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Wipe on Poly on a finished entertainment stand--Process check

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Forum topic by bassett72 posted 04-21-2020 08:08 PM 1038 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bassett72

51 posts in 887 days


04-21-2020 08:08 PM

So, I’m going to be using MW wipe on poly to finish a quick and easy entertainment stand for my son. I have to do 1 coat on all the bottom surfaces, let it dry. Do 1 coat on all the top surfaces, let it dry. Do 1 coat on 1 side, let it dry. OR, does it matter if you do it on a vertical surface? I know I’ll need at least 3 coats. I don’t want it to take 4 weeks. I’m assuming even though it says 2-3 hours to recoat, over night would be best?

Any quick hitting advice, tips would be greatly appreciated.

OH, and I was thinking of using a foam brush, unless wiping it on would be better….


32 replies so far

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MrUnix

8085 posts in 2969 days


#1 posted 04-21-2020 08:17 PM

Doing it on a vertical surface should not be a problem… unless you are putting it on too thick. Thin enough and the coats dry fairly quick – initial coats for me can be dry to the touch in 15 minutes or less, and I rarely have to wait any longer than an hour at most. I can do 3 coats easily in a day (more like a couple hours!), and usually I’ll do at least 5 or 6 or more before letting it cure overnight. Never used a foam brush… I just use old cut up t-shirts of which I seem to have an unlimited supply of :)

Disclaimer: I don’t use the pre-made wipe on – I make my own with ~50/50 mix poly and mineral spirits. Although that should not matter as the pre-mix stuff actually has more MS from what I’ve read.

Cheers,
Brad

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

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ToughCut

87 posts in 2377 days


#2 posted 04-21-2020 09:32 PM

I always wait 4-5 hours between coats 2 a day sometimes 3 if i am in a hurry, and MrUnix is right at least 5 coats. I also find the first coat over oil base stain needs about 24 hrs. before the first coat of poly.

-- If you are not willing to learn, No one can help you. If you are determined to learn, No one can stop you.

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WoodES

181 posts in 2461 days


#3 posted 04-22-2020 04:27 AM

I use MW wipe-on frequently and here is what I learned.

1. A minimum of 3 coats is a must.
2. The poly goes on real thin and dries quickly, even in cold, damp weather. Faster the warmer and dryer the climate.
3. If it will be applied cold, <50>s usually very rough. Lightly sand smooth with 220 and apply the 3rd coat.
5. If a 4th coat is desired then, sand with 320 between coats 3 and 4 and thereafter. No sanding after the final coat, just apply the wax with fine steel wool.
6. Apply a good furniture wax and buff.

I typically put a coat of finish on in the morning or evening and let sit overnight or all day. Then re-apply and I can usually complete the finish in 2-3 days.

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bassett72

51 posts in 887 days


#4 posted 04-22-2020 11:30 AM

Curious, what does the wax do? And what kind would i use?

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PBWilson1970

87 posts in 164 days


#5 posted 04-22-2020 02:46 PM

When I use any kind of wipe-on oil/varnish, or poly (I have used Waterlox and Minwax Wipe-On mostly) I set up a drying stand with screws sticking up through a board to hold the workpiece up so I can finish all sides at once. The screw heads are so small they pretty much go unnoticed, especially if they are on the underside or back side of the workpiece and won’t ever be seen. Good luck with the project.

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

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LesB

2551 posts in 4213 days


#6 posted 04-22-2020 04:47 PM


Curious, what does the wax do? And what kind would i use?

- bassett72

I often use a carnauba paste wax after several days of letting the last coat cure. Applied with 0000 steel wool or I prefer the White 3M pad you remove any blips from dust particles that get in the finish and buff it to a satin smoothness. I use Crystal Clear paste was from WoodCrafter.

-- Les B, Oregon

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WoodES

181 posts in 2461 days


#7 posted 04-23-2020 03:55 AM

The wax, when applied with the steel wool or 3M pad smooths the final finish, adds luster, and creates a smooth feel to the touch. Also protects the poly.

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OSU55

2646 posts in 2760 days


#8 posted 04-23-2020 12:17 PM

Common problem with wipe on poly – some ares the wood absorbs more finish. For the 1st coat flood the poly on, keep it wet for 10+ min, then wipe off. Check for weeping every 10 mi or so and wipe off. Let dry 3-4 hours then proceed with normal wipe on process. Fully seals the grain and allows other coats to build film thickness.

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bassett72

51 posts in 887 days


#9 posted 04-23-2020 05:29 PM

Thanks to everyone. I hope to build my “poly booth” in the garage this weekend and start the process.

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bassett72

51 posts in 887 days


#10 posted 04-26-2020 03:06 PM

OK, how thick should this go on? I’ve been basically putting it on thin just so I see that the wood doesn’t look dry, if that makes sense? The first coat didn’t seem to make much of a difference, when I sanded with 220 grit (very lightly) it too some of the stain off. I just did a 2nd coat the same way.

Please advise….

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bassett72

51 posts in 887 days


#11 posted 04-26-2020 11:24 PM



OK, how thick should this go on? I ve been basically putting it on thin just so I see that the wood doesn t look dry, if that makes sense? The first coat didn t seem to make much of a difference, when I sanded with 220 grit (very lightly) it too some of the stain off. I just did a 2nd coat the same way.

Please advise….

- bassett72

OK, I’m still curious about the above, but want to add that I opened a new can of MW poly and the consistency AND color is completely different than the old stuff. The old is yellow and thick, the new is clear and more like water. I did shake the heck out of both before using each. Which is the good one? If I can add a picture here I will.

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MrUnix

8085 posts in 2969 days


#12 posted 04-27-2020 12:03 AM

Was that the wipe-on stuff? Regular oil based MW poly has a slight amber hue to it like what you see on the left. The stuff on the right almost looks like a water based clear finish. Since the pre-mixed wipe on stuff is 50-75% mineral spirits, it could be that your old can had enough of it evaporate out to make it look more like straight poly. Just a guess though… you might want to contact MW and ask the experts :)

As for how thick – your application – super thin so it just looks wet – is what I go for. And I never sand between coats unless it’s been long enough between them for the poly to cure (~24 hours). If you are laying down another coat after a half hour or so (dry to the touch), there is no need to sand. Usually after the first coat (and sometimes after the second or even third), depending on the wood, it will look like there is no finish on it at all. It will build up slowly over the next several coats. Once a sufficient film is formed, it takes roughly 3 coats of wipe on to match a brush on thickness. That is one thing I like about wipe on poly – you can make the finish look like everything from no finish to super gloss depending on application and final treatment. Plus you never have to worry about drips, runs or brush marks!

Cheers,
Brad

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

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bassett72

51 posts in 887 days


#13 posted 04-27-2020 01:15 AM

Yes, both were wipe on. Same stuff. I’m guessing you are right about the evaporation. Sounds like I have been putting too much effort, waiting 3 hours between coats and sanding.

Thanks

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bassett72

51 posts in 887 days


#14 posted 04-27-2020 02:26 PM



Was that the wipe-on stuff? Regular oil based MW poly has a slight amber hue to it like what you see on the left. The stuff on the right almost looks like a water based clear finish.

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

Meant to ask, do you use the oil based or water based stuff? These are both oil based, but curious what is better going forward?

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pontic

797 posts in 1379 days


#15 posted 04-27-2020 02:38 PM

Brad; When you make your wipe-on poly do you use oil base poly? and mix it with 50% MS. I’m assuming you do.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

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