Satin, Semi Gloss, Gloss ???

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what do you use to finish your tear?

Semi Gloss
Natural Wood Color
Stained Wood Color
Total votes : 44

Satin, Semi Gloss, Gloss ???

Postby ralaco » Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:58 am

I’m going to finish the interior of my tear and I ‘m a little confused about how to finish it, I know I’m going to use Minwax spar urethane over birch plywood, but not sure how to get a real charm and cozy teardrop.

I would like to know what others had used.


Last edited by ralaco on Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Michael W » Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:01 pm


First and foremost, finish it how you want it. It is really a matter or your personal preference. Some like the shiny high gloss finish, others like the more muted low gloss. If you like a high gloss finish keep in mind high gloss will highlight any surface imperfections. Low gloss hides the little scratches, gouges and the like. Our local hardware store has a Minwax display with samples of different woods stained with different stains. You may want to see if you can find such a display to help you see what your birch would look like in different shades of stain.

Regarding the interior color, a lighter finish will make the interior appear larger (something usually desired in a teardrop) a darker color will give a more cozy feeling.

On our interior, we used red oak paneling, stained with Minwax Golden Oak stain and finished with Helmsman Satin Spar Urethane. It came out just as we wanted it.
Last edited by Michael W on Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Chris C » Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:13 pm

Ralaco, as Michael mentioned, a surface with less than a glossy appearance shows fewer imperfections. I personally would vote for using a Satin finish on most anything on a tear................that is, of course, unless you were doing an epoxy and polyurethane exterior. But on interiors and galleys I'd use Satin. Much easier to take care of..........and if you need to fix a ding later, it is easier to repair.
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Postby ralaco » Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:34 pm

Michael and Chris

Sorry, I already edited my post.


I’m talking about the interior of my teardrop trailer

I already bought Gloss spar urethane, :cry: but I think I’m going to change it for a satin one.

Michael in fact your tear finish is what I would like to copy, :thumbsup: but my wood is birch and I have heard horrible stories about staining birch. :frightened:

Last edited by ralaco on Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Michael W » Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:53 pm

You may still be able to use what you have already purchased. The gloss level is determined by the final coat. and you should scuff sand between coats anyway. You can use the glossy urethane for the base coat buy just enough of the satin for the top coat.
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Postby toypusher » Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:53 pm

To get the best polyurethene finish, you should use the gloss for the 1 and even 2Nd coat. It shows the tiny impefections more and gives you the chance to sand them out before putting the final coat of whatever 'sheen' that you want. Just my experience!

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Postby doug hodder » Tue Aug 16, 2005 9:31 pm

Typically on finishes, you want to use a satin on the interior, cuts down on any harsh glare, a much warmer feeling, even in the house typically you would use semi-gloss in the kitchen, easier to clean...but I've never seen a gloss or semi gloss in a bedroom or living room... and you don't need the UV protection......on the exterior, I went gloss...gloss repels dirt, offers more uv resistance, and is easier upkeep...The flattening agents used in finishes also don't hold up to UV like gloss will....Just my experience...Doug
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Postby emiller » Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:53 am

:D Seams to me that gloss is easier to wipe down and clean.
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Postby Stephen G. » Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:28 pm

ralaco its what ever makes you happy! My wife and I are going to use semi gloss. Its very classy looking to us. Take a look at the wipe on poly Minwax sells its very nice stuff and have used it before (semi gloss) simply wipe on and let dry and steel wool or sand and repeat. May take about three coats.

Please post some pic's when you get done and some pointers too ;)

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Postby Ron Dickey » Sun Jul 27, 2008 11:07 pm

top Glossy 3 plus coats and primer
sides semi-Gloss 2 coats and primer
may add more in time.
also minwax sealer where natural wood is seen.
both side walls are up...cabinet needs stain.......ongoing 2.5 yr bld build as i find time..... Cross Bow in Build Journals....viewtopic.php?f=50&t=54108
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Postby starleen2 » Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:11 am

olympic White gloss exterior! gloss- the only way to shine
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Postby Oldragbaggers » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:36 pm

Whatever sheen you decide, boatfinisher's trick is to dilute your first coat of varnish 1/2 and 1/2 with paint thinner. Dilute the second coat 75% varnish, 25% paint thinner, then full strength varnish after that. The first and second coats penetrate into the wood, deep sealing it and giving really excellent adhesion to the top coat.

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Postby hoytedow » Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:25 pm

I just use good old Rustoleum Gloss for all exterior finish over a good Zinser oil based primer. Inside I use white for better visibility in low light conditions.
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