How to Choose a Wood Varnish

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Varnish protects wood from scratches and stains with a polyurethane coating. It's typically used over stains but can be used alone on clean wood.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Varnish
  • Pollen/dust Masks
  • Look at the two-part mixes for extra durability. These types are ideal for wood flooring.

  • Decide whether you want a matte, satin or gloss finish.

  • Choose exterior-grade varnish for the best water resistance. Marine grade is designed to resist salt as well.

  • To color the workpiece while protecting it, look for colored varnishes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider cold-cure lacquers if your project calls for a very glossy clear, black or white finish. This type is extremely durable and can be used on floors.
  • Be careful with varnishes - they're very flammable. Use them in well-ventilated areas, and wear gloves and a face mask when applying them.

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