Wipe On Poly Vs. Brush

Day by day, the number of innovations that thrive in the world of carpentry increases, meaning that these days there is a problem for every solution, and we have to keep ourselves updated to be able to use the best of these newly found tools to create the magnificent structure that we you have in mind.

One of the things that we usually talk about is the finish of the wood; when we say finish, we mean that sometimes you have to dip your structure in a coating layer to make it look good and maybe preserve the project from certain conditions.CTA

In this article, we will discuss these wood polish or coatings that will make your projects look extraordinary; however, we will be comparing two of the best in the market: The wipe on poly vs. brush on poly.

These two are the most popular coatings on the market, and we plan to go through each one of them, and then we will decide which one would be the best for your projects.

Wipe on poly vs. brush

So, if you are ready, let’s compare wipe on poly and brush on poly.

What is wipe on poly and brush on poly?

Both of these substances that we talked about in the article’s introduction are coatings for your wood art; the primary responsibility of a wood finish or coating is to make it look better than what it presents and to preserve it from natural conditions like the heat and the moisture.

So, as you can see, when we finish a wood, we are adding value to it, so let’s see what each of these wood finishes are?

Wipe on poly

As you might have guessed, the wipe on poly is polyurethane, meaning that you have to apply it via wiping it on the surface of the wood, and we think the name is self-explanatory.

These wipes are oil-based, meaning that the primary material used in crafting this product is a natural oil, and you know that oil gets oaked in the wood much more accessible than everything.

Wipe on poly vs. brush

However, as we said, this wipe has particular uses, and you cannot use a brush or any other tool to apply it; you have to use a dry wipe to apply it to your project.

Now we shall see the primary uses of the wipe on poly?

Project Finish Type of finish
Vertical surfaces Oil-based Wipe on poly
Small surfaces and errors Oil-based Wipe on poly
Corners that brush cannot reach Water-based / Oil-based Wipe on poly

By this point, you know the structures that require a wipe on polyurethane; let’s get to the next competitor.

Brush on poly

Believe it or not, there is a significant difference between the wipe-on and brush-on polyurethane.

The brush on polyurethane is the same as the regular polyurethane that you might use every day in your workshop, and unlike the wipe-on, this one is thicker and more practical.

This is a fact because this finish can be applied with any brush and even a wipe in certain situations; however, you have to remember that to apply this to a piece of wood, you have many brush options, and we advise you to use a synthetic brush.

Wipe on poly vs. brush

Now let’s get to the graph of the brush on polyurethane and see what structures require this kind of finish?

project Finish Type of finish
Medium to large projects Oil-based Brush on poly
Flat surfaces of wood Water-based / Oil-based Brush/wipe on poly
When consistency matters Water-based / Oil-based Brush on poly

The graph says it all because you can see how much use there is for a brush on polyurethane. However, you must remember that these two are the completion of each other, meaning that if you use both, you will have a flawless finish and artwork at the end.

Now let’s get to the next section and compare these two, shall we?

Wipe on poly vs. brush on poly: which one is better?

Based on the graphs and specifications that we talked about in the last passage, we can easily say which one of these is the best option for any carpenter; however, there are some factors that you have to keep in mind:

  • Depending on the project you are working on, you have to use these finishes one by one; we mean like, if you have a project with lots of corners, you have to use the wipe because the thickness of the brush on poly ill disturbs the project.
  • You have to see the availability of the finish as well; you have to find a finish that you are sure will find again to keep the workflow on.
  • And lastly, you must remember that based on the conditions that your project will endure, you must choose a suitable material; for example, you must always use a brush on poly for outdoor projects.

Wipe on poly vs. brush

Overall, these factors define the type of wood finish you will be using, and we are sure you can also decide for yourself.

Overall, we think these polyurethanes are equals; subsequently, we can’t say which one is the best.

Now, let’s summarize the article’s conclusion and all the information.

Summing all up…

From the beginning of the article, we debated whether the brush on poly is better than the wipe-on, and then we talked about the characteristics of every one of them.

In conclusion, we can confidently say that the value of these coatings depends purely on the carpenter’s use for them, so it is variant.

Ultimately, we advise you to observe your project closely and adequately and then get the suitable coating for your structures; make sure that you know how to apply these coatings because they are pretty sensitive.


In the end, we are glad you stayed with us through the “Wipe on poly vs. brush” comparison. Please keep in touch using the comment section below if you have anything to add to this comparison or any additional inquiries.

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