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Spar Varnish

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Forum topic by Tom622 posted 06-09-2018 06:25 PM 835 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tom622

9 posts in 483 days


06-09-2018 06:25 PM

Hi guys, I’m finishing my first piece of outdoor furniture. It will get a lot of direct sunlight most of the day. I’ve read a lot of things saying to use Epifanies, I was wondering how the rustoleum marine spar compares to this. Can I get away with saving $27 a quart or should I spring for the Epifanies?

Thanks,

Tom


13 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1880 posts in 583 days


#1 posted 06-09-2018 08:36 PM

Tom – when you say “can I get away with” – - the cheap varnish, sure you can – for awhile.
depending on your furniture, spar varnish may not be the appropriate choice.
you may need an exterior oil finish, etc.
one of the reasons that Spar Varnish varies in price is the amount of UV inhibitors it has.
the more UV inhibitors = the more costly.
any exterior spar will perform well – for awhile, then it will start to break down
and when the wood is compromised, everything starts to go down hill pretty quickly from there.
if you use Epifanes, it needs to be thinned considerably which will give you more product per can.
what is your project ? any photos to share ?
I personally use Pettit 2067 ultra clear just because it is pretty user friendly and brushes well.
I am a brush mechanic – I very rarely spray anything.

please understand that there is NO clear varnish or poly that will last for years and years without
some kind of maintenance EVERY YEAR. it is not a “one time & forget it” type of finish.
many, many articles have been written about clear exterior finishes. it would be to your advantage
to read some of them if you want a long lasting finish on your projects.
Wooden Boat has a good article: Varnishing Basics
http://lumberjocks.com/topics/273113
several online sources as well as your local paint store carries Pettit brands.
I have never used General Finishes so I can not say anything about it.
I have used a lot of other brand names and I prefer the Pettit over all.
the 2067 can be found for $33.00 a quart plus shipping.

.

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View LesB's profile

LesB

2126 posts in 3863 days


#2 posted 06-09-2018 11:24 PM

My experience is that there are no “clear” type finishes that will stand up to constant sun and outside exposures for more than 2 to 3 years. Exterior house paint will last from 5 to 15 years but then you can’t see the beautiful wood.
The problem with clear type finishes is maintenance or refinishing and with hard surface finishes that means eventually removing them with a stripper, sand paper and or scrapers. You can delay this extensive restoration by lightly sanding and adding a new coat “every year” or maybe two years but eventually you need to start over.

An alternative is to use an exterior wood sealer that does not produce a hard top finish coat but soaks into the wood. The advantage of this is you can use chemical treatments (deck cleaners) to clean and restore it every two or three years. Then make a new application.

Of course you can always add covers to the items when not in use to prolong the life of what ever finish you choose.

-- Les B, Oregon

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Tom622

9 posts in 483 days


#3 posted 06-11-2018 01:36 AM

Thank you both for the insights you’ve given me a bit of an education and I appreciate that. I will take this into consideration and think about how to proceed.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5316 posts in 2729 days


#4 posted 06-11-2018 01:45 AM



Thank you both for the insights you ve given me a bit of an education and I appreciate that. I will take this into consideration and think about how to proceed.

- Tom622

If you want even more education do a search for “spar varnish” in the lumber Jocks.com search box. The are pages of discussions on spar varnish.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View UncleBuck's profile

UncleBuck

251 posts in 500 days


#5 posted 06-11-2018 02:10 PM

i also have been using spar for several years on outdoor signs and logs, i tell customers to bring them back every year and i will re apply the spar, most don’t and i will go pick them up and redo them. i hate to see my hard work just go down the toilet, i have noticed i have one sign hanging on a porch in the shade, it looks good as when i made it but no uv rays makes a difference. good luck

-- Terry Uncle Buck Carvins "woodworking minus patience equals firewood "

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1880 posts in 583 days


#6 posted 06-26-2018 02:23 PM

[sorry, wrong thread]

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View RobS888's profile

RobS888

2604 posts in 2265 days


#7 posted 06-26-2018 04:03 PM

I made a mailbox out of white oak in Nov-18. Our house is south facing, so I used Helmsman spar varnish I bought at HD.

Hard to apply even when I warmed the can in hot water, but it was winter.

Every time I get the mail I can still smell the oil, so I’m pretty impressed so far. I mean, I take it the smell means it hasn’t fully cured and is still flexible.

During our recent monsoons here in MD it swelled enough to get tight opening the front, but seemed to survive pretty well.

-- I always knew gun nuts where afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View Holt's profile

Holt

280 posts in 3049 days


#8 posted 06-26-2018 04:29 PM



Exterior house paint will last from 5 to 15 years but then you can t see the beautiful wood.

According to Wood Magazine, you can get the exterior house paint base used for mixing darkr colors (looks kind of tan in the can. Use it un-tinted and it will give you a UV resistant “clear” coat.

-- ...Specialization is for insects.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5316 posts in 2729 days


#9 posted 06-26-2018 04:41 PM

Do your research on brands, Helmsman is not your best choice by any measure. Epiphanes varnish is regarded by most as the best in the boating community. It’s a little pricey.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1880 posts in 583 days


#10 posted 06-26-2018 04:59 PM

in line with AG = you get what you pay for.

and: According to Wood Magazine; exterior house paint base,
will give you a UV resistant “clear” coat.

ummmmmm dunno about that – in my very honest opinion, it is the pigment
in the paint that provides the UV protection – not the clear base carrier.
in any case – I would never use it as any kind of clear coat on anything I cared about.

I would have to call the tech dept. at the paint mfg company for clarification on that one.
but still, I would never use it – that is what varnish is for.

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5316 posts in 2729 days


#11 posted 06-27-2018 02:58 AM

link to woodweb”s professional finishing forum.

http://www.woodweb.com/forum_fdse_files/finishing/794882.html

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

4564 posts in 1009 days


#12 posted 06-27-2018 05:58 AM


I made a mailbox out of white oak in Nov-18.

- RobS888

You built it in the future? No wonder it’s not showing its age.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5591 posts in 2913 days


#13 posted 06-27-2018 10:37 AM

I’ve used a fair amount of the untinted paint, and can attest to it’s durability. The opinion that the tinting provides the UV protection is a common one, and as far as I can tell not correct. That’s not to say the untinted will last forever, it won’t, but you should get 4+ years before doing some maintenance on it. It’s way cheaper than Epifanes, takes less coats for reasonable protection, and does last longer than any box store spar. So far the only stuff I’ve tried was the oil base exterior, but I have a can of SW A100 untinted that I intend to try. I’ve read that others have had good results with it.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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