Reply by Fred Hargis

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Posted on Polyurethane or Varnish?

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Fred Hargis

5176 posts in 2694 days

#1 posted 01-24-2014 03:09 PM

Just a slight difference with what Barry said, P&L 38 isn’t a phenolic varnish, it’s actually an alkyd resin/soya oil formula. Waterlox original is a phenolic varnish, the only one I know of.

To make varnish you cook resins with a drying oil. The reins are usually a urethane, or an alkyd, or a phenolic; though there are others. The drying oil is typically linseed oil, but can be soya oil, or tung oil; again there are others less common. There are numerous other finishes labeled “polyurethane”, the manufacturers believe that magic word will sell more stuff, even if it’s wrong. Water borne finishes, for example, are mostly an acrylic resin coalescing finish, yet add a very small amount of urethane and put that on the label, viola! you have a winner (at least in theri deceitful minds). As a rule, if someones refer to “poly”, I’m assuming they are referencing the oil based varnish…something that is getting more and more less likely.

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