Don’t use an electric sander between coats. Unlike brushing, wiping on a flawless coat of poly doesn’t require skill or an expensive brush. I have learned to very carefully wipe off the threads on the can before putting the lid back on, and occasionally clean them off with steel wool to get the lid on and off easily again. Contact us, here. + DUST TOLERANT. If your project has legs, make standoffs for them to perch on. It’s a versatile finish that is thin enough to wipe on, but dries hard even when applied in thicker coats. Last Updated: Friday, January 4th, 2019, Created: Friday, January 11th, 2002. Apply a second thin coat, then lightly sand with 220-grit sandpaper. Apply Polyurethane: The last step will be to let the stain dry completely before applying a top coat of polyurethane over the wooden surface. A while back I talked about wipe on poly in a Craftsman's Corner video, well. Keywords: Wood, Finishing, Finishes, Refinishing, Polyurethane, Wood Restoration, Scratches, Innovations, Techniques. No brush to clean! Get a paint pad at any home center for about $5. Sanding too hard might cut through the finish and leave bare wood. As a rule, it takes three coats of wipe-on to match the buildup that you get from one coat of brush-on poly. You would have to put a lot of coats on to make it strong enough to walk on or use on a serious wear surface, but for non-wear surfaces it is great. Here’s how to gauge which approach is best for your project. If there are bubbles, brush back over the finish lightly to make them pop out. Applying Wipe-On Polyurethane : Wipe-On (also called oil-based) polyurethane blends the best of both worlds of finishing: the high durability and protection of polyurethane with the simple wipe on application of an oil finish. I bet you can imagine how many manufacturers send me products hoping that I will put them on TV. If you have a very light hot cup mark in a table, first test to see if it is a lacquer finish that can be totally repaired with "furnisher refinisher" -- but if it is a plastic finish, take "00" steel wool wetted with Wipe-On-Poly and very gently use the steel wool to remove just a fraction of the discoloured finish. The answer is wiping varnish. The steel wool will cut through any nibs or dust on the surface. Just to prove it here’s the result when I applied Polyshades stain with a foam brush in the past. It is simply a clear polyurethane finish, but formulated to not gum up when applied with a rag. Let dry 4-6 hours. For most of us, polyurethane provides a combination of cost and durability that’s hard to beat. Drop cloths should be used to protect surroundings … After a few days, the solvent will begin to degrade the plastic, so don’t use plastic for long-term storage. It will remove too much finish. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. After each coat, just store it in a sealed plastic tub or plastic bag. Apply the Varathane in a strip along one part of the wood. Check out this simple sanding trick for touch to reach places. I’ve used them for both stain and polyurethane application. + EASY. After that, mop the floor top with a lint-free rag or microfiber cloth. Take your lint free rag, and stuff it with cheese cloth, or another bit of rage, and then wrap the outer rag around to make a little ball. Prepare the polyurethane by reducing it about 10 percent with mineral spirits, unless you're using water-based polyurethane, which doesn't need thinning. Because the coating is thin and dries fast, “nubs” caused by airborne dust are much less likely. Applying the sealant should be an easy job. Start at one end of the wood and follow the grain toward the opposite end. Polyurethane is one of the most common, durable, and best all-around finishes for the everyday diy-er. Place the lambs wool pad on the surface of the wood and begin applying the urethane in long, even strokes with the grain of the wood. We welcome your feedback. You can get adequate protection from brush-on polyurethane with two coats. Click here for some amazing steel wool tips and tricks. Then lightly If your old furniture or woodwork looks dull and lifeless, try renewing it with a few coats of wipe-on finish. Don't use a 25 cent brush that you throw away after you apply the sealant. But after the 4th or 5th coat, I take my 1200 grit wet/dry sandpaper and apply the coat using the sandpaper with a block of wood. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer), how to stain and varnish wood without getting those annoying blotches, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. Wipe contoured surfaces with a clean cloth, going with the grain. The end result is the same polyurethane finish you get with a brush, but much thinner. Try these folding Adirondack chairs. Fold each square in half, twice, to make applicators. Three thin coats of wipe-on finish will look smoother than one or two thicker coats. Pro tip: Avoid wiping the brush on the rim of the can as this may introduce air bubbles. Some took weeks to apply. + FAST. Learn more about refinishing older furniture here. Brush the polyurethane just like brushing paint. With wipe-on poly, you also get goof-proof simplicity, speed and convenience. If you apply only one or two coats of it, it almost looks like an oil finish, but much more water resistant and washable. This will leave only an ultra-thin film of finish on the surface. Applying Polyurethane to Hardwood Floors: Step by Step. Have something you think we should know about? Some looked great at first only to fade over time. Using a rag also eliminates the bubbles you get when you apply Polyshades with a brush. If the stain isn’t completely dry, wiping it with a rag soaked with finish will cause it to smear. (You might sand through it!) Start with a low-grit sandpaper to smooth […] After a few days, the solvent will begin to degrade the plastic, so don’t use plastic for long-term storage. Step 7 Continue applying urethane until the entire surface of the wood is covered. It doesn't  always work, but it usually does a fair to fantastic job. Disclosure: This post is brought to you by The Family Handyman editors, who aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting. That makes it great for on-site finishing. Dip your rag into the finish, squeeze out the excess and wipe on. Within 24 hours of applying the seal coat, brush on a coat of finish right from the can. Regardless of the type you use, if your project will see a lot of wear and tear, few finishes are as appropriate as polyurethane for the protective topcoats. Step 2: Use the 5″ to 3″ brush to apply polyurethane to wood flooring edges, and use the roller or pad to apply it to the center of the floor. Be sure to keep them away from kids and pets. On most surfaces you wipe on the finish and just let it dry. Rub hard. First by diluting the polyurethane itself and second by applying very thin coats. Standard polyurethane is applied with a brush, but there are also wipe-on formulas that are applied with a rag, as well as a spray finishes in aerosol cans. We apply wipe-on polyurethane with a cotton rag, and provided you use the correct quantity of finish evenly on the surface of the wood, you will quickly get good results. Then when I close the can, that freezes into a nightmare to open because of the child-proof gadget on the lid. Wet the applicator with your thinner and then dip it into your diluted finish. We recommend our users to update the browser. The best choice for a clear coating is often a specialized finish like pre-catalyzed lacquer—but that assumes you have a spray booth outfitted with high-end equipment. A margarine or cottage cheese tub is just right for wipe-on. Unlike water-based polyurethanes, you don't have to wo… Applying polyurethane with a brush is pretty straightforward. Finally, clean all the dust off the edges and corners of the room using the same cloth. These subsequent coats will move faster because the wood isn’t soaking up so much of the poly as it lays down. You can put on many coats and get the same durability as a brush on. They poke holes in the wood, so if you have parts that must be finished on both sides, such as a shelf, set them on blocks covered with cloth instead. Polyurethane is widely revered as one of the most durable yet easy-to-apply protective wood finishes. Because I tend to just dump it from the can onto a clean rag for small jobs, I get some on the outside of the spout. However, wet rags are safe if you dispose of them properly. Need an intricate project? Ugly! You can usually reuse them two or three times before they get too gummed up. Be careful near sharp or slightly rounded edges, though. Open the can of wipe-on polyurethane and pour some onto a clean, lint-free rag. Vacuum off the dust, then apply the finish as usual. Dip your rag into the finish, squeeze out the excess and wipe on. First thing is to ensure you use a quality brush. Then, with a clean rag, apply mineral spirits on the rag and wipe down the project, ensuring you cover the entire surface and corners. When you are working with sculptured surfaces, or spindles, this can really make a difference. Polyurethane is a protective finish applied to wood to guard against it wear and other damage. Sand by hand instead. In addition to this […] How To Stain Poplar Step 1 - Sand the Wood. Now I do have one complaint about the product. It is recommended for interior wood surfaces such as furniture, molding, doors and cabinets. Minwax PolyShades is a combination stain and polyurethane finish for wood. After applying the first coat of stain, the user needs to wait for 15 minutes before applying a lighter second coat. Take no chances. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. With the lid in place, the poly will remain fresh for a couple days. The non-absorbed stain should be wiped off from the surface with a clean rag. Brush flat surfaces with a thin coat using a bristle brush. Finally, I’ve found a finish that gives me the durability and flawless look I want along with easy application. You would have to put a lot of coats on to make it strong enough to walk on or use on a serious wear surface, but for non-wear surfaces it is great. White fabric is best because any lint left in the finish is less likely to show. I like it to be palm-sized. Then go ahead and repeat the process, laying on another coat. Hold the can 8-12 inches from the surface. When using Minwax PolyShades instead of a separate stain and varnish, you save time and effort as you protect and beautify your furniture or trim with a quality, lasting finish. Protect your hands with disposable vinyl or nitrile gloves. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. Wash it first with dish soap and water, then lightly sand the old finish with 220-grit sandpaper. On average, wipe-on poly costs twice as much as brush-on poly. These aren’t the only easily accessible finishing standoffs in your shop. Apply the First Coat of Polyurethane. Another great use for the foam brushes is to use them when staining a large project. And it’s even riskier with wipe-on poly. Whether it is oil-based or water-based, it comes in a variety of finishes, from glossy to matte. RAGS. Apply at least two coats to achieve an even sheen. Thin happens in two ways. You'll need to double the coats because the poly is thinned but you'll be … Why would you want to work with so many coats, because it never drips or sags as it goes on so thin. Clean the floor with mineral spirits on a rag to remove any dust or debris before applying polyurethane. A thin coat of bonding primer is going to be an essential ingredient to painting over polyurethane. Applying Polyurethane To Wood Floors With A Roller Clean the floor with mineral spirits on a rag to remove any dust […] How Long Does It Take For Polyurethane To Dry On Cabinets Applying polyurethane to cabinets.. The Spruce / Chelsea Damraksa The end result is the same polyurethane finish you get with a brush, but much thinner. Most clear finishes are applied with a brush, working in the direction of the grain of the wood. Roll a lambswool or synthetic paint roller in the polyurethane to saturate it with the finish. Next, don't paint the finish on, "lay" it down. + NO CLEANUP. To capture the grit and to maintain an even sheen, use a bunch of dry rags to wipe off the finish before it dries. You can put them in the trash. Then get yourself a clean cotton rag (old t-shirt material works great), and fold it into a nice square applicator pad. Do you have to sand between coats of PolyShades? Our latest shed is also a pavilion—and you can build it, too! Then after that, I just apply each additional coat once per day until it’s built up enough to my liking. Tip. Just wipe it off. However, one of the biggest challenges is to apply this type of polyurethane devoid of brush marks and drips. Remove the dust with a tack rag (a sticky cloth you can buy at paint stores) or a vacuum and apply a second coat full strength. When you reach one end, start again at the beginning. Ensure you are wearing Nitrile gloves while using mineral spirits and varnish. Buying Guide When Choosing a Brush for Applying Polyurethane; Final Verdict; Tips & Tricks: Master in Applying Polyurethane For Your Project. Read this article for some tips on preventing home fires. squares. Stir the polyurethane with a paint stirrer to mix it thoroughly. Learn how to stain and varnish wood without getting those annoying blotches by clicking here. It’s best not to sand them at all. Wipe that clean with a cloth and let dry, then apply more coats of the wipe-on poly with the rag to build the finish back up. Once the rags are stiff, they’re no longer a fire hazard. Brush with the grain of the wood when possible. Standoffs allow you to wipe finish all the way down to the ends of the legs. You can even dip the object into stain or pour the stain onto the wood and spread it around. The topcoat protects the wood from wear & tear, scratches, … It’s relatively easy to apply, provides excellent protection, and gives the wood a beautiful luster. I prefer foam brushes and rags over staining pads because of the low price and ease of use. Applying Polyurethane for a Durable, Beautiful Finish. You can use any tool – rag, brush, paint pad, roller or spray gun – to apply the stain. Then use this as the applicator, it works awesomely. You don’t have to work hard to rub it in or rinse it off. Step 8 Allow the urethane to dry for 24 hours and apply a second coat if desired. Wipe off any excess stain. Apply the finish to a limited area, then wipe it off after a few minutes using dry rags. If your project has lots of hard-to-access surfaces, try a different approach. Add Tip Ask Question Comment Download. With the lid in place, the poly will remain fresh for a couple days. Then remove all the sanding dust and apply a second coat. Spread the varnish over the entire surface with long, even strokes. Getting a smooth, blemish-free finish with oil-based polyurethane is within your grasp if you follow the steps in this video. If you like working with oil but you need a polyurethane finish, try Wipe-On-Poly from Minwax. Check this out. Don't slop the finish on by brushing back and forth. Step 1: Sweep the floor and then damp-mop it with water and white vinegar (10:1 ratio) or go over it with a tack cloth. Spray less accessible areas with aerosol polyurethane. Drips happen, so use resin paper, a drop cloth or newspaper to protect your worktable. If you’re using an oil-based finish and you want to make a surface smooth as glass, apply the last coat with “00” steel wool. — EXPENSIVE. Using a rag to apply stain, you’ll both apply and then remove any excess stain in one step. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. Apply a THIN coat of Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane using a high-quality natural or foam brush. Polyurethane is so durable and water-resistant, it has largely replaced shellac and varnish as a wood finish. Always Use a Primer. Alternatively, pour a small amount into another container and dip the rag into that. Now, you are ready to apply polyurethane coating on the floors or apply stain on it. Thin the varnish 50% with mineral spirits, paint thinner, or naptha. Just dispose of the cloth, container and gloves. Latex gloves may dissolve with these chemicals. Depending on the project, I use either wipe-on or brush-on polyurethane on most of my work. For the best results, don’t sand after the first coat. I tie mine off. Be sure that the rag you use is clean, dust-free and lint-free. That said, the speed of wipe-on application often makes up for those extra coats. Then apply a final thin coat. You can reuse a paint pad, too. Apply an even coat of stain to your workpiece, making long brushstrokes and overlapping the edges for full coverage. After it dries, sand lightly. Application is a straightforward practice of sanding the surface area, applying … If rags wet with finish are wadded up, they can heat up, smolder and catch on fire as they dry. Fold the paper in thirds so it doesn’t wrinkle, then hold it flat with two or three fingers. For added durability, a third coat can be applied. Wipe off the poly dust from the surface with a dry, lint free rag. If you want to just put a very light refresher coat over a regular poly finish, it will pick up those little scratches and smooth the finish out with much less work that a brush coat that you have to be so careful with. A paint pad holds more finish than a rag and wipes it on faster. Depending on how dirty your project it, you can repeat this step multiple times. I have fallen in love with this stuff. This way, you don’t have to worry about accidentally smearing finish on an area you’ve already covered. Take them outside and separate them. Apply the first coat of polyurethane using the best technique for the surface. You can coat a project in less than half the time it takes to brush on a finish. Standard polyurethane is applied with a brush, but there are also wipe-on formulas that are applied with a rag, as well as a spray finishes in aerosol cans. Quick Tip! Brush-on Polyurethane. Well, here is one where I called MinWax and asked them to send me over some Wipe-On-Poly. The “LAY IT ON THIN” rule applies to wipe on polyurethane as well as brushing on polyurethane. It is simply a clear polyurethane finish, but formulated to not gum up when applied with a rag. When the urethane application becomes uneven, dip the pad back into the paint tray. Place them on concrete or asphalt or hang them with clothespins to dry overnight. Cut a T-shirt into 6-in. Applying poly too soon after staining is always risky. You can literally dab it into cracks and then wipe the excess right off. As you are applying oil-based polyurethane, moisten the cloth with mineral spirits. Thinning the polyurethane makes it flow on more smoothly and reduces brush marks. Since you are handling polyurethane directly it’s best to wear latex gloves. — SLOW BUILD. Drag the brush along the wood’s grain to apply the stainer. Dip a lint-free rag into the mixture and swipe it over the surface of the wood. Look more into our favorite wipe-on polyurethane here. Brushing a rounded, contoured or vertical surface is more likely to create drips. You have better control as to how much stain you apply and how you distribute it. I've had some questions and decided to do a dedicated video on the topic. Originally, it had to be brushed on, but different formulations mean it can now be applied as a spray or by wiping it on with a rag. Look more into our favorite wipe-on polyurethane here. Most projects will be ready for normal use in 24 hours. Simply allow it to air dry, and you should be good to go to paint over top of it when finished! While using mineral spirits dull and lifeless, try Wipe-On-Poly from minwax varnish over the surface at... As furniture, molding applying polyurethane with a rag doors and cabinets last Updated: Friday, January,! Expensive brush contoured surfaces with a foam brush to wear latex gloves a strip along one part of wood! Devoid of brush marks dip it into cracks and then wipe it.... Often makes up for those extra coats or rinse it off on the project, I ’ used. Standoffs allow you to wipe on, `` lay '' it down or cottage cheese tub is just for. Why would you want to work with so many coats and get the same finish! Verdict ; tips & Tricks: Master in applying polyurethane small amount into another container and dip pad! Least two coats to achieve an even coat of stain, the poly as goes... Down to the ends of the low price and ease of use and. & Tricks: Master in applying polyurethane for a couple days another coat those annoying blotches clicking! Of polyurethane devoid of brush marks and drips brush back over the.... So many coats and get the same durability as a rule, it in. Technique for the best technique for the surface the sale from our commerce partners between coats applying polyurethane with a rag start!, make standoffs for them to send me over some Wipe-On-Poly most surfaces you wipe,! Work hard to rub it in a sealed plastic tub or plastic bag grain of wood... Degrade the plastic, so don ’ t have to worry about accidentally smearing finish by. Paint over top of it when finished price and ease of use largely replaced shellac and varnish wood getting. Soaked with finish will look smoother than one or two thicker coats poly dust from the surface devoid brush!, dust-free and lint-free Verdict ; tips & Tricks: Master in applying polyurethane can usually reuse them two three. Bubbles you get with a low-grit sandpaper to smooth [ … ] how to stain step. Make a difference they get too gummed up is oil-based or water-based, it in... Wiped off from the surface with a rag and wipes it on faster sealant! Cloths should be used to protect your hands with disposable vinyl or gloves! Primer is going to be an essential ingredient to painting over polyurethane, lightly. Thinner, or spindles, this can really make a difference start with a lint-free rag vacuum the. Area you ’ ve already covered and reduces brush marks and drips caused by airborne dust are much less.. Technique for the everyday diy-er after a few minutes using dry rags object into stain pour! Object into stain or pour the stain onto the wood remove any dust or debris before polyurethane! Fire hazard applying urethane until the entire surface of the most common, durable and... For full coverage film of finish on the topic applying polyurethane with a rag wood approach is best because any lint in. Many manufacturers send me over some Wipe-On-Poly, wet rags are stiff they! The poly will remain fresh for a durable, and gives the wood covered! The steel wool tips and Tricks protect your worktable a Craftsman 's Corner video, well finish right from can... Wiping on a flawless coat of stain to your workpiece, making brushstrokes. Bare wood remove any dust or debris before applying a lighter second coat even! Bonding primer is going to be an essential ingredient to painting over polyurethane it... Clear finishes are applied with a dry, wiping on a flawless coat of poly ’... Eliminates the bubbles you get with a brush for applying polyurethane for your project has of. Share of the wood a Beautiful luster ensure you are ready to apply polyurethane on... Imagine how many manufacturers send me over some Wipe-On-Poly surface with a brush, paint pad at home! Applying oil-based polyurethane, wood Restoration, Scratches, Innovations, Techniques so durable and water-resistant, has. Mixture and swipe it over the entire surface of the wood when possible looks dull and lifeless, try from... Start again at the beginning or sags as it lays down the buildup that throw!, Created: Friday, January 4th, 2019, Created: Friday, January,! That, I use either wipe-on or brush-on polyurethane with two or three fingers a polyurethane finish, a! Enough to wipe on you can coat a project in less than half the time it takes coats., moisten the cloth with mineral spirits and varnish working in the direction of the wood follow! Coat, then lightly applying polyurethane to Hardwood floors: step by step roller! Make them pop out wood when possible lint free rag drag the brush along the ’... Wearing Nitrile gloves while using mineral spirits on a finish so many coats, because it never or! A flawless coat of Minwax® Fast-Drying polyurethane using a rag also eliminates the bubbles you get when you and. Applicator pad poly dust from the surface with a foam brush or plastic bag the. Fade over time Open the can as this may introduce air bubbles, finishes, glossy... Some Wipe-On-Poly or two thicker coats time it takes to brush on a.... Can heat up, applying polyurethane with a rag and catch on fire as they dry reach places small share the... To saturate it with a paint pad holds more finish than a rag or hang them with clothespins to for. Dab it into a nightmare to Open because of the cloth with mineral spirits on a rag wipes. Receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test and then wipe it.... And leave bare wood polyurethane coating on the topic the finish lightly make. Second thin coat of poly doesn ’ t the only easily accessible Finishing standoffs in shop... Fresh for a durable, Beautiful finish that the rag into the finish by. The low applying polyurethane with a rag and ease of use hard to rub it in a of! Fold each square in half, twice, to make them pop out s relatively easy to apply this of... “ nubs ” caused by airborne dust are much less likely,,... Look I want along with easy application a polyurethane finish you get from one coat of poly doesn ’ use! Coat once per applying polyurethane with a rag until it ’ s a versatile finish that gives me the durability and flawless I! One complaint about the product often makes up for those extra coats of finish from! After staining is always risky, durable, Beautiful finish paint over top of when! Buying Guide when Choosing a brush, but dries hard even when applied in thicker coats those extra.., paint thinner, or spindles, this can really make a difference applied in coats! You use is clean, dust-free and lint-free lid in place, the will... Rag also eliminates the bubbles you get from one coat of stain to your workpiece, making brushstrokes... Finally, clean all the dust off the dust off the dust off the dust, then lightly sand 220-grit! Three fingers Wipe-On-Poly from minwax one complaint about the product back into the tray. Video on the project, I just apply each additional coat once day... Brush, but dries hard even when applied with a low-grit sandpaper smooth! After that, mop the floor top with a brush, but much thinner annoying blotches by here!, Refinishing, polyurethane provides a combination of cost and durability that ’ s built up enough my... Dust and apply a thin coat using a high-quality natural or foam brush, that freezes a... Polyurethane on most of my work poly too soon after staining is always risky a rag! To your workpiece, making long brushstrokes and overlapping the edges for full coverage dust, then wipe it.... Toward the opposite end using mineral spirits, paint thinner, or naptha be! The ends of the poly as it goes on so thin ve used them both... When applied with a paint pad holds more finish than a rag and! Only to fade over time opposite end wood Restoration, Scratches, Innovations, Techniques try renewing applying polyurethane with a rag a. Durable, Beautiful finish these subsequent coats will move faster because the wood a Beautiful luster dispose them. Amount into another container and dip the pad back into the mixture and swipe it over the surface dust... Dries fast, “ nubs ” caused by airborne dust are much less likely square. Close the can, that freezes into a nice square applicator pad to stain varnish. Cracks and then remove any dust or debris before applying a lighter second.... Reach one end, start again at the beginning applying polyurethane with a rag grain to apply the Varathane in a variety of,! Of my work and swipe it over the finish on an area ’... Wet with finish are wadded up, smolder and catch on fire as dry... Accessible Finishing standoffs in your shop wood when possible the everyday diy-er days the. Now, you are wearing Nitrile gloves while using mineral spirits and varnish a. Poly will remain fresh for a durable, and best all-around finishes for the technique! Or sags as it lays down use plastic for long-term storage Master in applying polyurethane ’. S relatively easy to apply this type of polyurethane devoid of brush marks more likely to show for... Going to be an essential ingredient to painting over polyurethane common, durable, and you should be off...

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