Part 4: Wet Sanding and Buffing

Bristol Finish Traditional Amber Urethane is designed to deliver a beautiful finish to your wood using standard application techniques. However, there are post-application procedures that may be used to eliminate minute defects resulting from dust, as well as for the blending of repairs. Wet sanding out small defects then buffing out the sanding scratches back to a high gloss is a standard finish procedure for those with the highest standards.

Perform the standard application of Bristol Finish, applying 2 extra coats. Allow to cure fully, usually one or two weeks, depending on factors such as temperature, humidity, air flow, and coating thickness. As a general rule, more time is required in cold weather, and less is needed in hot summer weather. More time may be allowed with no problems.

Wet Sanding

Start sanding with whatever grit is appropriate for the defect size, generally no coarser than 400 grit, and no finer than 600 grit wet-or-dry paper. Sand until completely smooth.

Remove any dust and sand again with a grit increment of 200 higher than the previous, either 600 grit or 800 grit. For the final pass use 1000 or 1200 grit.

Wash the surface with clean water and towels to remove all of the dust and wet sanding sludge.


Buff the sanded surface using a quality foam buffing pad on a slow speed (1000 to 2000 RPM) machine applying minimal pressure. Buffing pads come in many styles and abrasive qualities, follow the pad manufacturer’s recommendations when choosing pads appropriate for your use.

Start with a quality marine or auto finishing compound that is made to remove the same grit that was used to finish wet sanding. Buff overlapping areas (2’ x 2’ or smaller) until gloss is achieved. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.

Repeat the above steps until desired gloss is achieved.

These steps will produce a high gloss, virtually defect free surface. If desired, you may also use final finishing products such as quality UV resistant glazing and wax products.