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I have a house that has oak trim throughout.  When it was build the trim was finished in polyurathane. 

 

Does anyone know how I can get the "plastic" finish to look more like hand rubbed?

 

Thanks for your help

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Find an inconspicuous area and try rubbing it with 0000 steel wool dipped in Johnson's Paste Floor Wax.  That will degloss it, turning it satin from full gloss.  This usually makes it look better, and more natural. Stripping poly is a real PITA which you want to avoid if at all possible.  I avoid using poly and found that a few hand-rubbed coats of Waterlox does a much nicer job for finish, and the "hand" is much better.  It feels like you are touching wood when you rub your hand over it.  Good luck with the "fix", Scott.  I'm not fond of that plasticky look, either.

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll find a spot and try it out.

Larry's approach is a good one.

If it doesn't "soften" it up enough for you, you can go with coarser grades of steel wool. You won't need to use the wax on all the steps except the last. 

Be sure to wipe down the previous step prior to starting the next. When using the steel wool use a rag dampened with mineral spirits, not water.

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