Review of the 6 Best Spar Varnish

Review of the 6 Best Spar Varnish

Woodwork is highly susceptible to scratches and sun damage. To prevent this, you need the best spar varnish available in the market as a protective layer. Spar varnish is an oil-based emulsion that coats the wood—formulated to absorb the harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun.

Consider adding a few spar varnish layers if you want to enjoy a rustic look in your wooden doors and accents. It is easy to use and gives a smooth surface to the wood. Besides, it can be used on wooden decks, floors, boats, garage doors, and wooden furniture.

Spar varnish is ideal for prolonging the use of wooden work without any surface damage due to weather and physical blows. It will make the wood stand through rigorous conditions. You can choose from different hues and finishes for the desired look.

Best Spar Varnish

This buying guide includes the six best spar varnishes that you can use for outdoor and indoor projects. Using spar varnish will improve the look of the wood along with UV and stain protection.

1. Pettit 1-Spar Captains Varnish Quart

The Pettit spar varnish provides a high gloss finish to the surface. It has an oil-based polyurethane blend that is rich in absorption for brightwork applications. The varnish will give a smooth and leveling effect on the wood post-application.

It will help in enhancing the natural look of the wood along with long-lasting protection. The varnish comes with special UV filters and inhibitors that work well for outdoor and marine use. You can use the varnish on decks, beach chairs, and boats.

Moreover, the oil base of the varnish results in a deep glossy finish that dries quickly. We recommend you use a foam or silicone brush for the best application. Also, sand the wood for an even application.


  • Weight – 2.2 pounds
  • Size – 7 x 7 x 5 inches
  • Finish– Glossy


  • The varnish has an impressive glossy finish.
  • It coats the surface evenly and removes any textures.
  • The varnish stays for a long time without the need for reapplication.
  • It is good for heavy woodwork for a long-lasting effect.


  • The application may be a little tricky.
  • Its consecutive coats need proper drying conditions.
  • The varnish may be a bit expensive to cover a large area.

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2. Awlgrip Awlspar Premium Spar Varnish

The Awlgrip spar varnish has a premium blend to keep your woodwork glossy and protected from the sun. It gives an appealing color to the wood while enhancing the natural shade. The product is easy to use even if you don’t have much experience in brightwork.

You can apply the varnish easily with its even spreading formulation. Besides, it makes the wood easier to sand to achieve the required effect. The quick-drying formula of the varnish makes it convenient to layer for an added thickness.

This varnish is ideal for extreme sunny locations as it gives flexibility and UV protection. It will also make the wood resistant to chipping and scratching. This will help in protecting you with expensive woodwork.


  • Weight – 2 pounds
  • Size – 9 x 9 x 5.5 inches
  • Finish – High Gloss


  • The product has a high gloss finish for your brightwork.
  • It is ideal for first-time users, as it is easy to use.
  • The varnish dries quickly after application.
  • It is easier to sand the surface after varnishing.


  • You may need a few coats for a desirable glossy effect.
  • It should be applied carefully using professional tools.
  • The varnish cannot be used for any other effect.

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3. Old Masters 92501 Spar Marine Varnish

Consider the Old Masters spar varnish that is suitable for marine varnishing. It creates a thick waterproof layer over the wood to protect it from salt water and harsh air. The varnish contains an ultraviolet light-absorbing substance that is ideal for outdoor application.

You can get a semi-glossy finish on various woodworks, including doors, windowsills, cabins, hardwood floors, and decks. In just a few applications, the woodwork will look smooth and shiny. With the advanced UV filters, it will last for years to come without any reapplications.

The best part about this spar varnish is its multipurpose use and even spreading. However, we recommend you handle this inflammable varnish with caution.


  • Weight – 3.17 ounces
  • Size – 7.5 x 13.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Finish– Semi-Gloss


  • The varnish is multi-purpose for various uses.
  • It gives a semi-gloss finish to the wood.
  • The formulation gives advanced sun protection.
  • It gives a smooth finish over the surface in just two applications.


  • The varnish is expensive to use in large areas.
  • It needs careful handling as it can catch fire.
  • This varnish has a clear effect without adding any color.

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4. Absolute Gloss Last N Last Marine & Door Spar

The Absolute Gloss marine and door spar varnish are perfect for ultraviolet rays absorption. It protects the exteriors of the wood with a repelling mechanism. You can get a glossy finish with this varnish that will stay intact for a long time.

The varnish has a water-based formulation that is low in odor and is easy to use. Moreover, it is easy to clean with soap and water. It works by building a film over the wood surface for the ultimate chemical resistance.

Your woodwork will have a longer life and strength with the mold and mildew protection of the varnish. Use nylon or a foam brush for application to create an ideal adhesive bond.


  • Weight – 9 pounds
  • Size – 7.6 x 7.6 x 7.6 inches
  • Finish– Glossy


  • The varnish is easy to apply and clean.
  • It builds a uniform film over the wood for sun protection.
  • The varnish is long-lasting and easy to maintain.
  • It has good adhesion properties to retain glossiness.


  • You need to maintain care while using highly inflammable varnish.
  • It needs a longer drying period after sanding.
  • It contains lead, which could be toxic without proper precautions.

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5. System Three Clear Marine Spar Urethane Varnish Coating

This System Three spar varnish has high-build urethane that works great in marine environments. It does not let the saltwater and air impact the wooden work. This spar varnish has a VOC compliant formula for an even application.

The varnish will create a sun-protective layer on the wood surface to bounce back the sun rays. Even with the constant sunlight and heat, the wood will not break down. Moreover, it will stay flexible with the varnish and resist any chipping and cracks.

You can use this varnish on doors, decks, furniture, and boat exteriors. The varnish comes in gloss and satin finish.


  • Weight – 2.08 pounds
  • Size – 4.15 x 4.15 x 4.9 inches
  • Finish– Gloss and Satin


  • The varnish has an impressive glossy finish.
  • It provides saltwater and air protection.
  • The varnish makes the surface resistant to any scratches.
  • This will leave the woodwork with enough flexibility.


  • The varnish does not impart any hue to the surface.
  • Use proper measures as it contains combustible substances.
  • The liquid consistency of the varnish is quite thin.

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6. Interlux Y60/PT Goldspar Satin Varnish

This satin finish spar varnish from Interlux will give a rich sheen to the wooden surface. It has a buildable texture that creates warm hues over the wood. The specially designed polyurethane structure of the varnish is ideal for indoor furniture and floors.

Besides, it can be used on the interiors of the boat and cabin soles for water protection. It will help in keeping the area free from stain and scratches. The varnish is ideal for a professional look on the wooden surfaces for sturdy use.

You can use a brush or spray dispenser to apply the varnish. It has an even coat solution that leaves no streaks on the surface. The varnish has a quick-drying mechanism, making it convenient for multiple layer applications.


  • Weight – 1.15 pounds
  • Size – 7 x 10.25 x 4 inches
  • Finish– Satin


  • The varnish has a satiny finish.
  • It coats the surface evenly and removes any textures.
  • The varnish is stain-resistant and easy to maintain.
  • It dries within a few hours of application.


  • It comes in a very less quantity.
  • The low luster finish is suitable for indoors.
  • It contains polyurethane, which does not give an ideal UV protection.

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Buyers Guide

Varnish acts as a protective layer over the wood surface to prevent any water or sun damage. Most of the varnish formulation comprises oil, resin, and solvent. The above-discussed products are ideal for outdoor as well as interior use.

The varnish application is easy; however, it may need a few coats for a desirable finish. With the presence of high oil content, spar varnish imparts flexibility to the wood surface. In this buyer’s guide, we have discussed the things to consider while making a choice.

Formulation– You can choose from heavy oil-based and water-based spar varnish. The base of the varnish is a deciding factor for its staying power and finish. You can choose from linseed oil or Tung oil formulation.

Solvents like Naptha, thinner, and mineral spirits are added along with resin components of polyurethane and alkyd. These help in creating a smooth finish over wood and make it scratch resistant.

Color– Varnish helps in improving the look of the wood by enhancing its natural layers and striations. You can choose from dark and light color varnish to give a rustic look to your furniture and deck. It also comes in a clear coating color that does not add any shade to the wood.

This is ideal if you do not want to change the color of the wood. Besides, it’ll work great for a touch up on previously varnished surfaces without affecting the surrounding varnish.

Finish and Effect- You can choose from various finishes, including satin, semi- satin, semi-glossy, glossy, and ultra-glossy. A glossy finish will create a reflective finish over the wood surface. Satin and semi-glossy finish are ideal for use on interior cabins and wooden floors.

Staying Power– This could be worked on a hit and trial basis as the staying power of vanish varies. It is dependent upon weather conditions, sun, and water effects. Choose the ones that have at least two to three years of staying claim.

Ideal Sun Protection– Varnish acts as a sunblock for the wood surfaces that get a lot of heat and sunlight. The harsh sunlight can lead to the splitting of wood and reducing its strength over the years. Choose a varnish with good UV blockers to ensure there is no impact of the sun on the wood.

Some varnish materials come with UV absorbers that make the wood flexible and absorbent to the sun’s rays. This is ideal for doors facing the sun, patio decks, boat decks, and pool furniture.

Affordability- A lot of spar varnishes use premium professional-grade components for a long-lasting effect. This makes them a bit expensive, considering the quantity required. Consider the size of the area required and the purpose of varnishing.

Always use a high-quality spar varnish for boats and cabins to prevent saltwater damage. This will reduce the repair cost over the years. You can choose a low oil-based varnish if you are using it for indoor furniture and floors.


We believe this article will help you in picking up the best spar varnish for your brightwork. When working with professional-grade materials, keep in mind to use proper gear and tools. Spar varnish has lead and oils that can be toxic if inhaled. Therefore, take proper measures while applying and sanding the wood. This will help in an easy and safe application.

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