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Old 08-13-2019, 10:01 AM   #1
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Staining and clear coating oak railing


Hi-
I finished staining a wooden railing I am making. So far I have two coats of Minwax quick drying polyurethane spray top coat.

I had envisioned a thick kind of protective clear coat but what I have is pretty thin. The spray that comes out is ultra fine. I was thinking about using a brush and purchasing a can of it but I wanted to avoid al brush strokes.

If you look at the middle of the picture more towards the bottom you can see how the dark grain areas aren't filled in with clear coat.

Should I just throw another 1-2 coats on this with spray or do I dare purchase some brush one. What I have not isn't horrible but I also don't love it.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. I have never done this before so I have zero knowledge going in other than what I have read and seen online.

thx
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:32 AM   #2
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Re: Staining and clear coating oak railing


It's difficult to get a thick film with a spray can because the coating has to be drastically thinned in order to atomize. I almost always brush handrails and never have any noticeable brush marks. Just make sure you use a good natural bristle brush [if using oil base poly] and thin the poly slightly if you need to.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:37 PM   #3
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Yea that makes sense about it being thin. I’m 50-50 on leaving it alone vs using a brush.

From a durability stand point would it be better to use a brush or is what I have now ok?

Thx
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:02 PM   #4
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Re: Staining and clear coating oak railing


Wear ability is related to film thickness, If the coats of sprayed on poly are thick enough [combined coats] it will wear fine, if it's thin it won't last as long.
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:36 PM   #5
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Thanks. I just threw another coat on it and think I’m done. Now I just need to finish my rosettes and get this sucker back in place.
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:46 PM   #6
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Re: Staining and clear coating oak railing


Quote:
Originally Posted by sayluv View Post
Yea that makes sense about it being thin. I’m 50-50 on leaving it alone vs using a brush.

From a durability stand point would it be better to use a brush or is what I have now ok?

Thx
If you’re not comfortable using a brush, use a soft rag ( like an undershirt)
to apply the poly. As Mark suggested you can thin it as well. There are no
brush strokes using a rag. I apply almost all my poly finishes with a rag.
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:33 PM   #7
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Re: Staining and clear coating oak railing


Quote:
Originally Posted by sayluv View Post
Hi-
I finished staining a wooden railing I am making. So far I have two coats of Minwax quick drying polyurethane spray top coat.

I had envisioned a thick kind of protective clear coat but what I have is pretty thin. The spray that comes out is ultra fine. I was thinking about using a brush and purchasing a can of it but I wanted to avoid al brush strokes.

If you look at the middle of the picture more towards the bottom you can see how the dark grain areas aren't filled in with clear coat.

Should I just throw another 1-2 coats on this with spray or do I dare purchase some brush one. What I have not isn't horrible but I also don't love it.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. I have never done this before so I have zero knowledge going in other than what I have read and seen online.

thx

Why would you go through the trouble of finishing oak then use cheap minwax? Come ask again when it starts to peel!



Many better options to use than minwax
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:26 PM   #8
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Re: Staining and clear coating oak railing


Nothing wrong with minwax, if you apply it properly. If you thin it down
slightly and apply it with a rag and give it several coats sanding lightly
between coats, you will get excellent results. Be sure to wait the desired
time between coats. Never rush the finishing.
I did my handrail with minwax, many, many years ago and it still
looks great. I occasionally clean it with diluted Murphy’s oil soap.

Give your railing a light sanding with fine grit sand paper, tack cloth
clean it well and start over with liquid Minwax...
a handrail is a beautiful thing, it’s worth doing it right...and it won’t peel,
fear not.
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Old 08-14-2019, 04:13 AM   #9
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Re: Staining and clear coating oak railing


I've read the horror stories about MinWax online but have never experienced any issues. I've never seen their poly peel when applied over properly prepared wood. For years MInWax was one of the better stains/poly available locally.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:52 AM   #10
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Re: Staining and clear coating oak railing


I'm confident it will be ok but we we see. If it peels then I redo it down the road. I installed two oak stairs in our garage about 1.5 years ago, stained and used the same spray poly. The stairs have taken a beating from our shoes and there is absolutely nothing wrong with them.

My first railing came out really really nice. I like the way the dark grain stands out. Fingers crossed.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:02 AM   #11
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Re: Staining and clear coating oak railing


Quote:
Originally Posted by mark sr View Post
I've read the horror stories about MinWax online but have never experienced any issues. I've never seen their poly peel when applied over properly prepared wood. For years MInWax was one of the better stains/poly available locally.

Used to be until SW bought them. Now its just cheap garbage.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:05 AM   #12
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Re: Staining and clear coating oak railing


Is there an alternative spray poly that I can use for the rest of the railings? I want to keep the look and texture the same across them.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:12 AM   #13
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Re: Staining and clear coating oak railing


Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Knots View Post
Nothing wrong with minwax, if you apply it properly. If you thin it down
slightly and apply it with a rag and give it several coats sanding lightly
between coats, you will get excellent results. Be sure to wait the desired
time between coats. Never rush the finishing.
I did my handrail with minwax, many, many years ago and it still
looks great. I occasionally clean it with diluted Murphy’s oil soap.

Give your railing a light sanding with fine grit sand paper, tack cloth
clean it well and start over with liquid Minwax...
a handrail is a beautiful thing, it’s worth doing it right...and it won’t peel,
fear not.

murpheys oil soap and other products that leave wax/oily films should be banned. Same with that thompsons waterseal crap should require a special license to use silicone!



Ive used practically every stain and poly on the market and minwax sucks big time compared to pretty much anything else. Really even old masters which you can find pretty much anywhere is night and day difference.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:15 AM   #14
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Re: Staining and clear coating oak railing


Quote:
Originally Posted by sayluv View Post
Is there an alternative spray poly that I can use for the rest of the railings? I want to keep the look and texture the same across them.

Use the same product you started with...
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