porch floors and spar urethane

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Forum topic by Pitt posted 05-01-2016 11:28 AM 3096 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Pitt's profile


38 posts in 4046 days

05-01-2016 11:28 AM

I’m refinishing 2 floors – one is our front porch, the other a screened in porch. The guy at Home Depot recommended Minwax Spar Urethane. I put down 2 coats and it looks great.

I then went to the Minwax site and it states “not recommended for floors”. 2 questions I’m hoping people can help with:

1 – Is it not recommended b/c the finish is soft/flexible, and therefore will dent?

2 – Any recommendations for a final coat to remedy this, or do I need to strip them down (again).

Thanks – any suggestions are welcome.


6 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5149 posts in 4199 days

#1 posted 05-01-2016 01:39 PM

Do NOT believe what HD people tell you.
The spar urethane is for exterior use, but NOT for floor surfaces. Too soft. Good for spars, but I bet ya don’t have any of those around your home.
Go to a real paint store.


View dhazelton's profile


2805 posts in 2535 days

#2 posted 05-01-2016 01:44 PM

I’ve used Minwax Helmsman Spar varnish on a porch floor and it was fine. But ANY finish on a porch floor exposed to sun and rain and extremes in temperature will start to fail on day 2. You will probably have to sand and recoat in a couple of years, maybe longer if the weather isn’t too mean to it. There’s a reason people with wooden boats had to scrape, sand and varnish on a yearly basis.

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1158 days

#3 posted 05-01-2016 02:07 PM


The Helmsman can has a telephone number for customers with questions and comments. Before taking the project any further, calling MimWax may be a good idea.

Sanding the porch to remove the Spar varnish now is something I would try to avoid. Leaving the porch as is and adding runner and mats in the high traffic areas to protect the finish could be enough to keep the porches looking nice. Unfortunately, the location of the runners and mats will likely become evident over time due to fading, which would make the location of runners and mats evident.

If it was me and the Spar varnish fails in the future, I would sand the porches at that point and then consider another product. I have yet to find an outdoor finish that does not require re-renewal to keep the wood looking good. In my mind finding a product that minimizes surface prep before renewal is a key product feature for me.

View ArtMann's profile


1218 posts in 1055 days

#4 posted 05-01-2016 02:12 PM

I have used a number of spar varnishes in an attempt to finish outdoor signs and furniture with a transparent material and Minwax Helmsman is at the bottom of my list.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


4994 posts in 2548 days

#5 posted 05-01-2016 06:13 PM

Here’s a good article to help understand Marine or spar varnishes.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Pitt's profile


38 posts in 4046 days

#6 posted 05-01-2016 09:29 PM

thanks to everyone

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