Polyurethane Finishes

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Forum topic by Rick George posted 02-16-2010 05:54 PM 799 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rick George

48 posts in 2470 days

02-16-2010 05:54 PM

Hi, fellow wizards. I’m about to apply a polyurethane finish to a mahogany stained pine bench. Should the final (or any other) coat be thinned? If so, what.

Thanks for the help.

-- Rick

3 replies so far

View poroskywood's profile


618 posts in 2782 days

#1 posted 02-16-2010 06:00 PM

Let us see what our finish master wizard has to say about this matter.

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3240 days

#2 posted 02-16-2010 09:19 PM

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Scott. Rick, I find it much easier to apply poly as a wipe on product. This is simply straight poly diluted 50:50 with mineral spirits. There is no need to break out any measuring devices since the acutal concentration is not critical. I just eyeball it and generally make up a gallon at a time.

With wipe on products you will have to apply 4 to 6 coats to get the build that you want but it dries quickly and you can often apply multiple coats in a single day (this is temperature dependent, of course). Wipe on varnishes help eliminate the sags/runs and brush strokes that come with application of concentrated products and, because they dry so quickly, they have less time for the finish to pick up dust particles.

So to answer your question, if I were doing this finish, I would simply apply a wipe on varnish until I get the build that I like.

One note I would add is that since this is a stained piece, and I am assuming that you used an oil base stain, I would also apply a seal coat of 2# shellac before applying the poly. You could get by without this step but it just prevents the stain from being lifted off by the poly.

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

View fredf's profile


495 posts in 3128 days

#3 posted 02-17-2010 05:12 AM

I have a similar project coming up how about if the (gel) stain has poly in it, do I need the seal coat??

-- Fred, Springfield, Ma

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