The Top 5 Floor Stains For Hardwood

Its generally a little softer than your standard polyurethane, but a few thin coats will still give you a heck of a lot of protection. I would just avoid piling it on real thick as that tends to look….well…not great. So you might consider the wiping method described in this article. But to reiterate, no real reason you can’t use the stuff inside. Once the gel stain dries and the color looks good, then you can proceed with your exterior varnish application. I might try to lightly sand the surface of the deck before applying the varnish, just to ensure a good bond.

minwax vs varathane

But with limited resources , we settled on 5 popular species of wood commonly used by DIYers, with 6 different stains; 2 light, 2 medium and 2 dark. Once the application is made, it is important to clean-up any spillage. This can be done with the use of mineral spirits so you won’t be leaving any spots on the floor when the work is done and maintain the tidiness of your workspace.


So I don’t really know if there is an inexpensive solution that will do exactly what you want to do. Boats are definitely a little outside of my area of expertise so I would recommend contacting the folks over at Jamestown Distributors. And also check in some of the boating forums out there. I am sure there are other options out there that I am unaware of and the folks who use them routinely would be the best to ask for advice. As for application, I generally don’t do deck work so there are probably smarter options, but I would probably use a brush. Just soft enough to be durable as opposed to hard and brittle.

Make the right choice for metal coating for the right application – Design World Network

Make the right choice for metal coating for the right application.

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There is a difference between the solvents used in various brands of wax. Different ones dry slower, show finger marks easier, buff harder, etc. I use Minwax around the shop for tool tops, it dries fast and buffs easy.

Anyone Use Minwax Polyshades?

Best option is to cut small pieces of what you’re going to be using and do some at-home tests to see the impact. Everything I’ve used makes my red oak look pink! It will really help me to choose the right product for the wood floor of my future house. Most definitely as long as they’re the same type . It very much like mixing paint for the right shade…begin light and add small amounts of the darker. Lastly, we thought it would be beneficial to see all the same wood type with different stains in one picture.

Refinishing Floors in Time for the Holidays — The Pragmatist – New York Times

Refinishing Floors in Time for the Holidays — The Pragmatist.

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That way it keeps things nice and flat and you won’t have any divots when you’re done. And I would try to treat the entire surface equally so that you don’t have unevenness to contend with. Since you don’t have much film thickness at this point, you are probably going to get pretty close to your stain layer so be careful.

How To Spray Polyurethane?

The good thing is that stuff binds to just about anything. So I probably wouldn’t stain the back of the baseboard , but I would apply a light coat of your spar urethane on the back side. Then proceed with your desired number of topcoats on the front.

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Im not 100% sure how the surface would respond. My guess would be that you need to rough up the formica surface a bit. The urethane will need something to bite into and a smooth formica top is not exactly that. But its not something i can whole-heartedly recommend unless I experiment with it myself. Maybe try the operation on a scrap piece of formica from the home store and see how it holds up.

Minwax True Black

Oh man, where was this post in the summer when I got new floors?! We put in red oak because our flooring guy had a bunch of it and we got a good deal. It turned out a very neutral, medium brown colour. I love how classic / timeless it looks but…that white oak with Simply White stain definitely gives me the heart eyes. We especially recommend that on a project like this, that takes so long to do and has a very prominent visual presence in your home. Was about to get a bunch of milled pine moulding to stain dark walnut, but now I’m leaning towards the white oak – the stain really brings out the grain in the oak.

If the product has the correct viscosity it isn’t how thin it is… it’s the flow or surface tension that is the problem. I use Helmsman and many other brands of oil based varnish all the time. With Helmsmans, and most other varnishes, when brushing you need to add in a wetting agent. A wetting agent will break surface tension and allow the finish to flow out and if applied correctly, you’ll never see brush marks.

I removed it and repainted and then lightly sanded. I’ve just painted a small nightstand in a soft light cream colour. Is there a top coat that will give it the protection it needs from every single day big family use? The more you learn about finishing the more you’ll learn that there’s a lot of BS on finishing can labels. Obviously, these folks know how their stuff works but they also don’t want you dinking around with the formulation. Second, if you think the sticky/ tacky thing won’t be an issue, when should I apply the varnish?

minwax vs varathane

I would say it is a great product to go for if you seek quality results. Visit for more information. Follow Rust-Oleum on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Adding EB directly to the finish is usually a bad idea, however, because the solvent shocks the finish into crystallizing. It’s better to mix the solvent half-and-half with water, then add it.

Minwax Polyshades Application

…I waited the seven days to replace the rug and furniture, and the rug still left marks all over my floor. So I’d recommend waiting even longer — two weeks if possible. But even at that, Waterlox takes days to fully cure, so during that time, you need to be relatively careful with your floors. Our home is a traditional colonial with all white oak floors… except the previous homeowners remodeled the kitchen and dining room and put in red oak!

minwax vs varathane

In addition to protecting the natural beauty of the hardwood floor, it adds on to the beauty of the wood. It has little volatile organic compounds and can be recoated in as little time as two hours which is a great feature when compared to other polyurethanes. The quality of workmanship matters a lot when it comes to finishing your hardwood floors but beyond that, the quality of the materials used matters more! In this article, I am going to walk you through the best grade polyurethane products available for the best results. Minwax is the go-to floor stain for the everyman.

But there should be no problem getting it nice and shiny. Just be careful, since shiny usually means slippery too. Just make sure you clean the surface really well and possibly even give it a coats of dewaxed shellac to seal off any of the natural oils in the wood.

  • Just try to buy a color that doesn’t offer a dramatic change, but brings everything into the same color family.
  • Minwax is the go-to floor stain for the everyman.
  • Oil-based polyurethane products were considered superior in terms of longevity and durability.
  • You need approximately three coats to get Minwax’s promised durability.
  • I’m sure its a good product, but I’m not super-confident this is the ‘best’ product, after all, they also recommended the Minwax Helmsman Spar urethane.
  • But getting 10 years out of a water-based exterior finish is pretty darn good so you might consider using the same product you used before.
  • Try spraying it without thinning first to see if it requires thinning.
  • I have an oak desk that looks pretty bad.
  • Some refinished do not sand super smooth for this reason, and instead use top coats to gain smoothness.

I had a few brand new cans of Helmsman Spar Urethane left over from a project and liked the way it looked on cedar so I decided to use it on my new cedar deck project. So after applying it to 75% of the deck we stopped working and it rained over night. This morning we found that some of the last boards we finished had water spots and a chalky haze.

After the first two coats of oil base stain. All was okay I wiped all excess,and was dry next day, but then on the third coat I forgot to clean excess and now after 12 hour still is sticky to the touch. I went to HD and people there told me to strip and sand all over again. Sorry I will try what you say first and then I will let you know what happens. If brush marks are left behind after applying the polyurethane, they can be sanded away with very fine sandpaper. Make sure to sand this down evenly, then wipe away and clean off any dust left behind.

Is there something I did to cause the finish to be more matte and not smooth out? Overall I have found great advice on this site and many new techniques to try out. Sounds like the stain is lifting when the finish is applied. Problem is that’s really tough to fix at this point.

This is one of the first questions to consider. Both types work well in their own ways and offer unique pros and cons. Both types are very durable and offer a great looking surfaces finish, however, there are some critical differences between them. If you want to spray a water based polyurethane or have a convenient aerosol spray can polyurethane, there are certain steps to take when applying it. Here is a simple tutorial on how best to use polyurethane spray.

GF makes great products and I have no doubt you will see the performance described on the can. Mineral spirits is the product you use to dilute other things. There might be some way of diluting it but in the world of wood finishing, that’s not really something we ever need to do. Yes, most regular minwax vs varathane paint sprayers can be used with polyurethane, including airless versions. Just be sure that the sprayer is completely cleaned out between uses, and that the polyurethane is the right viscosity. If you do add a thinner, make sure to get the ratio correct with regards to the polyurethane.

Please sponsor at least one more post just like this but with other woods and stains. We have rustic birch floors and they are quite soft, they took a beating to upstairs, moderate use. As beautiful as they are, wish we had stuck with oak due to the hardness factor.

The problem is that sap is dripping from the wood ceiling now after it has been up for 60 years. Getting up to the ceiling at all sorts of different heights is daunting. Do you have any thoughts about how we might end the sap dripping without actually applying a coat of sealer? We are keeping it cooler now in hopes that the heat caused the problem and will go away in time. Viscosity should be checked regardless of application technique.

Unfortunately, sanding is part of finishing. Now you don’t necessarily have to sand, but in most situations, the surface will wind up a little gritty and the overall quality won’t be as good. The most important sanding happens at the beginning, after the first and second coats. Once the surface is nice and smooth, your subsequent coats usually dry relatively smooth.

Matte polyurethane has a little to no luster. Meanwhile, satin polyurethane has low luster. Finally, gloss and high-gloss finishes have the highest sheens.

It makes the process of applying varnish much easier for a novice. So if you aren’t comfortable with a brush, this is an excellent way to do it. Just keep in mind you are actually applying less varnish to the surface, so it takes more coats.

Once the finish starts curing, as it has in your case, the material is best thrown away. I make signs out of wood and last Spring , I purchased a gallon of Helmsman Spar Urathane since I go through quite a bit of it . I had used a little more than a 1/4 of the gallon then stored it for the summer in the basement. Its a living basement therefore the temperature was generally around 65 – 70 degrees through out the summer. When I opened it this fall to start using again, it had a hard coat over the top of it and about 4 inches of jell under that.


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