Minwax vs. Varathane: Which to Choose?

Minwax vs. Varathane: Which to Choose?

Both Minwax and Varathane are each employed as wood stains and concluded. They are each used in a broad assortment of designs and scenarios. Nevertheless, they are equally relatively different and should not be employed in the exact same scenarios. Each company also can make a variety of other woodworking tools, like putty. Even so, we will mostly be concentrating on their finishes in this post, as this is the group the businesses frequently contend in.

In this article, we’ll help you determine out which end or stain is ideal for your predicament. There is no one-dimensions-matches-all alternative that is greater it primarily depends on your certain situation and needs.

Overview of Minwax

Minwax vs. Varathane: Which to Choose?

Minwax is a specific sort of wooden stain and end manufactured by a business of the exact same title. Although it is a distinct manufacturer, it also has a special composition and is its sort of finish. For that reason, you simply cannot simply trade it out for a different brand or no matter what is on sale.

To begin with, Minwax is oil-based mostly. It is designed for indoor use, as it is not amazingly tough towards weathering. It will come in many various finishes that are all created to produce a “natural” wooden stain. You will not be getting any wacky shades with this complete. All the benefits increase the all-natural grain with some abundant color. The stain is developed to penetrate deep into the wooden.

You generally only require to use a single coat of Minwax, which is decently exceptional. Most stains and finishes need you to use a number of coats to get the final results you want. This wood stain resists lapping, enabling you to get even more protection with the identical merchandise amount. It normally takes about two several hours to dry, but it relies upon on the situations you are employing it in.

One particular quart is advertised to protect 137.5 sq. ft. When you’re done portray, you will want to cleanse your brushes in a mineral spirit.

  • Natural stain colors
  • Only one coat needed
  • Covers 137.5 square feet per quart
  • Only quart sizes available

Overview of Varathane

Minwax vs. Varathane: Which to Choose?

Varathane comes in dozens of shades and is also developed for inside use. It does not protect wood from the components outside the house, so it should only be employed in areas that won’t see rain or wind. It is obtainable in both 1 quart and 8-ounce jars, which offers you loads of options relying on your project’s dimension.

Moreover, Varathane arrives in many various hues. There are at the moment about a dozen alternatives for the Varathane Classic line, which even much more options in the company’s other traces. One particular quart handles about 150 sq. feet, according to the company’s advertising and marketing. You will require to utilize numerous coats to get a rich shade. The manufacturer endorses making use of two coats, but you may possibly require to do even much more than that.

The first coat will dry in about two several hours, as it will penetrate deeply into the wooden. The 2nd coat will not penetrate as considerably, so you will need to have upwards of 4 hours for it to dry. The a lot more coats you incorporate, the longer they consider to dry.

Most of the colours Varathane comes in are natural shades. They really don't have any synthetic-hunting shades or anything of that type. You ought to use a polyurethane coat on leading of the stain for additional protection and longevity. This product is not made to safeguard your wood. It just delivers a prosperous colour.

This product can be cleaned up with mineral spirits, just like Minwax.

  • Covers 150 square feet
  • Multiple sized containers available
  • Many natural shades
  • Multiple coats likely needed

Finish Colors

In some circumstances, you might make your decision only based mostly on the shades each brand name provides. Whilst the manufacturers do cover a lot of the very same shades, there are some differences in between them. In addition, every model is coming out with new colors all the time, so there will probably be some distinctive finishes between each company’s solution line. If you are searching for a certain end, you might select the product that is closest to that shade.

If you are concerned largely about the completed solution earlier mentioned all else, this could really effectively be your choosing aspect. Nonetheless, although this may be the most evident big difference between the two company’s merchandise, there are other variances.

Minwax vs. Varathane: Which to Choose?

Oil-Based vs. Water-Based

Equally firms make mainly oil-dependent products. Nevertheless, recently, each and every organization has began to experiment with h2o-primarily based alternatives as properly. These are newer and not virtually as well-known as the oil-based mostly finishes. You could select one particular brand above the other due to the fact of their h2o-dependent options, which are likely to be fairly different in colour and style.

Water-dependent stains can keep their shade significantly lengthier and are less most likely to fade above time. They’re also a lot much less flammable than oil-primarily based options, as you can possibly think about. Most importantly, although water does not have a odor, and it dries relatively quickly. You will not have to allow the wooden “air out” for this explanation. You’ll also have to wait fewer moments in between coats.

Oil-dependent finishes are much more sturdy, on the other hand. They are also less difficult to use and may possibly produce better shades in some conditions. There are also much more options on the market place, as this variety of complete tends to be more well-known. Each firms have a wide assortment of oil-based finishes and stains accessible.

Drying Time

There is no apparent reply when it comes to which model dries more quickly. It is going to fluctuate from product to merchandise. H2o-primarily based formulation are heading to dry quicker than oil-dependent one. For that reason, we’re likely to be chatting mostly about oil-dependent products in this segment.

Usually, Minwax technically will take longer to dry. You need to only use a extremely slim coat of complete or stain, as way too a lot can trigger the solution to consider much way too lengthy to dry. Most Minwax goods will consider anyplace from four to six several hours to dry totally.

On the other hand, Varathane generally only takes two several hours to be dry to the touch. It takes four hours just before it can be recoated and up to 72 hrs prior to it can be regarded as “fully fixed.”

Dependent on these statistics, it may seem that Varathane is the winner considering that it dries more quickly. Even so, it isn’t essentially that simple…

Number of Coats Needed

Most Varathane merchandise call for several coats to function effectively. Right after the 1st coat, each successive coat will take more time to dry. For this cause, Varathane requires quite a whilst to use. You have to coat it, permit it dry, and then coat it once again. It will be an all-working day, on-and-off affair.

On the other hand, numerous Minwax items only need 1 coat. Their 1st coat may consider for a longer time to dry, but then you are completed! You do not have to commit hours implement much more coats and ready for it to dry once again. For this purpose, Minwax typically will take much less time to use, even although the drying time is technically lengthier.

Minwax vs. Varathane: Which to Choose?
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Varathane does not appear to penetrate the wooden nearly as significantly as Minwax. For this cause, it is a lot more very likely to peel off. It might be deemed to be less tough than Minwax, however it is much more resistant to fading above time. The two finishes are sturdy but in different methods.

For this explanation, we don’t suggest basing your selection on durability. You are likely to get about the identical factor no issue which option you select, so there is tiny explanation to fret above it.


Varathane offers more shine to their merchandise and prevents the wood from yellowing or turning into discolored. It would seem to add the most glow for the longest when compared to Minwax. It does count on the problems and how the wood is utilised, because Varathane also peels less difficult. If it peels off, it certainly is not likely to make the wooden extremely shiny!


There is no evident winner amongst Varathane and Minwax. They are both winners in distinct categories. Usually, they tie, but in various approaches. For instance, Varathane is far more most likely to peel, but Minwax is more very likely to fade. It is challenging to say which one is far more resilient since they are the two resilient in different approaches.

In the end, which one you select might rely largely on what colours you are looking for!

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