Gel Varnish vs. Gel Stain


I have read in several places that a good finish for Cherry is Bartley's Gel Varnish. I ordered some months ago, from Bartley, and it finally arrived yesterday.
However, it is labeled Bartley's Gel Stain - Clear Satin.
Is Gel Varnish the same as a clear Gel Stain?
Now the web site lists the products as http://www.bartleycollection.com/catalog/index.php?l=product_list&c0 And you can see that the picture shows "stain" and "Varnish" for each product. Same picture - different product.
Bartley's went out of business in January - which I found out by reading this site:
http://www.homesteadfinishingproducts.com/htdocs/Bartleystains.htm The product is now made by Seagrave Coatings.
What's ther story? Did I get the wrong product. Bartley's is closed over the weekend, and I've been waiting for the finish so I can complete by project, working this weekend. But I don't want to start if I have the wrong product.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have used Bartleys since 1989. In recent years it's QC had been lacking. A few years ago Lawrence McFadden bought Bartleys finish products from Bartley's. At about that time I was searching to buy Bartley's dirrect from LM and they offered to trade me a couple of quarts of their product for a pint of my Bartley's Golden Oak Gel Stain. From that point on I have use LM products instead. In December of last year LM went out of business and I have heard nothing since. Fortunately I got my 8 quarts of gel varnish also.

In the past Bartley's offered, Gel Stains, Gel Tint Base and Gel Varnishes, All gel varnishes that I have seen/used regardless of which brand have always been a Clear Satin finish.
I suspect that you actually have the Gel Varnish. The gel stains had a marginal amount of varnish mixed in. The gel varnishes were basically all varnish and appear to look like Vaceline.

Not in my experience however if you try it out on a scrap you will find out. Keep in mind that with the gel varnishes it will take typically a minimum of 3 application before you begin to get a consistant satin sheen. I have had best results when applied just thick enough to cover the surface and then "immediately" before it begins to get tachy wipe the excess off with a clean soft cloth. Use new clean wiping cloths for each new coat and if the wiping off rag show any signs of being stiff. Don't wipe hard, wipe just hard enough to even out the surface that leaves a glass smooth surface. Typically if you have wiped correctly the surface will be OK to touch in 10 minutes or so. Let it set at least 4 hours before applying the next coat. Typically you do not have to sand between coats but if your surface becomes rough you can sand or scuff the surface before the last coat.

I think the pictures are misleading. If you can says gel varnish I believe you will have Gel Varnish and not a stain.

No Bartley's is still in business, it is their Finishes product line which was sold a few years ago that has had a questionable future lately. The parent company is still in business. http://www.bartleycollection.com /

See above.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

In addition to Leon's comments, I think you'll find the gel stains to be nicer to work with. I always have.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks, Leon and Upscale.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A followup. The manufacturer ran out of labels for Gel Varnish. So they used a Gel Stain label, and stuck on it a piece of paper that said "clear satin" Gel Stain.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.