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TIP: Water-Based Finish is White in the Can

bob bob flexner finishes finishing flexner sheen the finishing store Tips Water based finish is white in the can wood woodwork woodworkers

Labeling on cans of polyurethane and lacquer can sometimes be confusing. It may not be obvious whether the finish is solvent-based or water-based.

One way to distinguish which is which is to read the label for the thinning and clean-up solvent. Solvent-based products will list a solvent such as petroleum distillate, aliphatic hydrocarbon or lacquer thinner. Water-based products will list water.

Another way to tell is to open the can and look at the finish. Solvent-based products will be clear; water-based finishes will be white. The whiteness disappears when the finish dries.

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