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What varnish for the home varnish/oil mix?

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Forum topic by Billy E posted 06-26-2014 02:04 AM 481 views 2 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Billy E

85 posts in 829 days


06-26-2014 02:04 AM

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

-- Billy, Florence SC


6 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

2039 posts in 1242 days


#1 posted 06-26-2014 03:03 PM

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.

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

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Billy E

85 posts in 829 days


#2 posted 06-27-2014 01:10 AM

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

-- Billy, Florence SC

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2750 posts in 1100 days


#3 posted 06-27-2014 01:55 AM

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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Billy E

85 posts in 829 days


#4 posted 06-28-2014 11:50 PM

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.

-- Billy, Florence SC

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

2039 posts in 1242 days


#5 posted 06-30-2014 04:52 PM

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.

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

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Billy E

85 posts in 829 days


#6 posted 06-30-2014 05:32 PM

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.

-- Billy, Florence SC

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