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What Surfaces Can Be Varnished?

  • All unfinished or newly Stained wooden surfaces can be Varnished, provided that they have no Wax, Sealers or Grease on them which would prevent the Varnish from bonding to the surface material, and previously Painted surfaces can also be Varnished to give a "protective coating" to the painted surface, provided they have no Wax, Sealers or Grease on them...
  • All previously Varnished surfaces can be re-Varnished provided they have no Wax, Sealers or Grease on them...
Types Of Varnishes And Finishes
  • varnishOil Varnishes are recommended for all wood surfaces, and Polyurethane is the best type of Oil to use... we recommend Sherwin Williams Wood Classics Fastdry Clear Satin Oil Varnish for Interior work... it drys in about 1 hour (do not use Varnishes that dry any faster)... most other Varnishes take 3-4 hours to dry
  • Spar Varnishes are weather durable and should be used when you expect a lot of water or moisture acting on the surface (e.g. for Exterior applications)
  • Varnish-Stains are Varnishes that have some Stain added to give a chosen Color to the surface without having to Stain the surface separately beforehand. It is recommended that Varnish-Stains be used only by Professionals and doing the Staining separately beforehand should be the method of choice for amateurs
  • Satin Finishes are more popular, but Gloss is still used a lot... always use a "Clear" finish
Applying Varnish
  • A Dust-Free environment is best to avoid ruining the final finish
  • All surfaces must be cleaned free of any Grease or Wax (use Lacquer Thinner for cleaning)... clean off other marks or Paint specks too
  • It's best to give the surfaces a LIGHT Sanding first, using Light Grade Sandpaper
  • After Sanding, be sure to dust and wipe the surfaces CLEAN
  • Always STIR the Varnish every few minutes especially when using Satin Finishes, and work out of a CLEAN can
  • Use the same Polyester Brushes as you used for applying Paint or Stain, but use Pure Bristle Brushes if a finer finish is desired... make sure your Brush is absolutely CLEAN before using it with Varnish ...If there's any Paint in the bristles, it will RUIN the job... use a New Brush if possible
  • Use a short-nap roller cover (1/4 inch, "Mohair type") for any large surface areas, but always layout the rolled Varnish IMMEDIATELY with a Brush to eliminate roller stipple
  • When Varnishing Vertical Surfaces, always layout the Varnish IMMEDIATELY with a Brush in the Vertical Direction to avoid sagging
  • Applying Varnish is different from applying Paint; it sets-up more rapidly and you cannot go over it after a few seconds as you can when Brushing Paint... practice first if possible
  • Varnish requires 3-4 hours to dry... before you can give it a second coat or sand it
  • Clean-up with Paint Thinner or Mineral Spirits

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tip Varnish is a "Fluid Medium" and unlike wood or other materials, requires special care when applying it to insure uniformity and durability! [read all the tips]