How to Fix Polyshades

You’re not alone if you’ve ever used Polyshades and been anything less than thrilled with the results. Unfortunately, many people have trouble getting the product to look right, no matter how hard they try. But don’t worry – there’s a fix. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps on how to fix polyshades so that your project turns out looking great. Read on to learn more!

How to Fix Polyshades

Polyshades are an excellent product for staining wood projects a darker color. The problem is that they don’t work as advertised on all types of wood. Because of this, many people try to fix polyshades with some magic formula or secret ingredient. Unfortunately, this doesn’t solve the problem, and you’re still left with a project that isn’t what you’d hoped for. But there’s a straightforward solution to fixing polyshades that won’t cost you any money at all!

Summary: Polyshades is a product used to stain wood with one easy application. It provides a finish that is both durable and resistant to the elements. However, it can sometimes become cracked or crinkled over time.

To fix this, the first step is to sand the surface so that it’s smooth and even. Then apply another coat of Polyshades, being careful not to put too thick of a layer on. For any stubborn spots where the finish still isn’t looking perfect, sand them down lightly and then reapply a thin layer of Polyshades until everything looks even and smooth.

A Stepwise Guide on How to Fix Polyshades

Step 1: Gather Necessary Tools and Materials

To fix issues with Polyshades, a combination stain and polyurethane product, you will need the following tools and materials:

  • Fine-grit sandpaper (220-grit or higher)
  • Tack cloth or damp rag
  • Mineral spirits
  • Paintbrush or foam brush
  • Polyshades product (in the desired color)
  • Disposable gloves
  • Drop cloth or plastic sheeting
  • Respirator or face mask (optional)
  • Ventilation (open windows or fans)

Step 2: Assess the Issue

Inspect the surface where the Polyshades has been applied to identify the specific problems. Common issues include streaks, uneven color, bubbles, or a rough finish. Understanding the issue will help you determine the appropriate steps to fix it.

Step 3: Sand the Surface

If you are experiencing streaks, uneven color, or a rough finish, lightly sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper to remove any imperfections. Sand in the direction of the wood grain, applying even pressure. This will help create a smooth surface for reapplication.

Step 4: Clean the Surface

After sanding, use a tack cloth or damp rag to remove any dust or debris from the surface. This is important to ensure that the new application of Polyshades adheres properly and results in a smooth, even finish.

Step 5: Apply Mineral Spirits

If the original Polyshades application was too thick, causing bubbles or an uneven finish, use mineral spirits to thin it out. Apply a small amount of mineral spirits to a clean cloth or brush, and gently rub it over the surface to remove excess product.

Step 6: Allow the Surface to Dry

Allow the surface to dry completely before proceeding with the next steps. This can take anywhere from a few hours to overnight, depending on the temperature and humidity in your work area. Be sure to provide adequate ventilation during this time to speed up the drying process and prevent fumes from building up.

Step 7: Prepare the Work Area

Before reapplying the Polyshades, protect the surrounding area by laying down a drop cloth or plastic sheeting. This will help to catch any drips or spills and make cleanup easier.

Step 8: Stir the Polyshades

Stir the Polyshades product thoroughly with a paint stir stick to ensure even distribution of the color and polyurethane components. Avoid shaking the can, as this can introduce air bubbles into the product.

Step 9: Apply a Thin, Even Coat

Wearing disposable gloves, apply a thin, even coat of Polyshades to the surface using a paintbrush or foam brush. Work in small sections, brushing in the direction of the wood grain. Avoid overloading your brush, as this can result in drips, streaks, and an uneven finish.

Step 10: Smooth Out Brush Strokes

After applying the Polyshades, use the tips of your brush or foam brush to lightly smooth out any visible brush strokes. This will help to create a more even and professional-looking finish.

Step 11: Allow the Polyshades to Dry

Allow the Polyshades to dry for the recommended time listed on the product label. This can range from a few hours to overnight, depending on the temperature and humidity in your work area. Be sure to provide adequate ventilation during this time to speed up the drying process and prevent fumes from building up.

Step 12: Sand and Repeat

If the first coat of Polyshades did not achieve the desired color or finish, lightly sand the surface again with fine-grit sandpaper. Remove any dust or debris with a tack cloth or damp rag, and then apply another thin, even coat of Polyshades following the same steps outlined above. Be sure to smooth out any brush strokes and allow the product to dry for the recommended time.

Step 13: Assess the Finish

Once the Polyshades has dried, inspect the surface to determine if the desired color and finish have been achieved. If necessary, repeat the sanding and application process until you are satisfied with the results.

Step 14: Apply Additional Coats (Optional)

If you want a more durable finish or deeper color, you can apply additional coats of Polyshades. Be sure to follow the same process of sanding, cleaning, and applying thin, even coats as outlined above. Allow each coat to dry for the recommended time before applying the next.

Step 15: Remove Drips and Runs

If you notice any drips or runs in the finish after it has dried, use fine-grit sandpaper to gently sand them away. Be careful not to sand through the Polyshades, as this can result in an uneven color and finish.

Step 16: Buff the Surface (Optional)

For a smoother and more polished finish, you can buff the surface using a fine steel wool pad or a synthetic buffing pad. Gently rub the pad over the surface in the direction of the wood grain, taking care not to apply too much pressure. This will help to remove any minor imperfections and create a more uniform finish.

Step 17: Clean Up Your Work Area

Once you have achieved the desired finish, clean up your work area by disposing of used materials and wiping down any surfaces that may have come into contact with the Polyshades. Be sure to store any remaining product in a cool, dry place for future use.

Step 18: Maintain the Finish

To keep your Polyshades finish looking its best, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for ongoing care and maintenance. This may include regular cleaning with a damp cloth, periodic touch-ups to address any wear or damage, and reapplication of the product as needed to maintain the desired color and finish.

By following these steps and using the appropriate tools and techniques, you can effectively fix issues with Polyshades and achieve a beautiful, durable finish on your wood surfaces. Regularly assessing the condition of your finish and making necessary adjustments will help to ensure that your wood surfaces remain protected and looking their best for years to come.

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Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid sanding, if possible. However, suppose you must sand lightly by hand with fine sandpaper (220 grit). Sanding may create unwanted brush marks due to the thicker viscosity of Polyshades.
  • Stains may be added before or after the first coat of Polyshades; however, stains applied on top of the finish will show scratches on the polyurethane coat beneath it.
  • Clean your brushes immediately after use with water and mild soap or Brush Soap for best results. Do not leave flat paint brushes standing in water as this causes bristle deformation and loss of absorbency resulting in poor performance. Nylon round tips are more durable and will not require cleaning after use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Wipe Off Excess Polyshades?

If you are using a poly shade garment to cover your head or face, it is important to remember that you should always wipe off any excess sweat and sunscreen before putting on your shaded outfit. This will avoid the buildup of these substances on the fabric and potentially lead to skin irritation or worse. Additionally, if there is rain in the forecast for the evening hours, be sure to remove your poly shades prior to going outside so that they do not get wet and ruined.

Can You Poly Over Polyshades?

Depends on a variety of factors, including the type of Polyshades you are using and your hair texture. However, a few general tips that may help include using heat on your Polyshades before applying them, combing your hair back before applying the Polyshades, and leaving the Polyshades on for a shorter period of time than usual. Good luck and we hope this information helps!

What Happens if I Don’t Sand Between Coats of Polyurethane?

Poorly sanded finishes can result in a number of problems, including water infiltration, growth of mold and mildew, warping wood, and even damage to the finish. By using appropriate sandpaper for your particular coating system, you can avoid these issues.

If you are unsure about which sandpaper is right for your project, it’s best to consult with a professional coatings contractor or drywall finisher. They will be able to guide you through the proper step-by-step procedure for achieving a properly Sanded Finish.

Is Polyshades Oil or Water Based?

Polyshades is water-based oil paint and the two products are not interchangeable. Polyshades Oil has a thicker consistency while Polyshades Water is thinner and more transparent.

Do You Smooth Out Polyshades?

The best approach may vary depending on your hair type and texture. However, generally speaking, it is advisable to smooth out poly shades every time you apply them in order to avoid any frizz or flyaways. This can be done by using a serum or conditioner before applying the shaders and combing through them until they are fully absorbed into the hair follicle.


We hope you have learned how to fix polyshades. Polyshades can be a great way to add color and depth to your home, but sometimes they don’t turn out exactly as you planned. If that’s the case for you, don’t worry – we have a few tips to help you fix Polyshades. Follow these simple steps, and before you know it, your botched Polyshade job will be looking like new.

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