Unfortunately my new shop is not well located for sparying lacquer and
I am returning to my favorite method of applying finishes to "average"
furniture, that is, wipe-on gel varnish.
I have obtained this over the years from "Bartleys" and always liked
the ease of use and end result (No-it isn't meant to compete with a
French polish job!). I usually get a good finish with 2 coats.
At any rate Bartleys is not always easy to get and I wonder if
anyone knows of a similar product e.g. GEL wipe-in. (I have tried
minwax wipe-on and it takes about 4 coats, is costly for what it is
and it is not gel'd and somewhat messy as well).
3 coats of whatever-you-like brand varnish cut 50%
with mineral spirits will. Add a dash of linseed oil
if the rag starts to stick. Rub out with gray Scotchbrite
between coats, just enough to dull the gloss.
Circa 1871 gel, Olympic wipe on poly, have all worked
fine, but I still prefer homebrew.
I've used Bartley's Gel, and didn't really like it. A quart lasts a long
time when you don't like it. My daughter-in-law finally finished it off on
a project I built for her sister...
McCloskey's varnish, gloss, cut 30% with VMP Naptha, is what I've been
using, and I've been pleased. It was spar for the bathroom, but regular
for the rest of the projects. Dries really quickly, comparatively, to the
No more Bartley's evident here in California. Probably something
legislative, but mebbe not.
Bartley's can be bought direct at
IIRC there is a wipe on gel varnish called Good Stuff. It really works
well, but is expensive compared to Bartley's.
General Finishes makes a wipe on gel varnish but I do not care for it.
Comparing Miniwax to Bartley's is going from one end of the spectrum to the
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