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Brush on Poly vs. Arm-R-Seal wipe on

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Forum topic by bassett72 posted 01-30-2018 04:08 PM 2807 views 0 times favorited 37 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bassett72

22 posts in 231 days


01-30-2018 04:08 PM

I’m wondering the following between the 2:
Which is easier to apply?
Which produces better looking results?
Which is provides a harder, more durable surface?

I previously did mantle and had many issues with bubble in the poly and didn’t know what to do with the final coat to get the bubbles out??!?
I didn’t want to sand it as I didn’t want it to look cloudy like the previous coats.

Then, I saw a few videos on using ARM-R-Seal wipe on, oil based. Seemed to be easier to work with, but wanted to check with the experts here to see what the answers are to the above questions and any other pros and cons are before I start my next project.

Thanks…


37 replies so far

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

1147 posts in 706 days


#1 posted 01-30-2018 04:43 PM

Wipe on:
Pros: You need almost no experience and no additional investment besides an old t-shirt.. You get very good results on the very first attempt.
Cons: You need to apply more coats, with long drying times. Expect a week to complete the project.

Brush on:
Pros: The layers are thicker and you need fewer of them.
Cons: You need some top quality ( expensive ) brush and way to clean it. You spoil quite a few projects before you start getting professionally looking results without bubbles, brush marks etc.

Spray on:
The best quality and fastest to apply finish. But hardly anyone sprays oil based polyurethane because cleanup is a nightmare, if possible at all.

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bassett72

22 posts in 231 days


#2 posted 01-30-2018 04:59 PM

I hear 1 vote for wipe on. And I’m leaning that direction. How about durability/hardness?

Also, would anyone suggest using ARM-R-Seal over Minwax Wipe on?

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6882 posts in 2314 days


#3 posted 01-30-2018 05:11 PM

Wipe-on poly (regular poly mixed 50/50 with mineral spirits) is almost foolproof, and you can get darn near any look you want. Not sure where the long dry times comment came from… initial coats dry to the touch in 5-15 minutes and you don’t need to sand between coats unless they have cured for longer than 24 hours. You can easily slap on 6-10 coats within 8 hours, let it cure overnight, then apply a final finish coat or two and call it done.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View buckbuster31's profile

buckbuster31

254 posts in 630 days


#4 posted 01-30-2018 05:14 PM

wipe on hands down.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5065 posts in 2608 days


#5 posted 01-30-2018 05:38 PM

Wipe on varnish is usually called the most fool proof finish to apply of all. It’s common to mention that it takes 3 coats of wipe on to equal one coat of brushed, but this will vary with the amount of thinner. used in the wiping product. Generally, I will apply 3 coats in one day and let it sit, then repeat….that will also vary with the product. But if there should be little difference in the durability and other attributes if the finished film thickness is the same between the 2 finishes.

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

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

1514 posts in 2463 days


#6 posted 01-30-2018 06:08 PM

I’ve tried all of the methods mentioned as well as the products and there is no comparison. Arm-R-Seal is my favorite finish. I routinely spray Arm-R-Seal with great results and minimal setup and clean up. I also wipe it on as a precoat on pieces before finalglue-up. It is far superior to minwax, or wipe on poly IMO.

One last comment about drying time. If you rush drying you wind up with problems. I wait 24 hours between coats, no exception. It is faster than having to re-sand and start over because the finish wasn’t dry before another coat was put on top of it.

Find what works for you and what you like.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Rich's profile

Rich

3514 posts in 704 days


#7 posted 01-30-2018 07:29 PM

I use Arm-R-Seal or Waterlox on all of my furniture and cabinet builds, depending on the situation. I find that a good quality foam brush (yes, they exist, but not at Harbor Freight or Home Depot) is a great choice. It gives the heavier build of a brush, but without any brush marks. No gloves required either.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Carloz

1147 posts in 706 days


#8 posted 01-30-2018 07:40 PM


... Not sure where the long dry times comment came from…
Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

RTFM. Dry 12-24+ hours between coats when applying over raw or stained raw wood, and dry 72+ hours between coats when working over an existing sealed finish. ... Inadequate dry time is one of the top reasons for finish failures….
Of course many people do sloppy job and cut corners ending with mediocre finish.

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

388 posts in 3197 days


#9 posted 01-30-2018 07:50 PM


One last comment about drying time. If you rush drying you wind up with problems. I wait 24 hours between coats, no exception. It is faster than having to re-sand and start over because the finish wasn t dry before another coat was put on top of it.

I used some brush on poly a long time ago and it seemed like it still smelled at least 6 months later. I was inexperienced and probably put on a second coat too soon, locking a wet coat under the to player. This should be less of an issue with wipe-on poly because each layer should dry faster. It is probably best to wait extra time between coats to avoid this issue. Two coats per day with wipe-on ploy should still be OK.

-- Steve

View bassett72's profile

bassett72

22 posts in 231 days


#10 posted 01-30-2018 08:18 PM

How about durability/hardness of the ARM-R-SEAL oil based Urethane?

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6882 posts in 2314 days


#11 posted 01-30-2018 08:36 PM

RTFM. Dry 12-24+ hours between coats when applying over raw or stained raw wood, and dry 72+ hours between coats when working over an existing sealed finish. ... Inadequate dry time is one of the top reasons for finish failures….
Of course many people do sloppy job and cut corners ending with mediocre finish.
- Carloz

That is for arm-r-seal oil based top coat (applied w/brush, pad or sprayed) – not the 50/50 wipe on poly I was referring to – sorry for the confusion.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1827 posts in 2104 days


#12 posted 01-30-2018 10:43 PM

would anyone suggest using ARM-R-Seal over Minwax Wipe on? No. MW poly is one of the few MW products I will use. Its all about the application. You might find this interesting reading.. If brushing thin the poly 10-20% and use a good brush as mentioned.

View jonah's profile

jonah

1834 posts in 3413 days


#13 posted 01-31-2018 01:00 AM

I’ve used both Arm-R-Seal and Minwax Wipe On Poly. I much prefer the Arm-R-Seal. It gives a much better looking finish, IMO.

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bassett72

22 posts in 231 days


#14 posted 01-31-2018 01:48 AM

What do people do after the final coat? Anything, or once it dries, it dries. Mainly speaking to Arm-R-Seal…

OSU, I might try both methods and see what works best for me. So, if I could get your post final coat steps, I would appreciate it.

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jonah

1834 posts in 3413 days


#15 posted 01-31-2018 02:07 AM

I don’t do anything. The final coat is always a very thin one, wiped on.

I can’t imagine a circumstance where I’d need more shine than gloss Arm-R-Seal. I don’t even normally stock gloss finish, since I use semi-gloss for just about everything I make.

showing 1 through 15 of 37 replies

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