I just saw an article in Wood magazine where the author used denatured
alcohol to "thin" water based poly claiming it allows bubbles to disperse
Has anyone tried this technique yet? If so, did you brush or spray?
Dennis Slabaugh, Hobbyist Woodworker
I haven't heard of the denatured alcohol method, but I read in one of
the woodworking rags where "half & half" coffee creamer worked well to
disperse bubble. That one I did try and was very pleased with the
The formula was up to 1 ounce of "half & half" to a quart of water
based poly. I use a foam brush to apply. It worked for me, but YMMV.
What scares me about that article is that the differences from brand to
brand in WB chemistry are not mentioned. I'd do serious testing with a
specific brand before applying it to something I cared about. Most WB
products have complex chemistry that doesn't take well to freelancing.
On the other hand, I have mixed 30% latex paint with ML Campbell
Ultrastar, to create a pigmented lacquer, which I then sprayed with
~30% Pratt & Lambert paint to ~70% Ultrastar.
I actually sprayed the test panels with a Critter, so I'm sure a #3 0r
#4 setup would work fine with a pressurized suction gun.
I tried it on a whim after a friend read about someone doing it with
either Hood or Target WB lacquer.
Alcohol will turn some water based products into threads. Long thin
threads.. like poly-ester.
If there is any acidic content, the alcohol will cause you lots of
problems. You run the risk of esterification.
I would do a lot of testing and if the mixture doesn't curdle, re-
visit your test over the course of a couple of years.
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