Midnight Woodworking


Dining room bench build – day four

I am trying a new approach with my finish on this project. I normally just brush on two coats of semi-gloss polyurethane, but I recently watched a video, by Tom Iovino, on Creating a wipe-on-poly finish.


For this finish, I still use my semi-gloss polyurethane but I cut it with thinner and boiled linseed oil. It goes on smoothly with an old rag and leaves no drips or brush marks behind. It is thinner than a normal coat of poly, but it dries a lot faster and it soaks into the wood giving you protection below the surface. The boiled linseed oil is supposed to offer the added benefit of drawing out the grain a little more.

Ingredients for wipe on poly

Ingredients for wipe on poly

I start by marking amount levels, on a jelly jar, with a permanent marker. I use two parts poly, one part thinner, and one part boiled linseed oil. I mixed it thoroughly by shaking, then let the bubbles settle.

Finish mixed

Finish mixed

Next I grabbed a piece of an old tee-shirt and started wiping. It went on quickly and looked nice. And, as promised, there were no drips. You just wipe off any excess and you are done. By the time I finished the second bench, the first one was nearly dry. The bench was very smooth to the touch. I will go back down in an hour or so and put on a second coat after a quick sanding with my scotch brite pad. Although, this stuff dries so quickly that hardly any dust has had a chance to stick in the finish.

Brings out the grain

Brings out the grain

Applying the first coat

Applying the first coat

First bench done

First bench done

Second bench done

Second bench done

4 comments on “Dining room bench build – day four

  1. Eric R
    March 5, 2013

    Looks great.
    I have to try that finish Tom uses. It looks easy to apply, and you have proven that it makes projects look really nice !
    Nice job on those benches.

    • Lwroten
      March 5, 2013

      I just put on the third coat. It goes on really easy and comes out smooth. I should finish tomorrow. I will let you know how it turns out.

  2. Joe Scharl
    March 6, 2013

    I have never used the BLO, but few years back used poly and spirits to get a nice mirrored finish on a buffet top. I was pretty pleased with how i came out. I think I applied it with a wad of paper towels wrapped with an old t-shirt. Good stuff, keep the posts coming.

  3. Pingback: Finishing party | Midnight Woodworking

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This entry was posted on March 5, 2013 by in furniture and tagged , , , .

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