PDA

View Full Version : Minwax finishes - water borne vs spirit based?



Wildestcat
05-20-2018, 11:57 PM
A year or two ago I was lucky enough to find a can of spirit-based Minwax Wipe-on Satin Poly on Amazon.co.uk. I suspect it was listed there in error, because it was dispatched from the USA at very low postage cost. It's a finish I really like, but sadly it has all gone. I've been searching for another can but I can't find any supplier who can export to the UK. My latest attempt to purchase on eBay seems to have failed, with tracking still listing the item as not yet received by USPS a month after allegedly being dispatched. I'm guessing there is an issue with shipping volatile materials?

Yes I can still use Tru-oil, and yes I will be trying a cellulose spray, but since I will have to do it outdoors that is only possible when the weather is suitable, which it rarely is when I have an instrument to finish. So ... I would still like the option of a wipe-on poly. Note that General Finishes wipe-on poly is also unavailable in the UK.

Which brings me to the point of this post - the water-based Minwax poly does seem to be available via Amazon in the UK, although far too expensive to take an uninformed punt on.
I've never been that impressed with other water-borne finishes, so I was wondering if anyone on the forum has used it, and how they feel it compares with the original spirit-based product?

mikeyb2
05-21-2018, 05:43 AM
Hi Paul, not what you want to hear, i know, but have you tried making your own. I made a couple of CBGs not so long ago and after searching the net, I found a forum post which suggested using poly and white spirit 50/50. I tried it and it turned out fine. Must admit I've not used it since discovering Tru-oil, but it might be worth looking into, and there are more "recipes" out there which might be even better.
P.s I saw the lovely baritone on Pete's MUMF video, great stuff.
Mike

Wildestcat
05-21-2018, 10:00 AM
Hi Mike. Yes, I'm resigned to trying diluted Ronseal satin poly at some stage, but since the Minwax works so well I'm gullible enough to wonder if there isn't some other magic ingredient. Anyway I thought it worth asking about the water based stuff first. Why the UK market is not considered ready for a wipe-on finish I have no idea, but I cannot find anyone in the UK who supplies an oil-based wipe-on poly, satin or otherwise.
I haven't seen the baritone video yet, but off to have a look now!

mikeyb2
05-21-2018, 11:23 AM
Paul, as for a magic ingredient , I seem to remember one or two of the recipes I came across included an amount of linseed or tung oil, can't quite remember fully but check it out. (I didn't use any oil)
cheers Mike

Pegasus Guitars
05-21-2018, 06:01 PM
I am forced to use the Water Base Minwax Wipe On Poly when I teach building classes on other islands because I can't fly with solvent based stuff. It does work very well. Easy to apply, and it builds very fast. You can do a reasonably pore free finish in a day. I apply it by wiping it on and then wiping it dry before it completely dries. The down side is that it won't wet the wood like solvent does, and it will mute the colors in darker woods. Like all water base finishes I've seen, it can give a slight greenish tint to the blacks in koa and other dark woods. People who don't know any better think it looks great, but if you are experienced with solvent finishes, you'll notice a distinct difference. Still, it does the job and is a decent water base alternative. The best of the water base finishes that I've tried. My preference for my own acoustic instruments is still old fashioned nitro. For my solid body lap steels I'll sometimes use a harder catalyzed nitro. Enjoy your building.-Bob

Wildestcat
05-22-2018, 01:05 AM
Thanks for the observations Bob - very useful to know.

Ken Franklin
05-24-2018, 10:32 PM
A diluted Poly varnish is easy to use and protects better than Tru-Oil in my experience. If the top is softwood I use three brushed coats undiluted first. That said, I usually use General Finishes Arm-R-Seal for the bodies, here in the states. Good luck.

strumsilly
05-25-2018, 03:05 AM
from what I have read, wipe on poly is really just regular poly that has been thinned.

Wildestcat
05-25-2018, 07:13 AM
A diluted Poly varnish is easy to use and protects better than Tru-Oil in my experience. If the top is softwood I use three brushed coats undiluted first. That said, I usually use General Finishes Arm-R-Seal for the bodies, here in the states. Good luck.

Agreed Ken. Such a shame we can't get the stuff over here. General Finishes have a distributor in Europe, but the one product they don't stock is Arm-R-Seal :(

Wildestcat
05-25-2018, 07:17 AM
from what I have read, wipe on poly is really just regular poly that has been thinned.

It may well be so, and something I will have to experiment with unless I can stop the smell of cellulose getting into the house from the workshop.

Ken Franklin
05-26-2018, 10:00 PM
I saw some on Amazon uk but it was gloss and they wanted about 57.

Pete Howlett
05-27-2018, 01:17 PM
After MUMF you should be using Wurth. You can get a great satin or gloss finish with this stuff. I really must pop over to Oswestry, use your sander then give you a masterclass in finishing. You're over thinking this.