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Is Minwax Poly The Most Evil Substance In The World?

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  • Is Minwax Poly The Most Evil Substance In The World?

    I completed a project last October. Now, almost 8 months later, it's still outstenching and outgassing. It just won't stop smelling. My question is: will it ever stop? Or, will it stench forwver?

    I've used Minwax Spar in the past on a door, and after a week, there was no stench. I've used traditional lacquer, and after a short while, it was fine. But, this stuff? It's just stenching on and on.

    Some other horrible things it did was that it dripped like crazy. If I turned my head, it dripped as if on purpose. And, it streaked. Didn't self-level well at all. Hard to apply evenly. Any advice?

  • #2
    I've been using Formby's Tung Oil for 40 years, because it's so easy to apply and virtually impossible to mess up and it's absolutely waterproof. Use enough coats and you can even get a piano finish, like this:
    Click image for larger version

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    www.billfitzmaurice.com
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    • #3
      Hey Supermike - It sounds like you might be applying the minwax poly really heavy. I know tomzarbo uses the stuff on his projects and seems to like it. I tend to use General Finishes Arm-r-seal poly (oil base) or their High Performance (water based poly). Both of those products can drip and run if I go too heavy on the wipe coat. You might also be having an issue where the poly layers built up too heavy, and too quickly, so that the first layers did not get a chance to dry completely. Adding layers on top of still-curing ones can trap the solvents underneath and make them slowly dissipate over time...if they can even escape at all.

      I know that doesn't really help you get rid of the smell now... just offering some potential reasons for what's happening.

      Good luck bud!
      Voxel Down Firing with Dayton SA70
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      • #4
        I always use Miniwax polyurethane, both gloss and satin. I apply the first two coats with good-quality foam brushes, making them just thick enough to cover adequately. I lightly sand after each, then apply 2-3 thin coats of wipe-on poly with cloth, sanding very lightly after the first two. The key to avoiding runs is to not make the coats actually thick, and just as important, have the surface(s) being coated be horizontally level while applying and for several hours while drying. I wait 24 hours between sanding and applying the next coat. Poly takes a week or two to adequately out-gas. I prefer the satin poly because it "hides" my mistakes much better.
        Paul

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        • #5
          You may have got a bad batch. Take it outside and wipe it down with a very light solvent(acetone or xylene). Test first of course.

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          • #6
            If you decide to wipe down with acetone be sure to wear gloves. Acetone sold in the USA is recycled meaning it has been used for industrial purposes before you get it, sometimes many times. Acetone is also highly hygroscopic and penetrates skin easily. The result is that whatever is in the acetone is carried into the body. Just say'in.....

            On another note, like Paul I use Minwax Wipe on Poly on most of my projects and have never had a bad outcome. My methods are even simpler than Paul's since I seldom use more than 3 coats, all of which are wiped on with clean cotton fabric. The trick as with most finishes is to wipe on multiple thin coats with plenty of cure time between each coat.
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            • #7
              Well, I just need more coats in order to for sure end up with a finish that's at least halfway presentable.
              Paul

              Originally posted by bungelow_ed View Post

              On another note, like Paul I use Minwax Wipe on Poly on most of my projects and have never had a bad outcome. My methods are even simpler than Paul's since I seldom use more than 3 coats, all of which are wiped on with clean cotton fabric. The trick as with most finishes is to wipe on multiple thin coats with plenty of cure time between each coat.

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              • #8
                Interesting, I just built a large hutch finished in Minwax stain and minwax semigloss poly, both the stain and poly were sprayed. 4 coats of poly, dry to touch and sanded between coats. It still stinks too much to put clothes in two weeks later. I was wondering if it’s gonna smell forever too!

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                • #9
                  I use to use the minwax poly on my table top projects but noticed in recent years they changed the formula with more driers. I find it unworkable also. I threw out my can so I would not be tempted to try it again.
                  John H

                  Synergy Horn, SLS-85, BMR-3L, Mini-TL, BR-2, Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim, Aperivox,Pencil Tower

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                  • #10
                    I use minwax satin poly on furniture and speaker projects. I always use a natural bristle brush; usually 2" wide. You need to do light coats to prevent runs and I find that you need to wait 2 days between coats for it to get hard enough to sand. I think they have changed the formula over the years. The older formula would dry in the can if there was any air space or maybe it was a small leak. One solution that I have implemented is once a can of finish gets to half empty I put it in glass canning jars. I have put wall paint in canning jars and I can open the jar mix it and touch up wall scoffs with a perfect match, The steel cans rust and the lids don't seal well. I also like the minwax poty wipe-on product for the final coat then I buff a little with fine steel wool.
                    Shawn

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                    • #11
                      I use to use Minwax products all the time too because I'm a cheap bum and could get them at Home Depot or Lowes just down the road. I now think they are some of the worst wood finishing products available. Similar to Rustoleum products. Too bad really... the color selection, availability, and price sure were good. The only Minwax product I still use is their Gloss wipe on poly, but not very often.
                      Craig

                      The lowest possible F3 box alignment is not always the best alignment.

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                      • #12
                        Yeah I got it because it was available and cheap. My mistake there. I’ve had great luck with Arm R Seal, and with some Japan Drier and thin coats it dries almost as fast as poly. I need to stick with that I guess.

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                        • #13
                          I've never had an issue with Minwax Poly, but I've only used the Gloss formulation in the last 10 years or so.
                          What I do now with the project finishing and coil-dunking, I have no use for the satin or matte in these applications.

                          Later,
                          Wolf
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Wolf View Post
                            I've never had an issue with Minwax Poly, but I've only used the Gloss formulation in the last 10 years or so.
                            What I do now with the project finishing and coil-dunking, I have no use for the satin or matte in these applications.

                            Later,
                            Wolf
                            Yes, let's dunk those misbehaving coils!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AEIOU View Post

                              Yes, let's dunk those misbehaving coils!

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                              If she's innocent, she has nothing to fear.
                              Francis

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