Varnishes are tough, hard wearing and easily cleaned. Wood varnish is generally more durable than a wax or oil but is not as easy to maintain or repair if it becomes worn or damaged.
The retail market tends to search for Varnishes while the trade often refers to these products as Lacquers. Our lacquers section includes more solvent-based lacquers which tend to be used more by the trade. Varnishes are mostly water-based products which are recommended for use in the home.
In a word, no. The trade tends to refer to them as "lacquers" and the public tend to refer to them as "varnishes", but they are ultimately the same thing.
In simple terms yes. Care must be taken however when applying the first coat of varnish over the stain. If using a brush or roller the first coat of varnish should be lightly applied and not overworked by repeated brushing or rolling. Excessive working of the varnish on top of the stain will re-hydrate the stain and may result in the dragging of the colour or the colour becoming intermixed with the clear varnish. A way to avoid this is to use solvent-based stains under water-based varnishes or water-based stains under solvent-based varnishes.
Polyvine Decorators Varnish is an exterior-grade clear, water-based acrylic varnish for use on wood, paintwork, wallpaper, fabric, plaster and much more. It contains UV filters to protect coloured surfaces from fading and biocides that protect against algae, mildew and fungal attack.
Oils would not be suitable as they need to penetrate into the wood and cannot if the paint has formed a coating on the wood. They are also more likely to discolour the finish due to the nature of the ingredients they are made from.
We can never guarantee one manufacturers product over another and a test area is essential to test product suitability and final finish.
Woodleys Sandpaper Sheets are fantastic sandpaper sheets great for almost any woodworking project. For lightly keying between coats, also known as de-nibbing, the finer grit of either P240 or P320 is advised for a fantastic finish. Also available in a larger quantity, as a large roll: Woodleys Sandpaper Roll Aluminium Oxide 115mm x 50m.
Alternatively, Woodleys Flexible Sanding Pads are double sided, abrasive pads with a flexible foam centre. They smooth microscopic "nibs" or "bumps" that can occur in-between varnish coats from settled, trapped dust.
If you don't fancy the shabby chic look you can strengthen a surface coated with clay or chalk paint with a perfectly clear varnish. These are usually water-based and need to be non-yellowing to avoid the discolouration of the paint.
Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish is a clear, non-yellowing, polyurethane interior varnish that is suitable for any interior wooden project, including flooring. It is also available in 4 separate sheen levels to add a unique twist to the project if you require. Another great example is Polyvine Decorators Varnish. This ideal for almost any interior project including wood, fabric, wallpaper and much more. Unbeatable protection against finger marks, stains, scuffing and fading.
In the early days when water based varnishes were first introduced to the market they were a pale comparison to their solvent-based alternatives. Over the decades the formulations have been vastly improved and they are now as good if not better than many solvent based varnishes. For example, water-based varnishes tend to be clearer (not like the old toffee-apple varnishes of the 60's and 70's) are much less smelly to use in confined spaces, and are safer for both the user and the environment. Many of the toughest and most durable varnishes available today are water-based.
Disclaimer: Whilst every attempt has been made to provide product information that is as accurate as possible, it's important to clarify that trees and the wood that they produce can be affected by many factors. For example, the same species of tree grown in the same wood, even in close proximity, will be affected by age along with the amount of sunlight and water they receive. Other naturally occurring biological and environmental factors will also influence the density and grain of the wood as well as the moisture and oil content of the timber. No two trees are the same, meaning each piece of wood has the potential to look and react differently to the same wood finish. For example, product adhesion, colour variations, absorption rates and sheen levels. It is for this reason that we always strongly recommend carrying out test areas before starting any project