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.
It basically goes on like my home brew but is better. And I like the fact I
don't have to mess around mixing it. Another plus is the shelf life is
better than my home brew. It is very easy to use and rubs out excellent.
It is just a great product imho. Buy a quart and try it. You won't be
dissapointed. It comes in Gloss, Original (sheen is equivalant to
Semigloss), and Satin.
I am assuming you have oil based polyurethane and not Minwax's water
based Polycrylic. You would have been alright if you simply removed the
thin film you found on the top of the liquid. The remaining solution is
acceptable but you should probably strain it.
The film that you found will not dissolve in mineral spirits. Once
polyurethane has cured, it will not redissolve in mineral spirits.
You can thin oil based polyurethane as much as you like. Thin it 20%
and it helps to eliminate bubbles and it gives the wet film more of a chance
to level. Thin it 50% and you have a wiping polyurethane. Thin it more and
it will start to look like an oil finish in that you will have a hard time
seeing a film.
You can shake the can as much as you like. As stated above, thin the
poly about 20% and tip off the surface of the wet film after you are done
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