Minwax wipe on poly matte

Minwax wipe on poly matte DEFAULT

Without some kind of finish to protect it from the elements, wood can become as dry and lifeless as day-old toast. Coating wood cabinetry, furniture, or trim with a clear finish, whether you stain it or not, gives it richness and depth while protecting it from knocks, scrapes, and the weather.

Use this guide to learn more about choosing and using polyurethane, the toughest of the clear coatings.

What Is Polyurethane?

It's a kind of super-tough varnish formulated so that its microscopic chains of resin molecules will bond tightly with one another as it dries. The result is a finish that's much more resistant to water, solvents, abrasion, and impacts than traditional varnishes.

Some polys have oils that give wood a warm, amber tone. If you want wood to keep its light color, use a water-based poly.

Oil, Water or Both?

Restrictions on VOC emissions have spurred the development of alternatives to oil-based polys. Consider the different characteristics of each type before you buy.

  • Oil-based: Turns slightly amber, which warms up a wood's color. Forms a hard, durable film in a few coats. Dries more slowly than water-based polys, so there's a longer wait between coats. Higher in VOCs than water-based finishes and therefore not available in all parts of the country. Cleans up with mineral spirits.
  • Water-based: Looks like milk in the can but dries crystal clear. Good if you're trying to preserve a wood's color. More watery than oil-based polys, so more coats are needed. Dries quickly. Lower in VOCs than oil-based finishes but still requires good ventilation during application. Cleans up with soap and water. Never use ammonia-based cleaners on the cured film.
  • Water-based oil-modified: Appears cloudy in the can but dries to a tough, amber-color film, like an oil. Fast drying and compatible with all woods; cleans up with water. Has the same low VOC levels as water-based polys.

Gloss, Semi-Gloss, or Satin?

Choose whichever sheen you like best; there's no difference in durability. Just remember that the glossier the finish, the more it will show any underlying imperfections and any future wear and tear.

Can You Use Polyurethane Inside or Outside?

Most exterior polys can be used indoors, but interior polys should never be used outdoors; they lack the additives that protect exterior finishes from UV rays.

How to Apply Polyurethane: Brush On, Wipe On, or Spray?

Every poly has its preferred applicator, typically a brush or cloth. Some polys also come in aerosol spray cans.

  • Brush-on polys work best on flat surfaces where it's important to build up a durable film. Brushes hold a lot of finish, so you can cover a wide area each time you load them up.
  • Wipe-on polys are best for contoured surfaces—crown molding and stair balusters—where brushing might create drips. Wipe-ons form thinner coats than brush-ons, so use them when wear isn't a concern.
  • Spray-on polys come in handy on hard-to reach surfaces, such as shutter louvers and chair spindles. Aerosol sprays require good technique to avoid drips, and extra prep time to protect surfaces from overspray. Their thin films aren't as tough as the ones you brush on.

Polyurethane: How Much Do You Need & How Long Will It Last?

  • 12 months - The length of time a poly should be usable after you open the can. Label the lid with the date it was unsealed.
  • 1 teaspoon - To keep a partially filled can of oil-based poly from skinning over, cover the finish with this amount of mineral spirits.
  • 1 pint- The approximate amount of poly you'll need to put three coats of finish on one chair.

Pick the Best Polyurethane

Each polyurethane is unique, thanks to tweaks in its chemical makeup; choose the one that best matches your particular project.

Interior: Wipe-On

  • Good for: Carved, embossed, or profiled surfaces where a brush could leave drips. Also useful for hiding superficial scratches in previously finished wood. Its thin film offers moderate protection from abrasion. Available in gloss and satin sheens, and in oil-based and water-based oil-modified formulations.
  • Apply with: lint-free cloth
  • Number of coats: three
  • Hours between coats: 2 to 3
  • VOCs: 580 grams per liter for oil-based; 275 grams per liter for water-based oil-modified

Interior: Stain-and-Poly Combo (oil-based)

  • Good for: Furniture, cabinets, trim. Stains and protects bare wood with each coat. Before applying to bare wood, use a wood conditioner to ensure even color. Smooth between coats with 0000 steel wool. Available in satin and gloss.
  • Apply with: natural-bristle brush
  • Number of coats: two
  • Hours between coats: 6
  • VOCs: 450 grams per liter (275 in Southern California)

Interior: High-build (oil-based)

  • Good for: Tabletops and other surfaces subject to abrasion. Provides maximum durability with just two coats. Apply thin coats to prevent drips and wrinkles from forming. Available in gloss, semi-gloss, and satin.
  • Apply with: natural-bristle brush
  • Number of coats: two
  • Hours between coats: 4 to 6
  • VOCs: 350 grams per liter

Interior: Fast-drying (oil-based)

  • Good for: Cabinets, floors, furniture, and trim such as wainscot, where abrasion resistance and durability are important. This versatile all-around poly provides good protection on a variety of wood surfaces. Available in gloss, semi-gloss, and satin.
  • Apply with: natural-bristle brush or a can of aerosol spray
  • Number of coats: two to three
  • Hours between coats: 4 to 6
  • VOCs: 450 grams per liter

Interior: Water-based

  • Good for: Light-colored woods and stains where ambering would be undesirable. Blended with acrylic resins, it goes on milky but quickly dries crystal clear. Not as durable as oil-based polys. Available in gloss, semi-gloss, and satin.
  • Apply with: synthetic-filament brush or a can of aerosol spray
  • Number of coats: three
  • Hours between coats: 2
  • VOCs: 275 grams per liter

Interior: Water-based Oil-modified

  • Good for: Doors, cabinets, furniture and floors. Combines the durability and ambering of an oil with the fast drying time, low VOC content, and easy cleanup of a water-based product. Available in gloss, semi-gloss, and satin.
  • Apply with: synthetic-filament brush or a can of aerosol spray
  • Number of coats: three
  • Hours between coats: 2
  • VOCs: 275 grams per liter

Exterior: Spar Urethane

  • Good for: Exterior doors, trim, and furniture. Contains UV absorbers that protect the finish and the wood from the sun's rays. Made with a special blend of oils and resins that allows it to flex as the wood surface expands and contracts. Recoat the finish when it turns dull, typically once a year. Available in gloss, semi-gloss, and satin, and in oil-based and water-based formulas.
  • Oil-based spar urethane
  • Apply with: synthetic-filament brush or a can of aerosol spray
  • Number of coats: three
  • Hours between coats: 4
  • VOCs: 450 grams per liter

Water-based spar urethane

  • Apply with: synthetic-filament brush or a can of aerosol spray
  • Number of coats: four
  • Hours between coats: 2
  • VOCs: 275 grams per liter

Polyurethane Dos & Don'ts

In addition to reading the directions on the can, keep these basics in mind.


Test the old finish

Acetone-based nail-polish remover softens lacquer. Water drops turn wax white in about 10 minutes. If either lacquer or wax are present, strip them before proceeding.

Stir the can

Do this before and during application to evenly blend the ingredients that control sheen and UV resistance.

Apply thin coats. Thick ones take longer to dry and are more likely to drip or wrinkle.

Sand between coats.

Using 220-grit paper helps ensure good adhesion and smooths away imperfections.

Wipe after sanding.

Dust interferes with adhesion and leaves unsightly bumps in the finish. Use a cloth dampened with mineral spirits on oil-based finishes; use a water-dampened cloth on water-based finishes. A dry microfiber cloth also works well with both finishes.

Polyurethane Dos & Don'ts


Shake the can.

Shaking creates bubbles, which leave a rough, pitted surface. It's okay to shake wipe-on polys, however.

Thin the first coat.

Thinning doesn't improve adhesion, and you'll have to apply more coats and use more solvent.

Use tack cloths.

Some contain chemicals that prevent good adhesion.

Wax the finish.

Wax isn't durable and will interfere with any subsequent coats.

Polyurethane Application Tips

How to Apply Polyurethane: When working with any finish

Choose the right brush

Use natural bristle for oil-based finishes and synthetic filament (polyester, nylon, or a blend of the two) for water-based and water-based oil-modified finishes. Don't use rollers or foam brushes—they create bubbles.

Dampen the brush with a solvent

Your brush will be easier to clean, and will go longer between cleanings, if its bristles are dipped first in mineral spirits, if you're using an oil-based poly, or in water, if the finish is water-based. Before using the brush, rapidly roll the handle between your hands inside a cardboard box to eliminate excess.

Pour some finish into a clean container

Working from a separate container prevents the dust and other particles picked up by the brush from contaminating the finish in the can.

Tap, don't wipe

After dipping about one-third of the brush into the finish, gently slap it against the inside of the container. Scraping the bristles over the edge of a container leaves the brush too dry to apply a coat of the right thickness.

Always brush or wipe with the grain

It's the best way to work the finish into the wood pores and ensure an even appearance.

When working with water-based finishes

Dampen the wood first

Wipe the wood with a damp cloth to raise the fibers; after the surface dries, knock them back with 220-grit sandpaper.

Apply and move on

Too much brushing can leave these fast-drying polys rough and ragged.

Don't smooth with steel wool

It leaves behind tiny bits of steel that you can't see—until they rust. Use sandpaper instead.

Sours: https://www.thisoldhouse.com/painting/21018327/all-about-polyurethane

Best Polyurethane to Protect Your Surfaces

What To Consider When choosing Polyurethane

Whether you’re building a chair, a cabinet or simply looking for a top coat for your hardwood floors, polyurethane is one of the best finishes you can use on your projects. No matter what kind of wood you use, its quality or strength, without a good finish it will wither and dry before long.

Polyurethane is a specific kind of finish that will provide the highest protection money can buy. There are two main types that you can choose from: oil based and water based.

Oil Based Polyurethane

Available in both spray and brush on version, oil based polyurethane will give wood an amber finish, covering its natural color. The advantage, however, is that it’s more wear proof and well suited to outdoor projects or items that will incur a lot of wear and tear.

Although it’s long lasting, this finish dries slowly. It will be dry to the touch in about two hours and ready for a second coat only six to twenty four hours later.

Another potential issue with it is its odor. It’s quite pungent and will not go away until it’s completely dry. There is no way to minimize it and the best advice is to leave your work to dry overnight somewhere out of smell range.

You’ll also want to make sure that you’re in a well ventilated area when applying this compound as it emits toxic VOCs. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to work with as it’s self smoothing and it’s likely you won’t need more than one coat for adequate protection.

Water Based Polyurethane

Water based polyurethane will not change the natural coloring of the wood but it is likely to withstand less abuse than its oil based counterpart. This product dries quicker than the oil version and you will be able to apply multiple coats in far less time.

Another advantage is that this water based finish has no odor and has lower toxicity making it less of a pain to work with. It’s also easier to clean up with a bit of water and soap.

This is ideal for projects that don’t require heavy duty coating but it can still provide solid protection if applied in multiple coats. However, keep in mind that that means you will need more product to cover the same surface area and therefore the price of the finish will go up.

Water-Based Oil-Modified Polyurethane

If you want to have the best of both worlds, the water-based oil-modified might be the polyurethane for you. Just like the pure water-based, it’s non-toxic and dries quickly and just like the oil based, it dries up to a nice amber color. It’s also more durable than just the water based one without any of the offending odor issues.

What kind of finish should you choose?

Another important aspect to consider is what sort of finish you will need for your project.

Matte Finish

This finish has no luster which can be off putting to many customers. It’s ideal for those who love to see the natural wood color shine through with as little distortion as possible.Satin


This is one of the most popular choices because it’s shiny but not too shiny and it allows the natural texture and beauty of the grain to shine through.

High Gloss

This type of finish is not a very popular choice. That’s because it has the most amount of luster and will show every scratch, trace or spot. It’s reserved for specialty use that sees very little traffic.

Semi Gloss

Almost as popular as the satin finish, the semi gloss has a bit more luster and it’s also less forgiving. It will require more maintenance but it will also allow the beauty of the wood to shine through.

What is the best way to apply polyurethane?

There are three application methods to choose from, when working with polyurethane: brush on, wipe on or spray on.

Brushing on is the best option for flat surfaces that don’t require much nook and cranny work. It will work like a charm without any bells and whistles.

Wipe-on is the best option for you if your project has a lot of crevices or rounded surfaces as it will allow you to easily cover the area uniformly.

Spray on is a good solution for harder to reach areas but it has a few drawbacks. It’s harder to work with and more difficult to achieve uniform application. It will also require care and preparation to avoid dripping.

How do you apply polyurethane?

The most popular application method is brush on and it’s quite straight forward. Apply the product gently in the direction of the grain. If you’re working with a clear, water-based finish you can sand lightly after it dries and apply a second or even a third coat, until you feel you have the appropriate coverage.

When working with clear polyurethane, make sure to stir it before use and while coating your project. You don’t want residue depositing on the bottom of the can. However, you won’t want to shake it either because that can cause bubbles which will show up on the wood.

Work in small sections and apply light layers. This eliminates the potential for contaminants to stick to the coat and show up in the dried finish.


What are the different types of polyurethane finishes?

Polyurethane finishes come in four varieties: matte, satin, soft gloss and high gloss.

Is polyurethane toxic to humans?2

Yes, polyurethane can be harmful to humans because of the fact that it emits Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs which irritate the lungs and airways and can cause inflammation and asthma attacks. When working with polyurethane, make sure you’re in a ventilated room and you’re wearing proper protection.

How many coats of polyurethane should I use?

This depends on the type of polyurethane you are using. Typically, an oil based product will only require a couple of coats but you will need to wait about 24 hours between applications. A water based solution will need more coats but it dries much faster.

What is the best way to apply polyurethane?

The best way to apply polyurethane is with a brush. Make sure to choose a high quality synthetic brush to facilitate a smooth application. Additionally, always apply in the direction of the wood’s grain.

Sours: https://www.latimes.com/bestcovery/best-polyurethane
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How and When to Wipe On Polyurethane

Wipe on polyurethane vs brush on polyurethane. There is a time to wipe on polyurethane and a time to brush on polyurethane. Learn how and when to use each.

Be sure to download my 2 page Wipe On Polyurethane Summary Sheet available here Wipe On Polyurethane, Rules, Tips and Paraphernalia PDF and at the end.

So you’re wondering what the best and easiest way to apply polyurethane is.  Seems like 10 different authorities give us ten different methods. Well this may be number 11 but it’s the way I have been doing it for over 30 years.

While I prefer brushing polyurethane on, using a wipe on polyurethane definitely has its place. I also prefer to make my own wipe on mixture. Here it’s a matter of both cost and appearance.

Buying a pre-made wipe on polyurethane is expensive. It can be 6 times the cost of making your own. It will also cause a discrepancy in the sheen if you are also brushing polyurethane on the same project.

Let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages. The PROS and CONS:



                             Better Control
                             Not as Messy
                             Fewer Coats
                             Faster Application on Flat Surfaces


                            Good for Thin Vertical Surfaces
                             Good for Highly Detailed Surfaces
                             Good for Round and Cylindrical Surfaces
                             Faster on Round and Cylindrical Surfaces
                             Throw Away Applicators



                            Hard to Control on Thin, Round Surfaces
                            Requires Brush Cleaning Between Coats


                             Requires 2-3 Extra Coats
                            Not Quite the Same Appearance
                            Very Expensive if bought premixed

So when do I brush polyurethane and when do I wipe polyurethane? You’ve probably figured that out by reading through my pros and cons above. Wipe on polyurethane definitely has its place when brushing isn’t efficient or practical.

I will be refinishing this dining room chair. Could you imagine trying to brush the spindles on this Windsor type chair? It would take forever!

Round or thin table legs, railing spindles, chair legs, thin lamp bases, wooden handles, etc. all are best done with a wipe on polyurethane. Trying to brush these surfaces lends itself to runs, puddles and brush marks.



In all my videos on finish coating my number one rule is “LAY IT ON THIN”. While a thicker coat of polyurethane affords better protection, it’s important to realize that thickness is built in layers. So for a truly professional looking finish multiple thin coats of polyurethane is the key, not globing on extra thick coats. Heavy single coatings tend to leave your project looking “plasticy”.

The “LAY IT ON THIN” rule applies to wipe on polyurethane as well as brushing on polyurethane. Thin happens in two ways. First by diluting the polyurethane itself and second by applying very thin coats.


Be sure that the rag you use is clean, dust-free and lint-free. Since you are handling polyurethane directly it’s best to wear latex gloves. Drop cloths should be used to protect surroundings because there is less control with wipe on polyurethane so drips are sure to happen.


In my very first video Bubble Free Polyurethane Application and the newer more detailed version the Ultimate Guide to Bubble Free Polyurethane Application I recommend using a brush and thinning your polyurethane using 3 parts polyurethane to one part thinning agent. For oil borne polyurethanes I use mineral spirits, paint thinner, turpentine or acetone as the reducing agent
(acetone should only be used when the more common thinners are outlawed by states and cities due to Volitile Organic Compounds [VOC’s]) . For water borne polyurethane I use tap water or distilled water (never well water) as my thinning agent. 

To make your own wipe on polyurethane I recommend thinning to 50/50. One part polyurethane to one part thinning agent.


There are two things you should know about the first coat. First it won’t be pretty. The first coat tends soak into the wood leaving a surface that looks blotchy and semi-coated, if at all. Don’t fret subsequent coats will improve its appearance dramatically.

The second thing to realize about the first coat is it tends to raise the grain of virtually all woods. Grain raise happens when cut fibers pop up. Think of the split-end frizzies that happens after washing your hair. Grain raise commonly occurs after the first coat of any liquid (polyurethane, stain, sealer). It may or may not raise on subsequent coats. Running your hand over the dried coating is the best gauge (feels fuzzy). No big deal, grain raise can be taken down by a light sanding with a 220 grit sandpaper or a #0000 steel wool pad.


I always let my polyurethane dry overnight. I want to be able to touch, feel and visually inspect at different angles in light before applying and subsequent coat. This way if there are any imperfections I can easily correct them rather than add an additional layer over the flaw. Re-coating without correction means I have to go through a few layers to correct a flaw that could have been easily handled initially.

Sanding whether brushing or using a wipe on polyurethane should be fast and, light and quick. Obviously sanding round, thin or cylindrical surfaces wouldn’t be fast nor easy. Using a 0000 steel wool or fine abrasive pad serves the purpose here. Because the material is malleable it can easily be fashioned o fit the contours.


Dust is a woodworker’s worst enemy. Once done scuffing the surface be sure to wipe clean with a rag dampened with the same thinning agent to remove any dust particles. Let it dry for a few minutes and you are now ready for the next coat.

Tack cloth (sticky cheese cloth purchased at home centers) is another option. The dust sticks to the cloth when wiped on a surface. But be careful not to overdo wiping as you can transfer the sticky substance to your project and interfere with the next polyurethane coat.


Unused wipe on polyurethane that’s been thinned can be stored in an air tight container for second and subsequent coats.


The following are guidelines I use for the number of coats for various applications:

Furniture that will not receive a lot of handling – 2 COATS BRUSHING – 4 COATS WIPE ON POLYURETHANE

Tables, counters and bar tops. Cabinets and wet surfaces – 3 COATS BRUSHING – 5 COATS WIPE ON POLYURETHANE

Floors, steps, stools, foot rests (heavy traffic) – 4 COATS – 6 to 7 COATS WIPE ON POLYURETHANE

You can see why I brush on polyurethane when I can. Wipe on polyurethane extends the project time dramatically.

Finishing is not difficult and with proper guidance virtually anyone can achieve a quality, durable, lasting, professional looking finish.

I hope this all makes sense and helps with your project.

Well that’s it.
Hopefully this is NOT THE END but A GREAT FINISH!! (Bad pun sorry)

best  . . . paul

For a visual guide on brushing polyurethane go my YouTube Channel and view “Bubble-Free Polyurethane Application Technique” or for a newer even more in depth brushing technique go to “The Ultimate Guide to Bubble Free Polyurethane Varnish”


Please leave feedback on this site. SPECIAL NOTE: I am happy to answer all questions and address your concerns. If you have questions please ask on YouTube and not here. I use this site more as a support for my YouTube subscribers and viewers and seldom check for questions.

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My YouTube Library:

Chemical Strippers vs Heat Gun 
Sanding Efficiently 
Choosing the Right Grade Sandpaper for Your Woodworking Project 
Blotch-Free Wood Stain Application Technique 
Bubble Free Polyurethane Application Technique 
Fixing Polyurethane Bubble, Puddles, Runs and Brush Marks 
The Ultimate Guide to Bubble Free Polyurethane Varnish – Detailed
Proper Brush Cleaning – Paint, Polyurethane, Varnish, Shellac

PDF Summary Sheets Available for Download and Printing:

Polyurethane Rules, Tips and Paraphernalia PDF
Stripper Rules, Tips and Paraphernalia PDF
Sanding Rules, Tips and Paraphernalia PDF
Choosing the Right Grade Sandpaper (Chart) PDF
Staining Rules, Tips and Paraphernalia PDF

Wipe On Polyurethane, Rules, Tips and Paraphernalia PDF

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About The Author

Sours: http://paulsdiy.solutions/2019/07/17/how-and-when-to-wipe-on-polyurethane/
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  1. 07-29-2007, 11:10 AM#1

    Matte Polyurethane

    Hello - I am remodeling my house and have stripped and replaced most of the trim. All of it is white oak. Is there a matte polyurethane - or a product that will protect the wood and not give it a gloss finish?

    I have tried lots of different product and get a gloss on everything. I am not sure if it is the way I am applying it or the product itself. I have not found a product that says it is a matte polyurethane - at best I have found satin.

    When I had my floors sanded and stained they were able to make them matte? I asked the company how they did it and I replicated the process on the trim but it was still glossy. Any assistance would be appreciated.


  2. 07-29-2007, 12:57 PM#2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Monroe, MI
    I used Minwax wipe-on poly in satin on all our windows when we replaced them and I was happy with the sheen. I used the Scotts shop towels (paper towels) that you can get at Lowes as an applicator and it goes really quick with minimal mess and cleanup.

  3. 07-29-2007, 2:17 PM#3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Pueblo West, CO
    I'm not sure you can find a "matte" finish. I am guessing you want something that has less shine than satin. To do that I think you are going to have to apply satin or similar and then rub it out either with sandpaper, steel wool, or pumice. Take some scrap wood and start experimenting. I would start with either steel wool or something like 400 grit sandpaper. Maybe someone else has a better idea.

  4. 07-29-2007, 3:18 PM#4
    I think you are right Al. I will give it a try and let you know. Thanks.

  5. 07-29-2007, 4:21 PM#5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    General Finishes makes several waterborne varnishes with sheens of matte or flat. Homestead Finishes (www.homesteadfinishing.com) and Woodcraft (www.woodcraft.com) are vendors.

  6. 07-29-2007, 5:21 PM#6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Shoreline, CT
    In addition, if you Google flat varnish you will find quite a few alternatives. I haven't used any of them but they are out there.

  7. 07-29-2007, 7:58 PM#7
    Does a varnish provide the same protection as a polyurethane? Same maintenance?

  8. 07-29-2007, 8:30 PM#8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy LarrView Post
    Does a varnish provide the same protection as a polyurethane?
    "Polyurethane" IS varnish. Three basic types...alkyd, phenolic and polyurethane...each of these referring to the type of resins used to create the varnish. The only "advantage" that poly provides over these other formulas...and it's not extraordinary in degree...is more abrasion resistance. Poly varnish is great for floors, but not the best for fine woodworking projects as many polyurethane varnishes have less clarity than the alkyd or phenolic formulations. In most cases, an oil varnish of the other two varieties will provide every bit as good "durability" as poly will...and often with a much nicer look. But it sure does have fabulous marketing....

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. 07-29-2007, 11:08 PM#9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Fairfax Station VA

    Waterlox satin, if stirred well, approaches matte moreso than satin. It is flatter than most satins I have used, anyway. It is just about as hard and resistant to chemicals and temperature as poly, but looks far better. It doesn't dry as fast as poly. Any satin finish, or matte, will come out glossy if the refractors aren't well distributed in the carrier solvent, which means stirring the dickens out of it, even while brushing it on.

    Let me ask the question. Why do you prefer a matte, which to me means total deadness in light refraction, finish on white oak? Or, maybe we see the term 'matte' differently.

    Why eat natural foods when most people die of natural causes?

  10. 11-26-2009, 3:40 PM#10
    Wow - old thread. I'm looking for this same information. I've built a cabinet which we've painted and antiqued. I tried putting Minwax Polycrylic Satin on a small sample area on the back to finish it, but my wife feels it is too shiny.

    I did some searching on the web for a matte product. Has anyone tried Behr Premium Plus with Style Crystal Clear Water-based Polyurethane Matte from Home Depot? Here is a link:


    Any comments about the Behr product? (Notice that this is Home Depot Canada - is this even available in the US?)

    I also came across Modern Masters Dead Flat Varnish. Any comments about this product? I'm a bit concerned about the Dead Flat Varnish because one of the websites I looked at said this in the product description: "Be careful using this or any dead flat varnish over deep or rich colors as the flatting agent has a tendency to "fog" the color."

  11. 11-26-2009, 9:54 PM#11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    east coast of florida
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt MeiserView Post
    I used Minwax wipe-on poly in satin on all our windows when we replaced them and I was happy with the sheen. I used the Scotts shop towels (paper towels) that you can get at Lowes as an applicator and it goes really quick with minimal mess and cleanup.
    I used min wax satin poly on my entertainment center. I like it also but it is far more glossy than a matt finish (As my wife complained) good product but not very flat.

  12. 11-27-2009, 5:15 AM#12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Central, PA

    Dead Flat

    I used a dead flat water borne poly. I used it over several coats of satin water poly. It came out nice. Basically, it almost looks like nothing is on the wood. It comes down to personal preference. Dead flat was designed to go over products like milk paint where additional protection was needed. I think it is a good product.

  13. 11-28-2009, 4:43 PM#13
    The Behr product I mentioned above was not available at my local Home Depot (in California). It may not be sold in the US.

    I picked up a General Finishes product at the local Rockler store which was marked Satin. The salesperson recommended it as low sheen. Nope - that was a loser. It was higher sheen than the Minwax Polycrylic Satin that I tried first.

    The guy at the local paint store (who knows everything about paint, it seems - he has never steered me wrong) recommended Zar UltraMax Polyurethane in the Antique Flat finish. This is a water-based product that comes in 4 finishes: gloss, semi-gloss, satin, and antique flat. They had a sample board in the store and I had to agree that the antique flat had an extremely low level of sheen. (It wasn't zero sheen, but it was very low.)

    I'll post back in a week or two and let you know how this worked....

  14. 12-04-2009, 12:23 AM#14

    I brushed on a sample area of Zar UltraMax Polyurethane Antique Flat finish next to Minwax Polycrylic Satin on the back of my cabinet. To my eye, the sheen of both products looked pretty similar.

    In the end, l'm using the Minwax Polycrylic Satin. Krylon makes a spray-on matte finish product (#1311). You'll find it if you google "krylon matte." We'll spray the Krylon matte over the Minwax Poly Satin. This reduces the luster gradually with each additional coat of the krylon spray until the desired low level of sheen is reached.

  15. 12-04-2009, 11:42 PM#15
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    S.E. Tennessee ... just a bit North of Chattanooga
    The degree of "flatness" is largely dependent on the amount of flatting agent in suspension in the finish. If you let a can of any brand of satin varnish sit for awhile, the flatting agent (ground up sand) will settle to the bottom. Pour off about half of the finish, then stir up what's left, and you should have a very flat finish. Use the part you removed for the first few coats .. you only want to use the flat for the top coat or two .. too much of the flatting agent suspended in the finish will make it cloudy.

Sours: https://sawmillcreek.org/

On minwax poly matte wipe

Polyurethane is one of the most common, durable, and best all-around finishes for the everyday diy-er. It’s relatively easy to apply, provides excellent protection, and gives the wood a beautiful luster. Depending on the project, I use either wipe-on or brush-on polyurethane on most of my work. I used brush-on poly for my coffee table and the lid of the blanket chest but decided to go with wipe-on poly for the mountain bookshelf and rustic mirror. Some of that was due to what I had in the garage … some of it was due to how many coats I wanted to apply and the final use of the project. They both provide the same protection, so the significant differences come down to method of application and number of coats.

Wipe-on or Brush-on Polyurethane

This post contains affiliate links. See my full disclosure here. 

Brush-on Polyurethane

Brush-on polyurethane provides excellent protection in just a few coats. However, it can be difficult to apply without brush marks and drips. Often, it is best to use brush-on poly for exposed flat surfaces that will see significant wear and tear, such as table tops. You still have to take care to avoid brush marks, but it is relatively easy to apply on the flat surface and will seal the project for significant use in as little as three coats. There is a little longer dry time between coats of brush-on poly (4-6 hours), but it’s pretty much a wash when you consider how many more coats of wipe-on poly would be necessary for the same amount of protection.

Wipe-on Polyurethane

Wipe-on polyurethane is simply standard polyurethane that has been thinned with mineral spirits. The advantage: there’s no need to worry about brush strokes, drips, or reaching difficult places. Simply dampen a lint-free cloth, wipe on, and apply the next coat after only 2 hours.

So what’s the downside?

It takes about three coats to build up the same cover as one coat of brush-on polyurethane.

In the interest of efficiency, it is best to use wipe-on poly on surfaces that won’t see quite as much wear and tear, such as furniture legs, trim, bookshelves, etc. They need some protection but won’t see as much abuse as a table top. A few coats of wipe-on poly are sufficient to protect and seal the wood and give it a nice finished look.

What about something like cabinets?

I’ve seen lots of discussions about sealing cabinets with wipe-on or brush-on poly. Personally, I would choose wipe-on polyurethane to ensure there were no brush strokes or drips. Cabinets see substantial moisture and use, so it would require quite a few coats to ensure adequate protection. However, it’s worth the extra time for a perfect finish.

You Decide

So when you’re going back and forth between wipe-on or brush-on polyurethane, ask yourself three questions: How much wear and tear does it have to withstand? How many coats do you want to apply? And what method of application do you prefer? There are pros and cons to both wipe-on and brush-on poly. But, ultimately, the decision comes down to your preference in those three areas.

Let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

And, if you’re not sold on using polyurethane, read some more about other wood finishing options.

Sours: https://www.bitterrootdiy.com/wipe-brush-polyurethane-whats-difference/
Minwax Wipe-on Poly clear satin


Instrucciones en Español

Interior Use Only

WARNING! Removal of old paint by sanding, scraping or other means may generate dust or fumes that contain lead. Exposure to lead dust or fumes may cause brain damage or other adverse health effects, especially in children or pregnant women. Controlling exposure to lead or other hazardous substances requires the use of proper protective equipment such as a properly fitted respirator (NIOSH approved) and proper containment and cleanup. For more information, call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (in US) or contact your local health authority.

  1. Surface must be dry and free of old finishes in poor condition, wax, grease, polish, dirt or other foreign matter.
  2. Sand to obtain a smooth, uniform surface. Remove all dust.
  3. If desired, apply stain, such as Minwax® Wood Finish™ Stain, to unfinished interior wood surfaces. Follow directions for application instructions and dry times.
  4. Shake Minwax® Wipe-On Poly container thoroughly before and during use to eliminate settling on the bottom of the can.
  5. Apply a liberal amount of Wipe-On Poly to a clean, soft, lint-free cloth and rub it into the wood.
  6. Let dry 2-3 hours. Then lightly sand entire surface with fine sandpaper (220 grit) to ensure an even finish and proper adhesion. Remove all dust.
  7. Apply a second coat. If a third coat is desired, repeat step 6 before application.
  8. After final coat, allow 24 hours before light use.

CLEANUP: For easy cleanup, use mineral spirits or paint thinner.

COVERAGE: Approximately 125 sq. ft. per quart.

Floors: Wipe-On Poly may be used to touch up small scratches on floors. Apply carefully as gloss level may not be identical to the existing floor finish.

Note: Wipe-On Poly is not recommended for general use on floors. To protect floors, use Minwax® Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane for Floors or Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane.

Note: Above dry times and coverage rates are based on good ventilation, temperature of 77F and 50% relative humidity. Lower temperature, higher humidity, lack of ventilation or application of thick coats will extend dry time. Slight ambering may be experienced when Wipe-On Poly is applied over light-colored wood surfaces. Always spot test on an inconspicuous area to ensure satisfactory results. For light-colored wood surfaces, we recommend protecting with Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish.

DANGER: Rags, steel wool, other waste soaked with this product, and sanding residue may spontaneously catch fire if improperly discarded. Immediately place rags, steel wool, other waste soaked with this product, and sanding residue in a sealed, water-filled, metal container. Dispose of in accordance with local fire regulations.


Contents are COMBUSTIBLE. Keep away from heat and open flame.

VAPOR HARMFUL. Use only with adequate ventilation. To avoid overexposure, open windows and doors or use other means to ensure fresh air entry during application and drying. If you experience eye watering, headaches, or dizziness, increase fresh air, or wear respiratory protection (NIOSH approved) or leave the area. Avoid contact with eyes and skin. Wash hands after using. Keep container closed when not in use. Do not transfer contents to other containers for storage.

FIRST AID: In case of eye contact, flush thoroughly with large amounts of water for 15 minutes and get medical attention. For skin contact, wash thoroughly with soap and water. In case of respiratory difficulty, provide fresh air and call physician. If swallowed, call Poison Control Center, hospital emergency room, or physician immediately.

DELAYED EFFECTS FROM LONG TERM OVEREXPOSURE. Contains solvents which can cause permanent brain and nervous system damage. Intentional misuse by deliberately concentrating and inhaling the contents can be harmful or fatal.

WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.


Sours: https://www.minwax.com/wood-products/clear-protective-finishes/wipe-ons/minwax-wipe-on-poly

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Minwax® Wipe-On Poly

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Your order will come with a return form with convenient instructions, or you may send your returns directly to Returns Department, Rockler Woodworking and Hardware, 4365 Willow Drive, Medina, MN 55340. You may also return purchases to a Rockler store near you for store credit. Items shipped directly from the manufacturer cannot be returned in store. For international returns, please click here.

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