Smooth Finishes

I'm not the world's best at applying poly, or other, clear finishes. With the project I'm working on now, I'm using Varathane, thinned with mineral spirits (about 20%), and I am getting what appear to be some solids in the applied finish.
I've stirred....and stirred........and stirred some more, and the results are the same.
The brush I'm using is a natural one, and it is stored in a jar of paint thinner between coats.
Is Varathane prone to do this, or am I getting some solidification of old finish on the brush, while it is immersed in the paint thinner?
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Strain it thru a filter to get rid of the big hunks???
John
On Sun, 18 Jan 2004 03:19:37 GMT, "effinperfectionist"

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Does the can sale mineral spirits? There is also a Varathane waterbased finish. Otherwise straining should work.
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Instead of using a brush, try making up a rubber - cottonwool/waste about the size of 2 golf balls, wrapped up in a lint free cloth (old worn cotton sheets do fine. Hold the loose ends of the rubber with your thumb, index and middle fingers so that it is stretched tight over the cotton wool. Open the back of the cover, charge the cotton wool with your thinned varnish, fold over the cover again, assume the hold and tap it a few times on a piece of scrap until the varnish starts to flow through the cover, then wipe it on thinly onto the workpiece, working with the grain. Experience will soo tell you how much varnish you need to pour into your rubber. You want enough for it to ooze slightly when you gently squeeze the rubber, but not so much that it floods out. If your cut varnish is still too thick for it to ooze well, try increasing the amount of mineral spirits in the cut.
Leave overnight in a warm place to dry, repeat for several coats until you have the build up you want.
You might have to denib gently between coats with 0000 steel wool. Use a task rag (from car body shops) to completely remove all dust if you do have to steel wool it.
HTH
Frank

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On Sun, 18 Jan 2004 03:19:37 +0000, effinperfectionist wrote:

I had trouble once with getting a smooth finish. To eliminate brush strokes, I thinned the finish slightly and then used a cloth to apply it. I more or less brushed it on with the cloth. It took several coats, but the finish is quite nice and smooth as a newborn's aft.
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I'm having better luck with using a cloth than with using a brush. It's not the brush strokes which were causing problems, but a combination of air bubbles and what I can only describe as solids in the solution.
The air bubbles were pretty much eliminated by thinning the stuff, but the solids are quite visible unless I rub the finish on with a rag, which was why I was wondering if they might be coming out of the thinner where I'm storing the brush between coats.
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