So i’ve been doing a bunch of samples with poly, trying to get the technique down and it was only until i started finishing this body did it all really make sense. My buddy Trevin recently finished a guitar body using wipe on poly and had great results so i figured with a redwood top it’d be better protection. Here are some of my tips along the way. I’ve always wanted a lacquer like depth and shine so here’s how i achieve a similar result with Wipe on Poly
First things first : Surface Prep is Paramount. For this body there were some areas that weren’t as flat as they could be but hey im still learning.
- Keep in mind that your first two to three coats will look like crap initially after you wipe it on. DO NO GO BACK AND TOUCH UP.
- After each coat take 600 grit paper (wet/dry) and soak it in a bowl of water that has a drop of soap in it. Keep it there for 10 min or more then sand the coats of poly. What you want is an even dullness with minimal shiny spots. the spots just mean that there is a low level where your sanpaper cant hit just yet. DO NOT focus on them otherwise you’ll create a dip. Wet sanding is what will remove the brush strokes/wipe marks. keep the sandpaper soaked and you’ll use less and it’ll work more for you.
- After the third coat the finish will glide on very smoothly. Sometimes i like to put a drop or two of water in the small cup i use to dab my application cloth in. It just helps it flow better.
- Keep Applying, 1 coat of wipe on poly is about 1/3 of brush on poly so get ready for a long process.
- After your last coat (you can choose, the more the merrier) then leave it be for about a week or more. As always longer wait is better. this will allow the finish to cure. Afterwards come at it with 800 grit and 1000 and 2000 until everything is dull again.
- Take 3M’s Finesse it II and put some elbow grease into it and it will shine up like Lacquer. Take it one step further and use 3M’s Hand Glaze and you are set!