Old 05-01-02, 08:26 PM
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I am refinishing several pieces of furniture and am almost at the stage of varnishing. I have read books about how to refinish, including The Furniture Doctor by Grotz (I know it's old) and other more recent ones, but I can't figure out what varnish to use. Grotz says use McCloskey Heirloom Varnish but I can't find that around here. Home Depot seems only to have Polyurethane Varnish. Is that regular varnish or is it different from what these books are talking about? I want a varnish that is NOT water-soluble.

Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions on what to use.
Old 05-02-02, 03:44 AM
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Polyurethanes are a type of varnish. It's just that the resins in the polys make the finish a little more durable. And actually, the water-base polyurethanes, after drying, offer just about the same protection as oil-base polys. They are not water soluble after drying(much shorter drying time). The only other difference is the ease of application of the oil polys. I usually thin my oil-base polys with mineral spirits for an even easier application.
Any of the top name brand oil polyurethanes would be fine for your use: McCloskeys, Minwax, Deft, etc.

As info, an excellent book by Bob Flexner is available - Applying Finishes. It's about $20.00.

Good luck,
Old 05-04-02, 08:03 AM
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Fred, I really appreciate the information. I will look for the book, too. After I posted this, however, I did see some sort of confusing and contradictory information on the site which indicated that varnish was an old finish and that poly was a newer long as poly is pretty much the equivalent in terms of sandability, etc., it doesn't matter to me--I'm not working with a Louis XIV chest or anything which requires "period" refinishing...

Again, THANKS!! Marta

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