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wipe on poly

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Forum topic by awlee posted 889 days ago 3193 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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awlee

18 posts in 920 days


889 days ago

Can I make my own wipe-on poly by diluting regular poly (e.g. Minwax or other brush-on stuff you can get in gallons from the box stores) with mineral oil or some other solvent? If so, what would be a good rule of thumb for proportions? And the same for water-based finishes, can I add some water to create a wipe-on potion? How would these affect the “gloss” or “satin” qualities of the finishes? Any wisdom—and also stories or experiences—is greatly appreciated. Thanks much.


6 replies so far

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1460 posts in 2164 days


#1 posted 889 days ago

1/3 poly, 1/3 boiled linseed oil, 1/3 mineral spirits works great. You can use less mineral spirits to make it a little thicker mix. Not sure about the water based finishes.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Fuzzy's profile

Fuzzy

289 posts in 2587 days


#2 posted 889 days ago

I use a lot of WATERLOX and McCloskey’s varnish … I like to thin the first few coats about 70% VM&P Naptha to 30% finish … slop it on and keep it wet for a while, then wipe it back … soaks in and seals the pores … after that, I use a mixture of about 50%-60% Naptha and apply it with a lint free rag … I can’t remember the last time I picked up one of those $50-$60 fancy brushes … just don’t need them any more.

Water based is a different game altogether … on the rare occasion that I do use it, I thin it (probably more than I should) with a product called FLOETROL … I won’t even tell you what the ratio is that I use ‘cause it’s certainly NOT recommended by the manufacturer(s), but so far, so good.

Linseed oil is one component of finishing that I simply have no use for … it never completely dries or cures, and I don’t see where it does anything for the appearance of a project that I can’t accomplish in a more sane & predictable manner. Look into Charles Neil’s Blotch Control and learn to use dyes instead of stains … you will be a much better finisher if you’ll take that one piece of advice and run with it.

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

View bobsmyuncle's profile

bobsmyuncle

110 posts in 1290 days


#3 posted 889 days ago

1/3 each BLO, varnish, and mineral spirits makes what is called an oil-varnish blend. This is canned as a variety of names such as Danish Oil, Teak Oil, <acme>oil, and even Tung Oil Finish. Though some brands such as Watco can be 6/9 mineral spirits, 2/9 BLO and 1/9 varnish. So this is a much more oil-heavy and dilute version

If you want a wiping varnish, dilute about 50-50 with mineral spirits. You can wipe on coats but you will need 2-3 times as many as brushed on, but you can wipe on three coats in a day,once the varnish is no longer sticky. Then dry overnight, scuff sand, and repeat the 3x.

You can’t just dilute water-based willy-nilly, in my opinion, though I have seen it suggested. Modern w/b finishes might have a dozen or more components in a carefully balanced formula. Just dumping in a bunch of water is going to upset that.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15661 posts in 2817 days


#4 posted 889 days ago

A simple formula for wipe on poly is just to mix regular poly 50/50 with mineral spirits. More coats will be required, of course, but the gloss level will be unchanged.

This works great with oil based, but personally, I have not had much success trying to thin water-based poly to wipe it on.

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

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1460 posts in 2164 days


#5 posted 888 days ago

Here is a must have link also: http://www.thewoodshop.20m.com/finishing.htm

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View awlee's profile

awlee

18 posts in 920 days


#6 posted 885 days ago

Thanks, all, this is very helpful.

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