There is a lot of confusion about the difference between spar varnish and marine varnish, but it’s effortless. Marine varnishes are designed to protect against moisture and harsh weather conditions like rain, sun, and saltwater. Spar varnishes work in much the same way as they protect from UV rays and weathering.
Before we get into the differences between spar varnish and marine varnish, it is essential to know what each type of varnish does. Spar varnishes are typically used on wood that will not be submerged in water for long periods. Marine varnishes are used on wood that will contact saltwater.
Spar Marine Varnish vs. Spar Urethane
If you have one, your boat or canoe will be exposed to the elements, and it will decay. So you’ll need to apply some coating to preserve them and keep them in good working order. But what kind of layer should you use?
You’ll need a protective layer for your wood. A covering like this will help to keep your boat’s mechanical strength and appearance in good shape. You might use spar marine varnish or spar urethane, which are two types of watercraft-specific finish.
In this article, we look at the differences between spar marine varnish and spar urethane and their applications.
Spar varnish protects the exterior surfaces of boats from the elements. However, it also allows the timber to be flexible. It will be free to expand and shrink as a result of fluctuations in outside temperature.
Spar varnish is meant to be used on the portion of your boat above the water. It provides decent protection against scratches and protects the surface from heat and UV radiation and chemicals, in addition to providing adequate protection from scuffs and scratches.
You can get spar marine varnish in two distinct finishes: glossy and satin. Each class has a distinct look to the surface. Over time, the varnish flaked or peeled off, so you’ll need to reapply it eventually.
The purpose of spar marine varnish and spar urethane is to keep a wooden surface dry. They also allow the wood to bend and expand as temperatures fluctuate.
Spar urethane, on the other hand, makes the wood water-resistant. Oil-based or water-based spar urethane is available in high-gloss, semi-gloss, and satin textures.
Oils, resins, and solvents are the three fundamental components of spar urethane. They may be present in many proportions, and the ratio affects the finish’s properties and capabilities.
How to Apply Spar Marine Varnish?
While applying spar marine varnish, you must apply several coats. One coat takes a few hours to dry before the next layer can be used. You may continue adding layers until you get what you want.
It’s always best to wait for at least 24 hours or dry after the previous layer before applying another layer.
If you’re serious about getting that perfect shave, be sure your environment is dust-free, shouldn’t be in direct sunlight, and shouldn’t come into contact with water. Natural bristles will give you a clean and smooth finish.
Urethanes based on spar urethane and spar marine varnish have a lot of things in common. First, it protects the surface from water and dampness while allowing the wood to bend with temperature changes.
A significant distinction between the two is that spar urethane is manufactured through chemical synthesis, and it can be oil or water-based.
Spar urethane is also available in various finishes, usually hi-gloss, semi-gloss, and satin.
Urethane is a highly durable material that prevents UV rays from degrading the wood. Since vessels are outside for much of the day, every day, having enough protection from the sun’s rays is an important asset.
Epoxy materials can be used on the wood surface, but you won’t have as much leeway. In addition, there will be a greater chance of fracture due to the wood’s movement.
How to Use Spar Urethane:
- For sealing the wood, use a natural bristle brush. Make sure there is no dust or moisture in the air around you.
- Clean the surface of the wood before applying, then smooth it down with fine-grain sandpaper or steel wool.
- You may need two to three coats for a sufficient level of protection.
Spar Varnish vs. Spar Urethane? Which Is Better:
Both spar varnish and spar urethane are used on the exterior of the watercraft. They protect against moisture, dust, dirt, etc., but allow the wood to bend with temperature changes. As a result, both substances are great for outdoor use in marine environments.
Spar varnish is made from natural ingredients blended through heating processes which create its protective properties over time as it’s applied multiple times, giving you more lasting protection than most other products available today without being too heavy-duty with thicker coatings that can be difficult to use.
Spar marine varnish has been around since 1914 when DuPont their version was called Inter navigational Finishing System. In the beginning, it was used on wooden lifeboats that were deployed at sea for long periods and needed to be resistant to humidity and other outdoor elements. It’s been replaced mainly by polyurethanes in today’s market.
However, it has seen a steady rise since 2015 when more people have started using spar varnish again due to its benefits over cheaper products that are less effective or not as durable.
Spar urethane is a newer product compared with marine varnish, having only been introduced after World War II when they didn’t use natural ingredients anymore. However, during World War I, there was some experimentation, but it wasn’t perfected until later years after the war when chemists found different formulations that worked better.
Urethane is a synthetic product made from chemicals and oil-based formulations denser than natural ingredients. Still, it gives you quicker drying times without needing as much work or time to apply. It’s manufactured through chemical synthesis, giving a very durable finish that resists water exceptionally well even in constant exposure to saltwater over long periods. However, this can vary depending on how many coats were used during application.
Spar marine varnish has been around since 1914 when DuPont their version was called Inter navigational Finishing System. In the beginning, it was used on wooden lifeboats that were deployed at sea for long periods and needed to be resistant to humidity and other outdoor elements.
Both types of finish are suitable for protecting your boat, canoe, or paddle. However, spar urethane gives your watercraft, canoe, or paddles a better degree of protection.
In most cases, a clear gel coat is the best option since it will minimize the rate at which your boat’s material deteriorates. Although spar urethane is a superior alternative to spar marine varnish in some ways, urethane is generally more expensive.
Because spar urethane has a higher moisture resistance than polyurethane, it’s an excellent option for coating the watercraft’s undersides and paddles.
The longer you apply spar urethane to your boats’ wooden components, they will become more durable. To get the best outcomes, you’ll need to use fewer coats of spar urethane than you would spar marine varnish.
However, since spar urethane is more expensive than marine varnish, it kind of balances things out.
We hope you find the information in this helpful post. If you own a boat, kayak, or boat, it’s vital to understand how to maintain them so that they don’t break down.
With an expensive item like this, you’ll want to take good care of it to extend its life. The most acceptable approach to preserving your watercraft is regularly applying a protective coating in many layers.
The most significant two marine varnishes are spar varnish and spar urethane. The advantages of these two types of wood finish should be enough to persuade you to use them at their best potential.