Hold the can 8-12 inches from the surface. For most of us, polyurethane provides a combination of cost and durability that’s hard to beat. Depending on the project, I use either wipe-on or brush-on polyurethane on most of my work. On average, wipe-on poly costs twice as much as brush-on poly. Stir the polyurethane with a paint stirrer to mix it thoroughly. Don’t use an electric sander between coats. Vacuum off the dust, then apply the finish as usual. Keywords: Wood, Finishing, Finishes, Refinishing, Polyurethane, Wood Restoration, Scratches, Innovations, Techniques. Applying the sealant should be an easy job. I tie mine off. If your project has legs, make standoffs for them to perch on. 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. Just dispose of the cloth, container and gloves. Thin happens in two ways. If you like working with oil but you need a polyurethane finish, try Wipe-On-Poly from Minwax. The non-absorbed stain should be wiped off from the surface with a clean rag. Brushing a rounded, contoured or vertical surface is more likely to create drips. 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. If your old furniture or woodwork looks dull and lifeless, try renewing it with a few coats of wipe-on finish. Thinning the polyurethane makes it flow on more smoothly and reduces brush marks. Now I do have one complaint about the product. Open the can of wipe-on polyurethane and pour some onto a clean, lint-free rag. That makes it great for on-site finishing. 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. That said, the speed of wipe-on application often makes up for those extra coats. Get a paint pad at any home center for about $5. 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. Our latest shed is also a pavilion—and you can build it, too! Be sure to keep them away from kids and pets. Finally, clean all the dust off the edges and corners of the room using the same cloth. Application is a straightforward practice of sanding the surface area, applying … You have better control as to how much stain you apply and how you distribute it. Step 8 Allow the urethane to dry for 24 hours and apply a second coat if desired. Brush-on Polyurethane. Here’s how to gauge which approach is best for your project. Apply a THIN coat of Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane using a high-quality natural or foam brush. The topcoat protects the wood from wear & tear, scratches, … It is recommended for interior wood surfaces such as furniture, molding, doors and cabinets. As you are applying oil-based polyurethane, moisten the cloth with mineral spirits. Polyurethane is so durable and water-resistant, it has largely replaced shellac and varnish as a wood finish. I've had some questions and decided to do a dedicated video on the topic. Look more into our favorite wipe-on polyurethane here. No brush to clean! I like it to be palm-sized. We welcome your feedback. Check out this simple sanding trick for touch to reach places. Apply the first coat of polyurethane using the best technique for the surface. 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. Learn more about refinishing older furniture here. Then lightly Fold the paper in thirds so it doesn’t wrinkle, then hold it flat with two or three fingers. This will leave only an ultra-thin film of finish on the surface. Just wipe it off. squares. 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. Start at one end of the wood and follow the grain toward the opposite end. Brush the polyurethane just like brushing paint. Ensure you are wearing Nitrile gloves while using mineral spirits and varnish. The end result is the same polyurethane finish you get with a brush, but much thinner. If the stain isn’t completely dry, wiping it with a rag soaked with finish will cause it to smear. 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. Dip your rag into the finish, squeeze out the excess and wipe on. Then remove all the sanding dust and apply a second coat. Because the coating is thin and dries fast, “nubs” caused by airborne dust are much less likely. Be sure that the rag you use is clean, dust-free and lint-free. 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. When you reach one end, start again at the beginning. With the lid in place, the poly will remain fresh for a couple days. The Spruce / Chelsea Damraksa Clean the floor with mineral spirits on a rag to remove any dust or debris before applying polyurethane. 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. + FAST. Apply the finish to a limited area, then wipe it off after a few minutes using dry rags. Some took weeks to apply. You can put on many coats and get the same durability as a brush on. However, wet rags are safe if you dispose of them properly. It doesn't  always work, but it usually does a fair to fantastic job. Using a rag to apply stain, you’ll both apply and then remove any excess stain in one step. Dip a lint-free rag into the mixture and swipe it over the surface of the wood. Then apply a final thin coat. Wipe off any excess stain. 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. For added durability, a third coat can be applied. Buying Guide When Choosing a Brush for Applying Polyurethane; Final Verdict; Tips & Tricks: Master in Applying Polyurethane For Your Project. + EASY. You can reuse a paint pad, too. 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. Let dry 4-6 hours. Wash it first with dish soap and water, then lightly sand the old finish with 220-grit sandpaper. Apply an even coat of stain to your workpiece, making long brushstrokes and overlapping the edges for full coverage. Drag the brush along the wood’s grain to apply the stainer. After each coat, just store it in a sealed plastic tub or plastic bag. Look more into our favorite wipe-on polyurethane here. Need an intricate project? 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. (You might sand through it!) Polyurethane is one of the most common, durable, and best all-around finishes for the everyday diy-er. Brush with the grain of the wood when possible. Three thin coats of wipe-on finish will look smoother than one or two thicker coats. Polyurethane is widely revered as one of the most durable yet easy-to-apply protective wood finishes. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. Be careful near sharp or slightly rounded edges, though. A paint pad holds more finish than a rag and wipes it on faster. Minwax PolyShades is a combination stain and polyurethane finish for wood. Read this article for some tips on preventing home fires. Prepare the polyurethane by reducing it about 10 percent with mineral spirits, unless you're using water-based polyurethane, which doesn't need thinning. Add Tip Ask Question Comment Download. 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 can get adequate protection from brush-on polyurethane with two coats. Take no chances. Apply at least two coats to achieve an even sheen. + NO CLEANUP. First thing is to ensure you use a quality brush. And it’s even riskier with wipe-on poly. With wipe-on poly, you also get goof-proof simplicity, speed and convenience. I bet you can imagine how many manufacturers send me products hoping that I will put them on TV. Using a rag also eliminates the bubbles you get when you apply Polyshades with a brush. Just to prove it here’s the result when I applied Polyshades stain with a foam brush in the past. You don’t have to work hard to rub it in or rinse it off. Sand by hand instead. Check this out. Try these folding Adirondack chairs. 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. Have something you think we should know about? The answer is wiping varnish. White fabric is best because any lint left in the finish is less likely to show. Latex gloves may dissolve with these chemicals. 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. I have fallen in love with this stuff. Don't slop the finish on by brushing back and forth. Getting a smooth, blemish-free finish with oil-based polyurethane is within your grasp if you follow the steps in this video. These aren’t the only easily accessible finishing standoffs in your shop. Wipe contoured surfaces with a clean cloth, going with the grain. Ugly! 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. Applying Polyurethane to Hardwood Floors: Step by Step. For the best results, don’t sand after the first coat. 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. Standoffs allow you to wipe finish all the way down to the ends of the legs. In addition to this […] How To Stain Poplar Step 1 - Sand the Wood. Then go ahead and repeat the process, laying on another coat. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. 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. Simply allow it to air dry, and you should be good to go to paint over top of it when finished! Apply a second thin coat, then lightly sand with 220-grit sandpaper. Unlike brushing, wiping on a flawless coat of poly doesn’t require skill or an expensive brush. If there are bubbles, brush back over the finish lightly to make them pop out. Cut a T-shirt into 6-in. Last Updated: Friday, January 4th, 2019, Created: Friday, January 11th, 2002. Tip. Another great use for the foam brushes is to use them when staining a large project. With the lid in place, the poly will remain fresh for a couple days. Depending on how dirty your project it, you can repeat this step multiple times. Some looked great at first only to fade over time. Since you are handling polyurethane directly it’s best to wear latex gloves. Do you have to sand between coats of PolyShades? Take them outside and separate them. A margarine or cottage cheese tub is just right for wipe-on. After applying the first coat of stain, the user needs to wait for 15 minutes before applying a lighter second coat. You can coat a project in less than half the time it takes to brush on a finish. Fold each square in half, twice, to make applicators. — SLOW BUILD. It’s best not to sand them at all. 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. — EXPENSIVE. Brush flat surfaces with a thin coat using a bristle brush. Drop cloths should be used to protect surroundings … This way, you don’t have to worry about accidentally smearing finish on an area you’ve already covered. Polyurethane is a protective finish applied to wood to guard against it wear and other damage. When you are working with sculptured surfaces, or spindles, this can really make a difference. To capture the grit and to maintain an even sheen, use a bunch of dry rags to wipe off the finish before it dries. If you apply only one or two coats of it, it almost looks like an oil finish, but much more water resistant and washable. These subsequent coats will move faster because the wood isn’t soaking up so much of the poly as it lays down. Spray less accessible areas with aerosol polyurethane. If rags wet with finish are wadded up, they can heat up, smolder and catch on fire as they dry. + DUST TOLERANT. Once the rags are stiff, they’re no longer a fire hazard. After a few days, the solvent will begin to degrade the plastic, so don’t use plastic for long-term storage. Thin the varnish 50% with mineral spirits, paint thinner, or naptha. Finally, I’ve found a finish that gives me the durability and flawless look I want along with easy application. The “LAY IT ON THIN” rule applies to wipe on polyurethane as well as brushing on polyurethane. When the urethane application becomes uneven, dip the pad back into the paint tray. Don't use a 25 cent brush that you throw away after you apply the sealant. Spread the varnish over the entire surface with long, even strokes. However, one of the biggest challenges is to apply this type of polyurethane devoid of brush marks and drips. Click here for some amazing steel wool tips and tricks. 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