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Conditioner? Spar Varnish?

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Forum topic by Helpless posted 08-18-2015 01:19 AM 509 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Helpless

5 posts in 479 days


08-18-2015 01:19 AM

Topic tags/keywords: oak finishing refurbishing traditional

I just finished stripping a century worth of paint, varnish, and stain off my +100 year old oak entry door. I love the look of the natural wood and cannot bear to put more stain back on it. I was going to put on Spar Varnish. Should I put on a conditioner first? Also, should I use the spar varnish on the interior as well? Last, the door is behind a storm door, under an awning, and shaded by a +100 year old maple tree. Is spar varnish necessary? Thanks for all your help!


7 replies so far

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Helpless

5 posts in 479 days


#1 posted 08-18-2015 02:59 AM

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bondogaposis

4036 posts in 1817 days


#2 posted 08-18-2015 06:06 AM

If you aren’t going to stain it then you don’t need conditioner. Yes, you do need to put spar varnish on it, inside and out. The wood is going to react to changes in humidity regardless how protected it is. A good finish helps to slow the movement of moisture into and out of the wood. An exterior door is especially subject to extremes as the humidity difference between the inside and the outside can be huge especially during the heating season.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Helpless

5 posts in 479 days


#3 posted 08-18-2015 12:03 PM

Thank you so much! Very helpful.

One more follow-up…. I love the look of the natural wood but I certainly want it to hold up well. Will staining it help it hold up? Is there any reason I should stain it? Is this a case where the Minwax 209 natural would be best (should I need to stain it)? Again, I kind of love it how it is but I would like to get a good two or three years before I need to sand it down again.

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Fred Hargis

3947 posts in 1959 days


#4 posted 08-18-2015 12:10 PM

If you go with a spar varnish, be sure it’s one that doesn’t have urethane resins. A good marine spar varnish like Epifanes or Sikkens would be best. Spar varnish is simply a “long oil” formula….it has more oil in the mix that’s cooked to become varnish. In turn, this makes it more flexible (and softer). The good ones are typically made with an alkyd resin, which fares much better in uv environments than urethane. In your case I think an argument can be made that you don’t really need to use a spar….but it won’t hurt to use one anyway. You might also want to consider untinted paint.

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

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Helpless

5 posts in 479 days


#5 posted 08-18-2015 12:33 PM

Oh wow. I would have never considered paint. In fact after a weekend of soaking my hands in methyl chloride, I vowed that the door will never see paint again. I even told my husband that we will be putting a “no paint clause “in any future sales contracts. (The lead paint was a real beast especially in my egg and dart.)

That is a very convincing article…

Two coats of clear exterior paint sound a lot better than six coats of spar varnish.

Thank you! More to consider… But thanks!

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Fred Hargis

3947 posts in 1959 days


#6 posted 08-18-2015 12:57 PM

I’ve used that unitinted paint trick quite a few times, including oak window sills in our last house. It really works good, but you do have to be careful about the paint you choose. I used to use Olympic oil base #5, but Lowes stopped carrying oil paints altogether. SW base (#4) may work. Anyway, oit looks all the world like a high quality varnish once applied.

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

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Helpless

5 posts in 479 days


#7 posted 08-18-2015 01:09 PM

Awesome. I will check out my Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore today. Thanks again!

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