Varnish advise needed
Post new topic   Reply to topic
Historic HomeWorks Forum Forum Index -> Paints & Finishes  
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
oldhouseguy



Joined: 12 Dec 2011
Posts: 6
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:36 am    Post subject: Varnish advise needed Reply with quote

Hi,
My interior 1910 woodwork was only refinished with several coats of Benjamin Moore Oil based Sanding Sealer - no varnish. It seems like it is fading a bit and needs a coat of varnish to protect it.

The are so many new products out on the market such as polys, and water based products I have no idea which is good - if any.

My local Benjamin Moore paint store recommended McClosky Man-O-War spar varnish. I can see using this on a window sill, but do you think it should be used throughout the interior? Zar exterior oil poly and MInwax products were also recommended.

I live in NJ and I know there are tight VOC laws. I can also travel to PA or NY. I prefer an old fashioned oil based varnish but I am open to new products also.

Please help!
thanks

_________________
http://www.oldhouseguy.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
johnleeke
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2999
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always keep some of that Man-O-War spar varnish on hand. It seems to be one of the few "old-fashioned" varnishes that is still readily available.

I used some just a few week ago when Julie (from last spring's window workshop) stopped by for a little help with finishing her window sashes. We developed a "wipe on" finish to spruce up the existing shellac and varnish finish. It was 1 part mineral spirits, 3 parts Man-O-War, plus a little "colors ground in oil" pigment so the finish would "balance out" a variable appearance of the existing finish. She may apply this wipe on finish more than once to build up to a good appearance.

A similar finish might be worth testing out on your woodwork.

I have not used the newer waterborne varnishes enough to recommend them. I have tried them out on one of my bench tops that I use for deglazing sash, which has to be cleanable to control the lead dust. It seems to be reasonably durable and protective of the birch plywood bench top, which gets pretty heavy use. I renew the waterborne varnish coating about once a year. The additional coats do not seem to peel off as I would expect a polyurethane varnish would. That's just about everything I know about the stuff.

_________________
John

by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
oldhouseguy



Joined: 12 Dec 2011
Posts: 6
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True - I really don't trust water based products. As for Spar varnish - I currently have it on my window sash and sills but did not think it was a product to be used on all other woodwork. I always thought of it as heavy-duty and more designed for exterior doors etc. not to mention boats.

ken

_________________
http://www.oldhouseguy.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
oldhouseguy



Joined: 12 Dec 2011
Posts: 6
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got off the phone with a rep for McClosky Spar Varnish. They advised not to add a stain to the varnish but I am thinking they are required to say that.

I currently have several coats of oil based sanding sealer but the stained wood seems to be fading. Is there a particular stain I can add to the spar varnish to give the wood some body?

Also, since this varnish drys so slow and will be attracting dust, do you think I can add Japan Dryer to speed it up?

thanks in advance,
Ken

_________________
http://www.oldhouseguy.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
johnleeke
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2999
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would not add a commercial stain product to this varnish, but I have added artist's oil paint to it to give it some pigmented color.

Adding Japan Dryer probably would make it dry faster, but fast drying with oil-based varnishes would probably affect the durability by shortening the life of the cured film.

_________________
John

by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Alton0



Joined: 28 Jun 2013
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I currently have several coats of oil based sanding sealer but the stained wood seems to be fading. Is there a particular stain I can add to the spar varnish to give the wood some body?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Steve Jordan



Joined: 09 Mar 2014
Posts: 9
Location: Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Varnish advise needed Reply with quote

Hi, I highly recommend Pratt and Lambert #38 varnish, if you can get it. It's an old fashioned "gold standard" varnish for interior work. It ambers so should be used over wood, not over marbling or other light painted surfaces. sj
oldhouseguy wrote:
Hi,
My interior 1910 woodwork was only refinished with several coats of Benjamin Moore Oil based Sanding Sealer - no varnish. It seems like it is fading a bit and needs a coat of varnish to protect it.

The are so many new products out on the market such as polys, and water based products I have no idea which is good - if any.

My local Benjamin Moore paint store recommended McClosky Man-O-War spar varnish. I can see using this on a window sill, but do you think it should be used throughout the interior? Zar exterior oil poly and MInwax products were also recommended.

I live in NJ and I know there are tight VOC laws. I can also travel to PA or NY. I prefer an old fashioned oil based varnish but I am open to new products also.

Please help!
thanks
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Steve Jordan



Joined: 09 Mar 2014
Posts: 9
Location: Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:54 am    Post subject: Re: Varnish advise needed Reply with quote

Adding to last evening's post: In the 70s and 80s, it was not appropriate to apply a urethane finish over varnish sanding sealer. Subsequently, sanding sealers were introduced for polyurethanes; read the manufacturer specs for guidance. Historically, spar varnish was a "long oil" varnish for coating ship spars or boat work. Long oil varnishes never completely harden. So . . . are modern spar varnishes long oil or are the manufacturers using the word to denote durability??? Interior varnishes were usually medium or short oil meaning the ratio of oil to resin leaned to the resin side. These products dried harder and were more appropriate for indoor use. Short oil varnish could be rubbed out with pumice or rottenstone. I used to use P&L 38 for coating over graining and it was a great product - still is, I hear from others.
Steve Jordan wrote:
Hi, I highly recommend Pratt and Lambert #38 varnish, if you can get it. It's an old fashioned "gold standard" varnish for interior work. It ambers so should be used over wood, not over marbling or other light painted surfaces. sj
oldhouseguy wrote:
Hi,
My interior 1910 woodwork was only refinished with several coats of Benjamin Moore Oil based Sanding Sealer - no varnish. It seems like it is fading a bit and needs a coat of varnish to protect it.

The are so many new products out on the market such as polys, and water based products I have no idea which is good - if any.

My local Benjamin Moore paint store recommended McClosky Man-O-War spar varnish. I can see using this on a window sill, but do you think it should be used throughout the interior? Zar exterior oil poly and MInwax products were also recommended.

I live in NJ and I know there are tight VOC laws. I can also travel to PA or NY. I prefer an old fashioned oil based varnish but I am open to new products also.

Please help!
thanks
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
johnleeke
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2999
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, thanks for your insight on this. I'm happy to learn about #38.
_________________
John

by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Historic HomeWorks Forum Forum Index -> Paints & Finishes  
Post new topic   Reply to topic All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum