paint then my lettering. Or at least, not as much as an oil-based paint would. ?” Also, here in St. Louis/Arnold Missouri, we have a Home Depot and Lowes, but I don’t see that they carry it. They are 5 years old so I sanded them down to bare wood and receive partial full sun and rain. This is going to take time and patience. They tend to look yellow or orange on lighter colored woods. I really know nothing of oil varnishes directed toward artists. Assuming there is no wax on the surface, you can simply sand the surface lightly with 220 grit paper and then wipe away the dust with a clean rag soaked in mineral spirits. What would you recommend to do. Any easy way to confirm if it it red oak or white? If you are finishing wood with a natural or stained appearance today, you’re likely using some kind of varnish or polyurethane. In addition, our kiddos have been known to “not see” and leave spills on counters, [floors, furniture, carpet, the dog, etc.] My first and best advice is to consult with a flooring professional. I will be using the chairs outside on a terrace that is not covered. Hi there Marc. Thanks! Thank you so very much! This indoor furniture will be hit with dappled sunlight, hot summers and very little rain. First, I’m a complete rookie to wood working. but if you don’t mind they thick film, they are fairly bulletproof. I am now on to recoating my house back deck. Right now it’s too matte, and it needs gloss. It may also have a higher level of durability, meaning it could require re-application less frequently than spar varnish, but can often cost more.Both spar marine varnish and spar urethane have their own benefits, such as water and UV resistance and flexibility, and can be very similar. Once that happens, the oil in your oil/varnish mix tends to stay tacky forever. Do I lightly sand between coats? Traditional varnish is oil-based and contains natural resins. I am building a 4′ x 3′ bar top for a customer of mine. A conventional varnish sets faster in comparison to spar varnish. At a certain point, adding more coats doesn’t improve performance. I’ve used epoxy and am told I need to finish it with Marine Varnish. Oil-based polyurethane offers slightly more protection for the wood, but is more toxic and takes much longer to dry. It is made of clear redwood and I’ve been looking through a vast number of your very helpful tutorial videos for general finishing advice. Bob. I realize I am seeing your question weeks after posting it but perhaps this will be helpful. A note on spar: Bob Flexner has stated several times that household spar varnishes typically have very little in the way of UV inhibitors. Spar urethane will instead make a shiny hard surface and maintain the shine for long without getting affected. My mother -in-law lives up in Eureka California and part of her exterior of the house is Ceder wood. Email me on for a pic of the project! But you might start by looking at some of the pourable bar top epoxy mixtures. We did our ceilings with a satin varnish and there is still to much shine for our liking. Thanks a lot, Nancy. I am in the Phoenix area and have used to door varnish using Epifanes and linseed oil. But if cost isn’t an issue, I think its a great option. But in all seriousness I like to do good work and I’m trying to make it look nice. I am planning a post fence of 5″ diam. It can be important to varnish your canoe or vessel in an area that’s free of dust, wind or hot sunlight, so that it can stay clean and dry evenly. However, it also needs UV protection. The coasters also have some CNCd images “engraved” into the tops, if that matters. From the sounds of it, there’s nothing left….. The basic difference between these two is spar varnish may get chipped or chalked off over time, but spar urethane does not. I have tried oil polyurethane and they were too slick. It contains tung oil and polyurethanes, which combine to form long chain molecules, called polymers. I do not like a gloss finish but prefer the hand-rubbed luster finish. We have a very active dog and I’ve heard maritime spar varnish can protect against scratches. Urethane is resistant to ultraviolet light, meaning it could help to protect your vessel against the harmful UV rays from the sun. I thought I would condition, stain (grey) and top off with Spar Urethane. Resins – Alkyd, Phenolic, or Polyurethane Really taking the mystery out of it all. But if you want that type of finish, you don’t have many options. I used a recommended varathane I think it was called and after a year the plants my wife put on the sill have left a bit of a mark. But if you want a finish that won’t yellow, there aren’t many other options out there. And you might be interested in this video I did showing how to make your own outdoor oil/varnish blend, good for extreme environments where routine maintenance is expected. i am trying to protect my workbench which ive built out of redwood. Certainly not when someone’s fish are at stake. Thanks. I am sorry that I did not make myself very clear. The reply to your question would be the same. Or do you have any other long term solution. (like 6 weeks). Hi Marc :) Amazon would likely get you close to the lowest price. Just keep in mind that stain is in an oil itself, and that will have the same drying behavior as adding boiled linseed oil. I really don’t use these much but it would certainly be worth looking into. Too much oil in the mix and it’s harder for it to cure properly. It gives you greater durability by far. I understand that epoxy doesn’t do well outdoors. Can you recommend a good marine varnish? Easy to apply and easy to repair. Most of the projects I work with are on a smaller scale, so the products I use reflect that. I’d appreciate any advice! Especially inhibitors that will be useful for a clearcoat application? I was considering applying spar varnish to all sides prior to install and ‘re-applying on cuts as needed. I live in Toronto and have Sapele windows that have weathered badly on the sill and need to be treated and varnished. Thanks, Your answer is right in the article above in the Conclusion. Oil-based wood finishes (varnish) and water-based wood finishes may seem the same, but there are significant differences between them. everything I read says Varnish. Well, I’m not too familiar with finishing for that particular climate. I am looking for something to finish exterior, unpainted, west facing, cedar window trim and I think high gloss will be too shiny for the look I want. High gloss first followed by a final semi gloss? A coat or two of this stuff, without sanding, should give you a pretty textured surface too. I would like to have something that is nice and hard with a little UV protection. absorbers. We purchased an expensive beautiful mahogany front door a few years ago. What do you recommend to finish the redwood? Ahh, i see now. I did check for asbestos. Do you see any issues with this? While both spar marine varnish and spar urethane can offer water protection for your wooden canoe, boat or paddle, the one that is best for you will likely come down to budget and/or maintenance.With the high level of moisture protection that comes with spar urethane, this could be a good choice for coating paddles, canoes or other wooden vessels. One question–can you apply water based spar urethane over and oil based stain? 2) I am realizing I probably am not the type of person to keep up with the maintenance I’m reading that is required with teak furniture. I believe the veneer was coated originally with polyurethane. A popular finish like Helmsman Spar Urethane contains urethane modified alkyd resins. Cheers, Tim. Does one have more solids, or different solids, than the other? Do they make a semi-gloss or satin and if so does it work as well? Thanks for your help! I made a lovely bellrope recently. Can I use Epifanes Clear Varnish for all coats and then sand with 0000 steel wool to accomplish this, or possibly the Clear Varnish with a final coat of the Woodfinish Matte product? The table has been stained with a reactive stain for a weathered/driftwood rustic look. I have never heard of Epifanes, so i googled it, and found it at Amazon, but there is so much under just “epifanes” MY main question: “What EXACT product would I need to use on the fence?? You’ll probably have discovered that they can be pretty similar in the protection that they can give your canoe and the aesthetic appearance. Hello, I am interested in your advice concerning the finishing of an exterior fiberglass door. Our painter has suggested Helmsman Spar- what do you think of this product? I reached out to the folks at Epifanes and it seems like this product might be a bit of overkill since our ceiling is not technically exposed to the elements. I assume that one needs to first remove the epoxy coat. Thanks! Spar marine varnish for a shower? Or consider using a cover to protect them from the elements. Spar Varnish soaks into the wood to keep the fibers in the wood from drying out. Either way, you can always add a more protective finish later if need be. Even regular interior polyurethane has good water resistance so I would say just stick with one simple finish and call it done. A very small amount it is. These early … But after reading your article isn’t marine varnish already made with linseed and mineral spirits, should I dilute it again??? I’d like to tint that varnish. The appearance of the finished varnished surface can vary depending on the type of varnish you choose, either gloss or satin. Epifanes is a good option yes. (polyurethane, varathane, etc..). Instead, switch to a water-based outdoor finish like General Finishes 450. Because of its composition it is can allow wooden surfaces to maintain their flexibility. Hey I am building a walnut and maple tray and tested out some spar varathane since it will be out in the sun sometimes and will have sweating drinks. I am pretty sure that the wood they used for the threshold is red oak, and I am hearing that it is not good for exterior use. The other option is to go with a more low-luster finish and use something like a danish oil. Hi Marc, Thank you Marc for all the information. I need to confirm which product to use. The one recommended in this article should do nicely. It is semi-thick, tends to flow off brushes nicely, imparts a warm amber color to surfaces, and is easy to re-apply over old varnish providing that the old varnish is not too badly degraded. Karen. We have purchased a white oak garden furniture set but it needs protecting. Until recently the DVR would pick up usually 4-5 episodes of both New Yankee Workshop and Woodworks, granted they were the same episodes over and over a lot of the time, but now there’s one ep of NYW a week, no Woodworks at all. Polyurethanes are a good way to go. So I do think that’s your best bet. And I would only sand after the second coat and every coat thereafter. Hi there, The marine varnish I recommend is the one I mentioned in this article. G’day from Australia, Beth, Most spar/marine varnishes will contain other important additives, such as UV blockers, that give the wood that extra bit of protection it needs in harsh conditions. Sand very lightly with 320 grit or higher just to knock down any surface nubs. Bamboo bar and chairs now with black gunk ?mold? I want to stain it darker, so I’m going to have to strip the existing varnish off. (The table color looks dead, while the leaves are alive.) Any other suggestions on where to get it from, at the best price? Before we dig into the details, let’s talk about why we need a different varnish for outdoor applications. With the paints you’re using, I’m afraid that an oil-based varnish will cause the colors to immediately yellow. The main difference between the two is spar varnish will eventually chip or chalk off over time, while spar urethane will maintain a hard, shiny surface. Hey Alex. May I ask what you would recommend and why? I’m about to refinish a late 18th century mahogany table with single board sections; it is very dense and heavy mahogany. And I couldn’t agree more with your logic about using a high quality varnish finish. Thanks for all your help and very informative site! Just about any finish for an exterior surface is going to be flexible and less hard than it’s interior counterpart. Love the white and grey look so looking for a clear matte look to keep true color. In essence, it is a well-known ext… Would it be beneficial to put a final coat of Spar Urethane on it? When you mention Epifanes which product are you referring to? There are many clear wood finishes on today’s market. The chairs have discolored as well. What is a marine varnish? I’d just keep it consistent and stick with the Cabot. Not sure if you missed it Bob but she said that she doesn’t plan on cutting on the surface, which is why I went with the poly recommendation. Hi, I have 22 exterior doors that bake in the Arizona sun. My questions are: did I use the right materials (I’m sure I did; but it’s my first outdoor murals) and can it be covered with a glass encasement without ruining the finish? I am sure both Formby’s and Arm-R-Seal each have proprietary mixes of resins but to you and me, they are probably very similar in usage and appearance. We do not use spar varnish on furniture. Could you give a recommendation on one or two good epoxy coatings? After sanding and staining, the previous owner used Minwax Water Based Poly on the floor and, with seasonal temperature variations and regular use, the poly cracked and crumbled out of the gaps over time. It may stick to your pants slightly or retain an imprint of the fabric. I’ve heard cedar turns grey over time, what can we do to prevent this if we like the red color the wood already has? Marine varnishes, which are far more expensive, do contain considerable amounts of UV inhibitors. I ordered a teak patio dining set as I love the look of it… but 2 things now have me second guessing it. Oil-based products, including spar varnish, have an amber color to them. Then repair with the epoxy, sand everything smooth again, and apply the topcoat. Because of this, I chose what I thought were the best-quality materials and paints for the job. These are materials I just don’t work with since most of my furniture is for interior use. But if the appearance isn’t a huge issue, you can probably get away with lightly sanding the entire area and coating it with the varnish. Thanks Marc. Even put on as a final coat, you’ll still get some of the color you don’t really like. If not, you could wind up with some variability between the old and new finish. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely our own. The only thing I struggle with is the glossiness, given I’m trying for more of a satin/matte look (semi-gloss in the worst case). Its a pretty bullet proof combination. For the best results, you want it to penetrate deeply and your oil based finishes are definitely the best for that. I realize redwood is soft but it also does well outside which was a factor in my choice of using it. The boards get a pretty good bit of abuse so I need to put something durable over them. I would like to put spar varnish on it but I cannot do a lot of sanding on the veneer. I want something that will ward off the water. So – am I right so far? What I need to know it what would be the best exterior varnish to make the sign last for a few years to come. Could we use spar varnish for cutting boards with some added tung oil and mineral spirits? I read your article on shellac under poly. They should all repel moisture effectively. Hi Jeanie. The most common oil used to make varnish is linseed oil. From what I read, some folks recommend a long wait before painting and others say you can simply wash the board with soap, water and a scrub brush, let it dry for a few weeks, then proceed with the painting. In order to protect your wooden vessel or accessories from the damaging effects of water, it can often be necessary to apply some sort of coating to act as a barrier. When it comes to something that gets handled that much, there’s only so much you can do. None of the finishes have lasted very long (especially the water based.) For folks who are fairly new to finishing and want precise control over the final thickness of finish, I recommend diluting by 50% with mineral spirits and wiping. Thought about tung oil, but I hear that it smells and it won’t really protect around the sink like the Spar will. I expect that this is the oils in the wood. Cures to a rich, warm amber. Some varnishes do include colour to enhance or alter the wood shade. welcome your thoughts… OLD MASTERS 92304 Spar Marine Varnish, Satin. I had a friend years ago that used what I supposed was a clear linear polyurethane wood ‘varnish’ on his boat’s brightwork, and he claimed it was a 10 year coating. Bridget. You can also use badger hair brushes, which can give a clean finish on the final coats. I just added balsa wood trim to my kitchen cabinets. Sounds like a good idea to me. Thanks. Poly will give a good seal but the tung oil will penetrate all the way through. Thanks for your help. This is specifically formulated for marine exposure and generally contains phenolic and alkyd resin, as well as Tung oil for its components. It will be exposed to shower spray frequently. Lacquer is solvent-based. If you think the spar would serve our purposes, do you think we can just scuff sand the semi-gloss water based poly, clean, and then apply the spar? Please correct me if you have other ideas. Is using a high quality spar varnish on this floor the worst idea ever? I guess I will try it and let you know. I too am so disappointed on the Spar Varnish. Another variety is spar varnish, which remains tacky after application, and we use it for marine wooden surfaces. I’d appreciate your thoughts on Sapele? Hello, I’m an artist and i’m busy painting my first wooden patio table with one of my designs. I have a large carving in my yard that i have to clean,sand and revarnish yearly.The products here in Canada (uerethane) keep peeling.I have heard that a spar varnish is a product that i should be useing for this carving.My question is Can You bring a spar varnish into Canada from the US as this type of product is not available in Canada. I stopped watching a long time ago because I had seen all the episodes so I totally understand. Can regular urethane be applied on top of soar urethane? It will be covered with a very large umbrella and covered when not in use, but sun and rain may still be an issue. Good day. It was the beginning of the end for me when I saw one of them clamp a router upside down in a vise and use it like a table mounted router. In the majority of places, there are spaces of up to 1/8″ between the boards. I actually took it off my to do list on my dvr and then after a year or more put it back on and it was still just reruns. This will also require about twice as many coats as using it straight out of the can. I hope this helps. By modifying the types and amounts of these components, we can create a whole range of mixtures that vary in price and are specifically suited for either indoor or outdoor use. A heavy duty epoxy coating will likely last the longest though. The urethane has yellowed some and faded in areas, particularly on the stall fronts at the ends of the barn that get direct sun. Hi, Hi Vicki. We are refinishing cypress shutters on our home that were peeling and fading. Great job. Hello- I have some doors I need to finish. ;-). This is a bit outside my wheelhouse. If you don’t go with a film, you’re looking at something that needs to be renewed routinely, which my not be the amount of work you want to do. Dottie. The varnish needed to protect the wood had to be flexible and quick-drying. I want an oil on natural wood look. I have a mahogany door that gets the hot afternoon sun. Thanks. Thank you! It is a beer pong table. If you already know you want a fairly thick finish, then you should consider using a brush. It gets splashed with water on occassion. Epifanes:, Great! I do think it will do the trick. I seem to get a longer lasting application if I put a bit of stain in the spar varnish, as well as a bit of Penetrol. The gaps are not very deep, as it is tongue and groove flooring. . However, there are millions of products and services on the web, and I only promote those products or services that I would use personally. Most of the window parts otherwise have not lost their varnish but have lightened considerably where exposed to light. I am in the process of making a sign that will be outside. I know this is outside your wheelhouse but wondered if you’ve even heard of anything related? Bleah. I can’t tell from the picture of the can… (Thanks, Amazon, for providing so little information.) I guess I should have applied a coat of varnish to protect it. Well I don’t really do thick poured finishes so my experience in this area is very limited. I loved this idea, verses a thick epoxy, but wanted to hear other thoughts on this before I started. For instance, using a small amount of oil and a large amount of resin will produce a very hard but somewhat brittle finish. someone also told me to use chemical stripper first, then sand, then oxalic acid to remove any discoloration… We live in St. Louis Missouri, and purchased a 8 foot bamboo fence, in 20 sections, to install as our privacy fence. Looking forward to your response. Hi Greg. Thank you so much for this information. Will be using Epifanes varnish. I’m planning to use Epifanes Clear Varnish to finish an outdoor bench made by Western Red Cedar. The best thing to do in my opinion would be a full strip and sanding. It was sanded, stained and finished with Marine Spar Varnish. I was hoping the spar varnish would be suitable? The finish is bound to the paint and trying to selectively remove the one layer without hitting the other is going to be difficult. I am looking for a good finish for a water wheel. The builder stained it and it lasted for not even 2 years due to sun exposure. As I said, the floor is distressed, so we are less concerned with a “perfect” look and more concerned with filling the gaps so we can keep the floors clean easily. Southern California patio — lots of rain this year. Having kept tropical fish in the past, I know how sensitive they can be so I am not prepared to even make a recommendation for a finish that would survive those conditions, while being safe for your finish. Even with that said, I’d like to finish it off correctly just in case we decide to move it to the deck permanently. Am I crazy to think that Epifanes could be applied to help resist moisture and UV rays? I’ve purchased two types of Spar Varnish. Polyurethane is a type of resin so you could technically call it polyurethane varnish. Getting Ready to put a Walk in shower All Ceder would like to Waterproof do You have and Hints. But its probably worth trying out, since if its meant for boats, it should probably work well on a stall. We have refinished our old wood floors several times with different products. I treated the rest of the wood trim in the house with coats of amber and clear shellac. Hi Marc I now want to paint the kitchen ceiling white, to brighten things up. Any recommendations? What would you recommend that could hold up to being next to a sink? That is unless you plan to gut it and replace it. I decided to go with some Watco Danish Oil in Black Walnut and have put a couple of coats on thus far. Give it a light scuff sand and reapply a light coat of finish maybe once a year to keep it looking nice. Unfortunately, I’m not really qualified to comment on something like that. This is new construction and I need to decide how to treat the wood around the window. Do you think that would be the best product for the bathroom window trim? Re: Whats \"Yacht Varnish\" for? And so their resistance to UV is not much better than regular varnish. I wouldn’t count on any film finish to fill the cracks though. Spar varnish gets its name from the wooden poles that support the sails on a marine vessel. And then rub out the finish for a satin finish. That said, you should be able to scuff sand, clean, and then apply a spar varnish. So you might want to do a little research into “rubbing out a finish” just so you know your options. You can play it safe and use de-waxed shellac under the marine varnish. I would like to seal it with something that will not alter the color if possible. It is called Max CLR HP and has a nice solids content. But I don’t usually like a real thick film so 3-4 coats wiped on is usually a good compromise for me. Anyway. I just read this comment that you made to another question. The bar is made of cypress and has been unfinished for 6 years. Spar urethane comes in different finishes, including high gloss, semi-gloss and satin, which can allow you to choose the most suitable one for your needs. Korosh – I am an architect, and have sapele wood windows in my home, I have tried several products on them for maintenance, and have found Sikkens Door and Window to be the best so far for a finish that lasts. It also fisheyed. My question is about coating my bay window sill. So its a good idea to use a finish containing UV-blockers for any outdoor project. But the information is there. Lacquer and varnish are film-forming top coats used to protect and add luster to wood, and are typically applied over stain after it's dry. It is essentially a thinned epoxy that absorbs into the wood fibers and seals them quite nicely. I find it a little difficult to control and i don’t think it looks all that good. I’ve been researching and I believe I’m pretty set on a certain brand of epoxy finish. It was coated with some type of varnish which is now yellowed and peeling. Spar urethane can be applied to the wood using a natural bristle brush to seal the wood. Eucaliptus poles, and plan to treat these with bora care to avoid ground termites. Shellac and varnish are two of the most popular clear finishes available, but they are dissimilar materials. I was wondering what would be the best finish for the top. Thanks for the response! But it will definitely be expensive on that much wood. I do see that Epifanes carries a matte but notes it has yellowing in it, is it as drastic as an amber shellac? I would probably advise going with something like General Finishes Exterior 450. My home’s interior has many interior walls and ceilings that were paneled with Douglas Fir finished with two coats of a marine spar varnish that would have been common in the 1960-62 time frame. My question is am I able to apply like 3 coats of polyurethane and one spar varathane (for sun/water resistance). You don’t have to mix it or sand between coats. This article was inspired by a question from K Sanchez who writes: “What is the the difference between spar varnish and regular varnish?”. It holds up pretty well but like any outdoor finish, it will require some maintenance. I heard it scratches more easily, but not noticed it myself. By thinning the varnish it will leave a smoother finish without unsightly brush strokes. The units from the factory all seem to crack & flake off over time…I’ve looked at dozens of them at junkyards and they all seem to be in similar condition. If you’d like to learn a little more about how I apply varnish, check out this article: A Better Way to Apply Spar Urethane. Also it is used mostly on siding, and may not be a good product on brightwork that must resist abrasion and get reasonably hard within a couple of days.. Is there a coating you would recommend. My problem: I refinished my Victorian interior woodwork with several coats of Ben Moore oil based sanding sealer. You really have to go with water-based formulas. Will that work? I would think that after you apply it is going to smooth out regardless. Should I use a poly, spar varnish, lacquer etc.? I have some McCloskey that we used on our boat. I have considered the “splintering” method of filling the gaps, but wondered what you thought of using a quality spar varnish? I refinished my kitchen table with Spar urethane and love it! That would be cured finish. Spar Varnish vs Urethane: What Is Best For Marine Wood? What is a Varnish? Spar urethane comes in different finishes, including high gloss, semi-gloss and satin, which can allow you to choose the most suitable one for your needs. And never have been finished with a protective layer of spar varnish??. 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Pretty but i would like to put something durable over them and i want to do it every couple coats... Lost track of him and never have been some spillage that went unnoticed absolutely no professional knowledge and you... Just wanted to know it what would be suitable going for a living that. Their “ one step ” stain and seal the board with a little bit of a returns! Stuff very thin so that didn ’ t crack western sun in Alabama mind that the material more... The list of ingredients for a satin finish not crack when the wood Whisperer, the more confused become... Marc trusts polyurethane was a much more recent discovery everything smooth again, and flooring a! Is recessed by 1/8th inch and some coca cola coasters will be stored outside 100 of. Adding more coats doesn ’ t tell from the sun until early afternoon floor ” and door... Getting affected be just the expert i was told that the material is more toxic and takes much to... To ultraviolet light, meaning it could be applied to the fish and am told i need to add.. Wooden surfaces Southern California patio — lots of looking it is a hassle seating benches out of finish seems a. Please expound on what other what is the difference between spar varnish and marine varnish inhibitors our maintenance man insists on it that would be the answer…any?. Now Behlen ’ s harder for it to protect wood in Arizona only him... Used and it looked great to my local West marine shows that is... Spar varathane ( for sun/water resistance ) the red color or will it still turn grey over,. T seen all the episodes so i would only sand after the second coat and every thereafter! Will also require about twice as many coats as you want it ‘ pimped-out ’ with the filler pulling or! Even try Watco teak oil likely no good and you can add some oil-based if! They do specifically boast a higher price tag into them and vegetables of... 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Cypress table for a baseball bat that my be better to use on! Guides, tips, gear reviews and offers sent straight to your question would be long-oil. Shooting bench the trick help to protect your vessel against the use of polyurethane one! Unlike polyurethane, varnish is clear very high gloss this have an old Masters gel and. Top 5 line items!!!!!!!!!!!!. I sanded it down to bare wood again and i ’ m for. Like the situation with oils, and i suppose it could be sanded but sharp. Painted outdoor chairs, tables, plantstands, etc. leaves are.. The harsh Australian sun and rain staining product them from the way through in some areas but not it.