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Topic: Minwax Polycrylic- even close to Varathane?  (Read 5053 times)
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frogeyesalad
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« on: April 13, 2007 06:43:28 PM »

I really need a better finish for polymer clay, and I REALLY want to try varathane. Just my luck that no stores near me carry it in smaller than a quart. I am open to ordering it, but has anyone tried Minwax Polycrylic? It seems to be essentially the same thing- water based, crystal clear, clean with soap and water, etc. I just don't know if it's worth buying the half pint or just ordering varathane.

Help please!! Diane B., I know you're out there:) I checked out your site, but didn't find anything about the Minwax.
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Tzunun
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2007 08:28:32 AM »

I'm so glad you asked this because my local hardware stores all carry Minwax but the nearest store with Varathane is a hundred miles away. I did finally get some Varathane (and one can will last me for a loooooong time), but I'd love to know if the Minwax water-based finish is equally compatible with polymer clay.
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Diane B.
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2007 10:40:36 AM »

Here are the opinions I have on my Finishes page for Minwax:

`````````````````````````````````

Minwax Polycrylic
... high gloss, smooth finish
...I started a test of minwax polycrylic to see if it would work as well as Varathane .... I suggest you stay away. It does give a nice gloss finish but it is not as strong and scratches easily.... Bonnie
...I find that the Minwax product is a little shinier....even the Satin has a fairly high sheen unless it is applied very lightly.
.......II have bought small quantities (half pint containers) of Minwax at Sears and at Walmart. Lizzylady
...After baking it looks good - no blistering. I also dipped a heart - it looks great. The fine lines that were visible before have disappeared. . . . The label on the can states that it may yellow, but this doesn't seem to be a problem so far. I didn't try it on white. Bonnie
.....I used Minwax Gloss Polycrylic and put the beads away in a drawer for 3 months. The temp in the room averaged 85 degrees. They all got sticky. When I finally got the Varathane, I did the same thing and put them in the drawer below them and they are still fine. Debbie (NM)
...mine isn't tacky. I have never found Varathane so I can't compare it. I am happy with the Minwax. It's a water clean up one too. Sally
...I use Minwax Polycrylic to finish all my polymer clay. I can notice a difference in tackiness on humid days.... so I never, ever rush applying the coats & I always allow for the recommended time between coats, and usually allow even longer than recommended.
......the tackiness I have noticed has always gone away in time though , without any noticeable change in the finish. Sue

```````````````````````````````

So I'd say that there are a few main differences between Varathane and this brand of clear acrylic finish:
...no UV protection (so could yellow over time)
...no IPN (interpenetrating network), which allows the finish to sink into the suface of the clay rather than sitting on top of it
...may be more susceptible to tackiness in humid times (esp. if applied too thickly, or not allowed to dry thoroughly between coats)
...may be more scratchable on the surface

All clay acrylic finishes (liquids--in cans or bottles) are basically "compatible" with polymer clay, but some types or brands may have a few disadvantages. 
All the ones I know of are discussed on this page if you want to check them all out (and also see some other places you might be able to buy Varathane):
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/finishes.htm

P.S.  the smallest container that Varathane comes in is a quart; that's the size clayers are usually looking for, instead of the gallons which are also sold (although some art or clay suppliers may sell it in smaller quantities)
.... just do as others do and pour some Varathane from the quart can into a smaller air-tight container (baby food jar, or whatever), then use it from there until you run out (or it's thickened too much from sitting unclosed, etc.)



Diane B.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2007 10:44:43 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
frogeyesalad
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2007 11:30:28 AM »

Thanks Diane:) I had trouble finding that on your site. My biggest concern was the IPN, if minwax had anything compatible. I found Varathane in a half-pint online, and found a couple polymer clay sites that say they can find it in local stores in half-pints as well. Guess I have to break down and buy a quart, since minwax seems quite inferior.

Thanks!
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