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About Spar Varnish

Common Problem

Many commonly available products carry the term "Marine" or "Spar" to describe various exterior varnishes. Thick, film-forming marine varnishes have been used for years to provide a super-hard, weather and water resistant coating for exterior wood surfaces on boats. This extreme hardness and thickness is not suitable for most exterior wood surfaces on a home. Doors and decorative exterior wood products exhibit extreme swelling and contracting due to changes in temperature and moisture content. We see continued coating failure on elegant natural wood entryways and doors that many times are only 2-3 years old. We have observed widespread preventable damage to wood surfaces poorly protected from moisture and ultraviolet damage. The typical hard, non-flexible coating will undoubtedly crack as the wood expands and contracts.

Moisture that does get into the wood becomes trapped by the hard, non-breathable varnish, causing extreme damage to the wood surface. Entrapped moisture fosters the growth of mildew and various wood decaying fungus, that cause premature release of entire coating systems. The often-seen blackening of exterior natural wood is simply mildew growing beneath the varnish as a result of using a non-breathable coating. We rarely see good performance from conventional varnish products on wood or fiberglass doors.

If you have an existing wood surface with failing varnish, your likely choice is to chemically strip the failing varnish from the surface. Our product of choice would be one of several available strippers from Back to Nature Products suited to your specific project.

Once your wood surface is prepared, you must select a finish coating that is Flexible and Breathable. Demand it for the best performance.

Better Solutions

Many Builders, Homeowners, and Contractors are just discovering the benefits and long-term durability of recent break-through products for wood protection. Many of these newer products offer significantly improved durability compared to coatings most commonly used today. We encourage architects, builders, and contractors to contact us for information about our long-lasting product or procedure recommendations.

Our product of choice for exterior entry doors, garage doors, and decorative natural wood is a coating that is flexible and breathable. There are several finish choices, which can be customized to specific projects. We hope to assist you in making an informed decision when choosing the products used to protect your home.

Please explore our featured superior alternatives to traditional exterior varnishes. we have tested and used these products for years with great results.

One TIME (non Film forming/rustic natural)

Structures Wood Care (acrylic satin finish)

Waterlox Marine (Tung Oil based for hardwood components like Ipe and Mahogany.)  

Sikkens Wood Finishes (Alkyd technology for deck care)

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Featured Product
Exterior Wood Protection
* Pro Tips *
TIP 7 When coating exterior doors, be sure to coat top, sides, and especially the bottom to prevent moisture intrusion.'