Hi all. I have been using wipe-on poly for years with very favorable results. But one problem which I have yet to figure out is how to avoid getting swirl marks when using the satin...
I work with a lot of walnut. I typically build up a nice film with gloss - usually 6-10 coats depending on the piece. I like using one final coat of satin to take the sheen down. But I inevitably end up with visible swirl marks when I look into reflected light. I've used old t-shirts but have more recently begun using the blue shop towels which I prefer. I've tried very thin coats as well as loading up the towel for a thicker coat. I've tried using very little pressure. I've even tried thinning the wipe-on slightly more to get better flow (is this not recommended?). I apply fairly quickly and very carefully. No matter what I try I almost always get some degree of swirl marks.
A second coat seems to help even it out a little but I don't want to flatten the sheen too much. I put the finish in a glass jar and stir thoroughly before and during application. Conditions are ideal - good ventilation, 70 deg, very low humidity (Colorado).
Any suggestions on how to avoid this? Any advice would be much appreciated!