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Posted on Homemade "wiping varnish" remains fragile/soft. Cover with straight varnish?

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2322 posts in 2159 days

#1 posted 09-07-2012 04:51 PM

A1Jim, homemade oil varnish and wiping varnish do have a place in finishing. What you are trying to finish and sheen desired also play a role in deciding to make your own or buy a commercial product. Whether use homemade or commercial product there is a learning curve. Have no idea, which is better for all situations.

Oil varnish blend requires equal amounts of varnish or polyurethane, thinner, and either linseed or Tung oil. Just apply allow to soak in, wipe off, allow to dry and recoat as necessary. For a fast and easy matte or satin finish without brush marks or finish build-up could not be simpler. You can mix the right amount required for the project.
Using linseed oil or BLO dries slower and gives an oily feel. Naptha dries faster and no oily feel. Both BLO and Naptha will allow oil to penetrate wood little more.

Commercial products can and do use cheaper oils and can spoil in the can once can opened.

Wiping varnish or poly even simpler only need equal amounts of varnish or poly of sheen desired to equal amount of thinner. A 50-50 mix of finish to thinner is a great starting point but can adjust amounts if desired. Again simply wipe on, allow to dry, lightly sanding, and recoat. Normally two coats of 50-50 mix of wiping varnish or poly equals one coat of either film finish. You get the same finish build without brush marks as regular finish.

If buying a commercial wiping varnish or poly make sure ingredients no more than 60% thinner. Some products do contain as much as 75% to 85% thinner, which will slow down finishing procedure.

-- Bill

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