Wipe-on and non wipe-on finishes

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Forum topic by Jeff posted 06-07-2010 04:27 PM 1072 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 3113 days

06-07-2010 04:27 PM

Is there a difference between polyurethane that can be wiped on and ones that can’t? Minwax states on their website that their wipe-on variant is just thinner than regular polyurethane.

I always brush on poly but I can never get rid of all the air bubbles or brush strokes so I want to trying wiping it on instead.

7 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3779 days

#1 posted 06-07-2010 04:33 PM

Basically wipe ons are thinned down versions of the brush on versions.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Jeff's profile


10 posts in 3113 days

#2 posted 06-07-2010 04:40 PM

I see, thanks. I already have a gallon of the regular poly so it saves me the trouble of having to buy another haha

View drax0r's profile


18 posts in 3113 days

#3 posted 06-07-2010 05:35 PM

I’ve had pretty good luck with creating my own “wipe on” poly by thinning brush on with mineral spirits.

I just experimented with ratios until I got to a point where I wasn’t bubbling or leaving sponge marks.

I usually do at least 1 extra coat if I’ve thinned my varnish.

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 3521 days

#4 posted 06-07-2010 05:36 PM

One way to get rid of air bubbles when applying finish is to use a small hair dryer on a low, non heat setting and let it gently blow across the surface of your piece. That will disrupt the surface tension of the bubbles and pop them.

That’s what I used to do when I used to refinished tabletops.

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View Jeff's profile


10 posts in 3113 days

#5 posted 06-07-2010 05:48 PM

I’ve always avoided wiping on varnish because it was time consuming but I think it’s worth the time if I don’t have to deal with bubbles or brush strokes.

When I do thin the poly, how much should I thin it by? 10%? 20%?

View Randy Sharp's profile

Randy Sharp

363 posts in 3874 days

#6 posted 06-07-2010 05:57 PM

Jeff, I’ve had good results by hand-wiping my first coat. I get a smoother, more thorough base in which to follow up with brushing subsiquent coats. I think it lets me get better coverage into the wood grain, without having it raise as much as first-coat-brushing. Hope this helps.

-- Randy, Tupelo, MS ~ A man who honors his wife will have children who honor their father.

View Jeff's profile


10 posts in 3113 days

#7 posted 06-07-2010 05:59 PM

Randy, do you choose to brush on your subsequent coats to save time?

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