How to Apply Spar Varnish

Spar varnish can help protect wood surfaces.
Spar varnish can help protect wood surfaces. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Spar varnish is a type of varnish that can be used to help protect multiple types of surfaces. This usually includes multiple wooden surfaces throughout your home. Spar varnish can be used for both interior and exterior applications, and it’s available in satin, semi-gloss or gloss. No matter what type of varnish you choose or what surface it’s protecting, the process for applying this varnish remains the same. When you use a varnish application, you’re helping ensure the longevity of your surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth
  • Tack cloth
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint stirrer
  • Polyester brush

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Wipe down the surface you’re applying the Spar varnish to with a damp cloth and then with a tack cloth to remove all moisture and debris. Wait for the surface to be completely dry.

Sand over new wood lightly with sandpaper to rough up the surface just a little.

Use a paint stirrer to stir the can of Spar varnish well.

Dip a polyester brush into the varnish and remove the excess on the edge of the can.

Spread a thin layer of varnish across the surface. Always move the brush in the same direction as the grain pattern in the wood.

Wait about 12 hours or overnight. Sand the surface lightly to rough it up.

Add another thin layer of Spar varnish. Allow the surface to dry again. Apply one or two more thin coats of varnish, depending on the result you want.


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