LumberJocks

Wiping Varnish Application Question

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by unclearthur posted 02-08-2020 04:52 AM 588 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View unclearthur's profile

unclearthur

383 posts in 2843 days


02-08-2020 04:52 AM

Hi All,

A couple of questions about using a wiping varnish.

1. After applying with a cloth, do you wipe off and if so how/when? I’ve brushed on full strength poly which you don’t wipe off, and used oils where you flood then wipe everything off with a dry cloth after a few minutes. Not sure about wiping varnish. On youtube I see some people not wiping at all, others basically doing a very light 2nd wipe (almost like levelng it) and others wiping it off like it was an oil …...

2. The finishing guru Flexnor says you can easily make your own wiping varnish by thinning oil based poly by about 1/3 with mineral spirits. Any disadvantages to doing this compared to commercial wipe on varnishes (Miniwas wipe on poly, Arm R Seal, ....)?

Thanks for any replies.


11 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

8515 posts in 3254 days


#1 posted 02-08-2020 05:00 AM

I use a 50/50 mix of oil based poly and mineral spirits – and apply using the teenager working at Dennys on a weekend night wiping tables method :)

Cheers,
Brad

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

View SMP's profile

SMP

3813 posts in 961 days


#2 posted 02-08-2020 05:01 AM

This is one of those questions where if you ask 100 people you get 300 answers. Even the manufacturer sometimes gives you multiple ways to do it. I usually follow the manufacturer directions or wipe most off if in doubt.

You can do 50/50, 30/70, etc, or you can make the maloof blend of 1/3 poly, 1/3 BLO, 1/3 mineral spirits.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6926 posts in 3549 days


#3 posted 02-08-2020 11:46 AM

The advantage of mixing your own is cost savings. The premixed stuff charges you so much (and many formulas are as much as 70% solvents) for the thinner component is a colossal rip off. If you add in BLO it becomes “danish oil”. I always mix my own, and in most cases the wiping varnish does not need to be wiped off. Danish oil does.

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

View PBWilson1970's profile

PBWilson1970

196 posts in 449 days


#4 posted 02-08-2020 12:30 PM

I’ve used Waterlox and Minwax Wiping Poly and have mainly followed the same technique with very good results.

I thin the first coat about 50/50 with mineral spirits, wipe it on, re-apply in areas that soak it up and look dry, let it sit for a short while (10 minutes depending on the weather) and wipe it off.

I follow with full strength coats, wiped on and after a short while, wipe off the excess.

I hit it with either 0000 steel wool or high grit sandpaper every couple dry coats to get rid of any dust or rough areas. Once it looks good (3 or 4 or 5 coats?) I let it dry, hit it once more with steel wool and wax it.

I’m planning a dining room table next and for the top, where I’ll want even more protection, I may do what Mike Pekovich does which is instead of wiping off the excess on the second and following coats, he lets it dry which builds more. He also wet sands with the finish after the second coat to level it and applies a full strength first coat with a brush.

There’s lots of ways to do it. Mine may be more cautious than it needs to be but I don’t get drips, get an even coat and because I use good products and prep the wood well, it turns out great. Good luck!

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12314 posts in 4484 days


#5 posted 02-08-2020 01:32 PM

Watco and oilbased poly, mixed 50/50, is my go to finish. Usually, four coats. Reducing the Watco by 25% each successive coat. I apply with folded blue paper towels and wipe each coat down with folded clean paper towels after a couple hours. My method takes about five days, not including drying.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Robert's profile

Robert

4522 posts in 2536 days


#6 posted 02-08-2020 02:07 PM

Apply an even coat, level off. Don’t wipe it off.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View unclearthur's profile

unclearthur

383 posts in 2843 days


#7 posted 02-08-2020 05:14 PM



This is one of those questions where if you ask 100 people you get 300 answers.
- SMP

Seems like you are right about that.
Thanks everyone

View LesB's profile

LesB

2956 posts in 4499 days


#8 posted 02-08-2020 07:16 PM

Question #1….multiple answers. I wipe on a thin coat. Let it dry sand lighty and wipe on a 2nd coat and so on until your are satisfied. One of the easiest finishes for wipe on I have used is Casey Tru-oil gunstock finish. This one is easy to repair scratches later. For smaller pieces I also use General’s salad bowl finish…very good on lathe turned work. I use high quality paper towels folded in 4 layer pads but old T-shirt material works good too.

Question #2 It is less expensive to use thinned poly. This also can depend on how much you need and you can adjust the viscosity if needed.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2954 posts in 3190 days


#9 posted 02-09-2020 10:06 AM

This article by Flexner explains difference between wiping varnish & oil varnish blend. Big help telling us what commercial products actually are if scroll down to list:
https://www.popularwoodworking.com/finishing/oil-finishes-their-history-and-use/

I know Flexner doesn’t mention ratio of poly or varnish to solvent / thinner make a wiping varnish in his article. While does mention 1/3 mix for oil varnish blends. As a professional finisher- refinisher using more resin than solvent / thinner saves time & money

Better to start out using a 50/50 mix of poly or varnish & mineral spirits for 1st two coats. Two coat with this mix should equal 1 coat of pure poly or varnish! Just wipe on and let dry between coats. After that you can add more poly or varnish and less MS.

JMHO homemade wiping varnish better because you don’t need a degree in chemistry to figure out what ratio of poly or varnish to thinner you have. Therefor can adjust ratios as needed. Ease of application, faster drying between coats verus regular poly / varnish. Whether to sand between coats is tough one while might do that for pure poly may or may not using thinned poly/ varnish.

If buying a commercial wiping varnish try to insure doesn’t contain more that 60% solvent / thinner (MS, Naphtha, Turpentine). Some products more than 70% solvent thinner.

-- Bill

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2774 posts in 3045 days


#10 posted 02-09-2020 02:20 PM

This blog might help you out. Poly can be used/applied many different ways, just depends on what you are after. I have several poly finished examples in my projects.

View unclearthur's profile

unclearthur

383 posts in 2843 days


#11 posted 02-09-2020 11:10 PM



This article by Flexner explains difference between wiping varnish & oil varnish blend. Big help telling us what commercial products actually are if scroll down to list:
https://www.popularwoodworking.com/finishing/oil-finishes-their-history-and-use/

- Wildwood


Good link


This blog might help you out. Poly can be used/applied many different ways, just depends on what you are after. I have several poly finished examples in my projects.
- OSU55

Interesting blog post and great projects!

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

HomeRefurbers.com