I notice that the Minwax Wipe-on Poly sells for more than the standard
brush-on Poly (in part becomes it comes only in smaller cans).
My understanding is that Wipe-on Poly is just regular polyurethane
diluted with mineral spirits.
Can I do just as well by making my own Wipe-on Poly from bulk
polyurethane by just adding mineral spirits? (Or are there other
"magical" ingredients that are added...)
If so, what ratio should I add it in?
Yes, I do it all the time. Many brands say "Do not thin over x
percentage" or something like that. But that is partly to sell more,
partly to not violate the VOCs laws and partly because it is a
different product and won't brush or spray or dry as they indicate in
their instructions. But once the spirits dry out you are left with an
identical product, just a thinner coat.
3:1 Spirits to Poly is my formula. It will take a lot of stirring to
get it well mixed and should be re-stirred on occasion as it will
start to settle.
I like to brush it on and really flood the surface and work it with
the brush to break any surface tension and make sure it gets into the
grain. Then wipe it down with a smooth cloth that has been saturated
and rung partly dry, wiping it down to a consistent thin film.
It will start to tack up pretty fast but I always wait a minute or two
after I'm done doing the wipe down to look for any drips or dry-ish
spots but you only have a little time, just use a liitle wetter rag to
do touch up if it's starting to tack.
Watch for drip-outs or anti-wicking from seams of moldings and joints
for a few minutes also.
You can do 400 scuff sand in bewteen and do many coats until you have
what you want. I try to not sand until last coat but depends on how
much dust, wood grain raise, etc.
On Wed, 3 Mar 2010 14:10:48 -0800 (PST), the infamous
I'd have you stick a running routah with a panelraising bit into the
mixture. It'd sure get rid of that poly crap in a hurry.
An author spends months writing a book, and maybe puts his
heart's blood into it, and then it lies about unread till
the reader has nothing else in the world to do.
-- W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge, 1943
Yes, I do refer to the MultiFunction tool.
No, I haven't tried it with Poly stain and an approved thinner. I have tried
it with oil and water.
Go ahead and give it a go.
The worst that could happen is the container with the mixture is flung
against several wall, the floor and the ceiling, making a mess that's
impossible to clean and rendering the room uninhabitable to everything but
roaches and hedgehogs. Vermin, however, are sure to be eradicated from the
The regular (non wipe-on) Minwax poly claims you can recoat after 4-6 hours.
How much faster can you recoat when diluted with Naptha?
I would have (naively perhaps) thought that waiting for the Naptha to
evaporate would still leave you with the poly which would then take the
same more or less 4-6 hours to dry though maybe a bit less since you end
up applying a thinner coat.
Actually, the theory with driers of any sort are that as they
evaporate they create micro convection and carry away other volitiels
(sp?) speeding up the drying process for the whole surface worth of
compounds. I know with lacquer it is a fact as far as I am concerned.
Not to be a naysayer but after hearing about these cool mixtures of
varnish, turp and tung I gave it a try. I liked it at first but I soon
saw that the second caot and beyond, the oil just pooled rather than
soaking in. I had a bad situation where after about a week when the
oil started drying out my finish collapsed and suddenly I had all
these dry grain lines in my Sapele (like mohogany) grain.
There are several good books on finishing. But, you still need a few
scrap pieces to test finishes. Experiment on how much to thin,
generally the first coat is much thinner than progressive coats. Poly
finishes, like most others, come in various viscosities.
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