wiping poly

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Forum topic by kimball posted 10-01-2009 05:05 PM 1348 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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323 posts in 3324 days

10-01-2009 05:05 PM

I have been using wiping poly for years and love the finish. I am somewhat lazy and have been purchasing the pre-mixed variety. Now I can only find the waterbased variety at my local (24 miles away) home depot. I tried it and hate it.
The paint man informed me that the oil based variety was just the poly cut w/paint thinner but he didn’t know the proper ratio. Does anyone here know what that ratio would be (no guesses please)?

Thanks, Kimball

6 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4245 days

#1 posted 10-01-2009 05:16 PM

50/50 is a good starting point, but you can experiment because the ratio is not all that critical. The thinner you mix it, the more coats it will take. I am currently using a batch of 50/50 I mixed up, but I find it a wee bit thin, so I’ll try a bit more poly next time.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View sry's profile


147 posts in 3635 days

#2 posted 10-01-2009 05:27 PM

I’ve had good luck with 50/50, but like Charlie said it can take a while
One thing to look out for is some are already thinned to a wiping consistency (I think General is like this, and I know Minwax makes one as well, correct me if I’m wrong of course). I usually buy full strength and then thin it myself, since I can’t see the wisdom in spending the same amount of money for what is in essence half the product.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3849 days

#3 posted 10-01-2009 05:36 PM

Just to add one more point the exact ratio, as Charlie has said, is not important. And you can use paint thinner, mineral spirits or lacquer thinner. I generally use mineral spirits and cut it to 50:50. I usually have to put on 6 to 8 coats to get the build I like and lightly sanding between each coat. The advantage of mineral spirits is that it takes a little longer to evaporate whereas lacquer thinner will flash off faster. This gives less time for dust nibs to get into the finish but I just happen to like the longer “open” time that mineral spirits gives so that the finish has more time to level out.

I agree with you about the water based product. It has come a long way since it was first introduced but it still is not up to par with the oil based product. Water base poly imparts a bluish tint to the topcoat, which has a rather “cold” appearance. Oil poly gives it an amber color which “warms” up the finish.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View CanadaJeff's profile


207 posts in 3636 days

#4 posted 10-01-2009 06:45 PM

I don’t beleive there is a correct ratio, the genral rule is pretty much the thinner it is the more coats it will take, but the smoother the application. I tend to hand around the 50/50 mark too, but honestly, but have used 60/40, or 40/60. I think your best solution would be to use 50/50 as a starting point and adjust until you find a ratio that you get good results with.

View kimball's profile


323 posts in 3324 days

#5 posted 10-01-2009 06:53 PM

Gentlemen, My 2 new craftsman style book cases and I thankyou immensley. I have very little fall off to experiment on and even have to purchase more 1/4 sawn white oak to make the doors. So thanks again. Also I have a modified Mission stain and will publish it in it’s own topic.

View Innovator's profile


3584 posts in 3440 days

#6 posted 10-01-2009 08:09 PM

Take a look at Marc's video, he talke about it.


-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

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