Wipe On Poly

For years I have been reading about and seeing this wonderful product… Wipe On Poly…. I talked to a lot of paint and varnish salesmen at all manner of paint shops… nope never heard of it… no we can’t get it in… never seen it… But its is available… I have seen it on the internet… Why can’t I get it here in Australia…

Well as you can see… this can of Wipe On Poly by Minwax is actually in my workshop.. Shock Horror… you can get it here…

One day, strolling through Bunnings [for our overseas readers… substitute ” big box store”… you choose the brand] I spied a can of … can you beleive it…. MINWAX W.O.P.

I was so  excited, I bought two cans .. even at $29.00 each.

Before this IF I wanted a poly-urethane finish, I had to brush it on… nasty brush marks… slow drying time and… heaven forbid …if a small breeze slipped into the shop… a lot of imperfections in the finish that had to be sanded out..

Now I had read and seen a lot of things said about this wonder product… W.O.P.  but now that I have tried it… what a great revelation…

Do not get me Wrong… this is not the, be all, end all, finish… but for some of the things I am making …. very acceptable.. mainly smaller items..

I still love my Tung Oil Finish… can not beat a hand rubbed oil finish… but for small things that may get a bit of handling… poly wins out… and this wipe on stuff is great

Goes on smooth with a cloth and dries very quickly so several coats may be applied in one day..

May be this should have been in the review section but hey this is my site and I am writing this blog…

This afternoon two projects were finish sanded ready for a coat of clear… I chose to use the wipe on…here are a couple of pics of the first coat.

About Lazy Larry

Just a woodworker sharing some of the things learnt the hard way... so you don't make the same mistakes...
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20 Responses to Wipe On Poly

  1. Brian Meeks says:

    Great post. I have never tried wipe on poly, but I am new enough to woodworking that I haven’t tried most things.

  2. Lisa says:

    I have tried W.O.P.
    I am not sure what to wipe it on with.
    Do you wipe on heavy coat or thin coat,
    I think I’m doing something wrong.
    Is applied the same as Tung or other oil ?
    It just sits on my bench.
    The box and board look great !!


    • Lazy Larry says:

      I apply thin coats with a soft cloth and rub it in all over and then finish with the grain.
      Thanks for the kind comments

    • Max says:

      Hi Lisa
      Wipe on Poly is diluted polyurethane, which means each coat will be thin.

      It is good for building up a finish slowly and the first coat will really sink in.

      You can use a paint brush or Tshirt cloth to apply it. I prefer a small paint brush as it is less messy and gives a great result.

      if you want to use a wax finish you can apply to coats of wipe on poly and, when dry, rub in your favourite wax. This is a great finish.


  3. Are you aware that you can take any solvent-based polyurethane, thin it with mineral spirits and have “wipe on poly”?

    Cheers — Larry

  4. patron says:

    Good to know Larry ,
    I must have $500.00 in products ,
    and they all almost do what they say .
    It’s what they don’t say , that is the problem !
    I’m working my way back to pre-cat-lacquer ,
    I do bigger things , and it has always been easier to work with .

  5. Mike in Norway says:

    If you’ve gotten it there Larry we might get it here in Norway some day. I have bought some wipe on cellulose lacquer here which worked well, but not poly yet. Sounds like a great product. Thanks for the tip off.

  6. D. Nicol says:

    I hope that you can help me by answering my question. We recently installed new pre-finished hardwood floors. The new floors are in a bedroom that leads off of the main hallway of our home. The hallway also has hardwood floors that we installed about 10 years ago. Our dilemma is this…the existing hallway hardwood has a high gloss finish and the new bedroom hardwood has a satin finish (somewhat rough surface). When the sun shines into the bedroom, the difference in the two finishes is really noticeable (mostly right at the entrance to the bedroom as the eye goes beyond and sees the hallway high gloss finish).
    Is it possible to use a wipe-on poly or a polyurethane to achieve a higher gloss finish on the bedroom floors without actually stripping the floors?
    Thank you for your help.

    • Lazy Larry says:

      I have sent you an e-mail… hope this helps…

      • Cathleen says:

        Hi Larry…can you send me the email re: uniting glossy/satin finishes and making the two match? I have some pet urine damage on a wood floor and need to sand/ finish and have never used WOP, but this looks like an excellent application (no pun intended) for this product. Thanks!

  7. Pingback: Gloss Wipe On Poly

  8. Martyn says:

    Thanks, Larry. Now to track it down in the UK


    Martyn (aka Britboxmaker)

  9. Marc Kunkel says:

    Is the wipe on poly food safe?

  10. Thanks mate, I am starting the project “KINGFISHER wooden ship kit project'” (it’s a scale ship POF kit) from USA . All the fairdinkum forums suggest to use this Poly Wipe & I can see the finished product, I think ‘it’s as good as it appears. Anyway, I read your forum and found out it was avaliable from Bunnings, local. I rang , and I was surprised, it was in my hands in 15 minutes. Thanks mate, cheers. By the way, I am a shipwright, and I think your work is realy great!

  11. Marlene - Canada says:

    I’ve used Wipe On Poly on a number of tables, one in daily use by grandkids at the cottage, and really like how easy it is to apply and the durability of it. If three or four coats are applied, there is no problem with white rings from condensation on glasses/spills, etc.

  12. Hans Sitte says:

    Hans, San Jose, is the Minwax W.O.P. food safe? I have looked all over and can’t find the answer.

    Since you are “down under” do you use Timbermate wood filler? I made a small tray that I want to fill in and add finish over, either the Minwax W.O.P. or beeswax. Any thoughts?

  13. Wendy says:

    Can you use wipe on poly over paint eg latex or chalk paint?

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