Off to the Orange Borg I go to buy some varnish and naptha to thin it with for
use as a wipe on. No cans marked varnish but lots of cans labeled Urethane.
Hummmm. So off to the Non-Orange Borg to see what they have. Ha, a can of
varnish. Read the back and it says 100% urethane. So I'm now assuming varnish
and urethane are the same thing and poly-urethane is something else altogether.
Right?? Wrong??. The brands were Olympic or Minwax. Okay to use this stuff
or would I be better off buying something online like Watco or the like from
one of the finishing places like homestead? Mike in Arkansas
<< Ha, a can of
varnish. Read the back and it says 100% urethane. >><BR><BR>
Urethane is not varnish. Not even all varnishes are alike. What do you need
vrnish for? If it;s for exterior or waterproof use, get a marine spar varnish.
If not, then you can probably use Waterlox instead. It wipes on, self levels
and barely needs any sanding.
urethane has no flexibility at all, so it can crack. I almost never use it.
Well, I'm doing some finish testing for a bed being built. Wipe on poly was
available but most people here discourage using Polyurethane because of it's
plasitic look. I have several samples of different stains on red oak topcoated
with Olympic oil. I wanted to try a wipe on varnish on new samples of the two
colors I like best and see if I liked that better than the oil as a topcoat.
Depending on what it looks like I will need very little or a lot so I just
wanted to get a small can for testing.
Mike in Arkansas
Also, don't forget, that it depends a lot how much you put on per layer,
and how many layers you put on. I'm especially partial to shellac
underneath (to seal and "pop" the grain) and poly on top in very very
thin layers. You end up with a durable finish that doesn't look
plasticy at all.
The nice thing about Waterlox is that it is an oil/varnish, sort of like
Watco, only with a lot more solids (resins). So it builds much more
quickly. Two or three coats on red oak, and you're ready for wax, if you
want to tone down the gloss. Application is incredibly easy, and it brings
a nice, mild amber tone to unstained red oak.
See if you can find a sample...
Waterlox also makes a urethane product that can be thinned and wiped
on. The urethane and Original are both excellent products.
Tung Oil varnishes are sold under the brands McCloskey (Tung Seal and
Gym Seal), and Hope's, among others.
Pratt and Lambert makes terrific alkyd varnishes, available at any
paint store that carries P&L products.
Still want poly? ANY polyurethane can be thinned down to become
"wiping poly", just like Minwax and Watco.
Plain old boiled linseed oil, from any hardware store will pop figure
under any of the above or shellac.
** Don't forget that varnish and BLO rags can spontaneously combust,
don't leave them around all balled up! **
At the local Woodcraft store they have Waterlox samples in little
pouches...should be more than enough to test on your samples. Samples of
several Waterlox products are available...something like $2.00 each IIRC.
I agree that brush-on poly can look plastic-like. About the only thing I
have used it on recently is a hardwood bar top. Yup, it looks like plastic.
However I have used MinWax wipe on poly and it does a pretty good job of
simulating oil. Others have said that the Watco wipe-on is even better but
I have not used it yet. It does provide similar iridescence (for lack of a
better word) as oil, in that the grain changes its character as light and
your perspective changes.
I apply it in a similar manner as oil by flooding the first coat and letting
it soak. Then wiping off excess. However subsequent coats are done lightly
allowing the finsh to build slowly. A durable top such as a table will
require several coats. I have built some tops to 7-8 coats because the
product is very thin. Use the usual process for light sanding that you
would for Danish or other finishes. Probably sounds silly but I often
burnish the final coat or two with a piece of brown grocery bag (probably
equivalent to about 600 to 800 grit paper and always available in the
pantry). The good news is you can usually sand and overcoat on 2 to 4 hour
intervals depending on temp and humidity
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, varnish is "Resinous matter
dissolved in some liquid and used for spreading over a surface in order to
give this a hard, shining, transparent coat, by which it is made more
durable or ornamental".
Now what's your source for the claim that paint is varnish? It fails the
transparency test. If one wants to be pedantic then 100% solids
transparent urethane would also not be "varnish" because it's not dissolved
in anything, it's all "resinous matter".
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
1.. A paint containing a solvent and an oxidizing or evaporating binder,
used to coat a surface with a hard, glossy, transparent film.
2.. The smooth coating or gloss resulting from the application of this
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