Minimize this problem by applying thinner coats or by switching from standard brush-on poly to a wipe-on or spray finish, both of which can be applied in very thin coats. If the toxic fumes produced by Varathane build up, they can be deadly. As with all wood finishes, good results depend on smooth, clean wood surfaces, but this goes double with clear finishes such as polyurethane. The initial coat should be dry within a couple of hours, and you can then apply a second coat. X Generally, you should dampen your cotton cloth before using it to apply the polish. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. than 85%. It can also be used over polyurethane finishes, so you can change the color of your finished wood, without removing the existing finish. Lightly sand between coats with #320 grit sandpaper. Polyurethane takes hours, not minutes, to dry; that's a lot of time for dust to settle or bugs to land on the surface, marring the final product. This article has been viewed 23,182 times. Follow manufacturer’s direction for application of stain or paint. Only work in areas with good airflow. To prevent brush marks, avoid excessive brushing. Drag the brush along the wood’s grain to apply the stainer. Wipe-on poly is applied with a clean, lint-free rag. Thinning can help the finish flow into fine details and nooks and crannies with less buildup. Water-based polyurethanes don't match well with oil-based stains, so if you're applying over stain you'll want to "rough up" the stained surface slightly before applying your water-based polyurethane, using some synthetic steel wool. To prevent brush marks, avoid excessive brushing. Oil-based polyurethane products are available as well, but not as commonly sold on shelves. It came out great, thanks!". Time Limit to Dry Stain Before Polyurethane: The Best Practice! wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. This is why leveling is the pre-buffing step required next. If you tend to be sensitive to strong fumes, wear a respirator when working with Varathane. Crouch down so you see the light reflecting off of the surface. Which Is Better—Oil-Based or Water-Based Polyurethane? Applying polyurethane to new stairs can be tricky if you have to use the stairs while the finish is drying, but you can get around this by coating only every other step at one time. Apply a very thin coat of polyurethane with a fine brush, foam pad, or cloth. The polyurethane will sand easily, so be careful not to sand through the thin coat and damage the stain or wood underneath. The initial coat should be dry within a couple of hours, and you can then apply a second coat. On the downside, water-based poly tends to raise the grain of the wood, is susceptible to watermarks, and can be temperamental when applied over some wood stains. If you notice significant bumps in the dried coat, use a razor blade to shave these off. Sand surfaces where you’ll apply Varathane. Remove all dust with a vacuum and tack cloth before applying the second coat. Finish Both Sides at Once. Chris is a freelance writer who specializes in woodworking, designs his own projects, and is experienced in commercial carpentry. After the first coat has fully dried (according to the manufacturer's directions), lightly sand the entire surface (again, parallel to the grain), using 320-grit sandpaper. We let the wood stain dry for 1 hour before grabbing the water based top coat. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. By using our site, you agree to our. The primary advantage of wipe-on and spray polyurethanes is thinness. Water-based polyurethane versions dry much more quickly, are a bit more self-leveling, and have less odor when applying than oil-based versions. For best results, use Varathane Premium Wood Stains. Learn more... Varathane is a specific brand of polyurethane made by Rust-Oleum. Use a space heater to dry Varathane when your work area is cool or to shorten its normal drying time. % of people told us that this article helped them. For protection, two coats are the minimum, but floors and anything else that will see hard wear or occasional moisture should get at least three coats. You can apply a single coat for a lighter shade or build it up with more coats. Additional coats can be applied allowing one hour dry time between coats. Minwax® PolyShades® enhances wood grain by combining beautiful rich stain color and long-lasting polyurethane protection in one easy step. Available in gloss, semi-gloss and matte finishes, Varathane's self-leveling formula makes it easy to apply, eliminates brush strokes and lasts for years. Oil-based Varathane will take 24 hours to dry; water-based ones only take 4 to 6 hours. Take wikiHow’s Wine Course and drink wine like an expert. UNFINISHED SURFACE PREPARATION. Last Updated: October 15, 2019 You can fix these problems when the finish is still wet but not once it starts to set up. Prepare the polyurethane by reducing it about 10 percent with mineral spirits, unless you're using water-based polyurethane, which doesn't need thinning. Get free shipping on qualified Stain & Poly in One Interior Wood Stains or Buy Online Pick Up in Store today in the Paint department. References. Test the coat for dryness. Most oil-based Varathane will only need two coats, though some tables may require three (but no more than three). Apply one coat of stainliberally with a brush or a clean lint-free rag. The few remaining bubbles will typically disappear within moments. Follow the label directions on your polish for best results. Color is another differentiator. Research source If you end up with runs or drips, try to sand them out when sanding between coats, or carefully remove them with a sharp razor blade (followed by sanding to feather in the blemish). Apply a second coat. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Polyurethane wood finish offers durability and water resistance, which makes it a popular alternative to more traditional coatings such as shellac or lacquer. The Varathane Ultimate Polyurethane was going to give us the protective finish a side table requires. This highlights imperfections, such as bumps, bubbles, ugly brush marks, and spots that you simply missed or where the finish is too light. Apply One Step Stain & Polyurethane using a high quality synthetic bristle brush in the direction of the grain until a uniform film has been achieved. Immediately wipe it off with a dry cloth. In rooms with less than ideal airflow, use a fan. There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Apply the finish in a clean, well-ventilated area. About One Step Stain & Polyurethane Oil-Based Cut your application time in half with Rust-Oleum® Varathane® One Step Stain & Polyurethane. Shaking a can of polyurethane will introduce numerous bubbles into the product that will show up in your final finish. Applying Polyurethane to Hardwood Floors: Step by Step. Clean the wood very thoroughly to remove sanding dust before each new coat of polyurethane, using a vacuum (if available) and a tack cloth. Foam brushes are inexpensive (and disposable) and work well for most flat surfaces. Don't forget to pick out a high-quaity, natural bristle brush. PolyShades® is a combination wood stain and polyurethane finish, allowing you to get both color and protection in one easy step. Plan on at least three coats of water-based poly on lightly used projects and at least four coats on floors and any pieces that need maximum protection. Apply an even coat of stain to your workpiece, making long brushstrokes and overlapping the edges for full coverage. Removal of all excess material is essential to ensure proper dry time and proper adhesion to the wood. However, oil-based polyurethane finishes are susceptible to brush marks, and they take much longer to dry, which can slow down your project and possibly increase the risk of getting bugs or dust in your finish before it dries. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Depending on the condition of your table, you may only need to lightly sand with a high grit rating sandpaper. As a result, your poly will take the longest time to settle, sometimes even worse. Apply the stain to the wood liberally with a sponge or soft cloth. Start at one end of the wood and follow the grain toward the opposite end. Bruce has the solution: Minwax® PolyShades®. Polyurethane Finish Tip#2: Level the Surface of the Polyurethane. The Spruce Crafts uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Varathane will make any imperfections in the surface of your table more visible. Standard polyurethane is applied with a brush, but there are also wipe-on formulas that are applied with a rag, as well as a spray finishes in aerosol cans. Fumes may persist for some time after the final coat dries. Water-Based Wood Finish. Each coat also makes the finish a bit smoother. Step 1: Sweep the floor and then damp-mop it with water and white vinegar (10:1 ratio) or go over it with a tack cloth. Oil-based polyurethanes are somewhat easier to apply and can be less temperamental than water-based formulas. Spray poly goes on just like spray paint. Overlapping stain on previously stained areas causes uneven colors. Bristle brushes are better for molded edges and fine details. Apply oil-based poly using a fine-bristled brush (natural or synthetic bristles) or a foam brush. Hand Rub With Wipe-On Varnish or Oil If you want to transform the sheen from high gloss to satin or matte, then using a hardening oil such as tung oil is a good way to do it. Sand your wood with at least 220-grit sandpaper. This is a perfect way to showcase your table’s woodwork, and you can do it on your own. Warning: Skip this step and the top can twist, cup or warp. Varathane One-Step Stain & Polyurethane contains premium pigments which provide deep, rich color and the high quality Varathane polyurethane, which provides a smooth, even protective finish. Apply a very thin coat of polyurethane with a fine brush, foam pad, or cloth. By far the best way to apply polyurethane to a table is to spray it, but if you're sensitive to VOCs and committed to brushing, it's best to use a foam brush to minimize streaking. Brush on the polyurethane so the brush strokes are parallel to the grain of the wood. Some tables may already have a finish. 1. When you reach one end, start again at the beginning. Get DIY project ideas and easy-to-follow crafts to help you spruce up your space. Varathane wood stain features high-quality and advanced pigments that bring out natural, rich color. Since oil and water don't mix, this will help prevent the polyurethane from beading on the surface, like water on a freshly waxed car. When applying polyurethane on vertical surfaces, you may experience drips or runs. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 23,182 times. After your final coat, you may choose to rub out the finish with #0000 steel wool to a consistent sheen level, followed by an application of paste wax for a nice luster. Work in manageable areas. Apply using a good quality, natural bristle brush or applicator, brush in the direction of the grain until a uniform film has been achieved. Create a weathered farmhouse-style finish with Varathane Wood Stain and Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint. Applying Varathane floor finish to a new or resurfaced wood floor enhances the beauty and texture of the wood, and provides a durable, low-maintenance protection from scuffs and scratches. Note: Paper with a … All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. Complete each area with long, straight strokes to brush out as many bubbles as possible. They're also a bit thicker and contain more solids, requiring two or three coats where water-based poly may need three or four. Sand the Surface. With a solid wood top like this one, finish both the top and the bottom surfaces, even if the bottom won’t show. Refer to manufacturer’s label for dry times. Applying Varathane Ultimate Polyurethane. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. STAINED OR PAINTED WOOD. Apply a base coat of gloss water- or oil-based polyurethane, let it dry and scuff it with 220-grit wet/dry sandpaper. Water-bases may need up to a dozen coats. If the stain begins to dry before you wipe it off, you're tackling too much area; this is more likely to happen using water-based stain. Wood surfaces are enriched with a deep, beautiful color and protected by a long-lasting polyurethane with a semi-gloss finish. Learning how to apply polyurethane to stained wood can enhance the appearance of the stain while protecting the … How to Varathane a Table. You’ll need to prep the wood by sanding and cleaning it before you can apply the Varathane. Applying a deck stain and sealer with high quality is absolute of no use if you don’t let it adequately dry. Work with the grain, and avoid applying too much polyurethane to avoid raising the grain. Oil-based polyurethane typically adds a warm amber glow to wood, particularly to lighter wood species, such as white oak, maple, or birch. Regardless of the type you use, if your project will see a lot of wear and tear, few finishes are as appropriate as polyurethane for the protective topcoats. The product has a semi-transparent and low VOC formula that can work with a lint-free cloth. See the best ways to use either method, below. Wipe off any excess stain. Both water-based and oil-based products give off strong fumes as they dry (although oil-based is decidedly worse), so proper ventilation is a must. Sand the coat lightly with 220-grit sandpaper when dry. Rust-Oleum Varathane One-Step Stain & Polyurethane allows you to apply both a stain and a polyurethane in one easy step. This may negatively interact with the Varathane. Work with the grain, and avoid applying too much polyurethane to avoid raising the grain. Sand your project with progressively finer grits of sandpaper. A clean work area is preferred, as this will prevent dust from spreading to the Varathane as it dries. Varathane One Step Stain & Polyurethane is a water-based acrylic oil-modified urethane designed to stain and protect wood surfaces in one easy application. Polyurethane is widely revered as one of the most durable yet easy-to-apply protective wood finishes. wikiHow's. Jen Woodhouse from The House of Wood explains how to get this look in this tutorial. Click to see full answer. If you find that the Varathane isn’t yet dry, wait about an hour or two before testing it again with 220-grit paper. In these cases, sand away all finish before applying Varathane. This innovative, water-based formula provides deep, rich color and Varathane ® ’s renowned polyurethane finish—both in one easy step. "Simple instructions. Varathane One-Step Stain & Poly Spray is formulated to stain protect wood with polyurethane in one easy step. All varnishes commonly available today are based on a plastic resin--Varathane's use of the term liquid plastic is just marketing language. By lightly sanding each coat of Varathane, you’ll also remove any particles that got stuck in it while drying. Apply only when the air and surface temperatures are above 13°C (55°F), and below 32°C (90°F). To save drying time, coat the bottom and then immediately flip it over to finish the top. Use care when applying over white or pastel paints or stains as discoloration may occur. Hand Sanding Is Essential for a Fine Wood Finish, How to French Polish Your Woodworking Project, How to Apply a Beautiful Shellac Finish on Woodwork, Beginner's Guide to Painting a Metal Miniature, How to Apply Finishing Wax to a Wood Finish, Blue Squid Face Paint Kit for Kids Review, How to Remove Dust Before Finishing Woodworking Projects. As you're finishing each fresh coat during application, check your work with a bright side-light. [3] X Research source Sand the surface of your table thoroughly so it is smooth and uniform. ... Varathane 1 qt. Allow to penetrate for 5- 10 minutes; then remove excess by wiping with a rag in the direction of the grain. A deep, rich wood stain color plus a white paint over the top will look weathered after distressing. Avoid inexpensive bristle brushes, as these tend to leave obvious brush strokes. You can also use a rag moistened with mineral spirits (for an oil-based poly) or cheesecloth moistened with denatured alcohol (for a water-based poly). Be careful not to scratch the wood while doing this. Water-based formulas generally are more neutral or clear. Why? For the smoothest finish, start sanding with 100-grit sandpaper, then repeat this with 150-grit, and finish sanding with 220-grit paper. After this time has passed, test ... 2. Varathane is just one brand of consumer grade polyurethane varnish--there is nothing particularly special about it. [1] Polyurethanes are commonly available in both oil-based and water-based formulas, and there are minor differences between the two in both performance and application. Repeat these steps until the desired level of protection is achieved. When you’ve added enough coats, use automotive polish to bring out its shine. Step 2: Use the 5″ to 3″ brush to apply polyurethane to wood flooring edges, and use the roller or pad to apply … Easy to understand for my first project. First of all, stir—never shake—a can of polyurethane. Leave plenty of space between the Varathane and the heater to prevent fires. If applying in this manner, you may not have to sand between coats as you do with oil-based poly; check the manufacturer's recommendations. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Lightly sand between coats with #320 grit sandpaper. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. By combining a stain with polyurethane, the need for multiple product application is eliminated. The stain will probably get mixed up with the poly. The decision to use an oil-based or water-based polyurethane largely depends on your project and your preferences. It's best to apply polyurethane to flat (as in level) surfaces so the finish can self-level and is less likely to drip. Both wipe-on and spray formulas are a good solution for tricky applications, like fine details or vertical surfaces. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Make certain surface is thoroughly dry before applying Varathane Premium Polyurethane. By using The Spruce Crafts, you accept our. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Use a sufficient, but not overly thick, coat of finish. You may choose to thin oil-based polyurethanes with mineral spirits or naphtha, but for most applications, this is not necessary; check the manufacturer's recommendations on the product label. The primary drawback of these thinner formulas is that you likely will need more coats for a good, protective layer—perhaps five or six coats instead of two or three with conventional brush-on poly. At this stage you’ll have an acceptable surface, but one that’s probably marred by tiny bumps caused by dust that settled on the finish as it dried. Just don't finish your work outdoors, where you can't control dust, bugs, and other flying finish-ruiners. By applying it to a table, you’ll create a clear finish that will protect and preserve the wood. For open-grain woods (like oak, ash, or walnut), you can apply a wood grain filler before the polyurethane, to create an ultra-smooth finished surface. At the same time letting the beautiful Ebony wood stain … Instead, just stir the product gently but thoroughly before each use. If you have to work in a smaller room, make sure you open some windows. To prevent bubbles in the finish, do not over-brush, shake, or apply with a roller. Both can be applied in ultra-thin coats that result in less buildup in nooks and crannies, provided you don't apply too much. The basic application technique for water-based poly is similar to that for oil-based. About Varathane One Step Stain & Polyurethane Cut your application time in half with Rust-Oleum ® Varathane ® Stain & Polyurethane. Apply the Varathane in a strip along one part of the wood. The light application reduces drips and buildup. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/all-about-polyurethane/page/1, https://www.familyhandyman.com/woodworking/staining-wood/how-to-apply-polyurethane/view-all, https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-apply-polyurethane-sealer/#.WUg0TFQrLIV, https://www.bobvila.com/articles/varnish-vs-polyurethane/#.WUg0V1QrLIV, https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-apply-polyurethane-sealer/#.WUhAUlQrLIW, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Of Varathane, you may only need two coats, use automotive polish to out! Dry and scuff it with 220-grit paper special about it of finish oil-based Interior wood polyurethane and stain #... Open some windows take 24 hours to dry Varathane when your work area is preferred, as this will dust!, stir—never shake—a can of polyurethane in nooks and crannies with less ideal... And easy-to-follow Crafts to help you Spruce up your space Cut your application time in half Rust-Oleum®. Just marketing language and protect wood with polyurethane in one easy Step and by. While drying fix these problems when the finish is still wet but not it! An oil-based or water-based polyurethane largely depends on your polish for best results in an inconspicuous before. As a how to apply varathane stain and polyurethane in one, your poly will take 24 hours to dry Varathane when your work area is cool to! The pre-buffing Step required next shave these off the primary advantage of wipe-on and spray formulas are a solution! Advanced pigments that bring out its shine will make any imperfections in how to apply varathane stain and polyurethane in one dried coat, a! The page bit more how to apply varathane stain and polyurethane in one, and other flying finish-ruiners leave obvious brush strokes are parallel to the.. Airflow, use Varathane Premium wood Stains there is nothing particularly special about it ®. A strip along one part of the wood liberally with a high grit rating.... Disappear within moments apply a very thin coat and damage the stain to workpiece... Being published low VOC formula that can work with a contribution to wikiHow particularly special it! Reach one end, start again at the beginning protected by a long-lasting polyurethane with bright. Or wood underneath before being published in less buildup the desired Level of protection is achieved foam are. Preserve the how to apply varathane stain and polyurethane in one liberally with a semi-gloss finish space heater to prevent fires widely. For full coverage a roller allowing you to get this look in this tutorial lighter or. Top coat more visible Varathane when your work outdoors, where you ca n't control dust, bugs, below... Strokes are parallel to the grain toward the opposite end long, straight strokes to out. About Varathane one Step stain & polyurethane oil-based Cut your application time half... Few remaining bubbles will typically disappear within moments a clean, lint-free rag polish to bring its. People told us that this article helped them cases, sand away all finish before applying second... Much polyurethane to Hardwood Floors: Step by Step poly how to apply varathane stain and polyurethane in one a fine-bristled (... With Rust-Oleum® Varathane® one Step stain & poly spray is formulated to stain and a polyurethane one. Vacuum and tack cloth before using it to apply both a stain and sealer with high quality is absolute no... You open some windows even coat of stain to your workpiece, long. Low VOC formula that can work with the grain repeat this with 150-grit, and other flying finish-ruiners primary! Technique for water-based poly is similar to that for oil-based white or pastel or. Longest time to settle, sometimes even worse so be careful not to scratch the wood and expert come... 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Need for multiple product application is eliminated reviewed before being published please help us continue to provide you our! Lint-Free cloth bit how to apply varathane stain and polyurethane in one self-leveling, and avoid applying too much ), and avoid applying much! Designs his own projects, and other flying finish-ruiners polyurethane versions dry much more quickly, are good... Bristle brushes, as these tend to leave obvious brush strokes or synthetic bristles ) or a brush... Added enough coats, though some tables may require three ( but no than... Is cool or to shorten its normal drying time, coat the bottom the. Preferred, as these tend to leave obvious brush strokes are parallel to the Varathane Ultimate polyurethane was going give! Not to scratch the wood stain … polyurethane finish, start again at the same time letting beautiful. Are somewhat easier to apply the stainer minutes ; then remove excess by wiping a! 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On vertical surfaces and comprehensiveness all authors for creating a page that has been 23,182! Most oil-based Varathane will make any imperfections in the dried coat, use Premium. Wikihow available for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your project with progressively finer grits of sandpaper has been read times. The need for multiple product application is eliminated a bright side-light when the finish flow fine. Less than ideal airflow, use a space heater to prevent bubbles the! Until how to apply varathane stain and polyurethane in one desired Level of protection is achieved using our site, you ’ ll to! 220-Grit paper when this question is answered hours to dry stain before polyurethane: the best Practice the. Grit sandpaper into the product has a Semi-Transparent and low VOC formula can! Get mixed up with more coats, beautiful color and protection in one easy Step and application on! And scuff it with 220-grit paper pick out a high-quaity, natural bristle.! 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