Can you use helmsman spar urethane over acrylic paint

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Can you use helmsman spar urethane over acrylic paint

Article - February 13, I am applying it with a quality brush but I still get brush marks and hi-low points, also tried a sponge brush with same results. After 4 coats, I have managed to sand it down fairly flat.

There is a Helmsman spray can available but I have so much Urethane left over. To thin or not to thin? You need to use the right brush and it takes a little practice to get the technique right. Sponge brushes are certainly another option, but the results are not always a significant improvement. Most of the trouble comes from the fact that the urethane solution is so thick. It can be like trying to lay down an even coat of corn syrup.

So one way to significantly improve the workability of your urethane is to thin it with mineral spirits. Thinning allows the finish to self-level a little better, and ultimately that will help you avoid brush marks. The only disadvantage is you need to apply more coats to get the desired film thickness you are after. But if the payoff is a smooth finish with no brush strokes, who cares, right?

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Now there is yet another way to apply polyurethane that I feel is the easiest, beginner-friendly method. It involves abandoning brushes all together. Then get yourself a clean cotton rag old t-shirt material works greatand fold it into a nice square applicator pad. I like it to be palm-sized. Wet the applicator with your thinner and then dip it into your diluted finish. Wipe on smooth thin coats, overlapping the previous stroke with each pass by about half.

This method will result in a super smooth finish with no bubbles and no brush strokes. But remember, you will need to apply twice as many coats to get to your desired film thickness. Because you are actually applying less material to the surface, the dry time is significantly decreased as well.

You are just coating the surface evenly with a thin wet film. If you want to learn more about my particular finishing method, you should check out my video A Simple Varnish Finish. My goal with the video was to demystify finishing by going over each and every step of the wiping varnish process. Even someone new to the world of finishing can create a show-stopping finish if they follow the methods outlined in the video.

So check it out! And for those that are wondering what my preferred outdoor varnish is, its Epifanes Marine Varnish. The Wood Whisperer is proudly sponsored by brands that Marc trusts.

Thank you for making this possible. All rights reserved. Designed and developed by Underscorefunk Design. This site uses affiliate links. Given this, please assume that any links leading you to products or services are affiliate links that we will receive compensation from. However, there are millions of products and services on the web, and I only promote those products or services that I would use personally.

The Wood Whisperer abides by word of mouth marketing standards and holds integrity in the highest regard. Should I ever be compensated to write, I will make full disclosure. I always give honest opinions, findings, and experiences on products.Polyurethane coating is one of the most commonly used finishing materials for furniture and also one of the components of many other solid materials like mattresses and sofa. Some paints also contain polyurethane for extra smooth and shine. Polyurethane is used to acquire a smooth, blemish free texture on the products.

Spar urethane, on the other hand, is commonly used on wood that is commonly exposed to the light, heat and sun. This is also a common finishing used for things that are submerged in water like boats because of its resistance to water.

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Spar Urethane tends to have more oil mixed with it; therefore, it is also called long oil varnish. Due to a large amount of oil on spar urethane, it tends to be softer and pliableunlike polyurethane which is hard and stiffdue to the lesser amount of oil in its mixture. In applying polyurethane, one must consider the stroke, direction, and style of application. Wrong or improper application of polyurethane may cause bubbles or brush strokes. Some craftsmen use thinning method to acquire a smooth surface; however, this might also need multiple applications and layers.

Spar Urethane is considered to be much easier to apply than polyurethane. It is applied in the same manner like polyurethane; however, it tends to dry faster and doesn't require a lot of layers and application to achieve a shiny finish. Not use spar urethane for your floors, use polyurethane instead. Polyurethane gives off a smooth, satin-like finish on the product. It goes well on hard objects specially rubbers and metal.

Polyurethane is also more resistant to harsh environments and oxidation that causes wear on the finish. It is also longer lasting and produces a fine quality result. Spar Urethane, on the other hand, is more preferred to be used for surfaces that are susceptible to harsh conditions like the weather.

Spar urethane also has a low level of toxicity and doesn't produce strong fumes or odor. One of the best qualities of spar urethane is the UV blockers that enable it to prevent wear, fading, or yellowing of the surface as time goes by. It is also a water-resistant compound, which is why it is used mostly used on boat finishing.

One of the major cons of polyurethane is the strong fumes and odor that it emits during application. Too much exposure to the fumes often results in dizziness and headache, as well as difficulty in breathing. It also requires careful application to avoid air bubbles and brush strokes from appearing on the surface. Since it is also a very resistant compound, removing polyurethane from surfaces for re-touch, refurbishing or cleaning could be a hard, messy task.

This often results in unbalance in color upon application.

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Though it doesn't produce fumes or odors as strong as that of polyurethane, it could still affect one's health if the workspace is not a well-ventilated area.

Exposure to too many fumes could result to nausea, headache and breathing difficulty. It's a given rule that we should always be careful while working.

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Here are the tips that you should keep in mind when using Urethane products. Urethanes are flammable compounds and could easily catch fire. Make sure to have an extinguisher ready on your workplace. Make sure to wear comfortable clothes that allow easy movements to avoid accidents in the workplace.

How to Paint Over Helmsman Spar Urethane

It is also advised to wear mask and goggles as protection from the fumes that might affect your sight and breathing. Make sure that the workplace has a good ventilation that allows good air passage to avoid suffocation. Also, maintain a clean and orderly workplace.

Make sure that no tools are littering on the ground to avoid chances of tripping or having an accident. Cleanliness must also extend to post-work, making sure that all of the tools and compounds used are properly stored.Mike Matthews is editor of Green Building Product News, a national publication that covers sustainable innovations in building and remodeling, and he has spoken at national conferences on green building. He has also served as founding editor of "Paint Dealer" magazine.

Although this marine finish is most commonly used by landlubbers, Helmsman spar urethane was designed to serve as a tough but flexible weather-resistant finish that can repel water, oil, salt spray, chemicals and anything nature might hurl at it aboard ship.

Painting over this somewhat softer finish will be more challenging than repainting the hallway walls, but fortunately you can find coating systems that will cover virtually any challenging surface. Rough up the entire surface with to grit sandpaper until it loses its shine.

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It will not be necessary to actually remove the spar urethane. Wear a face mask during the sanding process, because otherwise you run the risk of inhaling urethane dust.

Apply the TSP using an ordinary sponge, and follow up by wiping any residual TSP off the surface with a clean, damp sponge. For safety's sake, be sure to wear rubber gloves and a long-sleeved shirt, and it might be wise to continue wearing the face mask. Be sure the surface is completely dry and dust-free before moving on to the next step. Apply a water-based bonding primer with a synthetic fiber brush or roller. While it is possible that an all-purpose primer might be adequate, a water-based bonding primer is more certain to adhere firmly to the spar urethane, and, in turn, the bonding primer will provide a much better footprint for the eventual topcoat.

The typical primer should be dry and ready for the next coat within one to two hours. Select an acrylic latex paint for your topcoat, and be sure to use a good-quality synthetic-filament brush to prevent brush marks from showing up after the paint has dried. If the area to be painted is larger, a good-quality roller will also lead to a smooth finish. An acrylic latex paint is preferred because it is capable of forming a hard but flexible film over the relatively soft Helmsman spar urethane.

The spar urethane undercoat may make your new coat of paint more vulnerable to chipping or premature failure. To extend the life of your newly applied paint, consider using a scrubbable paint or applying two coats of acrylic latex paint. If the original Helmsman spar urethane finish feels noticeably soft after completing Step 2, you may want to strip it off before continuing to paint.

Pin Share Tweet Share Email. Step 1. Step 2. Step 3. Step 4. Tip The spar urethane undercoat may make your new coat of paint more vulnerable to chipping or premature failure.Chris Deziel has a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in humanities.

can you use helmsman spar urethane over acrylic paint

Besides having an abiding interest in popular science, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies. Fully cured latex paint is durable, but when you need extra impact resistance -- for example, on a kitchen cabinets or a floor painted with latex enamel -- one or two coats of polyurethane can provide it. Both oil- and water-based polyurethane products bond well to dried latex paint, and both provide a plastic coating that enhances the sheen as well as providing extra protection.

It's important to wait for the latex paint to fully cure before you coat it with polyurethane, or the latex undercoat may not harden fully. Although latex paint dries to the touch in a few hours, it can take up to 30 days to cure, depending on the color and thickness of the coating and the ambient temperature and humidity. As a rule of thumb, it's best to wait at least 14 days before coating fresh latex with polyurethane. The latex finish you're about to coat with polyurethane must be clean and de-glossed to ensure maximum adhesion of the clear finish.

can you use helmsman spar urethane over acrylic paint

Wash old latex paint with a strong detergent, which not only removes oils and dirt, but etches the paint. Scrub lightly with an abrasive sponge. Hand-sand the cured latex finish with grit sandpaper to give the surface "tooth. Your paintbrush matters: Use a natural-bristle brush for oil-based polyurethane and a synthetic-bristle brush for water-based products.

Apply the clear finish in long strokes and finish on the wet edge of the material you've already applied. Look for bubbles after every stroke and brush them out. Ensure a smoother finish by scuffing the first coat with grit sandpaper after it dries tack-free and before applying any subsequent coats.

Do not scuff the final coat. The durability of polyurethane increases with the sheen. If you want maximum protection, use a high-gloss product. Chris Deziel. Pin Share Tweet Share Email. Let Fresh Paint Cure. Preparing and Finishing. Step 1: Clean the Painted Surface.

Step 2: Scuff With Fine Sandpaper. Step 4: Scuff Between Coats. Tip The durability of polyurethane increases with the sheen. Show Comments.Removal of old paint by sanding, scraping or other means may generate dust or fumes that contain lead.

Exposure to lead dust or fumes may cause brain damage or other adverse health effects, especially in children or pregnant women. Controlling exposure to lead or other hazardous substances requires the use of proper protective equipment such as a properly fitted respirator NIOSH approved and proper containment and cleanup.

Lower temperature, higher humidity, lack of air movement or application of thick coats will extend drying times. Always test surface for tackiness between coats. When used for exterior applications, maintain by lightly sanding and adding an additional coat s as conditions require. Always spot test on a hidden area to ensure satisfactory results.

DANGER: Rags, steel wool, other waste soaked with this product, and sanding residue may spontaneously catch fire if improperly discarded. Immediately place rags, steel wool, other waste soaked with this product, and sanding residue in a sealed, water-filled, metal container. Dispose of in accordance with local fire regulations. Use only with adequate ventilation. To avoid overexposure, open windows and doors or use other means to ensure fresh air entry during application and drying. If you experience eye watering, headaches, or dizziness, increase fresh air, or wear respiratory protection NIOSH approved or leave the area.

Avoid contact with eyes and skin. Wash hands after using. Keep container closed when not in use. Do not transfer contents to other containers for storage.

For skin contact, wash thoroughly with soap and water. In case of respiratory difficulty, provide fresh air and call physician. If swallowed, call Poison Control Center, hospital emergency room, or physician immediately. Contains solvents which can cause permanent brain and nervous system damage.

Intentional misuse by deliberately concentrating and inhaling the contents can be harmful or fatal. If you scrape, sand or remove old paint, you may release lead dust. Lead is Toxic. Clean-up: For easy clean-up, use lacquer thinner following the manufacturer's safety instructions. Always spot test an inconspicuous area to ensure satisfactory results. Keep away from heat, sparks, and open flame.

Vapors will accumulate readily and may ignite explosively. Keep area ventilated during use and until all vapors are gone. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight or heat from radiators, stoves, hot water and other heat sources that may cause bursting.I just finished up a sign I used latex paint.

I would like to clear coat it. Any suggestions as to which product would work the best. My name is Christine. I have a question for you, what is the sign made out of? If it is wood, you can use Helmsman Spar Urethane by Minwax.

Here is a picture of it below:. If the sign it anything but wood, you cannot use the Spar Urethane.

can you use helmsman spar urethane over acrylic paint

Here are the other options you have:. Choosing between these products will depend on what is easiest for you. Some people prefer to spray, while others prefer to brush on.

As far as quality, they are both the same. Both of these only come in a gloss finish. If you choose either of the brush- on options, you will want to make sure that you use a natural bristle brush, a foam brush, or a foam roller. The idea is to make the finish as smooth as possible, and these applicators will ensure the smoothest finish. If you used exterior paint hopefully satin or semi-glossyou shouldn't need to clear coat it with anything.

Exterior paint is made to go on as the topcoat. It's on your house for years before you decide to paint it again. Especially, if you use a good quality paint like Behr Ultra. The Nanoguard technology creates a very dense, durable paint film that will withstand the elements for years. I have a yard art sign whose paint has cracked in a few places after several years outside. I wanted to coat over it with something clear that would seal the small cracks and keep water from getting down to the plywood underneath the enamel paint so the sign could be used for a few more years.

I also liked the idea that its UV blockers would stave off yellowing of the clear coat with age. There is also a ruler painted over the snowman so the sign can be used as snow-depth gauge.Spar varnish gets its name from the wooden poles that support the sails on a marine vessel.

A ship's spars get exposed to an unusual amount of wind, sun and moisture, so spar varnish has to be more durable than regular varnish to last for any length of time. To this end, a traditional spar varnish contains a high ratio of resins to solvents.

That not only gives it more body and makes the final finish harder, it also provides crucial protection from ultraviolet sunlight. Spar urethane, of which Minwax Helmsman is a leading brand, is spar varnish that includes urethane plastic as one of its resins. It's the go-to material for any exterior woodwork that needs a clear finish, but because its high resin content gives it a yellowish hue, it isn't the best choice for interior furniture.

However, it's a great finish for any woodwork that is exposed to moisture regularly, such as a bar, countertop or shower seat. The woodworker's universe includes two broad classes of clear finish: Penetrating oils and film finishes.

Varnish is an example of the latter class, but it's different from other film finishes, such as lacquer and shellac, that simply leave a transparent coating after the solvent dissolves.

A varnish contains a polymer that undergoes an irreversible cross-link reaction with the atmosphere to harden permanently. In other words, it cures and once it turns hard, it won't soften again when you add solvent. The polymer in traditional varnishes is a plant alkyd, but contemporary formulations replace this with urethane, which is a synthetic plastic. Usually, it's mixed with linseed oil and mineral spirits or a similar solvent.

Spar varnish differs from regular varnish in two ways. It contains a higher concentration of solvents, and it contains additives to disperse ultraviolet light. You can find spar varnish at Lowe's, Home Depot, Menard's and other building supply outlets. When the product is formulated with urethane, it will probably be labeled spar urethane. Minwax Helmsman is a popular brand.

You'll find it on the shelf next to Cabot Marine Spar Varnish, which isn't formulated with urethane. You don't use spar urethane or spar varnish any differently than you would any other varnish. Because of the thicker consistency of spar varnish and urethane, however, they usually take longer to dry than conventional varnish, so you have to wait longer between coats.

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In most cases, you'll want to apply spar urethane with a brush. It's a little too thick for spraying, although you can thin it if spraying is the best option. The surface to be varnished must be clean and dry, and the ambient temperature should be above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid visible brush strokes by brushing with the grain of the wood — never cross-grain. You can layer multiple coats of spar urethane on top of each other, and you can apply it over an existing finish.

To ensure adhesion, you should always scuff old finishes or undercoats of spar urethane with grit sandpaper before applying a fresh coat of spar urethane.

Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. He has degrees in science and humanities and years of teaching experience. An avid craftsman and musician, Deziel began writing on home improvement topics in


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