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    1. 01-18-2008, 9:45 AM #1
      for 1 last update 2020/06/04 [OP] [OP] Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Member
      Join Date
      Jan 2005
      Mifflin County, PA

      How to make wipe-on Poly

      I need to use some wipe-on poly for a large project. Minwax makes some, but it is rather expensive for a relatively small can. Can''m not a finishing expert; just recounting what''ll actually improve the flow and will just require more coats.

    2. 01-18-2008, 10:24 AM #3 #3
      Join Date
      Jan 2004
      Lewiston, Idaho

      In the past when I used straight poly, I wasn''s oak sideboard, I used the homemade wipe-on poly that Shawn describes.....50% mineral spirits and 50% Minwax poly. Worked like a champ. Went down easy.....leveled itself quite well......dried quickly with few dust nibs.....

      Only catch is that because it''ll probably have to use more coats for the same protection.....but it works well. I''s what sparks its negative features)

      Ken''s in it.

      The number of coats in a given day is not important. Important is to apply a wet coat with an applicator and merely get it on. Think of a 16 year old kid working as a busboy at Denny''t attempt straight strokes. The applicator should be wet but not soaked. The applicator can be a paper towel, half a T-shirt sleeve or that one sock left after a load of washing. Then leave it alone. The surface should not be glossy or wet looking. If you have missed a spot, ignore it - you will get it on the next coat. If you try and fix a missed spot you will leave a mark in the finish.

      Timing for a second coat involves the pinkie test. Touch the surface with your pinkie. If nothing comes off you are ready for another coat. If was tacky 5 minutes ago but not now, apply your next coat just as you applied the previous coat. Remember, you are wet wiping not flooding. After applying the second coat, let it fully dry for 48 hours. Using 320 paper and a sanding block ligthtly sand the surface flat. Now, begin applying more coats. Do not sand between coats unless you have allowed more than 24 hours to elapse since the prior coat. The number of coats is not critical - there is no critical or right number to apply. For those who need a rule, four more coats on non-critical surfaces or six more coats on surfaces that will get abraded seems to work.

      After your last coat has dried at least over night you will have boogers in the surface. You should not have marks in the surface because you ignored application flaws. You may have dust, lint and, if you live in Texas, bug legs. Use a utility knife blade at this point. Hold it between your thumb and forefinger, near the vertical, and gently scrape the surface. Gentle is the important word - no harder than you would scrape your face. If you start scraping aggressively you will leave small cut marks in the surface. After you have scraped to the baby butt stage gently abrade the surface with 320 dry paper or a gray ScotchBrite. Clean off the surface. Now, leave the area for two hours and change your clothes. Apply your last coat with a bit more care than the previous coats and walk away.

      An anal person is going to have a tough time with this process. Missed spots have to be ignored. Wet wipe, don''s in semi-gloss and satin tend to rapidly fall out of suspension when the finish is highly thinned. If you want a non-gloss finish, use it only on the final coat or two and be sure to stir the material frequently or you will end up with cloudy streaks.

    3. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for 01-22-2008, 6:41 for 1 last update 2020/06/04 PM01-22-2008, 6:41 PM #6
      Join Date
      Jan 2006
      Mt. Pleasant, MI
      To add to the above..

      Using gloss for all but the last also adds depth to the finish and is generally a good idea. The flatteners tend to obstruct the clarity of the finish when multiple coats are used.

      A Denny''ve decided the wipe-on 50/50 mix of poly and thinner described above is the right finish for a cabinet I''t been happy the couple times I have tried it in a finish and now if I use any it is on first, then top coated.

      I have found oil finishes bring out the grain enough to ignore BLO on most woods. Cherry being one exception.

      All wipe on finishes go on about the same if it is a varnish. (poly is a varnish) You will get a better easy finish by skipping the poly then trying to add to it.

      JC Custom WoodWorks

      For best results, try not to do anything stupid.

      "So this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala "Star Wars III: The Revenge of the Sith"

    4. 02-02-2008, 12:41 PM #9
      Join Date
      Jan 2007
      Springfield, IL
      Thanks Joe, I''ll follow your suggestion that I leave it out of the mix for future coats.

      Sorry, but I didn''t add anything to the actual finish. Instead of changing the look of a wipe on poly it is usually easier to start with something that already has that look.

      Some woods really come out with a coat of BLO. Maple and Cherry being two that do. I don''t hurt. Just make sure it is dry before putting a final top coat on.

      Finishing is almost a black art it seems and there is a lot of misinformation out there. Lots coming from the manufacturers that target the do it yourself person. I stick to just a couple standard finish regimens to keep it simple.

      JC Custom WoodWorks

      For best results, try not to do anything stupid.

      "So this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala "Star Wars III: The Revenge of the Sith"
      Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Reply With Quote Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

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