The Difference Between Wipe and Brush-on Poly

What is the difference between wipe-on polyurethane and the brush-on? Can the brush-on also be wiped on?

Greg Williams: Wipe-on finishes are designed to be wiped on thin and without concern for flow, since the excess is usually wiped off. If they are wiped on thickly, or brushed on, they will show streaks and ridges. Brush-on varnishes remain wet and liquid long enough to flow out more smoothly, and thus don’t show brush marks as badly.

Michael Dresdner: To sum up, most brush-on oil-based finishes can be wiped on and wiped off, but most wipe-on finishes cannot be successfully brushed on.

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