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Thinning MinWax Fast Drying Poly (Clear Gloss) with "Green" Mineral Spirits

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Forum topic by jcwalleye posted 01-04-2011 02:00 AM 16296 views 1 time favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jcwalleye

301 posts in 2541 days


01-04-2011 02:00 AM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing mineral spirits

Are there reasons why a person shouldn’t thin MinWax Poly (oil based) with Kleen Strip “Green” Odorless Mineral Spirits? These mineral spirits have a milky appearance that continues after mixing but disappears when brushed on. The mixture doesn’t look right to me nor does it dry very fast. The instructions on the MinWax says don’t thin.

I tried thinning with paint thinner and get better results. But would like the low VOC’s of “Green” mineral spirits. Are there other kinds of mineral spirits that would work better.

-- Trees, a wonderful gift --Joe--


19 replies so far

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 2528 days


#1 posted 01-04-2011 03:26 AM

The problem is the “Green Odorless Mineral spirits”
It is not a REAL mineral spirit.
You can buy Odorless Mineral Spirits

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Steven H

1117 posts in 2528 days


#2 posted 01-04-2011 03:27 AM

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jcwalleye

301 posts in 2541 days


#3 posted 01-04-2011 03:55 AM

Thanks much Steven. I didn’t see anything but the “Green” mineral spirts at the BORG. I guess I should have looked closer or elsewhere.

Rant On:
Why can companies get away with advertising “Green Odorless Mineral Spirits” that aren’t a real mineral spirit. Their labels say “Can be used with any oil based finish” Be assured that’s not true, at least in terms of thinning Poly. They don’t do anything to explain what’s different. Disgruntled, gripe, moan, bitch.
Rant Off.

-- Trees, a wonderful gift --Joe--

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Aaron Taylor

37 posts in 2617 days


#4 posted 01-04-2011 04:56 PM

I have thinned Minwax poly with Naphtha Solvent with great success. Of course it isn’t “green” or odorless, but it does a great job of creating that quick skin and hasn’t effected the end result of the finish. I usually add one once per quart of poly. Not sure if it makes a difference, but I spray mine on as well; so not totally sure how well it works if it is brushed or rubbed on. Last time I looked it was available at both HD or Lws.

Just another alternative.

Aaron

-- "Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops."--Cary Grant from the movie Arsenic and Old Lace

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Cory

758 posts in 2887 days


#5 posted 01-05-2011 09:31 PM

Forgive my ignorance, but what makes the “green” mineral spirits not really mineral spirits?

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

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wseand

2754 posts in 2509 days


#6 posted 01-05-2011 09:54 PM

I have had great success with thinning min-wax with the green mineral spirits. But I really just dip the brush in the spirits prior to dipping in the poly but not necessary every time you dip in the poly. It really helps smooth the poly out and keeps the poly from drying on the brush. I have actually called min-wax and they suggested this before trying to mix it together in the can. Not sure if this is what you are doing or not. So I just have two smaller cans and put smaller portions of each and use those. It also does a great job of cleaning wood prior to stain, it really helps the wood absorb the color of the stain. Kleen-strip is the only mineral spirits I use, I prefer the environmental friendly solvents. Anyways, just my 0.02 cents FWIW.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

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jcwalleye

301 posts in 2541 days


#7 posted 01-06-2011 04:51 AM

I mixed a 50/50 solution of MinWax Poly (oil based) with Kleen Strip “Green” Odorless Mineral Spirits. It was still tacky after a week and sanding only loaded up the sandpaper instead of resulting in a white powder. I tried moving the wood to a warmer location (avg 75 deg) and that didn’t seem to make any difference.

After getting Steven’s answer I researched further and found a review on the Rockler site where someone said the “Green” mineral spirits contained a high percentage of water, hence the milky appearance. That user was very disappointed with it because it caused grain raise. I’m disappointed that Rockler wouldn’t add my review of the product.

I ended up cleaning the work with a high dose of straight paint thinner and after that dried overnight, was able to sand and continue on with the finishing. I think Steven is right and the “Green” mineral spirits are not the same as the mineral spirits we’re used to.

My advice, use it with caution.

-- Trees, a wonderful gift --Joe--

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wseand

2754 posts in 2509 days


#8 posted 01-06-2011 06:40 AM

Joe it says right on the can not to thin it, the only reason to even use a thinner is to keep it from drying so fast in high heat and or low humidity. Now you can either use mineral spirits or paint thinner, but very little and only apply it to the brush and in small amounts.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

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jcwalleye

301 posts in 2541 days


#9 posted 01-06-2011 07:40 AM

We’ll I’ve been confused about wiping varnishes from day one but am attrackted by its foolproof claims. Though in my case, not true. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of concensus but the simplest recipes say to thin any oil based finish with 50% thinner or mineral spirits And that’s what I’ve been doing with some success and sometimes not. It takes 4 or 5 thin coats to build up to a minimum level and I mix small amounts in a seperate container.

I struggle with finishing Wseand, probably from bad technique, and would like to find something more reliable and foolproof. Lately, I’ve been using Watco Danish Oil (Natural finish) and after a week or so to dry, follow up with several coats of what I thought was homemade wiping varnish, sanding in between. What would you suggest for something that’s simple and tolerates mistakes. I’ve gotten poorer results in the past using Poly full strength.

Thanks everybody for your interest and suggestions.

-- Trees, a wonderful gift --Joe--

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wseand

2754 posts in 2509 days


#10 posted 01-07-2011 05:47 AM

As far as I am concerned there is no foolproof way, I can mess up anything.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 2528 days


#11 posted 01-08-2011 02:55 AM

What the manufacturers won’t tell you (because they can’t).

Those of you who actually read labels are no doubt aware of the printed admonition on every can of varnish; “DO NOT THIN!” Why? What “rule” of finishing does thinning varnish violate? Not to change the subject, but have any of you ever removed the little tag on your mattress that says “DO NOT REMOVE”? What happened when you violated this command? Nothing, right! Well, guess what, these two bold warnings fall into the same Federally mandated regulatory basket. Both warnings appear because some government agency has determined that they should be there—that you and I are incapable of making intelligent decisions without big brother’s help and intervention. Well, I’ll remove the damn label if I want to; and, I’ll thin my varnish any time I choose! Regardless of what it says on the can, always thin your first coat about 20% to 25% and all subsequent coats 5% to 10%. Thin AFTER you have decanted the varnish into the application container as described above.

The “DO NOT THIN” warning printed on the label is a requirement of one of the “clean air” acts passed by congress. It relates to the release of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). In order for manufacturers to be in compliance with the regulations one of the methods they have employed has been the reduction of thinner that makes the varnish easier to spread. There was a day when you actually could apply varnish as it came from the can. But, even the old-timers would often thin varnish to adjust flow-out to current temperature and humidity conditions.

By thinning as I have recommended you are simply returning the thinner that was once in the can when you bought the stuff. This added thinner makes the varnish easier to apply by reducing the viscosity so that it will flow out and level better thus allowing air bubbles to float to the surface and pop before being encapsulated in the curing film. Brush marks also level faster with the added thinner.

I suggest that you thin with mineral spirits and not naphtha, a more volatile (faster evaporating) thinner. Thinners that evaporate too quickly defeat much of the purpose of thinning in the first place. The fast drying varnishes sold today are already formulated to dry very quickly. Thinning with naphtha can significantly reduce “open time” and make applying the finish more difficult. In fact, when I am applying varnish to a very large surface, for example a dining table, I will often thin with gum turpentine to slow the drying rate and improve flow-out even more. The objective, contrary to popular opinion, is not speed; the objective is a quality finish.

http://www.hardwoodlumberandmore.com/Articles/ArticleViewPage/tabid/75/ArticleId/24/Applying-Varnish-with-a-brush.aspx

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wseand

2754 posts in 2509 days


#12 posted 01-08-2011 04:54 AM

@SteveH The little tag on your mattress is not supposed to be taken off by distributors, it doesn’t apply to the consumer. I certainly do appreciate your unconscious wisdom on labels though, now I can ignore them all.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 2528 days


#13 posted 01-08-2011 08:44 AM

Bill

I didn’t write that, It was cut and paste from Steve Mickley website.

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wseand

2754 posts in 2509 days


#14 posted 01-08-2011 08:55 AM

Steve

My apologies as most of my friends will agree with, I am not the brightest bulb on the chandelier.

Bill

Edit: And to Joe, my apologies for ruining your post.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

View Zif's profile

Zif

4 posts in 1883 days


#15 posted 10-15-2011 10:38 PM

This stuff, “Green Mineral Spirits” which is white, has to be an emulsion. By that I mean it is a mixture of traditional mineral spirits which is clear and water. Along with a surfactant the two can be mixed together to form little tiny droplets much like mayonnaise and milk to give the white appearance. The emulsion can form in one of two ways either “water in oil” (water droplets in oil) or “oil in water” (oil droplets in water).

I suspect this is an oil in water emulsion for a couple of reasons. When I mixed it with poly the mixture seemed to get thicker due to the additional oil droplets formed. Also the claim that “green mineral spirits” is non-flammable suggests a non-flammable water phase encasing the flammable mineral spirits droplets.

I also noticed as others did above that the finish seemed to take a long time to dry and remained tacky. Maybe due to the surfactant left behind in the dried poly as most surfactants are not volatile.

I will probably not use again for thinning finishes but would use again for cleaning brushes.

TZ

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