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Old 01-17-2015, 01:56 PM   #1
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Applying varnish to a hardwood door


Hi,

I have an interior cherry hardwood door that I have applied 3 coats of polyurethane to after sanding with 100,150, and 220 grit sandpaper between each coat.

It looks very good, and I would like to apply a coat of varnish. What is the next step before i apply varnish? I have read about folks rubbing with 0000 steel wool first? Does this get rid of any tiny imperfections?

Thanks!!

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Old 01-17-2015, 03:45 PM   #2
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Applying varnish to a hardwood door


What specific products are you using? Steel wool can work but its not a good idea with water base finishes.

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Old 01-17-2015, 04:01 PM   #3
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Applying varnish to a hardwood door


Most people today don't use varnish. Varnish, by its nature, is very shiny when dry so it will show any and all imperfections. It doesn't dry as fast as poly, so you will need a very dust/lint free environment before coating. Varnish is essentially giving you the same thing that the poly is giving you. Is there a particular reason you want a final coat of varnish instead of poly? Also, with today's formulas you may have compatibility issues with applying varnish over poly. Just my two cents.
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Old 01-17-2015, 04:34 PM   #4
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Applying varnish to a hardwood door


Plus it's going to yellow.
Makes no since to me to apply a dissimilar finish.
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Old 01-17-2015, 05:38 PM   #5
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Applying varnish to a hardwood door


Thanks for the replies. I was going to add varnish just because I thought I was supposed to and because it adds a layer of protection?

I used a clear gloss water based polyurethane. If 3 coats of that is enough, then maybe I'm done. I've read about people who have added a little bit of mineral spirits to the final coat of polyurethane they apply?
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Old 01-17-2015, 06:02 PM   #6
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Applying varnish to a hardwood door


If your using water based polyurethane, or even a waterborne oil modified adding mineral spirits would not be a good idea. That could be done with oil based polyurethane, but not water based.

Stay away from the steel wool. If you like the results, three coats is enough to provide adequate protection.
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:46 PM   #7
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Applying varnish to a hardwood door


No to varnish over poly,no to steel wool with water based poly since it will rust, no to adding mineral spirits to water based, no to thinning the final coat of anything, yes to thinning the FIRST coat a bit. Ron
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Old 01-17-2015, 08:38 PM   #8
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Applying varnish to a hardwood door


Varnish will not add extra protection to the polyurethane.
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Old 01-28-2015, 08:20 AM   #9
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Applying varnish to a hardwood door


You can actually apply colorless varnish on it. But I would agree that varnish will not add extra protection to the polyurethane.
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:18 AM   #10
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Applying varnish to a hardwood door


I don't think varnish will do anything but make it look ugly in the long run. Don't bother with the steel wall it will just scratch water-based products off.

Paul

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Old 01-28-2015, 01:01 PM   #11
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Applying varnish to a hardwood door


You would either use varnish, or poly, or something else, but not both. You started with poly, i'd just go with another coat or two, sanding and tack cloth between coats.

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