Minwax Wipe-on Poly Directions

Updated November 21, 2016

Minwax Wipe-on Poly is used to create a beautiful rubbed finish that seals and protects your wood surfaces from moisture, scratches and dry rotting. This particular product is easier to use than other forms of urethane that are brushed or sprayed on. With wipe-on urethane you do not have to worry about leaving behind brush marks or discovering runs after the product has already dried. All you need to achieve a long-lasting finish is the ability to follow simple instructions.

Lightly sand all wood surfaces with the 220-grit sandpaper. Use a coarser 100-grit sandpaper if your wood has noticeable mill marks, or does not feel smooth to the touch.

Brush away all sanding dust with an old paint brush, or use a shop vacuum. Wipe all surfaces with your tack cloth to remove any remaining dust. Tack cloths feel slightly sticky and pick up dust that has been left behind.

Apply a Minwax stain colour of your choice. Open the can and stir the contents with a paint stick. Do not shake the stain. Shaking stain creates bubbles that will transfer to your wood. Apply the stain with a brush or rag, and wipe off any excess stain. Allow the stain to dry for a minimum of 12 hours before applying a second coat of stain or applying the polyurethane.

Fold your lint-free cloth so it is slightly larger than your hand. A folded rag is easier to manage while you are applying the polyurethane.

Shake the container of Minwax Wipe-On Poly before using it. Shaking the container mixes the contents that have settled at the bottom of the container. Apply approximately 1/4 cup of urethane to your rag, and begin rubbing it into the wood. Complete this step until you have covered all wood surfaces.

Allow your wood project to completely dry for a minimum of three hours. Depending on weather and humidity levels, drying time may be slower or faster.

Lightly sand all surfaces with 220-grit sandpaper. Do not apply excessive pressure while you are sanding. Excessive pressure while sanding will remove your first layer of polyurethane.

Moisten a clean rag with white spirit and wipe the surface until it is free from dust. Apply a second coat of urethane and allow it to dry. At this time you can apply a third coat, which is recommended, or allow your project to sit undisturbed for a full day before using it.


Complete your project indoors, or at least in your garage. This will keep dust from settling or blowing onto your wet finish.

Things You'll Need

  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • White spirit
  • Tack cloth
  • Lint free wiping rags
  • Stain
  • Minwax Wipe-on Poly
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Based in Oklahoma City, Debbie Tolle has been working in the home-improvement industry since 2001 and writing since 1998. Tolle holds a Master of Science in psychology from Eastern Illinois University and is also a Cisco-certified network associate (CCNA) and a Microsoft-certified systems engineer (MCSE).