Oil provides almost no surface protection and does little to block moisture vapor, making it a poor choice for most furnishings you’ll use every day. Lacquer combines nitrocellulose solids in a mixture of solvents to create a film finish that dries quickly and adds a faint amber tint. For a clearer finish, use cellulose acetate butyrate lacquer.
If you have to apply more than one coat, you could end up spending much more time on your project if you opt for polyurethane. Woodworkers usually work with polyurethane varnish available in both oil-based and water-based varieties. You can also choose the polyurethane finish you like, from satin to glossy. Lacquer is a broad term comprising a host of paint products.
Bona Mega Wood Floor Finish
Water based polyurethane is extremely versatile; it will bond to nearly anything including wood, (non-ferrous) metal, fiberglass, stone, cement and carbon fiber. Oil based polyurethane adheres well to nearly everything, too…except itself. That means you must sand it between coats to create a mechanical bond to the next layer. In the past, oil-based polyurethane was the most common type and it was used for a range of different woods. These can typically be more expensive to purchase than water-based polyurethane but may offer more durability.
- You also cannot use polycrylic on outdoor surfaces, as it has less resistance to water.
- Pre stain conditioners are used for woods like cherry, and maple, which can have severe variations in color due to the way they grow.
- It doesn’t show up well when applying to an existing finish.
- I JUST came across your blog like 2 days ago and it’s great.
- But make sure you have a level surface first and a heat gun for bubble control.
- In the Minwax vs Varathane battle, we recommend Varathane as it is more efficient and durable when it comes to interior wooden jobs.
- While all of the products mentioned thus far have been synthetic, shellac is a natural product.
- However, that’s not to say polyurethane can’t do a similar job with very little sacrifice made (most people won’t even notice, depending upon the room and natural lighting).
- Oil-based polyurethane, on the other hand, is known for its distinct aroma.
- Polyvine Wax finish is in my opinion, the best of both worlds.
If you prefer water based, their Ultimate Polyurethane Water Based is just as effective as oil, with the main difference being the 4-coat application. Varathane is a brand that has produced wood finishing and preparation products dating all the way back to 1958. Their finishing products come in a variety of colors ranging from black, blue, and brown, to grey, pink, and more. 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. Varathane provides more shine and prevents “yellowing.” However, it may peel off easily too.
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The clarity of water-based finishes makes them ideal for light woods such as maple, where you want to preserve the wood’s natural color. For many woodworkers, the contest to choose a finish ends in round one. Whether it’s polyurethane, Danish oil, or spray lacquer, the winner never changes. But the finish you like best may not be the best one for your project, depending on its style and use. There is no way to reliably predict yellowing ahead of time. Every existing finish is different and we rarely know the finishing provenance on a previously finished piece.
It is so durable that it emulates professional polyurethane without the hefty price tag or inconvenience of hiring someone to cover your wooden furnishings for you. This polyurethane comes with UV stabilizer properties that will prevent sun damage. This is a generic term used for topcoats consisting of a higher ratio of solids. This product is perfect for raw wood and particularly suitable to use on exterior wood including garden furniture, fences, sheds, and decking.
They have been around since 1904, and Minwax has always offered more options while maintaining the same quality. Their sanding sealers, wood fillers, refinishers, and pre-stain wood conditioners are just as effective as Minwax’s finishing options. Whether it be a water or oil-based stain, you can expect a Minwax finish to be long-lasting and protective. Minwax is a clear, water-based, and oil-based long-lasting protective finish.
I’ve never used or even seen General Finishes but after reading all the rave reviews here, I’d like to try them. They have multiple products available in the market. It includes Minwax pre stain, Minwax water based polyurethane, wax, and more. Unlike most companies, Minwax products can be applied to the surface like bare, unfinished, and finished wood.
Any of the brands listed in this post, including our top pick, can be used if you want to use poly over chalk paint. Oil-based polyurethanes were always the more durable choice but now they have a lot of competition as water-based formulas have improved. Oil-based products have a strong odor and can take longer to dry. However, the longer drying time can mean fewer brush strokes. Minwax generally dries in 8 hours but often takes 2-3 days to cure enough before you can safely apply the 1st coat of poly. And, if it’s very humid and/or a dark color, it can take even longer.
I’ve experienced the panic of a finish that looks totally different than the one I pictured in my head, and I try to avoid any surprises with a few test pieces first. 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 last thing we’ll notice is the consistency of Polycrylic is runny. In other words, we need to watch for drips when it’s applied to vertical surfaces like the sides of bookcases or doors. The next thing we’ll notice is that it doesn’t have a strong odor like polyurethane.
I expect HIM to use HIS “pro” products and would NEVER dream of telling him what product to use. Fortunately, I have a pro who will be finishing them – I just need to come up with the color I want. All that to say simply staining a project often does not achieve the initial goal. That usually causes the person doing the work to be upset/confused/mad and they blame the products instead of the missing information necessary to get the desired results. If you’re worried about the fumes, a respirator mask would be a great idea. However, when possible, try to use this product in a ventilated area.
If you intend to use this outdoors, whether on the water or not, it’s a great option, as it can limit the effects of damaging road salt and other precipitation-related damages. A lesser known water-based polyurethane is this variety, produced by General Finishes. It is rated as one of the hardest and most durable polyurethane top coats available. It includes a UV stabilizer to help it resist harmful sunlight. It also protects any underlying stains, which prevents fading and discoloration.
If it’s smooth she might just slide across the table! I would just live with the bumpy finish but I know you are a perfectionist. Kristi, I’ve used it over latex paint several times with good results. I finally read an article that said you need to almost pour it on and use a squeegee to spread it and that it would settle itself. I used a paint synthetic paint brush and it worked just fine. And even then, be prepared to sand between coats.
For stain, I’ve always had better results with Varathane than Minwax. With oil-based poly, I haven’t noticed any difference. You have two choices – strip the doors or paint.
Varathane products are more durable since most of them are oil- based. However, they take a long time to dry and this depends on amount of used filler or putty. Minwax wood filler and wood putty are designed to fill small holes and spaces on the wood and ensure an even wooden surface. They are advantageous as they come in two coats of the same color; giving either thicker or thinner coating according to preference. They provide a thick coating and a shiny and glossy appearance.
Direct Sunlight will cause this stain to fade eventually. You can use this option with any indoor project that isn’t exposed to the elements. It doesn’t necessarily require multiple coatings for even coverage. You can apply it with a regular brush or roller without much spillage. Minwax makes reliable products that will work great for new projects.
Woodworking Skill Share
Arguably the most noticeable difference is the oil concentration between spar urethane and polyurethane. Spar urethane not only dries faster but also tends to not need as many coats or layers to get the shine that is associated with the product. For finishes, polyurethane usually coats many different materials along with items such as furniture. minwax vs varathane clear coat Because spar urethane resists water, you’ll often find it used on wood that is submerged such as the hulls of boats and the like. Do-it-yourselfers should be aware that in order to apply lacquer efficiently and easily, they must purchase a high-volume, low-pressure spraying device. At a minimum, this will cost approximately $500.
In contrast to the fast drying thin translucent stains mentioned previously, this product offers a heavy-bodied, controllable interior wood stain. This product can be used on old or new bare wood but can also be used on finished wood. Additionally, it can be used for applications beyond traditional wood finishing.
many people don’t get the color the expect with weathered oak. Lirain – No, you do not need to bleach white oak. I mean I guess you could, but it’s certainly not necessary.
It also has shallow penetration thus easily scrapped off. The polyshades produce a smoother and deeper colored finish and a protective coating to your wood as it is waterproof. To change color, you can use the polyshades over the wooden surface without necessarily having to remove the older finishing. It dries very fast and is waterproof hence protects your wooden surface from damage by water. Minwax paste finishing wax also highlights and maintains the integrity of your wood. I’m a lifelong woodworker/chemist but have no experience with black stain, and your website answered all my questions.