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Spar Urethane

These require around two coats to achieve the desired color and take longer than the water based wood stains to dry. Spar varnish is superior to spar urethane in UV protection. Spar urethane is better at repelling water and non-yellowing. Urethanes are harder, glossier and more durable, but they can also be hard to apply well.

minwax vs varathane spar urethane

That means you must sand it between coats to create a mechanical bond to the next layer. Let’s start with why you would use polyurethane in the first place vs. other types of wood finishes such as shellac, lacquer, varnish, etc. It’s a kind of super-tough varnish formulated so that its microscopic chains of resin molecules will bond tightly with one another as it dries. The result is a finish that’s much more resistant to water, solvents, abrasion, and impacts than traditional varnishes.

Varathane 200061h Water

Each finish adds to the final color(except water based which generally dries clear. It is the other two ingredients; resin and oil that make the difference in varnishes. The types of these ingredients used, as well as the ratio between the two of them, are what give each varnish its particular characteristics. Turn to Minwax® to add rich color and durable protection to your wood project in a single step.

Handyman: All wood finishes are not created equal – The Detroit News

Handyman: All wood finishes are not created equal.

Posted: Thu, 07 May 2015 07:00:00 GMT [source]

Since you asked I have to assume you have little to no experience. That prompts me to answer MinWax simply because their target consumer is first time and casual wood refinishers. Varathane supplies many markets including begainer and several specialty markets with price competive products. While Varathane has a product for any refinishing job,non are the best available for that piticular application. Minwax isn’t the best either but to their credit they do an exelent job of guiding casual wood finishers through the process of finishing wood. I highly reccomend going to Minwax’s website and reading through it then following their reccomendations.


If you’re short on time, it’s best to go with Varathane. Their products have a super short dry time as compared to Minwax, which dries much slower. Minwax is a brand that has been manufacturing wood preparation and finishing products for more than a century. This company is known for products that deliver excellent protection for your wood which last a long time. Robert Fergusson founded the brand in 1921, who initially used whale oil to manufacture the products. Now, they use resins that make their products more durable and provide them with outstanding clarity and expert finish.

The term “spar varnish” comes from the boating world, where the long wooden poles that support the sails are known as spars. A spar varnish is a finish specifically designed withstand the rigorous conditions of seafaring life, which means it can also handle anything your backyard throws at it. Wood finished for outdoor use is subject to a completely different set of factors that indoor finishes never have to deal with. Huge temperature swings, big changes in humidity, and punishing UV rays are the primary effects your finish will have to endure. These elements will easily break down a regular varnish or polyurethane over time.

Can You Mix Varathane Stains?

Have you ever used spar Varnish or any other varnish to seal tile grout. In addition to pigments, one additive I have seen used in clear finishes is Ethyl-vinyl acetate. For instance, Minwax Spar Varnish shows 3% pigments and 1.6% Ethyl-vinyl acetate by weight.

homemakerguide.com homemakerguide.com homemakerguide.com

The single-pack polyurethane finish sold in home centers is not a true polyurethane. It’s an alkyd varnish or water-based dispersion in which some isocyanate has been woven into the molecular structure. Now that we’ve settled the lacquer vs. polyurethane debate, you might want to know if there are other options.

This refers to how long the wooden object remains in good shape and appearance when covered in stain, finishing wax or polyshades. Varathane wood fillers and wood putties can work on any wooden surfaces and when completely dry, can be nailed, drilled or screwed into as they are durable. To change color, you can use the polyshades over the wooden surface without necessarily having to remove the older finishing. The water base polyurethane is easier to clean and designed to be stain resistant. It dries very fast and is waterproof hence protects your wooden surface from damage by water. Works fine inside & pretty cheap compared to the good stuff or varnish.

minwax vs varathane spar urethane

You can also use badger hair brushes, which can give a clean finish on the final coats. Marine spar varnish is the best type for outdoor use. Its key ingredients are linseed oil and alkyd resin . The film is flexible enough to move with wood as it shrinks and swells with shifts in humidity. For example, for me, safety to the wood finisher and the environment is worth at least +5 points, in which case water based polyurethane wins by an even larger margin. You can find both types of polyurethane in brush- and spray-friendly versions, so “ease of application” is a tie.

When we apply polyurethane, we have to be careful not to introduce bubbles into the finish. Those bubbles will dry in the finish and need to be sanded out. The surface needs to be roughed up to give the next coat something to bite into. 220 grit sandpaper is used between each coat and the sanding dust is removed with a ShopVac.

You need to be careful not to cut through the final coat, or you will see “witness rings” that appear as hazy contour lines where the cut through as occurred. I usually start with 600 grit–occasionally 400 if it has lots of problems. I then sand up to 1000 if I intend a satin finish, or to about 1500 grit if I will go on to gloss. After the sanding, I use rottenstone on felt, lubricated with paraffin oil. Varnishes are either water-based, or oil-based, much like paints. Oil-based are older, and probably use either boiled linseed oil or tung oil as their base.

Minwax 785004444 Paste Finishing Wax

Most exterior polys can be used indoors, but interior polys should never be used outdoors; they lack the additives that protect exterior finishes from UV rays. Some polys have oils that give wood a warm, amber tone. If you want wood to keep its light color, use a water-based poly. Usually high traffic pieces like kitchen table would be better finished off with polyurethane while a white lamp in the master bedroom should be done with polycrylic. Polycrylic creates a durable finish and is great for surfaces that are very frequently used such as desks, kid’s furniture and tables. Moreover you cannot dispute the shine that polyurethane layering gives to expensive wood furniture and wooden flooring.

  • Condition the wood.After sanding wood, using something like Varathane’s Wood Conditioner or Minwax’s Sanding Sealer to prepare the wood.
  • Varathane products use very little time to dry as compared to the Minwax products which take longer.
  • To achieve the desired color, you require at least two or three coats of Minwax wood stains.
  • If it is going to be used outdoors, then you definitely want a spar varnish.
  • Of course, everything depends on what you want to use and where are you placing the pieces of furniture you wish to protect.
  • Oil-based products, including spar varnish, have an amber color to them.
  • Medium oil varnishes are best used indoors where a lot of wood movement does not occur and a harder finish is desired.
  • This will also help to keep it from peeling and flaking over time.
  • Regular polyurethane and varnish contain little, if any, UV blocking additives, and that alone makes them a poor choice for exterior application.
  • I guess that’s one real advantage to impregnated rods, that they aren’t affected so much by sun and water.

But, it you desire a shiny, exterior film finish, the marine varnish is probably the most durable. Probably get two or three years of exposure before it looks bad. I was told initially that the paraffin, linseed, thinner mix was a good exterior finish. After a couple years minwax vs varathane spar urethane of Michigan exposure, the logs turned virtually black. I’ve also seen exteriors done with a varnish, film forming finish. The only way to avoid this continual removal/refinish cycle is to go to some form of “transparent exterior stain” like that by Cabot or Behr or others.

What Is The Best Exterior Spar Varnish?

What makes the Design Series Color Wash so distinct is that it can be added to either bare or already stained wood. The Design Series Color Wash is perfect for creating an old-style look making your wood look aged and unique. It is not ideal for floors, but the Design Series Color Wash is ideal for smaller wooden surfaces. Choosing between wood finishing products is not as easy as it seems. It doesn’t help the matter that there are so many great options out there to choose from.

minwax vs varathane spar urethane

Urethane is resistant to ultraviolet light, meaning it could help to protect your vessel against the harmful UV rays from the sun. For vessels that are outdoors for most of the time, this can definitely be beneficial, as it can help to prevent paint from fading and wood from weakening. I do see a few minor issues with this product, of course. First of all, the advertising says that it will darken to a “rich, golden glow” over time. This clear coat may not remain clear forever and may take on a yellowish hue. For some projects, like antique furniture, this might not be a problem.

This doesn’t explaine the differences of varnishes, but will give an idea of some applications. I imagine that some people will twitch over my warer over oil, but done right, it give good results. Spar marine varnish is a natural oil based product that is designed to protect wood. Because of its composition it is can allow wooden surfaces to maintain their flexibility.

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. I have built stairs and seating benches out of redwood for my outside deck. Living in Utah we have huge changes in weather from 100 degrees summer days to snow all winter. My deck faces east and is in the sun until early afternoon. I love the look of oil but want the benches to be useable and fear some ruined pants with using oil. I prefer clear finishes and wanted to know your thoughts on using Epifanes or something else you would suggest.

The formula of this polyurethane is also scratch and stain resistant to provide excellent protection. This polyurethane dries fast once it has been applied and will offer lasting beauty on a range of different wood types. It has a durable finish that can enhance the natural beauty of the wood.

Varnish vs. Polyurethane – How to Choose – BobVila.com

Varnish vs. Polyurethane – How to Choose.

Posted: Sat, 16 Jan 2016 09:34:57 GMT [source]

Tung oil is more on the expensive side, doesn’t darken wooden surfaces and therefore is very popular amongst antique re-furnishers. Polyurethane is available in either spray on or wipe on form. If you are not concerned about yellowing of the surface, polyurethane is the best option. 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. For such intricate surfaces, Tung oil is considered ideal because of its characteristic of soaking in the wood. I know this is an old thread and there is a lot of great information and points here, but my opinion the Varathane seems to be slightly thicker than Minwax.

I have a similar problem with a cedar picnic table, although I had coated it with polyurethane. But it doesn’t seem that any of these questions are getting answered. I’ve got to do a wood badge project, so I’ve got a slice of fallen tree trunk which I’m making into a knot tying wall hang (for kids to practice tying knots!). Good morning from Nashville, TN- we have a circa 1925 oak church pew that is in very good condition and finished for interior use – it has never been outside and has no rot.

Source: homemakerguide.com

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My Adventurous Trip to Malta



The weather in Malta was a bit like my trip, sunny at times and plain ugly at others.

It began with an hour plus equipment delay leaving Minneapolis, turning what should have been an easy connection at Gatwick into a breakneck race to catch our plane for Malta. Evie and I arrived thirty minutes before the Air Malta flight was to leave. The connecting flight agent called the agents to tell them we had arrived. When she looked up at us I knew we were in for some bad news. We were on the passenger list but they didn’t have our tickets so we would need to produce them. We didn’t have any. All we had was the confirmation letter we had received from the travel agency. Moreover, the agent at the gate didn’t have the authority to make up a new ticket. “Would you please wait?” she asked. It was the ultimate rhetorical question.

We stepped aside. While we were waiting I sold copies of my book to two American tourists who were on their way to their first visit to Malta. After all the other passengers left, I began to count steps to various points, (I think there’s a psychological term for this behavior). Not surprisingly, when I measured the distance from the desk to the baggage x-ray I got suspicious looks from the security agent.

Minutes later a loudspeaker announced the last call for boarding the Air Malta flight. Noticing our frantic looks, our friend at the connections desk said not to worry. Even though we were starting to make plans where to stay near Gatwick for the night and maybe for the whole trip, the phone finally rang. The tickets were ready.

After a spectacularly sunny flight over the Alps and down the Italian coast we neared Malta. As we did the sun disappeared, the sky turned gray and raindrops splashed on the windows. When we deplaned, it was as cold as it was when we left Minneapolis. Even so, we were happy to be back to our adopted land. Until we found out that our baggage hadn’t arrived, that is. We had forgotten to check it through to Malta when we left Minneapolis and the bags were still in Gatwick. A very friendly young man at the Malta airport told us there was nothing to worry about. They would be delivered to our hotel by the next day at the latest.

All we had with us was the clothes on our backs and what we had brought with in our backpacks. At least we could wash our faces and brush our teeth that night and change our underwear.

We were expected at the out-of-way but inexpensive guesthouse where we always stay, but our room was near the top level and, as in the story, the elevator wasn’t working. The Bellestrado in the book is actually the Soleado in disguise. Exhausted from lack of sleep, we puffed our way up the stairway and went to bed.

I woke up at 2 o’clock with a sore leg. I had severely torn my right hamstring in September and was rear-ended twice within a month (remember how Rick was always bemoaning his bad luck?) and was being treated for low back pain by various doctors and chiropractors. I also had sciatica in my right leg for a while as a result. This time it was the left. Luckily we had aspirin in our backpacks. I took one and went back to sleep.

The next morning we were ready to start promoting the book. Even though we didn’t have a copy of it with us (they were all still at Gatwick) we had a few fliers in our backpacks. We decided we would visit every bookshop in Valletta to let the shop owners know that we were in town and that copies would be available from Agius (pronounced as ah jus in case you aren’t familiar with Maltese) and Agius Booksellers. The shops were cheery and smelled of fresh newsprint, but we found few of the purchasers present. The clerks were friendly and told me to come back tomorrow. One actually suggested a definite time. Little did we know that this was just a taste of the typical Malta business style, and that we would be gnawing off the ends of our fingers before the trip was over.

When we got back to the hotel we found our bags sitting outside of our room and the manager, Joe Bugeja (Josefina in the novel) waiting by our door. When I could breathe again I commiserated with him for having had to haul the book-filled bags up the stairway. He just shrugged and stuck out his lower lip (the typical Maltese gesture, I’ve decided.) “It wasn’t that bad. The elevator is working.”

I bit my tongue or they would have been able to hear my shriek in Mdina, five miles away.

Exhausted, we turned in early. I woke at 3:00 with excruciating pain in my leg. I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t sit so I paced the floor for most of the night.

The next morning, after breakfast, we were off to see Dr. Tony Abela-Medici, our friend and the coroner of Malta. Tony looked more tired than I was. He had three family members “in hospital” and was maintaining a vigil on them. Even so, he was anxious to do whatever he could to help us. He told us he knew the president of Malta and he thought he could arrange for a book presentation.

Things were looking up.

We walked back to Valletta and met with the distributor. David De Angelo was amazed at how much I knew about Malta and said he really liked the book’s cover. He gave us names of contacts, including a Maltese-language talk show host who sometimes talked about books. We also got a promise from an editor associated with Malta Times that a review of the book would appear before the booksigning.

We immediately headed for legendary Strait Street where the talk show was produced. In the old days Knights dueled each other on the cobblestones and ladies of the night came there to show off their wares. No one had any idea where we wanted to go, (numerical addresses mean nothing in Malta), but finally a pub owner pointed at a newer structure across the street. The building turned out to be a highlight of the trip. A dark entryway and hallway passed an iron gate. Beyond, a courtyard with hundreds of exposed pipes hissed and gave off a hint of methane. Best of all, a basket hung from a rope tied to the top floor railing had both of us laughing uncontrollably. We never did find out what the basket was for, but we guessed it was so the mail carrier wouldn’t have to walk up the six flights of steps. After climbing five flights, we found a tiny business card stuck in a closed door with the name we were looking for. We took a chance and knocked. A very pretty young woman opened the door for us. After we described the book, she said she was interested in it and planned to have it mentioned on the show.

Later on, we also had a meeting with the Maltese Director of the Tourism Authority and presented him with a book and spent a pleasant half-hour chatting with him.

After that, the course of events rapidly went downhill. The sciatica kept getting worse during the rest of the week and walking was actually my only relief. By the following Thursday, it was unbearable and we walked to a hospital that was just a few blocks from the guesthouse. A woman who was a perfect Caterina from my novel treated me. She was tall, gorgeous, and had the bubbly personality to match and I immediately started to dream about the day when I make a movie out of the Cellini Masterpiece so I could cast her in the role. She gave me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory and painkiller and sent us on our way. Unfortunately, her prescriptions didn’t work and we were back at the hospital at four the next morning. The doctor on duty hospitalized me and I was given a powerful injection that finally relieved my agony. The next day I was to have an MRI.

Getting to my exam was cheaper by ambulance than by cab and the woman who rode with me was chatty. She told me how Maltese women hate the Russian women who were coming to the island. “We cook for our husbands,” she said in a disgusted voice, “we keep house for them and have their babies. Then these Russians come and steal them from us. And they only know one thing. It’s terrible.”

I laughed so hard I didn’t need any pain medicine for the rest of the day.

The next day I was released in time for the book signing. We only sold a few copies but I was convinced that the distributor was genuinely interested in the book and we both felt that once it started making the rounds to the kiosks and shops, it would sell well with the tourists. Unfortunately the talk show didn’t pan out. Because we didn’t know the language we watched the entire two-and-a-half hour show in perplexed silence. It never appeared.

The trip ended pleasantly enough. When we flew out of Malta we were bathed in brilliant sunshine. We made an easy connection at Gatwick, and when we got back to Minneapolis, our luggage was in the carousel.

What next? Trips to book distributors in the US, Canada and GB. My book is already hopelessly dated as far as book reviewers are concerned, but I am resorting to guerrilla marketing and the number I’ve sold is now more than 600.

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