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Manns Extra Tough Clear Varnish

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Extra Tough Clear Varnish is a clear, water-based varnish that has been specifically manufactured to achieve superior durability on interior wooden surfaces including table tops, floors and kitchens.

Very low odour, available in 4 non-yellowing sheen levels, Matt, Satin, Gloss and Super Gloss. Sheen levels increase with extra coats. i.e. 3 coats of matt will be shinier than 2 coats.


Equal in performance to Bona Mega, Manns Extra Tough Clear Varnish will enhance the wood grain and its natural colour. This Varnish can also be tinted using our compatible water-based wood dyes. These dyes will keep the varnish looking translucent, making it ideal for matching different woods or simply tinting the surface of the wood you are working on.


Prior to applying Manns Extra Tough Clear Varnish, ensure that wooden surfaces are clean, dry, and free from any previous finishes such as waxes, old varnish or wood oils.

It is recommended that new wood is wiped down with a good quality white spirit to remove any grease, dirt and other contaminates from the surface of the wood. The prepared surface will then be ready for coating with Manns Extra Tough Clear Varnish.

Freshly sanded wood should be cleaned thoroughly to remove all traces of sanding dust, dirt and debris.


This product is very easy to apply with a brush or sheepskin roller and is also sprayable through most electric spray systems as well as spray systems that run off a compressor.


Clean off tools using warm water or methylated spirits before dry. If cleaning with warm water, a small amount of detergent can be used if required.


Manns Extra Tough Clear Varnish can be cleaned on a day to day basis with Manns Surface Cleaner and a damp cloth or mop. varnished surfaces should never be cleaned with large amounts of water.

Drying Times

A medium coat of extra tough clear varnish will be touch dry within 1-2 hour, and can be recoated after 2 hours. We recommend a curing time of up to 12 hours before using the surface as normal i.e laying rugs and putting furniture back, to ensure full penetration into the wood.


This product stores best when kept at temperatures above 4℃ and below 28℃. As with most water-based products, avoid temperatures below zero or the water content of the product will freeze. Keep container tightly closed and store in a well-ventilated area. If stored in the correct conditions, Manns Extra Tough Clear Varnish will keep for at least a year


  • In case of contact with eyes rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice.
  • Wear suitable gloves and eye/face protection.
  • Keep out of reach of children.

Manns Extra Tough Clear Varnish reviews - Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars, based on 66 reviews.

Filter:   All reviews (66)   5 stars (51)   4 stars (11)   3 stars (3)   1 star (1)  

Rachel Jones

 1L, Satin
Thick and yellowy looking
Not what I needed but I'm new to using varnish so it was an experiment. Came out quite thick and yellow I thought, not what I expected although may have been due to using over chalk paint!
Our feedback:-
A runny varnish tends to fall off the brush too easily so we opted for one with more body that can be brushed, rollered or spray applied.

All varnishes (and lacquers) DO tend to yellow a paint. For example a white paint becomes a creamier shade and blue becomes a greener shade.

Using a wax polish, instead of a varnish keeps the colour 'more true' if durability is not a major issue.
Brian Filson

 2.5L, Matt
Easy Peasy to use ... No rocket science needed !!!
Did exactly as it was intended to do .... No problems at all and not smelly
Andy Wilson

 500ml, Matt
We are very pleased with the natural effect of the Manns extra tough clear varnish.
We have had several pine white deal brace and ledge doors installed, and several floor to ceiling wall to wall wardrobe / cupboards of the same wood. We wished to protect the wood with a tough varnish, leaving the natural blonde pine colour. The Manns varnish did a superb job. The wood retains its original white appearance with no yellowing effect. I tested the treated wood with stains like ketchup, coffee, moss and earth rubbed in, butter, etc, and they were all easy to clean off completely, leaving no trace.
Emily Cole

 5L, Satin
Excellent varnish, with a lovely finish
We were very happy using this varnish. It was easy to apply, and a little seemed to go a very long way. The finish (matt satin) is attractive, and the drying time was really good, after application with a roller. Also, there was very little smell, which was a relief. A recommended product! Hopefully it will last for a long time.
Sore Thumb Furniture

 2.5L, Super Gloss
Just the job
An excellent high gloss finish for a modern coffee table top. I'll also be using it on a bookcase as the finish with a spray gun is great.
Ian Long

 5L, Gloss
Does what it says
Good value. The finish isn't as good as an oil based finish, but does the job, may need more coats than it says on the instructions to get a really glossy finish.
Gary Stephenson

 2.5L, Gloss
Best available
This is the best I've ever used in 20 years. Normally we would use an oil based two pack but we found this product sprayed 100 times nicer and dried to a fantastic sheen. A good tip is to use 2000 grit finish paper and sand then apply 1 more coat via spray gun to give not just a gloss finish but a mirror gloss finish. We will never use oil based again and will only use this product from this company. We would try the Matt finish but haven't had a call for it yet.
John Essex

 1L, Satin
Quick drying, easy to use and leaves an excellent finish
I have used this product for a few years now and always with excellent results. I have used it recently on children's toys and it provides not only a safe finish but an excellent satin shine. Its quick drying feature also allows you to progress to the final finish very quickly. I have always used it as brushed finish so a fine sanding between coats is essential to provide the desired results.

 5L, Gloss
Easy to apply. Three coats provided a hard, shiny, clear, waterproof finish.
Sunnie De Pass

 500ml, Satin
Very good product, easy to use
I used this on a bath panel I made from Tongue & Groove wood. So far so good. I think I did 4 smell, no drips. I used a roller and a brush. Varnish dried very quickly between coats. The water drips from my bath sit on top of the wood, which I wipe off to dry. Will be a returning customer.
Andrew Harvey

 2.5L, Satin
Very good finish
very pleased with this product, no smell, very easy to apply. used it on birch face ply and 2 coats was enough. Left tipped a cup of tea on it and stood the cup in it overnight to test and it left no mark. Really good hard wearing finish.
Alan Bamforth

 1L, Super Gloss
Super deep shine
Used Manns Super Gloss on restored pitch pine kitchen shelves. Two coats to get a brilliant deep shine. I had been using Ronseal Diamond Hard Floor Varnish as their replacement for the old solvent varnish but whereas 2 coats of the solvent varnish had a deep shine, the water based varnish was shiny but never built up the depth even after 4 coats. Will now use Manns Super Gloss every time.
Keith Joblin

 5L, Matt
Easy to use the varnish spreads well and evenly
I bought this water based matt varnish to paint over previously prepared floor boards that were painted with Annie Sloane chalk paint. The result is fantastic. My concern that it may lift the chalk paint when the varnish was applied but it didn't. A great product.
Chris Danican

 5L, Satin
It is easy to apply, dries incredibly quickly and over coats well. A great finish.
Preparation is the key they say. I had an oak engineered floor covering which was about 10 years old. It had suffered the ravages of time and being a rented property with a dog! After hand sanding the entire floor, concentrating on the areas showing most wear particularly, I applied 2 coats of Manns Extra Tough Clear Varnish. It was easy to apply using a 4" roller on a pole, it covered very well ( I only used half the 5L) it dried incredibly quickly and over coated well. It gave a great finish without making the two rooms a no go area for too long. I put cardboard down for a couple of days to walk on and stand the furniture on to give it time to cure, but I am not sure this was necessary. It has put new life into the floor and given a hard, clean and cleanable surface. Many thanks to Wood Finishes Direct for their expert advice and great customer service.
Kerry Williams

 500ml, Matt
2nd time not a charm
Having used the satin version of this a few years ago on the same coffee table I have just re painted white - this varnish seems to yellow or slightly de-whiten the paint underneath. Plus for a matt finish - it's still pretty shiny. Need to find a non yellowing one. I put three coats on - maybe that was too many??
Our feedback:-
Hi Kerry

You've picked up on an interesting point about 'clear' varnishes slightly tinting white finishes to a more creamy, white look. It is indeed a 'problem' that is relevant to all white products, whether a stain, an oil or a paint. It is to do with the way the light is refracted through the clear coat and onto the white surface.

Sometimes adding some white dye to the varnish (or other top coat) will help to avoid the 'yellowing' to some degree. Other than that we do have our coloured varnish which has the look of paint but with the strength of a varnish. With the coloured varnish there is no need to paint and varnish separately.

The matt does indeed become a little shinier when more coats are applied but the most important point regarding sheen level is to stir the product before and during use (wait for air bubbles to settle). This keeps the matting agent suspended. A non-stirred, varnish is the main reason it will not remain matt.
Paul Taylor

 5L, Satin
Provided a perfect finish
Really am impressed with this varnish, the finish is excellent and feels durable. It has really brought out the colour of the Mann's pine stain I applied beforehand. I found the recommended coverage to be spot on.
John Rawlinson

 1L, Satin
Simply superb
The easiest product I have ever used. No unpleasant odours, no ruined brushes and an absolutely superb finish. I used 3 coats and the depth of sheen is superb.
Annick Kershaw

 1L, Gloss
Non toxic, waterproof but brushes easily cleaned with water. Brilliant.
I work with adults with learning disabilities. We make paper beads which they paint and varnish. This varnish is ideal, especially as it is non toxic. Two coats make the beads hard and waterproof. I recommend it for any craft project
Paul Dennis

 2.5L, Gloss
Easy to use, great coverage.
Top product. Low odour, great coverage, quick drying and brushes clean in water. Buy with confidence.
Stephen T

 1L, Matt
Great product..have used it a few times
Its water based but yet much tougher than some of the older spirit based varnishes and I feel safe using it

per litre
1h 30m
dry time

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* Coverage can vary depending upon on the type of wood used and the amount of product applied. Litreage amounts shown above are total, not 'per coat' amounts.
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