Poly dripping...

jane__nyApril 22, 2013

Trying to poly a wood basket I bought to use for a plant outdoors. Didn't know what wood it was so decided to stain and poly with Minwax Helmsman spar Urethane (indoor/outdoor). I was advised to use this by a worker in Home Depot.

I stained and proceeded to brush a coat of poly. The poly is so thin, like water it drips and no matter how I tried to keep the basket level, it dried with drip stains. I sanded it and put a second coat on one section and I can see drips again.

Is there a trick to doing this? The poly is thin and takes a few hours to dry.


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Better brushing technique and a better brush. Some poly's are a bear because if they don't run, they foam up.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 10:27AM
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My gut reaction is that you're putting too much on. As mentioned, a good brush can help.

What you're using also comes in a spray can. You'll need more coats.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 11:18AM
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Thinner coats and better paint brushes.

Any brush less than about $20 is likely to be pretty poor quality for finish work like this.

Simply rubbing on coats with a lint free linen pad might be better than trying to brush.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 11:31AM
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Thanks, I tried using a cloth, messy but it seemed to run less. I did use a natural bristle brush. I'm in Florida and the humidity doesn't help. Takes too long to dry.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 5:03PM
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Objects like this are tough to brush because of all the edges and convex corners. It's both tough to keep a wet edge and to avoid getting too much or too little in the intersections.

That aside, don't trust the Home Depot guy for finish advice. Helmsman won't last a year. See this for why: http://hardwoodlumberandmore.com/Articles/ArticleViewPage/tabid/75/ArticleId/1/Marine-Varnish.aspx

Here is a link that might be useful: an alternative

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 6:11PM
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How depressing! I have spent so much time trying to get this basket done. I have to do one section at a time so it doesn't drip. Takes hours to dry, then I turn it to the next side and do that one. Have been sanding each and every little bit before putting on a second coat....

Bobsmyuncle, I have been wasting my time. I read your link about the door test. I should have painted the basket. This poly will peel in a few weeks. Now I would have to sand it all off.

Well, I guess I'll just stick the orchid in the basket and wait for basket to rot out.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 12:25AM
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" I did use a natural bristle brush."

A pretty meaningless phrase now, especially at HD (the home of cheap).

I have some brushes running well onto 60 years old that are still going strong.

For finishing work with solvent based finishes I have a pair of 'badger hair' brushes that ran around $30 each many years ago.

Mostly I use them strictly for lacquering.

Some of the newer man made flagged brushes from better manufacturers seem to do very well with shellac.

Brush manufacturing seems to have split into inexpensive and not very well made, and higher quality at a sharp price increase.

I hate having to use an expensive brush with finishes that have expensive solvents or even no real solvent) and have to pitch them.

The 'throw away' brushes then become an option for at least initial coats.

This post was edited by brickeyee on Thu, Apr 25, 13 at 11:52

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 12:09PM
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