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How to Apply Polyurethane with a Foam Roller, Plastic Wrap and a Cloth
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Polyurethane roller applicator A simple foam roller wrapped in plastic an cloth makes an efficient and effective applicator for polyurethane finish.

I’m an avid fan of wipe-on polyurethane, but I had trouble applying it with a rag. The folds in the material would often leave overlapping lines and other imperfections in the finish. Then, I figured out a better way. All you need is a 4"-wide foam paint roller and some plastic wrap. I cover the roller with wrap and use a baggie tie to seal it in. The plastic keeps the roller from absorbing the finish.

Next, I wrap the roller in a piece of lint-free cloth — an old T-shirt works great. I stretch the overlapping ends around the tube to form a handle, and the pad is ready. Using light pressure, the pad will lay the poly down flawlessly with no lap lines. When you’re finished, just toss the outer rag and wipe the plastic wrap down with mineral spirits to clean off the wet varnish.

posted on February 1, 2008 by Woodworker's Journal
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3 thoughts on “How to Apply Polyurethane with a Foam Roller, Plastic Wrap and a Cloth”

  • aashima

    hello all,
    what a nice wonderful post. nice rollers made by cloth is a great job. I think this is a big success in the future. keep it up for the great work.

  • Richard

    The foam roller plastic and rag does work very well but here's another tip if you can get or have a automotive paint spray gun even a cheap one you can adjust the flow screw on the gun to almost all the way open and set the air pressure to the gun down 5lbs. Lower than the gun requires spray your coating leaves a flawless finish

  • Melanie

    This worked like a charm on a nightstand I was trying to apply the finish to. Thanks so much for the tip.

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