Robby W

California Approved Minwax Poly Works for Wipe-on Finish

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When I was ready to finish the two tables for my church, I wanted to use a poly finish for durability. So after listening to all 290+ episodes of WoodTalk and researching Fine Woodworking magazine's finish test, I went to my local Woodcraft store and asked for some General Finishes Armor-Seal, only to be told: "Sorry, we can't sell that in California because of the air pollution regulations". Rats. OK, let's try the second place finish: Minwax Wipe-On Poly. I went to Home Depot near my house and searched high and low for a can of it. Then I asked the paint department head if he had any in stock, only to hear a familiar refrain: "Sorry, we can't sell that in California because of the air pollution regulations". Double rats!

Not wanting to be an air polluter and being a good Boy Scout, I didn't go online and order a can of either finish. Instead, I grabbed a quart of Minwax Fast Drying Poly.

5686161347223_MinwaxFastDryingPoly(492x6

I wanted a wipe-on poly, but the instructions said I had to use a brush. I thought I would dilute it 50-50 with mineral spirits. Then I opened the can and noticed that it had a rather low viscosity, so I mixed it up and poured some in a tray. Grapping a clean T-shirt rag, I dipped it into the Poly and wiped it on. It worked beautifully! Whoohoo! The directions said I should apply a coat, wait 4 hours and sand with 220 grit. Thinking that would take forever to build a decent film, I applied two coats, sanded and added a final coat. Perfect! I am really pleased with the results.  I didn't see a lot of witness rings from the sanding either.

This probably isn't something I am going to use for my very best projects, but for a quick mop-and-go finish, it works well. And it really does dry enough to handle the piece in less than 4 hours, even in 50 degree weather, (hey, its the middle of the winter here in San Diego. Drops all the way into the 40's at night!) I did learn that you only have about 5 minutes to work applied finish and then it sets up too much to work it any more.

Californians, give it a shot. I think you will like it.

 

 

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 This particular product is one that does not move quickly here as any amount of humidity can cause weird blushing or hazing in an unpredictable way. California may be fine due to lower RH, but I hesitate to recommend it without caution. 

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1 hour ago, Brendon_t said:

I can buy ARS  at my local wood store.. very strange..

+1

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We flew from Houston to LA via SW Airlines and when we got close to he CA border we were notified of last call .... On the rest rooms!

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3 hours ago, K Cooper said:

We flew from Houston to LA via SW Airlines and when we got close to he CA border we were notified of last call .... On the rest rooms!

Had you already filled them to capacity? 

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7 minutes ago, Brendon_t said:

Had you already filled them to capacity? 

No, illegal to drop the blue ice over CA

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51 minutes ago, TIODS said:

No, illegal to drop the blue ice over CA

I use the head on the plane all the time..  .  I've never ever heard of a last call..

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I've used the Minwax Fast Drying Poly quite a bit for wiping, and I think it looks quite good.  I usually thin it a little.

 

 

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Man, that's too bad.  Minwax wipe on poly is my go to finish. Dries hard and clear. incredibly forgiving. Really brings out cherry and walnut. Also, it has very low odor so I'm not sure what kind of VOCs it has.  I've yet to find a water based poly that comes close.

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10 hours ago, jplemons said:

I see cans of Wipe-on Poly at the HD all the time and just used some to finish a piece. In California. 

I wonder if it is a So. Cali. thing. Interesting. I checked five stores down here without any luck.

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My understanding it different counties in California have different VOC rules.  They are all nuts out there but apparently some counties are run by bigger nuts than others.  

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4 hours ago, Mike. said:

My understanding it different counties in California have different VOC rules.  They are all nuts out there but apparently some counties are run by bigger nuts than others.  

Hey man those are our nuts. It's only ok for us to insult them.

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Quite possible that it varies by the area's air quality, but I'm in Fresno and our air is horrible. Still possible that it varies by county/air pollution district. 

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