The steel wool will give you a soft, satiny shine.Just be careful when you start the sanding process that you don't cut through the top coat. The wax helps in creating a constant surface. Rubbing out a finish means working it with a mild abrasive such as pumice or steel wool. The coarsest grades can be used to remove paint, varnish or finish from wood to prepare the article for further work. A rubbed finish in this gloss range can be achieved by a process known in production work as “cutting and rubbing” or “wooling out.” The how-to The basic procedure is to apply the coating in sufficient film thickness to allow abrading the coating with sandpaper and steel wool, allowing it to dry thoroughly, … For a satin finish I stop at 600.3--Rub the entire surface with 0000 steel wool. The finer grades are particularly useful for the delicate work of sanding between finishes (cutting back). The steel wool is very fine and will actually scrape off a very fine layer, leaving a silky smooth finish often referred to as a hand rubbed finish. Customers then need to rub the wax loaded steel wool over the entire surface. Bob Flexner, one particularly trustworthy source, recommends against using steel wool for denibbing and final flatting because it (along with other conformable abrasives) have more of a rounding-off … The brown bag acts like 4000+ grit sand paper and will remove alot of roughness without scratching the finish. EDIT: I see where you have used a brown bag. In my experience, assuming the finish is dry, there isn't a difference other than the coarseness of the sand paper or steel wool. That should smooth the finish out pretty good. Give that a try. Take a brown paper bag, the kind you would pack your lunch in, and rub over the finish. Regarding the comments about rubbing out with various methods including steel wool: I've used every combination listed and what is left is a mirror-smooth (and therefore light reflecting) finish that has micro-swirls rather than a matt/satin finish as in an off the gun finish that DCS describes. Any tips on rubbing out a water based finish? Some people have posted that steel wool should never be used with a water Bourne finish … After the finish has cured for a week or so, I typically use 0000 steel wool and paste wax to "finish the finish", as Marc says. The abrasive produces extremely fine, uniform "scratches" that go in the direction of the wood grain, helping to hide both brush marks and the "orange peel" texture common to sprayed finishes. I did this with the crib I built my son 12 years ago. Using steel wool or sand paper allows you to create a uniform surface for the next coat of polyurethane, which generally looks nicer, more professionally, etc. Questions about rubbing out with #0000 steel wool Hi Everyone - I’m wrapping up my first woodworking project in my new house, a desk for my home office/gaming station and have a couple questions on how to rub out the finish. I have recently switched over to spraying water Bourne finishes. Using steel wood to polish wood might seem out of place and actually harmful to the surface of the wood, but it isn't if done properly. Use The Steel Wool: The customers then need to use the 0000-grade steel wool and add some amount of the paste wax to it. Finishing sources are conflicted about whether you should use steel wool for the final dressing of a dried clear finish*. When I have rubbed out oil based poly in SG sheen, I've had good luck using 0000 steel wool and Johnson's paste wax. 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