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I think the easiest way is to wipe it on.

Some people will use poly sold as "Wipe on Poly", but I just use regular poly and thin it 5-10% with mineral spirits. I use old t-shirts that I've cut up as applicators, but any lint free cotton material will work.
 

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Kind'a depends on what you're going to finish, equipment, comfort level--all kinds of variables. Little more info.....
Am really sure that there are several threads about that--tried a search?
 

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Cedar Box Maker
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Looking for the best way to apply polyurethane?

I have found the best way is to use a sponge brush, if you are using an oil based poly.:thumbsup:
I don't ever use a water based poly.:no:
Procedure: Apply 1st coat and try not to get it too thick, 'cause it will run. Wait 24 hours (more if the humidity is high). Sand with #0000 or #000 steel wool. Blow off.
Apply 2nd coat, this will go on easier, so watch for runs. Let it dry for 24 hours.
If you want a 3rd coat remember to sand with the steel wool lightly.
As a matter of fact I just put my second coat on 10 cedar boxes today. They sure look good now.:yes:
 

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The best way would be to spray it. If that isn't an option then the wipe-on would be the next best. The finish can be applied fine with a brush however you have to use a very soft brush and apply it with as few brush strokes as possible. The more you brush it gets more air into the finish and could set up before the brush marks flow out making them show up more.
 

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I would add to previous comment about using sponge brush. First and last layer of oil poly needs to thined - 10-15%. First layer will go deeply into wood making it stronger and last one to give additional time for poly to smooth and level brush marks.
 

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I used a sponge brush but being a rookie I really didn't know what I was doing. What I did was build a workbench and then put polyurethane on the top just for practice. I put on a coat, let it dry then lightly sanded it, then put on another then a third. It came out so nice I don't like to work on my work bench.:laughing:

I have never heard of using the steel wool, I'll try that next time.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well ive used a spray but idk if im using the right one but it keeps coming out really dull. Ive used a soft brush but it keeps clumping together and runs. Can yall explain on the thinning yall do to the poly. What i am working on is a spool that i am turning into a table. I am very very new to woodworking and really want to learn but i dont no anybody around my town that i really would want to learn from so any info i get from yall is greatly appreciated.
 

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>>>> Well ive used a spray

Spraying an oil based finish is problematic. Oil based finishes are very slow drying and the overspray mist is in the form of liquid droplets. These spray droplets will get on everything in the area creating a crusty film where ever it lands. Oil based finish is best sprayed in a spray booth or outside.

Oil based finishes are best brushed or wiped on.
 

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When you say you're spraying do you mean out of a can? What brand and type are you using? I buy minwax in a can and spread it on with a foam brush. If I put it on a flat surface I put it on thick and let it dry for 24 hours. If I put it on a vertical surface I put it on thin so it won't run and will need a few more coats. I sand with 220 grit sandpaper between coats but don't sand after the last coat. The best advise I can give is read everything written on the can and practice on scrap wood for a while.
 

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Cedar Box Maker
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When you say you're spraying do you mean out of a can? What brand and type are you using? I buy minwax in a can and spread it on with a foam brush. If I put it on a flat surface I put it on thick and let it dry for 24 hours. If I put it on a vertical surface I put it on thin so it won't run and will need a few more coats. I sand with 220 grit sandpaper between coats but don't sand after the last coat. The best advise I can give is read everything written on the can and practice on scrap wood for a while.
+1 :thumbsup::yes:
 
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