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On 6/29/2014 9:47 AM, wrote:

It really depends on the brand of gel varnish but IMHO you cannot wipe it off fast enough.
For instance with Old Masters Gel varnish I wipe on with half of a folded up Scott's Blue Shop Paper towel. You can use lent free t-shirt material but the paper towels work just as good if you work fast. You want to wipe off excess and then buff out before it begins to get tacky.
So for instance I might go as far with 2 square feet before wiping off the excess with another whole blue paper towel. And get those 2 square feet covered quickly, be a little liberal when putting it down but not so much that you are wiping a lot of it off with the first wipe down. You should put down the two square feet in about 10~15 seconds MAX. Then immediately buff that out with another clean paper towel. You can continue to use the same towels for the same processes as long as they work freely and don't begin sticking to the surface.
The longer you wait the more difficult it is to wipe off the excess and especially to buff out the surface with third step. If any of the towels begin to feel draggy you are waiting too long. The trick is to get the product on the piece and then get it off as quickly as you can. I know that sounds wrong.... And higher humidity really makes this necessary.
The tendency is to cover more ground and wait longer but that all adds up much more drudgery and much much longer curing times between coats.
So wipe down 2 square feet, wipe off excess, and buff out in about 25 seconds total. Than move on. With this brand gel varnish, Old Masters, speed is your friend.
With the old Bartelys and Lawrence McFaddin gel varnishes you only had to apply and immediately wipe off the excess. IT IS IMPERATIVE to very quickly apply wipe off excess and buff out ASAP with Old Masters and even more so when applying the coats after the initial first coat.
Finally after the surface has dried a few days and feels dry, you can wrap a piece of printer paper around a block of wood and rub down the surface to get rid of dust nibs get a very smooth surface.
Damn I could have videoed the whole process faster than typing this out. LOL.
I am working on a cabinet now and will be applying the finish to the top this week.. I'll try to remember to get my wife to video the process. ;~)

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