Wipe on Poly receipe

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Forum topic by bluekingfisher posted 02-22-2011 02:34 PM 2319 views 3 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1333 posts in 4311 days

02-22-2011 02:34 PM

I have been meaning to ask for a while and having noticed a recent query on wipe on ploy I was wondering if anyone has a proven receipe for making their own wipe on?

I appreciate it is generally just a thinned down poly using spirit, although I have heard of others adding other oils such as Danish & Tung oil?

Have you found different receipes are more suitable for various projects, such as a wipe on for jigs etc and then for fine furniture.

I would appreciate any info. Thanks folks.


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

8 replies so far

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 4623 days

#1 posted 02-22-2011 05:14 PM

It’s usually just a 1:1 mix with mineral spirits, but the exact ratio isn’t really important. The thinner it is, the more coats it takes to build the final thickness you want. One thing you have to be careful of: if you are using flat or semi-gloss, the flattening agent will settle out faster when it’s thinned. Stir well before you thin it, and while you use it.

You can also mix it 1:1:1 with spirits and oil (boiled linseed oil is easiest to get here in the States). This is an “oil-varnish blend”. It doesn’t build on the surface like varnish; it soaks in. This is desirable if you don’t want the look of a film on the surface. It also doesn’t cure as hard. “Danish Oil” is just a marketing term to describe commercial versions of it (Watco). “Tung Oil Finish” (Minwax) is the same thing. It’s a sure bet that it will be cheaper to make your own.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View Corks's profile


8 posts in 4022 days

#2 posted 02-22-2011 05:38 PM

1/3 poly, 1/3 mineral spirits or naphtha and 1/3 boiled linseed oil. Naphtha will dry quicker.

-- Treat every day like is was your last and some day you'll be right.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5362 posts in 5292 days

#3 posted 02-22-2011 05:47 PM

Why does it have to be poly? Why not a good quality wiping varnish and not worry about it?

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View skippyland's profile


158 posts in 4023 days

#4 posted 02-22-2011 05:55 PM

I have been very happy with the results I get with a combination of poly-u, tung oil, and naptha. The first coat is fairly heavy with a brush, and then several light coats afterwards with 4/0 wool in between. I’m now experimenting with gloss poly on that initial coat with semi-gloss to follow. Because of the naptha, 12 hours dry time is plenty.

-- Skip from Batavia, purveyor of fine and exotic sawdust & chips.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7191 posts in 4526 days

#5 posted 02-22-2011 06:40 PM

+1 for all of the above mentioned recepies for wipe-on poly…..they ALL work good…...

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View Pop's profile


433 posts in 5278 days

#6 posted 02-22-2011 07:39 PM

Here’s a formula called ” 3 – 2 – 1 ” : 3 parts mineral spirits, 2 parts polyurethane & 1 part boiled linseed oil. This was given to me by a old furniture maker in the NC mountains.

I have another furniture maker near Charlotte that uses this formula for finishing. 1. 3 parts Boiled linseed oil to 1 part wipe-on poly. The poly speeds up the drying of the oil. 2. 6 coats or more shellac entire piece. 3. several final coats of wipe-on poly on top surfaces to add protection.


-- One who works with his hands is a laborer, his hands & head A craftsman, his hands, head & heart a artist

View jcwalleye's profile


306 posts in 4404 days

#7 posted 02-23-2011 04:21 AM

Whichever way you choose, stay away from the “green” mineral spirits. There’s a high percentage of water to them and you’ll get unpredictable results from grain raise to slow dry times. The labels don’t say anything about waters but other LJ’rs clued me in. My experience with mineral spirits is that water and oil don’t mix.

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

View bluekingfisher's profile


1333 posts in 4311 days

#8 posted 02-23-2011 03:07 PM

Many thanks for your input fellahs, there is lots of information there to help me experiement with.

Thanks all.


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

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