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