Add various coats of varnish to wood and it’ll enhance the natural color of the wood, providing a beautiful, rich sheen. Varnish protects wood, giving a durable surface that serves to avoid damage and retains it in good condition. So far, so straightforward. But there’s a collection of wood floor varnish and other products on the market. Here is our guide to engineered wood and wood varnishing finishes, with a few handy product tips thrown in.
Wood varnish guide
How to varnish wood?
Whatever product you need to utilize, as a rule of thumb, you will have to completely get rid of any existing varnish, waxes, oils, wood stains, dust, dirt, grease, irregular places, and sticky stuff before applying a wood varnish.
Your workspace has to be dust and dirt-free, otherwise, it may accumulate on the surface of the wood along with the freshly applied varnish, spoiling the sheen and smooth finish.
It’s best to use a brush with natural instead of artificial bristles for oil-based finishes, and artificial brushes for oil or water-based varnishes. But you can also use pliers or pliers for the two sorts of complete.
Every wood varnish product is very somewhat modified. Each of the products comes with detailed instructions and you should always follow along with the letter. With varnishes, short cuts always indicate you won’t get the excellent finish that you’re hoping for.
The tips for varnishing the wood
- Vacuum the area to eliminate dirt and dust, before starting work. A slightly damp mop also works well for removing sanding dust from the surface of the ground
- decide a day once the weather isn’t too humid. Varnish will dry slower in cold or humid states, and there is more possibility of dust and grime settling on your job before it is fully dry, so you’ll have an unfinished finish. In case the room is too warm, the varnish will dry too quickly and cluttered bubbles may form
- Eliminate any present varnish or complete with a suitable paint and varnish remover/stripper. Sand the wood to remove any surface imperfections, then use a damp cloth to remove any debris and allow the wood to dry
- The first coat may be thinned if needed but that is not mandatory with many of the modern water-based varnishes. Leave it to dry for 24 hours, then sand it with fine sandpaper and wipe with a damp cloth or vacuum to remove the dust
- Employ your initial coat of pure varnish, working with the grain, then let it dry completely
- Produce a key by lightly massaging the surface with very fine sandpaper
- Apply as many more coats as you require, generally, two to three coats are the norm, but additional coats can be applied for greater thickness of complete, lightly sanding in between each coat. Don’t sand your last-but-one or last coat, and proceed with the grain to the last coat for a super-smooth end
Choosing the right wood varnish
Varnish, polyurethane, lacquer, and Shellac are all separate and they’re not supposed to be synonymous. So what’s the score? Let’s look at a few distinct kinds of wood
However, what precisely will be Shellac? It’s a natural resin secreted by an insect known as a lac beetle, which lives in Indian and Thai forests. The material comes exclusively in the insect and can be scraped away from the tree branches, processed to dry flakes then blended with ethanol to create a liquid. The end product has plenty of interesting functions; it is used as a food glaze and coloring as well as a wood varnish.
It’s a remarkable material. As well as a durable all-natural primer it seals, blocks tannin and scents, stains timber, and acts as a high-gloss varnish. Its excellent insulation properties keep out moisture.
Shellac used to be the most popular wood finish on the planet until polyurethane came along, a much more durable, heat and chemical-resistant substance with an extended shelf life. These days, because it is compatible with most other endings, Shellac is frequently used as a barrier or primer to prevent wood stains from blotching.
It comes as either a water-based varnish or an oil-based varnish, anything from lace varnish to high gloss and complete matt. The Extra Tough Interior Varnish is a great high-performance varnish that has antibacterial properties making it suitable to be used on kitchen surfaces and utilities as well as bathroom floors and furniture.
Water-based varnishes have come a long way during the past ten years or so and are currently just as good or better than the classic spirit-based varnishes used previously.
- Low odor
- Low toxicity
- Goes on transparent without incorporating color
- Dries much quicker compared to oil-based varnishes
- Does not stand heat and chemicals well
- Ideal for indoor wooden Items Which are protected from the extremes of temperature you purchase outside
- Can be applied over latex or oil paint without adding color
- Somewhat more durable than water-based varnish
- Handles warmth better
- Adds a small color to enhance the timber
- has to be used in a well-ventilated space
- Requires much longer to dry and cure than water-based
- Could be applied over latex or oil paint, adding slight color
Spray varnish is excellent when you’ve got large areas to cover, and is very simple to use. Interestingly, it’s highly recommended, who say it’s ideal for varnishing guitars.
Though floor varnish is usually recognized as a very clear solution, there is a wide assortment of pigmented versions available in the market.
Believe it or not, lacquers would be the same as varnishes. The trade often uses the expression ‘lacquer’, whereas the general people tend to use the term varnish.
Acrylic varnishes are often water-based. They offer very high transparency amounts and do not go yellow. They are simpler to clean up and do not give off fumes but do not tend to permeate the timber in addition to oil-based products. They comprise very good UV resistance and dust resistance and are frequently used by artists to seal and protect paintings, sometimes with special ultraviolet light resistors to protect the paint against the light.
Marine varnish is merely a super-durable product formulated especially to resist being submerged in salt or freshwater. It is brilliant for ships, and US marine fitters Defender has created a handy guide to varnishing boats.
ACRA Ltd has been engaged in interior Fitout & Project Management for more than 20 years. We are the main dealer for MERO-TSK in Ireland and do “supply & install” or “supply only” advanced flooring systems.