At some point or another, every woodworker will want to recoat their finished project with polyurethane for durability and protection. But how soon can you recoat polyurethane after it has already dried?
We’re glad you asked! As it turns out, you can recoat within just a few hours of the initial coat drying, meaning that there’s no reason to wait overnight if the project calls for a second coat of this popular finish.
What will happen if you recoat polyurethane before it’s fully cured?
It’s important to understand that recoating polyurethane before it’s fully cured won’t leave you with a second layer that will require sanding before finishing. It will, however, result in a slight amount of orange peel, which is the result of the fresh finish peeling slightly away from the wood. Since you’ll only see this on the surface of individual boards, it’s not really noticeable after several minutes of use.
How to recoat polyurethane
The recoating process is very simple. Just apply the polyurethane to your project in the same way you applied your first coat, and allow the finish to dry overnight. Then sand smooth before applying another coat, and keep sanding until you like how it looks. It’s an easy, effective way to get the durability and protection you need without any drawbacks!
When can I apply a second coat of polyurethane?
After applying the first coat, you should wait for at least 2 hours before starting the second coating.
For recoating: Allow at least 72 hours for the finished item to dry before recoating, and then sand lightly before proceeding with the recoating.
Apply two coats to a finished wood surface and three coats to an unfinished wood surface.
Can I apply a second coat of polyurethane without sanding?
We should first question ourselves, “What is the main purpose of sanding?” before we even know the answer. Does sanding aid in the formation of a solid bond?
The answer: Between coats of polyurethane, sanding is usually used to eliminate imperfections, dust, and smooth the wood surface, not to build a tight bond. Therefore it is possible to apply the second coat of polyurethane without sanding. However, you should feel the little roughness with the final finish when you run your fingers gently on your wood surface.
How often can I recoat polyurethane?
Most of the time, the need for recoating is determined by how damaged your floor is. However, recoating is generally recommended every 3-5 years. This is to ensure that you are restoring the beauty of your finish
For more information about the advantages of using polyurethane for your next woodworking project, read on to check out our many other articles on this topic!