We couldn’t put this list together without mentioning Minwax, the biggest name in varnish and stains. While they don’t produce a spar varnish, they do produce excellent polyurethane varnishes at a reasonable cost. This is an indoor varnish, designed to provide superior scratch resistance. However, it doesn’t work as an exterior varnish, as it is not designed for that. Minwax calls this a “fast drying” varnish, saying that it can be recoated in four to six hours.


And if you want everything to look consistent, its a good idea to sand everything consistently. If not, you could wind up with some variability between the old and new finish. 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. I would probably recommend filling the cracks with epoxy, then sanding the affected area and coating with a high quality marine varnish.

How Long Should Polyurethane Dry Between Coats?

But avoid it for any project that requires moisture or abrasion resistance, especially outdoor projects. Oil provides almost no surface protection and does little to block moisture vapor, making it a poor choice for most furnishings you’ll use every day. When it’s time to apply a knockout finish, there are a lot of contenders. Here’s how to choose the one that’s a fair match for your project.

The resins named are just different plastics that provide different properties when used to manufacture varnish. Polyurethane varnish sometimes has a “window” where it is dried enough to have another coat applied, but not so fully cured that the first coat needs sanding to adhere. If this is the case with a particular product it should say so on the label.

Useful Lifespan Of Helmsman Vs Traditional Spar?

Without preparing the wood before staining it, you run the risk of having uneven, blotchy patterns. Using Varathane’s Premium Wood Conditioner for example, all you need to do is apply it 30 minutes before the stain of your choice and you are good to go. If you apply Minwax Stainable Wood Filler, let it harden, sand it down, and you can begin staining in no time. If you want a stain and finishing product to take to the wood, it must be prepared. Varathane and Minwax both produce preparation products such as Varathane’s Wood Conditioner or Minwax’s Sanding Sealer. It is generally recommended that you prepare wood by sanding it first.

minwax vs varathane spar urethane

Because it’s easy to repair, you also can use it on shop-made workbenches and on tools such as the deadblow hammer shown below. Try it on carvings and objects you’ll handle infrequently where you want a natural, unfinished look. Also, apply it beneath a film finish to add an amber tone and to accent figured woods such as curly maple. Wiping varnish, usually a type of polyurethane, comes premixed, but you can make your own by thinning regular varnish with mineral spirits. The MAJOR difference between the two is that Spar Urethane stays on the surface of the wood and acts like a shell. Spar Varnish soaks into the wood to keep the fibers in the wood from drying out.

But its probably worth trying out, since if its meant for boats, it should probably work well on a stall. You mentioned the three components for a DIY spar varnish , but did not recommend the quantities of each. But it depends on how much work you want to put into it.

The other point that i would like to bring up is sheen levels. The high gloss is the natural state of most varnishes, spar or otherwise, and in order to take that down a flatting paste is added. I don’t care much for the polyurethane as it doesn’t cross link where the traditional spar varnish does.

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. Oil-based polyurethane is a highly durable finish, but it is also easy to apply. It is resistant to heat, chemicals, and wear and tear such as scratches. When applied according to directions, oil-based polyurethane supplies a lustrous finish that deepens the color of the wood. If you want to display the wood on its own, then you’ll need some form of clear finish.

For now, I’d say use the stuff that gives the look you want. This is a bit outside my wheelhouse since I really only finish wood furniture. Not sure just how well a polyurethane varnish would adhere to those various materials. I’m guessing you might want a more industrial style finish, ideally. These are finishes that usually aren’t available to people like us primarily because they aren’t safe to work with unless you have proper ventilation and a spray booth.

Some of these links may be affiliate links which means that I will receive a small commission at no extra expense to you if you decide to purchase something. For the pergola you might also consider an exterior stain like Sikkens. This polyurethane is perfect for wood flooring as it has a smooth, self-leveling formula and is abrasion-resistant. We have used customer ratings, manufacturer information, and other in-depth reviews to find the ten best polyurethane for all kinds of wood. Briana is a plant and ecology enthusiast who is happiest when she’s working on a project.

Because most clear coat discoloration is caused by oxidation, an antioxidant is a natural choice if you want to prevent yellowing and staining. Unlike its oil-based cousin, this coating is very quick and easy to use. It only requires 30 minutes to dry and can be re-coated in about two hours. Overall, you couldn’t ask for a quicker-working product than this. This finish is meant to deal with the worst of the outdoors. First of all, they included a strong dose of UV blockers to keep this stuff from yellowing after it has sat in the sun for a while.

Spar urethane has a higher amount of oil which is why it is sometimes called “long oil varnish”. It’s also why you often see polyurethane added to so many different products. But even with all the similarities, there are some noteworthy differences. Plus, the basic features of both are nearly the same as well. Both provide a strong, resilient finish that resists impacts, chipping, and the like.

In general, a water-based polyurethane will take a couple of hours before a new coat can be applied. Oil-based polyurethanes require anywhere between 5 and 12 hours to dry completely. minwax vs varathane spar urethane Either type of water based polyurethane seems to work well. I have been brushing on a couple coats, then wet sanding lightly, and spraying the final coat or two.

Wood finishing products serve more purposes than just enhancing the look of the wood it is applied to. In fact, without adding a wood finishing product to the wood, it would be susceptible to damage. Adding a finish to the wood protects it from scratches, humidity, dents, and spills. Two of the leading wood finishing products that make the search easier are Varathane and Minwax. Both Varathane and Minwax wood stains and finishes in a wide variety of colors and styles. Minwax is a better option as far as pre-stain preparations go, and Varathane offers better finishes.

  • If you were finishing a wood counter top, what would you use for a high gloss, but low scratch potential, varnish?
  • There are others like naphtha and xylene that are faster drying as well.
  • Oils and stains, on the other hand, are appropriate for interior woods that need less protection.
  • Oil based poly darkens over time while water based remains clear throughout.
  • Since polyurethane is highly durable, you can even put a layer of it on top of dried tung oil for more durability.
  • Now comes the important question… Would spar varnish be a good option for finishing my bamboo bike?
  • If you want wood to keep its light color, use a water-based poly.
  • Rick Dennington It doesn’t matter what you use for outdoor furniture.
  • However it is not the best option for intricate woodwork pieces such as furnishings and scroll work on trims because of the thick patina it leaves on the surface.
  • Prior to application, the wood must be cleaned and smoothed free of any old flakes of varnish.
  • They offer a plethora of products that include Varathane stain, Varathane polyurethane, satin gel, etc.

Spar varnish protects the wood from water, heat, stain and solvent discoloration. The formulation of the product allows it to move with the wood throughout each season. Spar varnish must be reapplied periodically as it will chip, flake or chalk off over time. In-between Coats When applying polyurethane, brush along the grain, stretching the polyurethane into as thin a coat as possible. Always allow polyurethane to dry 24 to 48 hours before sanding, to give the surface time to cure and harden.

Source: homemakerguide.com