Finish Looks Milky/Splotchy


TomInNC
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I built a puzzle tray for my wife's birthday, and I finished it with Gloss Poly from Minwax. Initially I used the premixed wipe-on poly. After I ran out of that, I mixed the standard gloss poly with mineral spirits in a roughly 50-50 solution. I can't remember exactly how many coats I put on, but I would guess it was around 8 thin coats. Things looked pretty good at first, at least in the not-so-great light in my storage room. By the time I gave her the present, however, the finish had taken on a milky/splotchy appearance. The first picture below is right after the first coat dried. The second 2 are close-ups of tray now. The milky appearance is most visible in the second picture on end, and you can see the splotchy appearance if you look hard enough in the reflection on the third picture.

Between the initial coats I was sanding with 220 grit, then wiping down with a rag covered in mineral spirts to remove the dust. I then used a higher grit for the next few coats and used a one of those 3m finishing pads towards the end of the process.

Any idea what I may have done wrong here? I read that failing to mix the satin poly enough can cause problems like this because of uneven distribution of the flattener, but since this is a gloss, can I rule out stirring as an issue? Also, any thoughts on how to fix this? It's currently covered in an uncompleted oversized puzzle, so I have plenty of time to come up with a solution.

 

 

 

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On 12/9/2021 at 9:30 AM, Chestnut said:

From past posters this seems like a problem with the regular minwax poly. I've never had this issue with satin wipe on poly from minwax and I've used a LOT of it. Essentially to have to remove the finish and reapply.

By "regular" do you mean the non-wipe-on gloss version? I was under the impression that the wipe-on gloss was just the non-wipe-on gloss diluted with mineral spirits, which I why I thought it was safe to switch to that mix after I ran out of the wipe-on. Live and learn.

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5 minutes ago, TomInNC said:

By "regular" do you mean the non-wipe-on gloss version? I was under the impression that the wipe-on gloss was just the non-wipe-on gloss diluted with mineral spirits, which I why I thought it was safe to switch to that mix after I ran out of the wipe-on. Live and learn.

I don't know that the switch is what caused it. There have been many reports of a milky or white issue with the regular poly.

Dug through posts i guess it is fixable with a hair dryer and some time. Read 2nd page.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Thought I'd post an update on this in case people land here googling the same issue.

So I tried the heat gun. No dice. Then I started thinking about exactly what I did after the last coats. I remembered that I had tried using a finishing pad after the final coat, which I had never done before. I'm not sure if I just used too much elbow grease or what, but the "milk" in the poly was actually the fine scratches from the final sanding. So the solution was to just put another thin layer on and leave it be. Lesson learned. For now.

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