Durability of poly from a spray can

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Forum topic by torea posted 01-09-2017 02:50 AM 662 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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24 posts in 1067 days

01-09-2017 02:50 AM

Hey all!

I’m working on a set of coasters and I want to finish them with something that will stand up to the task they will serve. I previously finished a set with about 8 coats of wipe-on poly and those are holding up very well a year later.

This time, I made a little holder that I think will be tough to wipe onto, so I want to use a spray poly. Will this be as strong as the wipe-on variety? I’m thinking something like this –

Thank you!

(The 0 didn’t quite come out straight but for one of my first projects I’m still pretty happy with it)

8 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5171 posts in 2691 days

#1 posted 01-09-2017 12:37 PM

Wipe on “poly” is simply a very thin varnish, so the amount of solids left on the surface is minimal per soat. the aerosol “poly” is also just a very thin varnish, with the same effect. So my conclusion is that if the wipe on stuff performed as you needed, the aerosol will as well. I’m guessing the rack won’t really need as much protection as the coasters anyway, so it seems like your plan is good to go.

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

View splintergroup's profile


2422 posts in 1420 days

#2 posted 01-09-2017 04:39 PM

I occasionally use aerosol poly on small items. It is convenient, but very expensive. The (Minwax brand) durability seems fine and the spray cans use the “special” nozzle which I consider superb for this application.

Other brands of spray “poly”, especially those that seem significantly cheaper, have a different “odor” that I can’t quite put my finger on and they don’t seem to dry as hard. If I need the qualities of the Minwax in the can, but with the convenience of a spray, I’ll stick with the same brand.

If I have enough spraying to justify breaking out the spray gun (and the ensuing cleanup), I’ll just use the canned poly and thin it down with mineral spirits.

View torea's profile


24 posts in 1067 days

#3 posted 01-13-2017 03:44 AM

Awesome, thanks for the advice! I was pretty sure it’d end up being the same, but I wasn’t sure, since I don’t know too much about finishes.

View Woodknack's profile


12430 posts in 2578 days

#4 posted 01-13-2017 05:16 AM

I don’t know the answer but just a thought, if you waterproof the coasters won’t that defeat their purpose? Won’t the water just pool up around the glass and spill onto the table or cause the coaster to stick to the glass then fall off?

-- Rick M,

View AlaskaGuy's profile


4765 posts in 2507 days

#5 posted 01-13-2017 06:51 AM

If I was going to finish them I’d use Waterlox original.

I think Rick M has a very good point.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View McFly's profile


273 posts in 1225 days

#6 posted 01-13-2017 05:30 PM

Ive sprayed spar urethane with excellent results. Follow the instructions on the can and get your spray on!

View ArtMann's profile


1135 posts in 1014 days

#7 posted 01-13-2017 10:02 PM

I make and sell walnut, cherry and maple coasters and trivets carved on my CNC router. I have done extensive testing on various finishes and have found that Minwax brand polyurethane in rattle cans is about as durable as anything I have found. I have tested the trivets with 450 degree pyrex and ceramic casserole dishes and the poly does not melt, get sticky or change in appearance in at least a year of personal use. I have a maple coaster sitting on my desk right now that has been in use for ovr two years. I have left glasses with ice sitting on it until the condensate pooled up and ran over the side onto the desk top many, many times. The disk is a little warped but it is still shiny and fully functional.

In general, I am not a big fan of Minwax products but this particular one does the job for me. I tried the wipe on material and it didn’t hold up for me. Below are a couple of examples. The first is a 6.5 inch diameter trivet and the second is a 3.75 inch coaster.

I generally apply 4 heavy coats for moisture resistance.

Edit: I just looked at the link in your first post and I use the same stuff except I prefer the semi-gloss. No water based!

View torea's profile


24 posts in 1067 days

#8 posted 01-14-2017 05:05 AM

Thanks for all the responses!

I don t know the answer but just a thought, if you waterproof the coasters won t that defeat their purpose? Won t the water just pool up around the glass and spill onto the table or cause the coaster to stick to the glass then fall off?

- Rick M

I was mainly thinking of durability in the form of being dropped and having stuff smacked down on them a lot. I’ve definitely used a thick layer of poly on coasters before and they seem to work just fine. We put soda cans and water glasses on them daily and they’ve never stuck or had condensation spill over. How would coasters be finished otherwise?

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