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I have used ronseal for a few different little projects here and there. I used it on a coffee table that I made for my brother, I used it on a couple of new doors for my house, and also for the odd little piece of furniture that needed a little TLC.
You can usually find it in three different finishes: Matt, Satin and Gloss. They produce 6 various types of varnish in a variety of finishes. There is quick dry varnish, diamond hard varnish, ultra tough varnish and perfect finish varnish for interior uses. And they have yacht varnish and outdoor varnish for external uses. The finishes vary depending upon which type of varnish you choose. There are mahogany, oak, beech, antique pine, cherry and walnut finishes just to name a few.
The quick dry varnish is usually touch dry within 30 minutes even though it says 20 on the tin. I have always given a few extra minutes before touching it just to make sure that it is dry. If it says it is dry within 4 hours I will usually wait 4 and a half or 5 hours before touching it.
The application is simple and straight forward. Open the tin, stir the varnish a little and apply with a brush. Simple. A tin will usually cover quite a large area, on the tin it says a litre will cover 20 metres squared. But depending upon how sparing you are and how careful you use it may go a little further.
Ronseal is widely available and can be found in most hardware stores. It doesn't cost the earth either.
Being driven out of my tiny mind by my current role as a 24/7 mum to two small kids, I have been trying a bit of occupational therapy in the form of decoupage - which, to call it by its other name, is remedial activity for the powers-of-concentrationally-challenged, which involves snipping pretty pictures out of paper and sticking them on to stuff.
Decoupaged items need many, many layers of varnish applied over the surface, to keep the bits of paper in place permanently and to produce a smoother surface. Satin, quick-drying varnish is the product of choice (as matte varnish tends to discolour a bit darker over time).
I blithely bought this tin of Ronseal Quick Drying Satin Varnish for £6.99 for 250ml out of the local independent hardware shop. I've bought similar Ronseal products on numerous occasions in the past for conventional DIY as well as decoupage, and had no qualms about purchasing this one.
This comes as a thin whitish liquid, with the texture of whisked egg-white - I say 'whisked' advisedly, for reasons that will become apparent later in the review. It's a low-volatile producing varnish, which is an advantage, and water-based, so cleaning of brushes is easy. The varnish requires stirring before and during use, which I did using an old wooden ice-lolly stick. I followed the instructions on the tin quite rigorously, in fact.
For some reason the varnish produced more thin, bubbly foam than you'd expect a varnish to exude, when I brushed it on to my decoupaged surfacce. This foam - I was reminded again of whisked egg white - collected in nooks and crannies, and on the edges of the item (a galvanized watering can, actually) and during drying, ran down producing many unsightly runnels of opaque drips that were impossible to remove afterwards.
The varnish has a polymers in it, I suspect, as it has a distinctly rubbery texture one applied - you can try to pick the dried varnish runs off afterwards, but because of the rubberiness, they tend to tear off leaving a bad, lumpy surface, rather than breaking cleanly off. Presumably this constituent helps the varnish 'flex' when it's brushed onto a wooden surface. I don't understand why it's so foamy however. Even if I was using this for the exact purpose it's intended - to coat wooden skirting boards, doors etc. - I can't see how the foam-collecting-on-edges-and-in-crannies effect wouldn't be a problem as the drips look terrible.
The varnish does dry very quickly - touch dry within 20 minutes, and ready for a second coat after an hour, in ideal drying conditions. And I have no complaints about the satin varnish effects, on the flat surfaces where it's easy to apply. But I was very disappointed about the 'foaming' quality, and wouldn't buy this product again because of it.
I have used the clear of this after paint and graining my doors and furniture to protect the paint, stop it chipping, make it shine and cleanable.
I have used the beach of this to do my hall after stripping it back to natural wood.
This varnish is fantastic, the concistency is like water so can be a bit messy to apply, it drys in about 45 minutes so you dont have to waite long to apply the second coat as two coats are required, it drys hard like a top coat of nail varnish and has a lovely shine to it, it protects your wood from moisture aswell as dirt, it makes it easy to clean as a quick wipe over with a damp cloth will remove any marks and makes it shine beautifully, dont worry about it loosing its shine as a quick polish once a month will keep it gleaning like new.
After two years mine still has no chipping in it so is very hard wearing
Ronseal quick drying varnish comes in a whole range of wood colours and I find the 'natural shades' collection to be the best. (If you want a natural effect!) The one I bought is satin birch which colours and protects wood finishes.
This product is touch dry after twenty minutes and guaranteed low odour. It is also 'low solvent' which means that it is not as irritating to the lungs as other products. I found it excellent in that respect because, although I am asthmatic, it didn't cause me any discomfort.
This varnish can be used anywhere inside the home but is not recommended for esterior finishes. Two coats of it give a tough, lasting finish.
The tin I bought from Wilkinsons for £1.89 contains 250mls and should be enough to 3 to 5 square metres of wood.
So, how did I use this and what were the results?
First of all the surfaces need to be clean and free of old varnishes, paint, etc, so I spent time rubbing them down to a nice smooth finish with a fine abrasive paper.
Next comes the application of the varnish. You need a good quality brush for this or you will get hairs and streaks in it! I found light, even strokes to be the best way to apply the varnish. (No doubt a professional decorator would disagree with me but I am describing the way I used the product!)
I left the recommended two hours before I applied a second coat.
Bsushes can be cleaned in water and washing up liquid and this is easy to wash off hands. Believe me, there was a lot on my hands.
From a diy point of view, this is simple and effective, easy to clean up and cheap. The finish is tough and long lasting. There is a whole range of colours to choose from and these range from the lightest birchwood (like this one), through limewood, light blue, down to traditional oak and teak. The selection is excellent although Wilkinson's don't stock the full range. You would need to go to a specialist diy shop like B & Q for that.
From an environmental point of view, this varnish has a low VOC content (volatile organic compound). These are chemicals that contribute to atmospheric pollution. So, its kind to the environment too.
I found this to be a quality product at a low price. It does exactly what the manufacturers say it does.
If you require more information you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or phone 0114 2467171
DOES EXACTLY WHAT IT SAYS ON THE TIN!!
We have just spent the last couple of days stripping and sanding four newel posts and a large banister PURE JOY!!
It meant that I had to find something to protect the wood- mainly the banister, since the newel posts are hard wood and have been having lots of tlc and wax rubbing!
So, having used this product before, and been more than happy with the results, it was time to use it again.
The varnish comes, unsurprisingly, in a tin with the usual logo, instructions, and directions for use.
There are several size tins available, and I usually keep a small 250ml tin for those inevitable touch up "I've missed a bit jobs"
The product is also available in a gloss finish, but I have always used the matt, preferring a low sheen finish.
The varnish can be used for doors, floors, furniture, skirting boards. In fact, most interior woodwork, including cork, hardboard and chipboard.
Open the tin and the varnish is a bit white and milky which is quite worrying the first time you use it as you imagine your surface will be a milky colour but fear not!!
Quick drying; touch dry in 20 minutes and needs only 2 hours between coats
Tough and durable; protects wood from knocks and scratches and also provides protection from most household chemicals
Suitable for floors: see above
Easy clean up; all you have to do is wash your brush with water and detergent
Low odour; good idea!
Safe for toys
I like this section, as it is called "wise precautions" rather than "warnings".
In fact, having studied the tin, I can't find any pictures of a skull or any dreadful warnings.
It does suggest that the product is protected from frost, which kind of rules out leaving it in the shed; However, I have left tins in the shed and they have survived a Northern winter! Avoid contact with skin and eyes, and if it does touch either, rinse thoroughly and seek medical advice. The usual advise is given, to keep it out of the reach of children, which is common sense but something I suppose manufacturers have to indicate.
**Using the Product**
The directions advise that for best results, all existing coverings are removed and the wood is lightly sanded down hence the days of preparation before we varnished the stairs.
If the surface to be varnished is already varnished but sound, then still give it a light sanding, to give the varnish something to grip on to.
When applying the varnish, a good quality brush should be used and the varnish applied in the direction of the grain of the wood.
It is suggested that 2-3 coats are enough for most surfaces, although for obvious reasons, floors will require more coats.
Ronseal Technical Services
Tel: 0114 2467171
Actually a really useful website if you are into that kind of thing. There is a product selector guide, lots of hints and tips, and even help with working out how much of any given product you will need.
So, for any diy information and advice you might need, it's excellent!
Ultra tough clear varnish
The varnish is indeed low odour, compared to many similar products; I didn't feel the need to immediately open every window and door in the house.
Although it s a milky colour when first opened, this goes on the surface clear. When I very first used it to varnish a floor, I believe I put too much of the product on the floor, and ended up with a couple of milky "bubbles". Because it does go on clear, don't give in to the temptation to apply too much.
Apply the maxim "less is more"
As mentioned, I have varnished floors with this product, and it is excellent for this. Too many varnishes take an age to dry and consequently, any project takes days. I found that it really did dry within the promised time, and was ready for another coat after two hours. That's a real plus when you're doing a floor and know that it has to be durable as quickly as possible. One of the floors treated with this varnish was a breakfast room floor which got more tread than anywhere else in the house with 3 children that's lots of tread. Once 3 coats had been applied, it lasted and lasted and needed resanding and therefore recoating after nearly 2 years not a bad deal for a day spent varnishing.
I have also used the varnish for a kitchen table which we found in a sadly neglected state, and once "done up" and varnished, gave us about 5 years of dedicated service and this table took a bashing!
The latest project is, as mentioned, the stairs and banister.
The varnish is easy to apply and now that I have applied 2 coats of the varnish, the banister is "looking good"!! I did follow the instructions to the letter and after the first layer of varnish, and knowing I was going to apply only two coats, I gave the surfaces a wipe down with a damp cloth before applying the final coat. I don't know what difference this makes but it works for me, and I feel better knowing I have done it properly.
Because the varnish is clear, the grain of the newly stripped and sanded wood shines through and whilst I like the matt, I am sure that some woods look better varnished with a more shiny finish.
Since I have used the varnish before, I know that it will withstand knocks and bangs; if it can cope with floors, the banister will be a doddle!
I can therefore look forward to a good few years before this has to be reapplied and before I have to get sanding again!
So, I would recommend this varnish if you have wood which needs to be varnished and not stained.
It does in fact live up to its promises and has lived up to my expectations.
Thanks for reading.