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The local library is installing a brand new ,custom made, expensive, oak front door....which type of varnish is best in terms of protection and duration....poly (Sikkens) or water based? Thanks
I don't have empirical data to back up my position, but speaking from years of experience, I prefer the oil based urethanes over the water based. From a painters point of view, they are easier to apply and result in a harder, smoother, more durable finish.
The one advantage of the water based over the oil is that the water based is crystal clear and remains so with age. All oil based varnishes have a slight amber tone. If you are using a very light or white based stain, this amber tone can distort the final color. I have also seen it used over a blue stain and a distinct greenish look resulted!
Make sure you are using the exterior version of urethane with UV blockers in it.
I agree with Ordjen, I prefer an oil based exterior poly.
Spar Varnish. 5 coats. then every 18 months recoat it