How to remove paint flecks from polyurethane
September 23, 2009 4:55 PM   Subscribe

Sadly and frustratingly I ended up with paint flakes in the polyurethane I applied to my the seat of my new bay window. How can I get them off the wood so I can refinish it again with the poly?

I got a bay window with an oak seat and header that I have stained and have started to apply poly. I started with just the seat so I could do some learning about how this is done. I am applying multiple coats of the poly so as to make it water proof for the plants that will live there, along with my cat who will (and already has) deposited a few hairballs. I applied my first through third coats, carefully sanding with extra fine sandpaper between coats, waiting 24 hours, and wiping with a tack cloth. For the final coat I purchased a new china bristle brush and applied the poly. But thenn I noticed little white flecks in the poly, and they were not bubbles. Careful inspection after the fact revealed that someone had purchased this brush, washed it and returned it to the store. There was still dried paint on the interior bristles and now there thousands of small flecks embedded in the poly in my window seat. I am sick.

I tried sanding, picking them out with a small knife, but I still see white flecks. Do I have to sand it all back to the wood? Should I try mineral spirits? Help!!
posted by Red58 to Home & Garden (1 answer total)
I would try going over the area with some steel wool - you could wrap it around a sanding block to make it a little easier.

I've had luck removing paint from wood trim using lacquer thinner, but I don't think it would work in this case since the flecks are embedded in the poly.

If you still don't have any luck, you could finish it off with a couple layers of paste wax, which would bring down the shine and maybe make the white flecks less noticeable.
posted by Ostara at 5:35 PM on September 23, 2009

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