubbles than the last and was even more smooth.

The problem is that even after the 3 coats there are a couple of air bubles here and there (maybe 4-5 small ones per tread). I'm not sure if that's normal or if there is a way to do a last coat (maybe a different method) to make it all smooth.

I was thinking of a very light final sanding, diluting some polyurethane with mineral spirits and rubbing on a final coat with a lint free cloth (or similar).

Any suggestions? Should I just sand the areas and wipe on a bit in those areas where the bubbles are or just leave it alone because it's normal.

I can't say I've really taken a close look at stained stairs at other peoples houses so I just don't know.

When I went shopping to see how much they were already stained and finished, all the samples were flawless, but maybe the makes sure that all samples are perfect.

Any help would be appreciated.


hrjrkr 09-08-2009 05:20 AM

Dilute the poly with 15% mineral spirits and brush it on slowly. The mineral spirits will thin the poly and allow the bubbles to pop. Good luck

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