wipe on water vs oil poly (difficulty / streaking)

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by Mark Shultz posted 11-17-2013 07:12 PM 932 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mark Shultz's profile

Mark Shultz

105 posts in 2388 days

11-17-2013 07:12 PM

I’ve been fretting about finishing one of my first pieces and have reading here on LJ about the differences between wipe on water and oil based poly. my synopsis is that folks lover water because it is quicker to dry and less odor, but oil is easier to get flat and fewer brush marks. I will be using General Finishes one way or the other, and using a foam brush or pad – non spray. Its November and the air is relatively dry. dry time seems to be a big driver of the issue according to what i’ve read. given this, i’m wondering if folks prefer one or the other based upon width of the piece they are finishing? my piece is 6’x24”. i can imagine streaking is less noticeable in a long narrow trim piece than a wider board / table since there is less need to have overlapping stokes on this stock. just a hypothesis, but wondering what others think.

3 replies so far

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3161 posts in 3107 days

#1 posted 11-18-2013 01:27 AM

I’ve wiped Minwax poly, among other finishes, such as nitrocellulose lacquer and shellac. You’ll have to thin it to some extent. I use old handkerchiefs for wiping, I get good results with them. I learned the old handkerchief trick in Navy boot camp many years ago, for spit-shining shoes.

You might check into French Polishing.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View Mark Shultz's profile

Mark Shultz

105 posts in 2388 days

#2 posted 11-18-2013 01:33 AM

Thanks Dark. I use to be able to spit shine a shoe as well. and also iron a sharp crease in a shirt!

I think i mis-used the term “wipe”. perhaps i should have used Brush on or Foam pad. I’m not talking gel’s here. My key question is water vs oil based.

View SuperCubber's profile


1026 posts in 2283 days

#3 posted 11-18-2013 01:53 AM

I’ve used water-based with a foam brush and it turns out quite nicely. There are some brush strokes for sure, but nothing too apparent. The worst of it is definitely on the wider pieces. The narrower pieces have almost imperceptible strokes. I wish I had a picture handy to show you.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics