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The 8 Best Wood Stains Of 2021

So I painted a piece of furniture I wanted to top coat it with a chalk paint top coat. Trying to find the answer, but nowhere to be found. Refinishing furniture can be so rewarding if you know the right way to seal and protect your finish. There are several clear coats in the marketplace but only one exceeds all others. In terms of smoothness, clarity, durability, and protection from water, we’ve reviewed our best picks above. You can now finish your next furniture project with confidence knowing it will be protected and look gorgeous for years to come.

There are both oil- and water-based stains to choose from, both of which have benefits and drawbacks. Janet – Thank you for sharing your inquiry with us. A good, easy to use option for refinishing these types of finishes is to use our EM8000cv Conversion Varnish with our CL100 Crosslinker added in to it. Feel free to give our office a call to discuss this option in greater detail. With that in mind, here is a head-to-head comparison of how water based polyurethane and oil-based polyurethane stack up.

My Favorite Top Coat For Chalk Paint

Unlike an oil/varnish blend, however, the ingredients are heated until they combine. Reducing the ratio of oil to resin creates a hard finish for indoor use. Increasing the amount of oil makes the finish flexible enough to withstand wood movement outdoors. Varathane® Crystal Clear Water-Based Polyurethane is specially developed to let wood’s natural beauty show through with the highest clarity over other water-based polyurethanes. Varathane provides outstanding scratch and stain resistance to keep your interior wood projects looking great longer. Most wood stain needs to be applied with a paintbrush, but for small projects, you can simply use the Minwax Wood Finishing Cloths.

Oil based poly darkens over time while water based remains clear throughout. Overall, this was the lightest of the black wood stains, especially on the birch plywood and maple. If you’re looking for a dark charcoal gray color, this might be just what you’re looking for! But if you’re going for true black, there are others that performed better. Black stain allows the natural wood grain to show through.

Minwax Water Based Wood Stain

This polyurethane has an attractive gloss finish that can really improve the appearance and value of wood by highlighting its natural beauty. It has a water-based formula, which minwax vs varathane clear coat makes it versatile and suitable for hardwood floors. This polyurethane is designed to resist stains and household chemicals to keep your wood in good condition for longer.

General Finishes Flat Out Flat is another amazing option for heavily used pieces. It’s the perfect option for a dining room table. Used General Finishes flat out topcoat today, and it was a dream to apply and looks awesome. Karin, I am a first-time reader of your blog and I must say that you packed a powerful punch with this one! Thank you for going to such a time consuming comparison of these top coats. Oil-based polyurethanes are great when it comes to having a waterproof surface as they both left no glass rings on the surface of each sample.

Varathane Vs Minwax: Which Is Best For Wood Finishing?

Hi Michelle, I usually let the chalk paint dry overnight. Here are a few of my painted furniture projects featuring some of the products mentioned . Polyvine Wax finish is in my opinion, the best of both worlds. It’s super easy to work with and the durability is amazing. I feel like this product has a truly flat finish. I used this on my dining room table and I am still thrilled with the results.

I’m having such a hard time and don’t want to leave the paint raw. …very nice.For high traffic tables and chairs I like to use a non yellowing Polycrylic or Polyurethane topcoat. Many water-based brands are easy to work with and environmentally friendly. I JUST came across your blog like 2 days ago and it’s great. I’m excited to announce that today marks the 1 year anniversary of Quick-Tip-Tuesdays on the SI Blog!


You should not use this product on exterior projects even with sealant top-coatings because it will fade. It’s necessary that you excessively sand the wood surface with increasingly finer grit sandpaper before applying the first coat. The product has to be applied within temperatures of 60 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • These crystal clear hardwood floor finishes offer the same beauty and durability as oil-based polyurethane products.
  • I mean I guess you could, but it’s certainly not necessary.
  • On some projects, I have used the gloss version and I think that the results are better than anything I have ever done with so little effort.
  • But most of the time, you’ll want to be able to set a drink on a piece of furniture.
  • This is what happens in print – it’s hard to read the tone sometimes!
  • I also used this top coat to protect the paint on this painted farmhouse cabinet.
  • After letting the last coat dry, I let the two wood planks cure for two weeks to reach maximum hardness and water impermeability for each sample.
  • My recollection of this article was that the winner was picked in advance.
  • This is one of my favorite products I use to restore wood furniture.

This product is preferred in its water-based variant due to a smoother and more accurate application. If woodworkers prefer solvent-based lacquer for a variety of reasons, things are slightly different with polyurethane. Polyurethane is another broad term that comprises a variety of products. In fact, polyurethane is a plastic material that exists in a variety of forms, from liquid to solid. Other solvent-based lacquers include shellac lacquer, polymer lacquer, and acrylic lacquer. Manufacturers now also produce water-based lacquers that compromise on glossiness but come without the downsides of the volatile organic compounds present in all other products.

Rust-Oleum stain seals against leaks and moisture damages. You can apply it with any standard brush fairly easily. It’s thick enough to fill gaps and cracks in hard to reach areas when used liberally. A standard application will usually dry within one hour after applying. You can expect to get great coloring from a single coat. This product works best with wood floors, indoor furniture, cabinets and more.

Polycrylic vs. Polyurethane: Which to Use On Your Wood Project –

Polycrylic vs. Polyurethane: Which to Use On Your Wood Project.

Posted: Thu, 09 Aug 2018 15:35:07 GMT [source]

For those of you who are refinishing pieces with stain, this is the product I recommend. It promises hand-rubbed beauty and poly protection. Bottom Line I recommend a paste wax for items that will get minimal to moderate use.

Oil-based polyurethane seems to be where it’s at as far as having a finished product that’s sustainable and doesn’t fade over time. However, the application process is a bit more involved than a water-based product. There are many more colors Minwax offers, but each one offers a unique look and added character to the wood surface. You will need to pour through their products to select one that’s the best for your circumstance. Both of them provided a good finish and are widely used.

The Best Wood Stain Options for DIYers –

The Best Wood Stain Options for DIYers.

Posted: Thu, 31 Oct 2019 16:34:13 GMT [source]

But, there are variations in which product to use and when including considerations like food safety for projects like cutting boards. This post cleared up a whole bunch of questions for me. All your pieces are so beautiful and it’s lovely having everything in one place for easier reference. Furthermore, I don’t always use a top coat on painted decor that is hung on the wall and rarely touched. As well as my painted craft caddythat I turned into mug storage in my kitchen. I used Minwax paste wax on the following pieces (please excuse old cell photos!).

Always Apply Thin Coats

They also create thinner films than brush-on polyurethanes. Polyurethanes are available as gloss, semi-gloss, and satin finishes. Choosing between the three is really a matter of personal preference, and what will best enhance the overall look of your project.

We have sanded down all the paneling, and we’re looking for the right finish. I’m hoping you can advise me on products and techniques. Actually all stains require at least minimal sanding.

How To Seal Chalk Paint: Wax Or Clear Coat?

I just finished a table and chairs, staining the tabletop, then using chalk paint on the table base and chairs. It looks awesome, but I am concerned about the chairs. I am not sure what to use as a top coat on them. I am also not sure if without a top coat could the paint also do harm to a persons clothing? I think a top coat may also make the finish feel not as rough. So, find a good outdoor spray poly to best protect your piece and then once that’s dry, apply the dark antiquing wax.

House Works: Refinishing outdoor and indoor wood furniture – Ottawa Citizen

House Works: Refinishing outdoor and indoor wood furniture.

Posted: Thu, 25 Jun 2020 07:00:00 GMT [source]

The only reason I stripped my table was because I wanted to try the stained wood top. It comes in a rectangular can and goes on fast and easy and has a very silky finish. I always have drips when I paint any topcoat on. Staining doors isn’t as common as staining any other wooden piece but the outcome is always astonishing.


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