Can you "thin" regular Polyurethane to make your own "Wipe-On" Poly?

Terri D
by Terri D
I thought I read somewhere that you could do this. It would be much more cost efficient, because one can of store bought Wipe-On does not go very far.
  6 answers
  • I am sure you can, once you know what to thin it with, However if it does not thin properly or you use the wrong chemical to thin it out, you risk messing up the entire area that you did with the homemade formula that you made. I would stick to the pre-mixed stuff to save you time and possible drying issues later on.
  • Paul M Paul M on Dec 29, 2011
    Thin with mineral spirits for oil based polyurethane. Careful that you don't add too much and you will need to use it pretty quickly because the mineral spirits will make the poly begin to set in a few days and it will become milky or chunky. Yes I have done that before, it works but like I said you'll have to use it up pretty quickly or throw the excess away.
  • Lillian S Lillian S on Dec 29, 2011
    Everything can be thinned with either mineral spirits or denatured alcohol.
  • Terri D Terri D on Dec 29, 2011
    Yep, that was it...the mineral spirits. Does anyone know the ratio...poly to mineral spirits?
  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Nov 21, 2015
    I've used wipe on poly using an old sock or tee shirt and find that it covers very well. If you use it sparingly the can will go a long way. Be sure to recap the can tightly so that no air gets in or it will harden. Not sure why you need to "thin" it. But I'm so happy to hear others use the wipe on product. Great stuff. (Why not contact the manufacturer's website or call their hot line for their recommendation? Be safe.)
  • Int2363025 Int2363025 on Nov 22, 2015
    I'm an old fashioned furniture refinisher. I have been in business for over 50 years. For a perfect finish i use a thinned mixture of varnish, paint thinner and linseed oil warmed on a hot-plate and apply as many as 8 coats . Sanding in between each coat. This finish penetrates the wood and has no brush marks.
    • See 1 previous
    • Mar Mar on Jun 23, 2020

      What are your proportions of each and do you have to warm it or can it just be at room temperature?