Rated 4.4 out of 5Â by 13
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0Â by joelav22 This found a permanent place in my finishing arsenal
I am an expert wood finisher and have written many blogs on the subject. In my spare time I make furniture and other wood items. I have about 25 different types of finishes at my disposal because there really is no one-size-fits-all wood finish.
Waterborne finishes have been growing in popularity lately and the professional grade stuff (post catalyzed polyurethanes and water white Lacquers) are on par with their solvent based brethren. The consumer level stuff however, still has flaws I do not like. This product is more pro grade.
One thing I am not at all a fan of with waterborne finishes is the color tone. An easy comparison would be comparing a full spectrum photo grade lightbulb to an LED. the LED light is white to the point of being blue. Most consumer level waterborne finishes suffer from this too. There is a notable bluish tinge. This product did not do that.
In addition getting a high quality Matte finish out of a can is difficult. There is always some level of gloss that needs to be knocked back; or there is a noticeable film built that refracts light in the corners letting you know it's there. Again this did not do either. I did use 4 coats to provide the desired protection so there was a considerable build, but not a noticeable one. This product did not alter the woods appearance any more than water would. It looks completely natural and untreated although the wood is sufficiently protected.
Now before you run out and replace all your oil based finishes, there are a few things you should know. I see a lot of waterborne finishes getting negative reviews for what I am about to mention - but this is the nature of the product.
1. This will raise the grain upon initial application. The can says sanding between coats isn't required; but it is at least until the wood is sealed off
2. you HAVE to use a high quality synthetic bristle brush. A cheap brush or a foam brush will not do well. This finish dries fast and will actually dry on your brush if you do not use one that is capable of proper flow control. You will be dragging dried finish around your piece creating runs and sags.
3. This will not highlight or accentuate figured species. This will leave the wood grain fairly flat and natural looking. That is the goal of this finish. If you have figured wood or you want a rich tone, either use an oil based finish, an oil modified waterborne acrylic, or apply a washcoat of dewaxed blonde or amber shellac before applying this finish.
In the attached picture you can see the difference this finish makes. This is a piece of walnut sanded to 220 grit. One side is finished with a natural Danish oil - which also is very Matte in appearance. The other is finished with this. As you can see the Varathane side looks like there was never anything applied.
Also the tactile feel of this finish is amazing. Nothing plasticy about it.
If you are into the natural look, this is your stuff.
February 18, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0Â by TomG Matte finish on TV console
A good product for a special need. The matte finish worked well for my customer's needs.
February 3, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0Â by bikiniwithmartini Perfect Topcoat
Varathane polyurethane is the perfect final step in topcoating and protecting. I used it on a wood medicine cabinet that was beginning to show deterioration with a lot of dry spots on the finish. After two coats, the appearance is dramatically improved and it looks so much better conditioned. It works really well at protecting other indoor projects including faux finishing, stenciling and decoupaging. Several of my decoupage projects were finished with Varathane's matte sheen polyurethane and I loved how it protects without taking away from the antiquing effect of the faux finishes. It's water based formula makes super easy clean up.
February 24, 2014
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0Â by Jerry Perfect natural finish.
I purchased this product at the suggestion of a sales associate. I am restoring some antique furniture and wanted the wood to have a natural look and not one of being shiny. The product was easy to use and gave me the finish I was looking for. I would recommend this product to anyone looking for a totally natural wood finish.
February 25, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0Â by PanamaWood Excellent Product
The product performs as advertised. Easy to apply. I just use a good quality brush - no brush marks; and with its fast drying characteristics, minimum "dust nibs". I lightly sand with 320 grit or higher before applying the final coat. Hard, protective finish, and velvety to the touch without any extra work. I prefer the matte for a great "look". I have used it on Spanish cedar doors and trim, and on a cherry hardwood vanity. I have experimented with many types of finishes, without going to the extreme of a professional finishing shop, and this is my favorite by far. My only complaint is that it can be hard to find, so Home Depot saved the day!
October 14, 2014