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VARNISH

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Varnish is supplied as water based or oil based. The water based varnish is an environmentally friendly version of the oil based varnish. However, most users would say that it does not provide the same level of protection or give as good a finish. Some varnishes are for interior woodwork and others for exterior. To complicate matters, some varnish can be used inside and outside. Look at the instructions on the tin before purchasing.

Probably the best known varnishes are Polyurethane Varnish and Yacht Varnish. These give a quality, protective finish and they can be ‘thinned’ with thinners, white spirits or turpentine substitute, if a thin coat is required or if it is to be sprayed rather than brushed.

Varnish is UV resistant, protects the surface of the wood and helps prevent cracking and shrinking of the wood. It can be purchased as a matt, silk or gloss finish, depending on the requirements of the customer.

When using water based varnish, brushes can be cleaned with warm soapy water. When using the oil based varnish, white spirit, thinners or turpentine substitute is used to clean equipment.

 
 
 
 
SPRAYING

Spraying varnish requires skill. This is the type of spray gun used to apply varnish.

It is held at a distance of 100 to 150mm from the surface and a thin coat of varnish is sprayed from the nozzle. Allow the first coat to dry before applying more coats.

Protective clothing and a mask should be worn.

After applying the fist coat, allow to dry and then gently sand the surface with fine abrasive or wire wool. Then apply the next coat.

 
 
 
 
USING A BRUSH TO APPLY VARNISH

A good finish can be achieved with a quality paint brush. Do not apply too much varnish, be sparing and spread the varnish as a thin coat.
More than one coat will be needed. Allow plenty of time between coats.

After applying the fist coat, allow to dry and then gently sand the surface with fine abrasive or wire wool. Then apply the next coat.

 
 
 
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