How to Get a Smooth Polyurethane Finish

Expert tips for applying a flawless clear finish

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Orbital sander
  • Paint roller, 6-in.

You'll also need a foam brush, a work light and stand-offs.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Mineral spirits
  • Polyurethane
  • Wipe-on polyurethane
  • Sandpaper, 80-, 120-, 220, and 280-grits
  • Synthetic sanding pads, extra fine
  • 6-mil plastic sheeting