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How much can I thin a water based poly?

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Forum topic by ric53 posted 09-28-2015 02:51 PM 802 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ric53

147 posts in 980 days


09-28-2015 02:51 PM

Can anybody tell me how much to thin a water based poly to make it a wiping poly?

-- Ric, Mazomanie


21 replies so far

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3019 posts in 1258 days


#1 posted 09-28-2015 02:54 PM

Ric,

My experience is limited to General Finishes High Performance. They say you can thin with 10-20% with water or their extender. I don’t think they recommend more than that. I do wiping varnish a lot, but I’ve found that spraying gives superior results with water-based. Just my two cents.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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Fred Hargis

3928 posts in 1954 days


#2 posted 09-28-2015 02:59 PM

Of the 2-3 brands I’ve used, it was no more than 20% on any of them. Whatever you’re using should say someone on the label or maybe the manufacturer’s tech data sheet. It’s fairly important to stay to their guidelines (IMHO) sine waterbornes can have their chemistry screwed up with too much water. Even so, it’s probably not going to make a good wiping finish; just doesn’t seem to work too well with the waterborne formulas.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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ric53

147 posts in 980 days


#3 posted 09-28-2015 03:15 PM

Thanks Charles & Fred. I think I’ll go in a different direction. Probably shellac.

-- Ric, Mazomanie

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CharlesA

3019 posts in 1258 days


#4 posted 09-28-2015 03:28 PM

The recommended way to “wipe it on” is to use a paint pad applicator with a footsie (women’s hose) over it.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2527 days


#5 posted 09-28-2015 04:25 PM

Call your mfg and talk to them. I use general finishes and have called and asked questions and applications on a combination of finishing products and they are good and know what they talk about and will flat out tell you since they know their products.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1770 days


#6 posted 09-28-2015 05:06 PM

The different brands that I have used had that information on the can. Your doesn’t?

Not that I’m a fan of min-wax products but they do sell a waterborne wipe on poly. There are youtube videos showing how to apply it.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2527 days


#7 posted 09-28-2015 07:06 PM



The different brands that I have used had that information on the can. Your doesn t?

Not that I m a fan of min-wax products but they do sell a waterborne wipe on poly. There are youtube videos showing how to apply it.

- AlaskaGuy

There’s whats on the can and then there is “this is the equip i’m using and the method of application and the medium to be applied to”

What’s on the can is the lowest common denominator for most cases and as reviewed by lawyers. Kinda like that expiration date on eggs.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1770 days


#8 posted 09-28-2015 07:22 PM


The different brands that I have used had that information on the can. Your doesn t?

Not that I m a fan of min-wax products but they do sell a waterborne wipe on poly. There are youtube videos showing how to apply it.

- AlaskaGuy

There s whats on the can and then there is “this is the equip i m using and the method of application and the medium to be applied to”

What s on the can is the lowest common denominator for most cases and as reviewed by lawyers. Kinda like that expiration date on eggs.

- bonesbr549


Not sure what you’re saying. To me it sounds like “don’t bother to read the instructions on the can, the don’t mean nothing”. Is that right?

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View ric53's profile

ric53

147 posts in 980 days


#9 posted 09-29-2015 12:19 AM

Some of you are indicating that I don’t read the directions. They all say not to thin but it has been my experience that you can thin even though it says not to. Of course I know enough to read directions and to call manufactures of the products but I mistakenly thought that there may be someone here with some usable answers. This isn’t my first rodeo, in fact I been WW for approx. 30yr’s, but I haven’t had much experience with water based products so pardon my STUPIDITY. I won’t ask a dumb question like this again.

-- Ric, Mazomanie

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2151 days


#10 posted 09-29-2015 12:24 AM

ric53, Poly and Spar Urethanes (oil based) also state on the label: “do not thin”. I have thinned both with mineral spirits to make a wiping finish with excellent results. I didn’t think your question was dumb at all and I have often wondered about wiping on water based finishes.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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HerbC

1592 posts in 2320 days


#11 posted 09-29-2015 12:30 AM

Ric,

Not sure what set you off like that. I don’t read anyone’s comments as being critical of you. The fact that nobody had a better answer than “read the instructions and call the manufacturers” just means that that is pretty reasonable advice.

I hope you don’t take what’s been said here as criticism.

Good Luck with your project.

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View ric53's profile

ric53

147 posts in 980 days


#12 posted 09-29-2015 01:10 AM

Herb, AlaskaGuy’s comment struck a nerve.

-- Ric, Mazomanie

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3928 posts in 1954 days


#13 posted 09-29-2015 11:06 AM



ric53, Poly and Spar Urethanes (oil based) also state on the label: “do not thin”. I have thinned both with mineral spirits to make a wiping finish with excellent results. I didn t think your question was dumb at all and I have often wondered about wiping on water based finishes.

- gfadvm

It’s a little different with oil based finishes. They are labeled “do not thin” due the manufacturer’s trying to cover their ass legally relative to VOC content and environmental laws. With waterborne finishes, it’s more about the way they work.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

1211 posts in 1571 days


#14 posted 09-29-2015 02:35 PM

It’s a little different with oil based finishes. They are labeled “do not thin” due the manufacturer’s trying to cover their ass legally relative to VOC content and environmental laws. With waterborne finishes, it’s more about the way they work.

Correct about VOC laws and many thinning warnings, but there’s more to it for certain solvent based products. All crosslinking finishes, oil based or waterborne, will suffer from over-thinning at some point. Different finishes have different tolerances, as listed on the label.

When crosslinking finishes cure, a chemical reaction takes place where the molecules literally link together. This is why you can’t rub the appropriate thinner on a dry polyurethane or other crosslinked finish, regardless of formulation, and have it change back to a liquid state. To put it simply, if you add too much thinner to a crosslinking finish, the molecules can’t “reach” each other to properly cure. Oil based products can be more forgiving than waterbourne, but they still have a limit.

Waterbourne products, including paints, aren’t really water “based”, they only include a small percentage of water, and the wet product cleans up with water. The real base is usually glycol, a component of anti-freeze, not water. Adding too much water wrecks the formula, which is how it works as you wash the equipment with water.

Examples of non-crosslinking, evaporative finishes include shellac and nitrocellulose lacquer. These don’t cure, they dry, as the solvent evaporates. Wetting the dry film with more of the proper solvent will reconstitute them back to a liquid. You can thin them to literally nothing, almost all thinner, and not mess with the formulation or final dry film quality, only the final film thickness will change. The property that allows them to melt, allows each new coat to melt or “burn” into the last. Some crosslinking finishes (polys, WB, latex paints) may not burn in, which can create visible “witness lines” when rubbed out or sanded.

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1882 posts in 1595 days


#15 posted 09-29-2015 07:16 PM

Water is a carrier for water based/borne products and not really a thinner. Have seen all kinds of water to poly percentages but guess never want to exceed 5%. Too much water and will have a mess!

A simple trick of warming water based products will thin the product to some degree depending upon where you live. Water base products seem easier to apply in warm weather verus cold! Another trick is run the poly through a paint strainer.

Many manufacturers have additives & retarders for spraying but they might not be compatible with other products. Waster based and waterborne products while similar not exactly the same!

Glycol ether is a solvent for retarding water based products and might work for waterborne products not sure. Ask for instructions on mixing water with glcol ether or may end up with a product that never dries.

Ric53, helpful if be specific and tell people product want to use and method of application.

-- Bill

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