Flexner on Finishing: Applying Wiping Varnish


Practice makes perfect.
By Bob Flexner
Pages: 90-92

From the November 2008 issue #172
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I ’ve written several times in these pages about wiping varnish being one of the best finishes for a woodworker not using a spray gun – most recently in November 2005 . Wiping varnish is simply alkyd or polyurethane varnish thinned about half with mineral spirits (paint thinner). The thinning makes the varnish easy to wipe on the wood.

If you remember, I pointed out that the big problem with wiping varnish is manufacturers concealing what’s in the can. Instead of calling the product what it is – thinned varnish – they commonly use uninformative names such as “tung oil,” Seal-a-Cell, Waterlox, Profin or Salad Bowl Finish.


From the November 2008 issue #172
Buy this issue now