Minwax Helmsman aerosol recoat times?

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Forum topic by kdownes posted 08-04-2011 02:40 AM 3535 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 3168 days

08-04-2011 02:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing helmsman

I’m using Minwax’s Helmsman poly for the first time for a wind chime that will be hanging on our back porch (mahogany and aluminum). I’m a bit confused by the directions on the can, which state that if it isn’t possible to recoat around 1.5 hours after the previous coat, you must wait 72 hours, sand, then you can recoat. I sprayed the first coat on the wood pieces today and while it was warm and not too humid, they didn’t seem dry after 1.5 hours (I’m not used to spraying so I may have laid it on a bit thick). Do I really need to wait a full 72 hours before putting on another coat? If so, fair enough, but it would be great to get this project completed sooner—it was for my wife’s birthday and I’m about a month behind. Any advice or experiences with the aerosol version of Helmsman would be most welcome, and thanks!

3 replies so far

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4150 days

#1 posted 08-04-2011 03:11 PM

Here’s a rhetorical question that would make for a good woodworking bumper sticker:
“Did you test the finish before you ruined your project?”

Seriously, why not test a new finishing product/technique before committing.

Bro. Tenzin

-- 温故知新

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3735 days

#2 posted 08-05-2011 09:05 PM

I think the reason for the long second time frame is to allow the poly to cure completely before adding a second coat. I suspect if you do it within the 1.5 hours the 2nd coat will still bond properly to the first coat (as it has not completely cured). I suspect that if you do not wait for the 2nd coat to dry (assuming you miss the first window of opportunity) you will have to wait the entire time otherwise the finish will peal or do something else equally undesirable.

I haven’t used poly in many years so things may be different now.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View kdownes's profile


9 posts in 3168 days

#3 posted 08-05-2011 09:20 PM

Thanks, Mark. I posted a question about this over at the Minwax forum, as well, and got a similar reply re: proper adhesion and curing. I’m going to do a scuff sanding on Sunday (over 72 hours) and apply another coat, and go lighter this time so things can dry out and I can do a couple more that same day. I was curious mostly because the wait time for recoating (again if you miss that 1.5 hour mark) is so much longer for the aerosol than for regular brush-on Helmsman. In any case, I appreciate the useful advice.

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