View Full Version : Source for Wipe On Poly?

Mark Singer
07-23-2005, 6:09 PM
Where can I buy MinWax Wipe on Poly in gallons? Home Depot only has pints...

Don Henthorn Smithville, TX
07-23-2005, 10:15 PM
I just mix poly with the same amount of Naphtha and find it works great.

Ken Garlock
07-23-2005, 10:58 PM
Mark, since MinWax is owned by Sherwin Williams. I would go to an S-W store and ask them to order in a gallon or two for you. :)

Their other brands include Dutch Boy, Krylon, Martin-Senour, Red Devil, Sherwin-Williams, Thompson's, Minwax, and Duron.

Dennis Peacock
07-24-2005, 6:43 AM
Good Morning Mark,

I would just mix my own. Get a gallon of Poly and mix MS or Naptha and go to town finishing.

Ken G:
I had no idea that S-W was by all those brand names. :eek: :cool: Thanks for the info.

Mark Singer
07-24-2005, 8:48 AM
In the August Fine Woodworking #178 there is a feature article ,by Chris Minick, actually the Cover Story....that compares 17 different wipe on finishes. A lot of very careful scietific comparisons were made including 8 diferent criteria as listed in a summary table. The result is that at $5.95 per quart MinWax Wipe on Poly out performed finishes costing $42.00 per quart! It also states that it is widely available. So I don't want to mix my own ....I want to use the winner..."Best Value" and "Best Overall" It was tested for water resistance and really did excellent...out performing finishes costing over 6 times more!

Well my results are different....I went th Home Depot and a Pint of MinWax wipe on Poly is $7.95....3 times the price stated in the article. They don't carry quarts! I went on line and it does not seem to be widely available ....Amazon has quarts at : 2 for $24 plus about $8 for shipping! Even neglecting the shipping it is twice the price stated in the Cover Story! It seems that the article is not very scientific which is its entire premise.....

I bought a pint at $7.95 and it seems a little thin.....I am trying it to see how it performs on different hardwoods. I don't really have my results yet.

It must be frustrating for MinWax and the other companies involved when the article ...its prices and availability are so far from correct!

Maybe Jim Becker or some of you have seen this article and have some input....I think FWW should re-write it and correct the info...in fairness to the companies involved.

Keith Cope
07-24-2005, 8:58 AM

I was frustrated by the same findings, but generally pleased with the results it gave me. I'm generally not a poly fan, but after much discussion used it on some cabinetry in a bathroom we remodeled. I was surprised at the coverage I got with it, but I did apply on some pretty dense wood so that may not be typical.

btw--congrats on the feature in Western Interiors--I picked up a copy a couple weeks ago--a very nice piece (and a great house!)


Jim Becker
07-24-2005, 9:50 AM
Mix your own, Mark...for a fraction of the cost. And remember it has a short shelf-life once opened...

Bill Arnold
07-25-2005, 7:02 AM
Mark, since MinWax is owned by Sherwin Williams. I would go to an S-W store and ask them to order in a gallon or two for you. :)

Their other brands include Dutch Boy, Krylon, Martin-Senour, Red Devil, Sherwin-Williams, Thompson's, Minwax, and Duron.M.L. Campbell is another brand under the S-W banner. You can get M.L. Campbell equivalents of MinWax stains that dry in minutes rather than hours.

Greg Heppeard
07-25-2005, 9:43 AM

Good luck getting much of anything in gallons in CA...I think my corp office stopped carrying gallons of finish due to the shipping restrictions in California. I have to order the stuff direct now.

Mark Singer
07-25-2005, 4:08 PM
Well ,

I think potential buers will have a problem when they find out the real cost off the MinWax is twice what is stated in the article!

The article in FWW has major flaws in their review process. The author starts out with a set of requirements that will guarantee the product he preferred “working with” would win. All other test results were skewed by his ease of use and fast dry time criterion.

To Minwax’s advantage, he applies all the samples using the Minwax usage instructions. Many of the competing products state that the first coat should be thinned with mineral spirits or naphtha to maximize penetration (which he did not do). Many products state that the first coat should be flooded on the wood and allowed at least 30 minutes to be absorbed, re-applying the flooded area as necessary to maximize penetration (which he did not do). Many of the competing products require the user to wipe down the wood several times in the first few hours to collect seepage and remove byproducts that may never solidify (which he apparently did not do). Many of his comparison products recommend 4 or more coats (which he did not do). And several of the products caution the user against use in wet environments (another of his criteria).

A more appropriate test would involve applying each finish per instructions on the can and then test each finish to evaluate the product claims.

End of rant. Think I’ll pick up a can of Minwax wipe-on poly next time I visit the local borg.


Matt Meiser
07-25-2005, 4:12 PM
I've too noticed the price issue. I paid 12-something a quart at the local Do-It-Best hardware store a couple days before receiving the magazine.

Scott Coffelt
07-25-2005, 4:58 PM
It's not poly, but I sure like Arm-r-seal I get from Woodcraft's.


Not sure if that was in the tests or not.

Howard Acheson
08-01-2005, 12:02 PM
I suspect that quarts and gallons are not sold in California. California has enacted very restrictive VOC emission regulations. Finishes sold in containers of a pint or less are exempted from these regulations. Because wipe-on finishes contain a high percentage of thinners and solvents, they do not meet the California VOC regulations. It is for this same reason that finish labeling contains the statement "Do Not Thin". Thinning increases the emissions beyond those allowed by the regulations.

However, there is nothing preventing the user from making their own wipe-on finish. Just use your favorite varnish or poly varnish and mix it 50/50 with mineral spirits. If you use one of the current "Fast Dry" polys, don't use naphtha. It makes the material flash off too fast for good leveling. Use mineral spirits. Making your own is much more cost effective. If you purchase it ready made, you are paying a premium for the finish which is half cheap thinners. It's like buying watered down bourbon and paying a premium price.

To use a wipe-on finish correctly, use a rag that is wet--but not dripping--and apply it in a circular manner. Think of the rag and technique used by the waiter at Denny's who wipes down your table. Just get it on, don't go back to get a spot you missed. You'll get it with the next coat. You should not see any thickness of finish, you're sort of wiping/rubbing it in, not on. Let it get tack free and apply a second coat the same way. Let these two coats dry overnight and then use 320 paper to sand it flat. Now apply 3-4 more coats without sanding between.

Phil Winn
08-02-2005, 11:07 PM
www.hardwarestore.com/brands/minwax-company.aspx (http://www.hardwarestore.com/brands/minwax-company.aspx)