Effective Steps for Varnishing with Polyurethane for Wood

Effective Steps for Varnishing with Polyurethane for Wood

Varnishing a piece of furniture is an old technique and a finish specially indicated for the pieces of woods with vein as they highlight the beauty of these. If you dare to varnish any of your furniture, new or recycled, here are the steps to follow.

Remove Old Finish First

If your furniture has a per-varnishing finish, you have to remove it using a paint remover, heat gun or sanding. There are several methods to perform this part of the restoration or recycling of the piece on which you work. In order for your furniture to look splendid, it is very important that you remove all the previous paint and lacquer.

If it is of raw wood, sand thoroughly before varnishing.

If you bought your new piece of furniture, made of whitewood, you will have to sand it well. Although they have normally refined finishes, the furniture that comes without finishing usually has roughness to the touch, hair of the wood and sometimes some raised splinter. Remember that when you are sanding, you should do it gently following the grain of the wood. For large and smooth surfaces, opt for an electric sander if you can. It will greatly facilitate your work.

You can dye to give color or choose a varnish with the desired tone and there are several ways to color a piece of furniture to be varnished. You can wood stain with any of the dyes on the market or make at home as this allows a wide variety of colors. There are many shades of varnishes as well, so you can varnish with decorative inspiration or metallic finishes.

Types of Wood Varnishes

The main types of varnish are by their composition and there are three main types which are as follows;

  • Acrylic
  • Polyurethane
  • Nitrocellulose

Because of their gloss level they are matt or glossy. Depending on the use of the furniture, you must choose one or the other resistance, as in the case of outdoor furniture. In this case, there are specific varnishes such as those made from high strength polyurethane for wood.

Steps to Apply Varnish with Professional Finish

  • After staining the furniture, apply a coat of primer or sealer. It is an important step because it will prevent the wood of the furniture to absorb too much varnish and there will be no irregularities of color.
  • The sealant should have the same type of thinner as the varnish you are going to use i.e. water, solvent, nitrocellulose or polyurethane for wood. When the sealer dries, gently sand it to remove any remaining impurities or defects.
  • It is time to give the first coat of varnish of polyurethane for wood. Use a soft paint brush that does not leave marks, giving long strokes that do not overlap with each other, following the grain of the wood.
  • Do not overload the brush and ensure that the polyurethane varnish for wood is extended equally.
  • Wait for it to dry, sand again for removing the dust, so that there are no imperfections and apply another layer of polyurethane varnish for wood.
  • Leave to dry for 24 hours and sand again for perfect results.

Finishing and Protection of Varnishing of Polyurethane for Wood

After the final sanding, and after cleaning fine dust, it is time to give a special finish if you want. You can apply a hand of colorless wax which will protect the varnish from scratches and marks. Let the wax dry thoroughly and then polish with a cotton wad or cloth and there will be a very nice satin sheen.

One of the aspects that affects the decision most when you are purchasing a wood product is its finish. There is no one in the world who would like to buy a wooden object with roughness. But don’t you think it will get rough and dull after some time? So why to buy it in the first place. Well, the object made with wood are inevitable in our daily use as we utilize the wood in form of chairs, tables, doors, windows and many other things. We cannot save the wood from wear and tear, in fact, not even metal products as they eventually rust one day. What we can do here is to prolong their lives. In this sense, polyurethane lacquers and paints have become a guarantee of durability, strength and beauty and are widely accepted today.

Polyurethanes are a wide variety of polymers with total difference in composition and corresponding properties. The multitude of structures and the possibility of designing polymerizations is linked to the need that the manufacturer demands for furniture or wood pieces.

A piece of furniture that has polyurethane paints as protection guarantees its resistance to heat, scratching, chemical substances and water staining for the reason that they cover the piece with a film of such hardness that the particular item can maintain its original state for ten years without any alteration, and it is not the case with other products that guarantee only half the time.

Most of the furniture industry gives its finishes with catalysts and the reason is the cost which is much cheaper than those of polyurethane and the small furniture manufacturers prefer a gallon of lacquer catalyzed as it has lower costs of production but it is with a lower quality. In some countries, the reason for the difference in prices is that the resins that make up polyurethane products are imported and when it is coupled with the taxes and duties paid by the companies that manufacture the lacquer can reach 20% percent extra which considerably increases the cost of the final product.

Still there are companies that manufacture furniture with polyurethane finishes. For the domestic market, it is a very fine lacquer and there is apparently no culture of market quality that can teach manufacturers that the investment in materials is recovered with the quality offered to the customer. It is worth mentioning that polyurethane has a longer drying time than other products. The catalyzed one takes forty minutes to dry while the polyurethane takes two hours to achieve the same result.


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