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Forum topic by Will Stokes posted 07-27-2010 05:22 PM 996 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Will Stokes

265 posts in 2815 days


07-27-2010 05:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finish water poly question cherry walnut finishing

I’ve been building a few projects, most w/ cherry, and using Tried and True Varnish oil with a top coat of wax. These pieces didn’t need to worry about water so much so this has been fine and I love the color. I recently made a shoe rack that while being inside will have wet shoes occasionally placed on it. I’m thinking varnish oil won’t be good enough, but I don’t think I can put poly on top of varnish oil. Should I use poly alone? I’m not interested in staining the wood, I’m pretty happy with the color the cherry and walnut already provide. I also understand there is a newer outdoor variety of poly as well. Should I just use that alone? Brush it on, or is there a wipe on version and if so what are the pros and cons of each?

-Finishing newbie


4 replies so far

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CharlieM1958

16241 posts in 3679 days


#1 posted 07-27-2010 05:32 PM

You can put oil-based poly on top of an oil/varnish product with no problem. I would assume the the “outdoor” product you are referring to has extra UV protection, which is not necessary for your application. Standard poly will offer good water resistance.

I prefer wiping to brushing on most of my projects because it is easier to avoid runs and brush marks. But depending on how your shoe rack is designed, brushing might be better/easier, because I would guess you are looking for good coverage more so than a flawless finish.

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

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Will Stokes

265 posts in 2815 days


#2 posted 07-27-2010 07:29 PM

Interesting. So can you wipe on any can of poly, or are there poly’s specialized for wiping on instead of brushing on? I definately prefer the wipe/rub on process for applying T&T VO.

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CharlieM1958

16241 posts in 3679 days


#3 posted 07-27-2010 09:35 PM

You can buy wipe-on poly in the big box store, but it is really just regular poly thinned down. If you already have some regular poly in the shop, you can just mix it 50-50 with mineral spirits and wipe it on. Keep in mind that wiping takes more coats, because each coat you apply will be very thin.

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

View Will Stokes's profile

Will Stokes

265 posts in 2815 days


#4 posted 07-27-2010 09:45 PM

Cool, thanks. :-) I guess I’ll put on a few coats of T&T, then wipe on a few thinned coats of poly.

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