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What varnish for the home varnish/oil mix?

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Forum topic by wfedwar posted 27 days ago 334 views 2 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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wfedwar

34 posts in 676 days


27 days ago

Hello
I have read a lot about home mixes of varnish, oil, and solvent. Usually in the 1:1:1 ratio or thereabout. I also understand the tung vs blo difference as well as solvent selection. What I’m not sure about is which varnish to use. Regular interior polyurethane is available anywhere, as is spar urethane. I can get a non urethane varnish (vinyl toluene alkyd) from Sherwin Williams. I’ve seen each of these suggested in recipes but no comment as to why one over the other. The use is for interior furniture. Also would one be more repairable than the other? Thanks
Billy


6 replies so far

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Fred Hargis

1638 posts in 1089 days


#1 posted 26 days ago

There is little difference between the types of varnish in this application. I never use urethane formula varnishes, so the ones I have on hand are the alkyd resin formulas (SW, and P&L 38) so I use them. My use of alkyd varnishes is related to the look (I like them much better than the plastic look of urethanes) and the fact they have no adhesion problems; so scuff sanding between coats other than to remove dust nibs. I also don’t have to worry about shellac undercoats being dewaxed with the alkyd formulas, use whichever you want. You should just pick your favorite and have at it.

-- I long for the days when Coke was a cola, and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard)

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wfedwar

34 posts in 676 days


#2 posted 26 days ago

Thanks so much for your input. I plan to make my mix using tung oil, alkyd, and terpentine. Thanks!

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bondogaposis

2437 posts in 947 days


#3 posted 26 days ago

The spar vanishes are formulated for out door use and are more flexible and usually have UV inhibitors, they tend to be a bit softer than interior polyurethanes, that is why they are flexible.. When I use the 1:1:1 mix you are speaking of I use spar varnish for exterior applications and I use polyurethane varnish for interior applications. The reality is that I notice very little difference, but I do like having UV inhibitors in the exterior application.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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wfedwar

34 posts in 676 days


#4 posted 24 days ago

Thanks so much for the responses. I may give Epifanes a shot. That’s a phenolic varnish/tung oil blend. So is Waterlox. I’m not suggesting it’s the same thing, but they use similar bases.

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Fred Hargis

1638 posts in 1089 days


#5 posted 22 days ago

Just a bit of clarification (maybe). Epifanes and Waterlox are not a blend of phenolic varnish and tung oil, per se. They are a phenolic varnish that is made with tung oil. Varnish is a compound formed by heating a drying oil together with a resin; in this case it’s phenolic resins and tung oil. (it’s more often linseed oil and urethane, AKA “poly”) The resulting compound is varnish, and while some companies then blend that compound with some more oil (like Watco Danish oil) Epifanes and Waterlox do not. Epifanes is a spar varnish, which indicates it’s a “long oil” formula. In this case “long oil” means there is a higher amount of the drying oil in the mixture to provide the increased flexibility.

-- I long for the days when Coke was a cola, and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard)

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wfedwar

34 posts in 676 days


#6 posted 22 days ago

Fred,
Thanks for your clarification. Yes, I think we are seeing things the same way. My desire to use Epifanes has more to do with simplification. I don’t do a ton of projects, and they are mixed indoor/outdoor. My guess is I’d get similar results from BLO/cheap poly blends, but those wouldn’t work for outdoor projects and I’m tired of having good products go bad in their half-empty containers, so I’m going to try to use as few products as I can just to keep the stock fresh.

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