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How To Make Wood Glossy [7 Simple Methods]

A lot of us love wooden furniture and woodworks. And, we want our wooden furniture to shine all day long. But as a beginner, it seems hard to make wood glossy. Don’t worry, we have your back!

How to make wood glossy?

Apply filler on a sanded even wooden surface. Cut off blemishes. Then, apply two coats while giving it time to dry. After that, cut off bumps again and sand them lightly. Finally, apply the final coat and let it dry. Continue applying the final coat until it gives you a glossy look. 

Now, it is just a preview, I have a detailed step-by-step guide for you. Let us guide you through your misery!

How To Make Wood Glossy

We all want our furniture to have a shiny look. Woodwork can be very time-consuming.  But the gloss it provides is worth the time. So here are the steps to make wood glossy, it comes in 3 sections. 

But before going to the steps you need to gather some necessary equipment. Here let’s get the list of the equipment.

Necessary Equipment

  1. Sandpaper 
  2. Damp and dry cloth
  3. Plastic drop cloth
  4. Masking tape
  5. Paintbrush 
  6. Paint stirrer
  7. Vacuum cleaner
  8. Paint sponge 
  9. Water-based or oil-based polyurethane
  10. Razor 

Now, we’ll be heading to the section.

Section-1: Preparation

The first section has 4 steps. Let’s get into the steps.

Step-1: Cleaning The Furniture with a Damp Cloth

Firstly, clean any visible dirt with a damp cloth. So that you have a clean surface for sanding and coating.

After cleaning with a damp cloth, use a dry cloth to wipe out any moisture left. When the furniture is dry and clean, you’re good to go to the next step.

Step-2: Using a Plastic Drop Cloth

Spread it across the floor using masking tape. It will prevent the gloss from spilling on the floor. So that your floor remains intact. One warning for you. Removing masking tape from wood can be difficult. So, work carefully.

Step-3: Sand the Wood Before Applying Gloss

Use medium grit paper if there is a finish in the wood. Rub the wood back and forth continuously, to remove any uneven parts. 

Sand the wood with medium sandpaper until it is smooth. While sanding, follow the grain of the wood. Grain indicates the direction where the wood seems to be flowing. 

Step-4: Wiping the Sawdust

Use a vacuum cleaner and clean up the sawdust. Vacuum every corner of it and wipe afterward to clean thoroughly. 

Section-2: Undercoating

This step is a bit lengthy as it has 5 steps. Let’s get them.

Step-1: Picking Out Polyurethane and Opening

Pick polyurethane and open it. After opening, stir it slowly with a paint stirrer. Do not stir it too quickly or shake it. If you do that, it will cause bubbles.

If you are confused about which polyurethane to purchase, we have a few suggestions:

Varathane Water-Based Ultimate PolyurethaneGives satin finish 
Water-Based Wipe-On PolyurethaneGives a clear satin finish 

These are the two products you can use. These will give your furniture a polished and fine look. Try it out now!

Step-2: Sealing 

It is a single coat that is applied before the gloss. It is a dense polyurethane that fills up the pores in the wood. Brush it on the surface with the help of a paint sponge. 

Watch out for puddling in the edges and corners. Do follow the instructed time given in the filler brand container. Give time to let it dry. 

You can also use the wood stain method if you want. 

Step-3: Applying Two Coats of Polyurethane

After it is dry, apply the polyurethane gloss on the surface evenly with a brush. Then, wait for 24 hours before applying the second coat. 

The drying time varies from different brands. After the first coat, apply the second coat evenly on the surface.

Step-4: Cutting out Uneven Spots 

Take the razor with a lower angle, so that it glides through the upper surface. In this way, shave off the uneven parts or bumps on the surface. 

Puddling present in the undercoats will cause hardened bumps.

Step-5: Sanding Shaved off Parts

At first, wet a 400 grit sandpaper. Then tenderly sand the shaved-off areas using the sandpaper. This will enhance the entire smoothness of the finish.

Section-3: Finishing It Up 

This is the final section and compared to previous sections, this one is easier. Let’s learn about it in detail.

Step-1: Applying the Final Coat

The second coat must be fully dry before applying the last coat. Do not wait more than 24 hours before applying the final coat.

Apply the final gloss with a paintbrush just like before. If there comes insects, dust or bubbles, gently shave off the bumps caused by them.

Step-2: Polishing 

After the final coat has dried, you can polish it. Apply it with a clean cotton cloth. It will give your furniture a mirror look. 

If the surface looks a bit cloudy, apply more polish. Then let the finish dry and it will give a polished glossy look. 

So, these are necessary steps divided into 3 sections for your clear understanding. Follow these steps and get your desired glossy look. 


Glossing the wood isn’t the end of your duty. You also need to learn how to maintain it.

For maintaining, vacuum the surface quite frequently, so that it remains intact. If there is enough dust on the surface, it will cause cloudiness and dullness. 

Use mild cleaning products and soft cotton cloths.

Some Additional Tips for You

Here are a few useful tips on the entire process:

  1. Do not sand aggressively. Sanding too much and extra pressure will cause an uneven surface. 
  2. Clean the unfinished wood gently. 
  3. Always check the instructions in the container regarding the drying time. 
  4. You can use a thin oil-based gloss instead of a filler. 
  5. Softly sand after using a water-based gloss using grit paper. 
  6. Gently glide the razor to cut off the blemishes caused by dust or insects.
  7. Some glosses might need several coats before getting the desired finish. 
  8. Try not to wipe up dust. 
  9. Use a damp cotton cloth while cleaning.  
  10.  While wiping up sawdust, clean the corners and nooks thoroughly. So that there is no hidden sawdust.

I hope the additional tips will come in handy while executing the process.


There is no such danger for you. But If you have asthma or are allergic to dust, wear a safety mask at all times. Also, be careful while cutting the uneven spots,

These are the overall guidelines for making a wood glossy. You are now also aware of the tips and warnings as well. But if you enjoy woodworking, you can also refinish your indoor teak furniture. The processes are kind of the same.


Question: How do you make plywood shiny?

Answer: Blend the gloss into the paint and paint evenly. If it does not look glossy enough, use a high gloss varnish after the paint is dry. 

Question: What is a glossy varnish?

Answer: Gloss varnishes cause light to reflect off the painting’s surface in a mirror-like manner. Glossy surfaces in paintings increase values and saturate colors.

Question: What is danish oil?

Answer: Danish oil is created from a combination of mineral spirits, synthetic resins, and varnish. These make it durable and workable.


So, this is all from our end. I hope now you are clear about how to make wood glossy. It is time-consuming and it needs proper cautions. But the end result will be worth the hard work. 

We have come to an end now. All the best with your work mate!