Spar varnish and spar urethane question


I stripped down a piece of oak furniture and put on two coats of spar varnish. Now the wife wants a satin finish. I have spar urethane. If I sand down the varnish then apply the urethane, will that work, or do I have to strip off the urethane completely before applying the spar varnish?
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On 8/3/2008 4:30 PM Mel spake thus:

The varnish (urethane) should stick to the varnish (alkyd) with no problem, especially if the varnish was just recently applied, as it sounds like. Scuff it up w/sandpaper and you should be good to go.
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The source of this info is weak. Not from a pro floor finisher, He had told me clear gloss is a harder finish than satin gloss. Claimed if you want a satin floor, put two coats of gloss then topcoat with satin.
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Red Green wrote:

Gloss finishes topped with satin finish is a standard method.
What's not straightforward about this situation is using a different chemistry for the topcoat. It's hard to say what will happen.
Put a coat of the spar varnish on some scrap wood, then coat it with satin urethane. If you like the way it turns out, you have your answer.
Others have pointed out that you can make any gloss finish into satin by careful use of abrasives. I usually do it with 1000-grit wet/dry sandpaper. I use a solvent that doesn't dissolve the finish, like mineral spirits for water-based urethane, or water for oil-based varnish.
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On 8/4/2008 9:54 AM SteveBell spake thus:

You can safely use "mineral spirits" (i.e., naphtha, paint thinner, etc.) or turpentine on oil-based varnish without damage, once it has fully cured.
The only finishes that can be redissolved by solvents after they've cured are lacquer (by lacquer thinner) and shellac (by alcohol).
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

Interestingly, I'm busy repainting a drawer for a client. It was under her oven and had been damaged by oven cleaner. The paint rolled up in little balls when I sanded, so I knew it was damaged with kitchen grease. I have no idea what kind of paint it is, because it was applied by a previous owner.
I tried cleaning it with denatured (ethyl) alcohol, and the paint dissolved! Thus, I have at least one data point that says paint can be removed with alcohol.
Of course, once you apply years of grease and oven cleaner, can it still be called paint?
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On 8/4/2008 1:53 PM SteveBell spake thus:

Well, apparently oven cleaner works pretty well as paint remover.
Just had a call a couple days ago from a client who had tried, in desperation, to remove grease from a painted wood panel above her store with oven cleaner. Took the finish right off. I didn't know this, but after looking at the active ingrediments (caustic stuff), I'm not surprised.
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Just a tidbit - seagull shit will remove paint from ANYTHING as well ;-)
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If you don't live near the ocean is there some way to import any? What about just plain old bird shit--My car is a good source for that stuff? MLD MLD
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No. Seaguls have very special shit. I usually don't call them seaguls. When in a gull area, I just refer to them as Dump Chickens and everyone knows what I mean.
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Actually, I live very close to the ocean (East coast) and have had many experiences with sea gulls. How about hearing/feeling a big PLOP and then seeing pretty near the whole top of hat and visor splattered in "paint remover". MLD
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It's a good thing elephants don't fly.
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It's a good thing elephants don't fly.
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Urethane likely will have a chemical reaction with new varnish until its cured a month or more, it could affect the varnish and look bad. tell her it will be satin- dull down in a month or 3.
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Mel wrote:

1. I can't tell from your post if you now have alkyd or poly varnish on the wood. No matter, light sanding of either will provide tooth for more coats of either.
2. Two coats of either is not enough. Three minimum, more better
3. You can make glossy into satin by rubbing it out with #0000 steel wool
4. Why are you using spar varnish?
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I thought all poly is urethane and varnish an older formula, but things change. Right 2 coats wont even protect it.
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On 8/4/2008 5:23 AM dadiOH spake thus:

Can't answer for the OP, of course, except to say that I routinely use spar varnish on all kinds of non-marine, non-exterior jobs. It's excellent varnish for any purpose.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

Spar varnish is built to be flexible (spars bend). That is accomplished with more oil. More oil means softer as well as more flexible. As long as you want a softer, more flexible coating it is fine. It is not what I would choose for floors or furniture.
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On 8/4/2008 12:46 PM dadiOH spake thus:

>

You've hit on the aspect of "long-oil" vs. "short-oil" varnishes.
Good article that explains a lot about this stuff: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res 02E7D8133EF930A25753C1A960958260
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