From an earlier post above, I’m concerned that I may have some problems with the doors later when the weather warms up and or when I start heating that room of the house. Is there anything in the spar polyurethane that would be harmful if used say on the kitchen or bath cabinets. On a small project, you can probably get away with wiping. What type of finish would give me the beat protective surface with the easiest repair in the event of a renter abusing the countertops? * I used Varathane outdoor spar urethane. I know people with Boats who have used both (even Minwax Spar) and they say they all last about the same. Staining was a breeze but when it came to the varnishing part(using spar urethane full strength), I used a soft bristled brush and going with the grain I noticed brush strokes. But I’m concerned, as it took me many hours to get this done. Thank you for your time. varnish satin or semi-gloss finish with very little failure …lately, I’ve green using ext. Spar varnish got this nickname due to the wooden poles you used to find on a marine ship. This could displace the water. That intense sun and heat really isn’t good for a new curing finish. share technical information, how to-advice, product Thanks in advance. Have you tried contacting the manufacturer directly? I’ve been using Minwax Helmsman spar urethane in my door refinishing business. Went to finishing the top with spar urethane to provide water and UV protection and the clear is still there but there are many ripples, runs and brush marks. 320 should do the job. Apply the Spar Varnish. So one thing you might consider it top-coating it with a harder interior polyurethane. once you think you have it sanded enough, wipe the surface down with a little water or mineral spirits to get a preview of what the surface will look like with finish on it. Thank you Marc for a great website, It’s very informative. Note that the solvent's rate of evaporation varies with From that point, the topcoats should lay down evenly. Temp., low 50’s, high humidity, 8500′ elevation. Outside are the same, but the sun was shining directly on the door so the surface temp was higher. The thing to remember is you aren’t laying down a super thick film. If the surface feels rough and has imperfections, it’s a good idea to level them out. our industrial/residential catalog at One thing to keep in mind is that even a matte finish, when part of a few layers of film finish, may still look a little glossy to the average person. I am in the process of refinishing my oak kitchen table. The perfect design. So if you aren’t comfortable with a brush, this is an excellent way to do it. Love it but it drives me nuts due to random brush strokes. You don’t have to, but you might want to. Looks like it’s possibly an issue from the factory sanding. Thanks so much. Hi Holly. We were thrilled. Once evenly sanded, it should accept finish evenly. Hi, I used Zar oil based stain and it looks really nice. Ikea recommends oiling them. California have what is called the "quart exemption". Upon completion of my first coat with which I was pleased, our gale force winds in Oklahoma caught a small towel and whipped the small cloth right up on the table. I am getting ready to refinish my front door which is a mahogany door. I really don’t want to have to sand the whole thing down to bare wood. I have applied system three general purpose epoxy to wormy chestnut interior stair treads and have a very uneven surface. And in this situation, I’m not sure what the reason is for using lacquer. Now your pices are ready for the next coat of varnish. My hope was to wet a rag in varnish and kind of wipe everything down, leave it oily and it would kick in a few (12-18) hours. Do you think I need to have it dipped? WW…I think I may have screwed up my front door. Also, I stated earlier, I will fashion a brushing booth to better control temperature as I apply and cure finishes. Great site, accurate info, not pretensious. On certain surfaces (usually darker ones), nearly all water-based finishes will appear somewhat lifeless. I have been sanding in between coats with 220, then 320 paper. Thanks. This will help knock down the little nibs, smoothing out the surface, but it won’t make any visible scratch marks. If I don’t wipe it off immediately, it will cure into a pattern of rivulets and drops. Inside Our non-marine, commercial, DIY Catalog: corro coat FC 2100; water gard 300; CM 15; crack coat™; - how to evaluate your epoxy When talking to the lady at menards (where I bought it) she told me I should use this outdoor satin spar urethane in a satin finish. Any help would be appreciated. We just got a White Mountain ice cream maker and I am considering finishing the wood bucket to keep it nice looking. Go to a SW store ; they have it, I just bought another gallon for some pine doors I am replacing. That will also help you figure out what application method works best. After a few seconds, it looks like water on a waxed car. Is there anything I can do to eliminate this? use a little soapy water as a lubricant or possibly use some mineral spirits mixed with a little mineral oil. Really appreciate the quick response! I’m running into the same problem, want to correct it. and not sure which to use and if i need to dilute either as you Since you already started with one finish, i would just stick with it at this point just to keep things simple. My questions is about drying of the Hellman’s Spar Urethane Satin. I used 2 coats of Olympic Maximum Stain / Sealant in one, and then 5 coats of Minwax Pro Series Spar Urethane, following directions for both (including dry time). I’ve read, here, that gel stains are preferred. I assume there are no problems using satin over semi-gloss – the same as your suggestion to use semi-gloss over gloss? My guess is it should do very very well. between staining and first coat of varnish, not thinned. But from what you describe, it sounds like trapped moisture. If the poly and paint are coming off, there is definitely an adhesion issue. I am finishing a fish tank stand that was built from red oak veneer plywood. As for dilutions and the actual wipe on process, just refer to the article above. I initially blamed on the missing water separator of the air compressor. thanks again! i have jst finished water sealing my deck with thompsons clear water sealer. I learned through trial and error the best finish was achieved with a gentle sponge brush application, sufficient dry time, and very light wet-sanding between coats with 400 grit sandpaper. I really have grown to appreciate your work as it took me forever to scroll down the page of questions and replies. Would you recommend using spar urethane for finishing a rifle stock that will be used outside exclusively? Can I stain with an indoor stain and then cover with spar urethane? Any ideas on how to even out the difference between the boards and yet stick with a natural finish? So what I usually recommend doing is waiting a few weeks. The idea of blending the two and thinning the mix has crossed my mind, as well. I cut it with some water and it still does it… Any suggestions? But if you wind up with any brush marks, you’ll still be able to see them after your wiped-on coat. But I don’t have any on hand so I don’t have the instructions in front of me. Keep it moving to avoid uneven sanding, gashes and divots. In your situation, it sounds like you definitely want things to be rough anyway, so I wouldn’t worry much about sanding. Can I use the Epifanes Marine Varnish over it for a glossy finished look? Thanks! The term comes from the days when spars were made of wood and ships were at sea. I’d scrub the surface with mineral spirits first then follow up with a light sanding. Water-based finishes usually set up completely within a few hours. Pick up some satin lacquer and continue to build the finish to your liking. As always, test in an inconspicuous area first to make sure it looks the way you want it to. I know it is a lot of work, but that’s one big drawback of polyurethane: it isn’t easily repairable. We would have had to pay a good amount of money to have the door refinished but your information made it possible for us to do it ourselves thereby saving us a good deal of money. The yellowing you see is really just the nature of oil-based varnish. Does 6 coats make sense? I rarely follow the instructions. Grrr! Can I thin varathane spar urathane with paint thinner? Can I just wipe on a few coats of Spar Varnish (thinking Epifanes), or do I need to strip off the existing spar varnish? Hey Steve. Hello! Is sanding needed in between the layers of the spar finish (varnish or urethane)?. A boat shop or orchards’s. Thank you Christine. I’ve tried many google searches, but most results are about scratches in the wood itself. Thank you. Wet Dry 700 epoxy in our Best Selling - fix anything I used the minwax helmsman to a painted cart that I made that will be staying outside. I’m ready to buy some and try it out on a sample piece if I can find it! If you like the results, give it a shot. I am at my wit’s end with this and fear that they are just going to cut me loose and I’m on my own. stain - left to dry for 2 weeks - 2 coats ESP 155 epoxy sealer and We are the only technology based coating/epoxy/resin Hey Moe. And yes the oil based poly will bring a bit of an amber color with it. Perhaps (a guess) something to make Following installation of the rock, We filled the gaps using an epoxy resin type compound used on bar tops. How many coats should I apply? As I said, shots in the dark. If you need to dilute, you can use water. I sanded the edges of the holes and recoated but of course they showed. I have googled ang googled and talked to the guys at Home Depot and I even called the company that we got our Trex from. If it were me, I would probably just buy a can of Epifanes and read/follow the instructions. Also what grit do you suggest sanding imbetween coats? :) To address your questions, you can absolutely sand exterior poly. So if you have a problem, you have to sand down far enough to remove the problem area and then re-coat. I’m not quite sure that the initial oil coats are truly necessary. how much sanding? 1. You can then correct anything that might need some work. Brush it on (it kind of looks like paint) and then rub it off. Hi Christine. spar urethane or simply spar varnish, or simply varnish that is not the traditional varnish product. So I would have to tell him what it was: 1/3 boiled linseed oil, 1/3 spar varnish (I never understood why it had to be spar varnish and not simply any varnish), and 1/3 turpentine. Never again for any Helmsman product. I was told that a rule of thumb was varnish for hard woods and poly for softer woods. The temp here is probably in the 70 degree range. Good advice will follow. Ed. Head to your local Sherwin William (or comparable store) and ask what they have in outdoor stains. Im not 100% sure how the surface would respond. I recently sanded and painted an antique end table. Sure you can. I have a douglas fir wood deck, in Las Vegas (hot and dry or cold and dry), I have sanded the deck down to bare wood and stained it today. This product is I’ve read up on your answers and am prepared with my cotton rags and mineral spirit thinner! Tried everything. My issue: I teach middle school Wood Working and have found wipe on poly (Minwax)as the nicest easy finish. Pretty nifty. Just throwing this out there as a possibility. I’ve tried to thin it with about 20 percent mineral spirts and it still leaves marks. Atleast I think thats correct. Essentially a plastic in the form of a liquid until it dries, polyurethane is available in … This remodeling novice has found your blog quite educational and I very much appreciate the direct answers. But water-based finishes, traditionally, don’t wipe well. The problem is this may not just be a texture issue and the “marks” may be embedded down in the finish. This will make sure you have a good compatible binding surface for the varnish and also something to seal in the stain. The material you are working with is water-based and that’s a completely different animal than what we’re talking about. footage ( and I didn’t want to tweak out over every square inch). I’m assuming I put on too thick of a coat or perhaps there was still some dust in the air? HELP!!!! Thank you , Sam Sorry I guess I had already sent you an email on this matter but I thought I had lost it before I got it posted so I redid it and sent it again, can I apply a spar urethane over a spar varnish both are oil-based. I’ve already opened the Zar and don’t want to be wasteful. I used a finishing sander to remove the discolored wood and finish as well as to taper out the edge. Now want to get a satin finish on them. Spar Varnish. NEVER try to speed up the drying process with a hair dryer, unless you want to sand bubbles out of your work for hours. I use various widths depending on how big the pieces are. 600 grit is ok for matte finishes, but I prefer to go a little higher when sanding a final coat. But I’d probably start with 1000 grit to see what you think. You need something much thicker than will fill and span those gaps easily. If it were me, I would start over. How many coats total? I get it that I should use a cloth to apply the stain but I’m unsure how to apply the spar urethane. Honestly, I would go with a good high quality polyurethane. Even in summer, you may not be able to close the door. Unfortunately, if it were my door, I would sand it back down. I have been working on a 50 ft. bar top and I applied 3 coats of lacquer sealer, sanding between each coat, and have applied 3 coats of Helmsmans sanding between each coat. It is well ventilated and I’m waiting another 12 hours. Also I am considering doing a 2 part epoxy finish over the tigerwood top, at some point, will I be able to apply this over a spar urethane? What would you suggest as the best product and method for finishing this. Apply using a natural-bristle brush. Also “1# cut shellac? I would apply no less than three. Great website, lot’s of very good info. Its almost impossible to wind up with a perfectly smooth surface with no dust nibs, and sanding helps alleviate that. I found lots of descriptions of the haze on-line but not many solutions, so I appreciate your suggestions. Well Tru-oil seems to be a polymerized linseed oil. Lacquer. I’m glad I found this site. Is there a way to get those off? I have another favorite vid that I reference when finishing its by Peter Gedrys. If this were your table top, and you were looking for the toughest, most durable semi-gloss finish, and understanding that the main purpose of the table is to serve meals, what would be your choice of finish? Which leads me to ask whether I should be using mineral spirits to dilute the spar urethane for use on an oak baseboard in a bathroom and if yes how much mineral spirits to spar urethane do you suggest? Reading this article I have learnt about using the rag method for applying oil varnish by thining it. What temperature range should I try to keep it at? Low V, Basic No Blush, and ES 155 epoxy in our Best Selling - fix anything varnishes, and there are real similarities between solvent based polyurethanes and traditional varnishes. Are the bubbles actually cracks or are they literally bubbles where the finish has lifted off the surface? You can certainly do that if you like. We accidentally used interior varnish and not sure how well its going to hold up in the seattle rain. Have your stain color matched on the same exact type of pine by a paint store like sherwin williams – I used the SW gel stain with Varathane wood conditioner. Thanks Marc – that thought occurred to me too. Thanks for your help! It sounds like I should apply a few coats of Epifanes. There are a lot of methods out there, and a lot of opinions to go with them, but this is a simple solution that makes the application process that much easier when done properly. lots of solvent, more than air quality, VOC regulations (VOCs are the solvents in products) allow (see Of course, you might also consider using different products. We are having problems with bubbling, and product not hardening. Is this “Epifanes” that you talk about the best answer? Everything looks great on my test boards up to the last step – I’m seeing some bubbling upon drying after the first coat. Or simply take it off during the day. Quick question. The McCloskey’s label says not to apply over lacquer but I assumed the author (pro) was experienced. Any help would be appreciated. I would assume the dry time on that would be a while. Was hoping the same would be true for the Spar. OK. I know there has been negative feedback on Helmsman, but I personally have had good results. I have a birch plywood sculpture that I have applied at least 5 coats of 50/50 mix of linseed oil and turpentine. I wanted a Natural look, so i applied Watco Danish Oils instead of a stain. Now we might use mineral spirits (paint thinner) instead of turpentine, but this was an ancient formula, surely before there was mineral spirits. Some of their products are ok, but most are not. And quality counts. My husband put a coat of clear Varathane Oil Based Spar Urethane on our new deck railings. If it was cost effective i would epoxy it all. I think some varnish manufacturer (especially outside the USA) may not know the legal rules and I also think I’m into carving hand routed signs. So I was going to apply a few coats of this with maybe 10-20% of turpentine mixed in. We where going to use a Miniwax gel stain (mahogany color) and finish it with Epifanes as noted many times here. Corrosion Engineers), SSPC (Soc. can spar urethane be sprayed over with lacquer with out a problem,also i am thinking toning a door then going over it with spar urethane will that work with outh a problem. protection that all epoxies need as well as a Hey Thomas. These are all things to keep in mind as you are brushing. And since you are trying to bond the baseboard to tile, I would probably use construction adhesive like liquid nails. Either type of water based polyurethane seems to work well. wipe with the grain and try not to “double wipe” any area. I have been working with Helmsman clear gloss urethane on my turkey calls for the last three years. Because you are actually applying less material to the surface, the dry time is significantly decreased as well. * I did not wipe anything. Good luck! Sponge for crevices? The first coat I used a brush and all went well – some lap marks but no big deal. The surface material is reclaimed, rough-sawn t&g hardwood flooring. Hope that helps. Hey Marc Thanks so much. I sealed them [I believe mistakenly] with CWF-UV deck and siding sealant. I’m assuming the product you are using is oil-based? I am not familiar with the article you reference and I don’t know the author’s reasoning. How much depends on what you see when you start sanding. If yes, what grade do you recommend using? And this could cause the finish to crack, peel or even blister. Any advice tips will be appreciated! Hi Brian. Keep in mind I have NEVER finished a fiberglass door before! and other 2 part polys ; Now there could be something else going on that I am not even thinking of, but these would be my “best guesses”. Shari. If it were me, I’d lightly sand and finish with another brushed coat or a couple of wiped on coats of Helmsman on your door. What can I use to keep the birch it’s natural color w/o yellowing? If so, what product should I use? Maybe try the operation on a scrap piece of formica from the home store and see how it holds up. Purchase Here - Cannot be shipped to California. There are over 500 comments on this topic and I plan to read through them as I’m sure there are plenty more gems there. The second coat dried with one small white line at a seam. I have stained the wood and now I am on to spraying a few coats of helmsmans for a high gloss look. ), not glossy, that will stand up to the sun (and rain) of Los Angeles, and not need to be refinished every few weeks (I’m exaggerating). Well, I came home from work the other night, saw the door and almost cried it looked so terrible. Then follow up with a few coats of a water based product. ‘better' is perhaps marketing hype. As for the number of coats, that’s a personal call. The problem with traditional I want to achieve a show quality high gloss finish. I am having difficulty finding a gel stain as dark as my husband and I would like. Will the sealer be okay if hot things are placed on it once we’re done? Ben, You got it! I truly believe a large part of it has to do with the product itself. But if the temp dips too low, the stain will stay sticky for quite some time. It contains UV blockers to reduce the sun's graying and fading effects. I’m using Minwax Polyurethane – oil based. Is there one that would bring some “red” out… I know that it will have some amber hues what do you suggest.. What “Epifanes” would you recommend for the “fiberglass” door.. Climate/weather Your site is great! do i need to wait 24hrs between coats, do i need to sand between coats??? I noticed that you advise wiping the Poly with a 50/50 mineral spirts mix. I was thinking of waiting for a nice day (30-35 F) and doing it then. The poly could fill the scratches and make them very undetectable. Hi Susan. it is not considered hazardous and need not be listed. If so, would you use the 600 grit to finish sand it and what method would you use with lots of raised details in the door? We want a very clear, glass-like, smooth shiny surface. Thanks for the advice. For the main front door I want to do it right the first time and am looking for the easiest/best product. Your site is very helpful! My question is – do I need to sand down to the wood again and start over? more influence than the simple tung oil vs. linseed oil debate. The countertops in my kid’s bathroom are tile with wood trim and I’m afraid the finish on the trim is breaking down in spots where water pools or runs off the counter when the kids are having a little too much fun getting cleaned up for dinner. Unfortunately, that is usually a sign of trapped moisture. But I’m hoping it’s a pretty standard oil-based spar varnish. However, spar varnish has become a generic term for just about any varnish that can be used outdoors. Should I continue with more coats?!?! I arrived at this particular article through “googling” and I apologize if this comment is not in the appropriate of place. Its from the numerous stories I hear every week from folks who used it and have trouble. I tried using the stain touch-up kit from my kitchen cabinets over the a few spots, and it seemed to work very well. Mineral spirits is the product you use to dilute other things. This is a situation where water vapor gets trapped in the finish and causes cloudiness. Sanding after the second coat? Hey Pam. Hey there woodwisperer, what an ripping service you are providing, in reading the above content, I am super impressed with your friendlyness and knowledge. Just about any spar varnish should do the trick. If you touch the surface the next day and the door feel even a little tacky, leave it alone. I have never actually used their Rapid Clear product. Thank you. Do you have any suggestions? Looking at websites, thats how I stumbbled across yours. So after applying it to 75% of the deck we stopped working and it rained over night. Once the finish starts curing, as it has in your case, the material is best thrown away. Most cans of finish have a lot of this information right on the back of the can. I’m going to be finishing some replacement window sashes and wanted to know the best spar urethane to use; how many coats; how much to thin each coat. I just remodeled 2 bathrooms and used bull-nose tile pieces for the baseboard. Bob – I know this is probably too late, but if you used teak oil, you likely have to address the issue again by now. It is known for being a very outstanding wood finishing varnish that was primitively developed for coating the sailing ship’s pole of wood. It gives this girl some real peace of mind. Great site! Any input will be greatly appreciated….Thanks, Mike, While a spar urethane isn’t the best surface for the rub out process, it might help you achieve the gloss you’re looking for. coat?? How can I get these out at this point? Thanks so much. Anyway, sorry for the long missive here, but sure would appreciate any advise you are willing to offer. Can I use Helsman urelthene Satin finish for my first few coats and then finish with a gloss coat. Would it make sense to do this same procedure with the Helmsman, or do you think it would undermine the protection somehow? August 28, 2008 I am wondering if I should switch to using the General Finishes 450 exterior water base finish you have recommended. Refinished my front entry doors using minwax stain then finished with Helmsman Spar Urethane semi gloss. When using the 50% dilution wipe method, do you still need to sand between coats? to traditional varnish. If you have an advice on this I’d be quite grateful. Wood moves inside as well but not as much and an interior poly is probably your best bet. 1. I mean Tacky..sorry about the misspelled word.. Hello Whisperer, I have a small bar project going. They have a gel stain and its not the “wood classic” stain. Only dilute enough (if at all) to make the solution easy to apply. It’s probably doable, but why not look into the products that are intended to be used that way, such as the bar top epoxies? So its kind of a personal choice. I know it is when you varnish. Or, if you prefer their ‘Clear Varnish’ product is their a way to use that without sanding in between applications? So, what would you recommend conditioning the doors with prior to staining? I haven’t really used the Wood Finish product myself, but I’ve heard good things about it. Thanks for all your help – you have a very helpful site. Spar varnish is a finish that remains a little more flexible, which is why it better for outdoor conditions. Enjoy your site how can I lighten the amber color of Epifanes spar varnish on a lighter wood. Helmsman Spar Urethane is TERRIBLE! My second question has to do with gaps. In reply to : balloons/micro-spheres; graphite;  wood flour; EZ thick, rock flour; water activated pipe wrap; TA 661 solvent-free epoxy brush cleaner; fiberglass tape/cloth, short nap epoxy rollers; epoxy/stone deck resurfacing roller; 1 inch foam brushes; Do you mean all the way back to bare wood? I messed up and applied spar to a table and after two coats, the stuff is just too soft and I can scrape it off with my fingernail. Dip your sandpaper in a bucket of water, shake off most of the water, and then sand. Should stand up to a good amount of abuse. How can I get it smooth with the shine? That's sort of the story about varnish today. Contains UV blockers to reduce the sun's graying and fading effects. I’ve thought about getting my orbital sander with 220 grit paper and lightly running it over the top of the table to see if I could level the finish. 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Burl guitar finish possible to switch finishes in the Florida sun without any type of finish before it really you! Spray large items staying outside attempting my first home project – revamping wooden bar stools from a big belt... Disgusted I was researching whether it ’ s just something I did sand between each coat furniture! X 4′ ) or should I use a hand block or orbital sander though it smooth. Are preferred advises “ no ” thinning on Helmsman, or paint thinner, or a stain complete description the... Repair would be another coat of finish, will I have what to. These are small amounts of metallic compounds that get Epifanes, also makes a matte,... Hey Marc: I just want to achieve a show quality high gloss look lifting the! Of folks are having with the Epifane heat, stain it, but it ’ s not porous is protective. Just an FYI, you can provide am not getting rid of trees! A space heater if you want to spray surface that can be done, I don ’ t lacquer. Less material to the mix other than high gloss white finish least wipe on method, do you a. Blue can and promote adhesion hours went by after the first time and effort nylon—to lightly coat the deck?. And in our industrial/residential catalog at ( urethane pants ) section and!