Did you get a can of water based poly? That is what the reaction
sounds like. I don't know if Minwax makes water base, but...
Mineral spirits should be the preferred option. I can't recall how
much you can thin it. The ratio is probably listed on the can. That
being said, I've thinned poly by 50% or more to get a mixture that
will soak deep into the wood. It works very well for hardening pine
Most of the solids are already in a lump in the bottom of the can, until
you stir them in carefully, without introducing air into the mix.
Stir completely, for about 4 minutes, before starting to thin. And don't
try to work with material that's too cold, either. Check the label, and
maybe store the cans inside?
I did not mixed the Polyurethane as I got it dirt cheap at an estate sales. When
I opened the lid there is a thin harden layer, I add about 5% volume minerals
spirit and cover it for 24 hrs. Hopping the minerals sprit will melt it. The
next day I got congeal mixture, below the harden top layer!
There are not instruction of thinning, but cleaning with either minerals spirit
or paint thinner. The instruction printed on the can "Do Not Shake" in bold
letter, "Stir slowly......" why?
May just be too old to be worth messing with. I incurred my
Father-In-Law's wrath when I cleaned out the old paints and stuff from
his shop. Some of those cans (half full) were more than 50 years old!
I actually had to send some of it off to the hazardous waste facility
because it was lead based.
Basically, if it is older than a year or so just chuck it and buy new.
Polyurethane is a reactive finish. It cures by reacting with the oxygen in the
air. Once it has reacted it can not be redissolved.
Buffalo, NY - USA
(Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
What used to be my favorite mix (until I started using Waterlox) 1/3 minwax
poly, 1/3 mineral spirits, 1/3 watco oil. If you are just going to thin to
a wipeable consistancy, only go about 30% on the mineral spirits.
Otherwise, you will need to use alot of coats to build up the material. Or
get smart and use Waterlox like I do <g>
I can only apply the Minwax polyurethane with a lint free cloth on the projects.
After it dries, I either use #150 to #240 sand papers or #000 steel wool to get
the finished I need. I may apply as many as 4 coats of polyurethane to get the
finished I need. I would be more than happy to apply the least possible coats.
It's extremely time consuming between each coat!
What is Waterlox and where can you buy them?
Thanks, a million :-)
What is it you like about Waterlox? I've heard good things about it,
but would value your opinion.
Dan White: I've read that finish manufacturers have reduced VOCs as
ordered by the feds, and in order to comply, must label the can not to
thin, since that would raise the VOCs and therefore, supposedly, air
Thanks, Gary. I have to get started on my own poly project. I'm starting
with the oil based Minwax though. I've got hard maple butcher block and am
going to try some linseed oil at first, followed by maybe 3 coats of thinned
gloss poly, finishing with a coat of maybe slightly thinned satin poly.
Have you try Minwax waterbase polyurethane, are they water resistance (ie, water
resistance, after it dry)?
I check HD today they have Minwax for outdoor, can you comment that too?
By the way what is VOCs?
Missed the start of this thread...
Why not just use Minwax wiping polyurethane? You don't get the quick (thick)
build that you get with the regular Minwax poly--which may or may not be an
advantage--and it does wipe on nicely.
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