Woodstain and Varnish for Painting FAQs

Woodstain and Varnish for Painting FAQs


What type of varnish would be most suitable for a bathroom area?

  • Any varnish from the Dulux or Cuprinol ranges would be suitable, as long as any water spillage is cleaned up straight away and not allowed to pool.


Can I paint straight over varnish or woodstain with standard paint such as gloss or eggshell?

  • We would recommend a complete strip of the varnish before applying a conventional paint system over previously painted varnish, if painting internally ultra strip can be used, but woodstain can be painted over without stripping.


Can I use Weathershield Exterior Woodstain on my internal window frames as well as on the outside?

  • Weathershield Woodstain AP contains a fairly high level of fungicides and would therefore be unsuitable for interior wood. Protective woodsheen would be the best choice for the internal areas of a window frame, and this product is available in the same colours as the Weathershield range.


What's the best stain to use on untreated wooden furniture?

  • Protective woodsheen is suitable for painting furniture as it has a higher build than a classic woodstain. It will therefore be longer lasting and more durable. Diamond Glaze is more durable and available in a range of colours and finishes.


I'm looking to varnish my floor but don't want the ordinary clear look. I would like a coloured sheen to the varnish to give my room a brighter feel. Is there anything you could suggest?

  • We could recommend our water-based varnish, Dulux Diamond Glaze. Not only is it a very durable varnish for floors, it can also be tinted into 18 colours in the Natural Wood Colour Range and 52 colours in our Designer Colour Range. The surface will still need to be primed with clear gloss.


Do you have a solvent-based polyurethane varnish for interior use?

  • Yes, Dulux Trade Interior Varnish is a solvent-based polyurethane varnish for the decoration and protection of most interior surfaces.

Which Dulux Varnish can I paint on bar skirtings that won't yellow with ageing?

  • Water-based varnishes will not yellow on ageing as they do not contain alkyds. We would recommend using either Dulux Trade Quick Drying Varnish or Dulux Trade Diamond Glaze.


I want to change the colour of my wooden kitchen cupboards, what can I use?

  • We would recommend using Cuprinol Colour Wood and Cuprinol Grain Effects after adequate preparation (i.e. thorough abrading and washing) of the surface.


Do shade cards and colour labels accurately represent the colour I will get on my timber?

Shade cards and colour labels should only be used as a guide. The following factors will all affect the final colour:

  • The natural colour of the wood and any existing coating


  • The texture and absorption of the surface


  • The way the products are applied


  • The build of the coating e.g. Sikkens Cetol HLS plus will look different to Sikkens Cetol Filter 7 plus


How much woodstain will I need to treat my windows and doors?

  • On average, every litre of woodstain will give two coats, indoors and out, on two partly glazed doors or four windows.


I have used another woodstain brand in the past, can I now use Sikkens to redecorate?

  • Providing the surface is sound, there will be no problems in applying Sikkens woodstains. Any peeling or flaking areas must be removed and any bare timber thoroughly sanded back to clean, bright wood.

    Bare areas should be patch primed with a basestain such as Cetol HLS plus to even up the colour and then one or two coats of Cetol Filter 7 plus can be applied.



In warm, dry conditions, Cetol Filter 7 plus is touch dry within a couple of hours. Can I apply another coat the same day?

  • The simple answer is NO.

    Water-borne stains, paints and emulsions can be overcoated as soon as they are fully dry and two coats can be applied in the same day.

    Solvent-borne coatings undergo a two-stage process - firstly the solvent evaporates away (within 2-4 hours), leaving the surface dry to the touch; the coating then undergoes "oxidative curing", i.e. the resin/binder within the coating reacts with oxygen in the atmosphere to give a chemically hardened (or cured) surface.

    This process can take as long as 12 hours and it is therefore essential that the coating is left to dry overnight before overcoating. Applying the second coat too soon can lead to wrinkling and a soft finish which can be easily damaged.



My fencing was dry and ready for staining, then it rained heavily for a whole day. Can I stain it straight away, or do I have to wait?

  • Although timber is a porous, absorbent substrate, it will not "soak" water up like a sponge and therefore although the surface may be wet, the main body of the timber is likely to be dry.

    While it is difficult to be precise, two good drying days should be adequate. If rainfall has been for a longer period, as much as one week or more of dry weather may be necessary for the moisture content of the timber to reach an acceptable level.


What is the lowest temperature at which solvent-borne (alkyd resin) coatings can be applied?

  • We do not recommend the application of solvent-borne coatings when the temperature is likely to drop below 5°C during application and drying.


Are there any special requirements for the application of water-borne coatings on timber substrates?

  • Water-borne coatings are quicker drying and have different flow/levelling characteristics to traditional alkyd based (solvent-borne) coatings.

    We recommended the use of brushes designed for the application of water-borne coatings (i.e. synthetic bristle) and not to apply in extremes of hot or cold conditions.



Can water-borne coatings on wood be recoated with solvent-borne ones, or vice-versa?

  • A water-borne coating is generally more flexible than a solvent-borne one, and preferably we would recommend recoating water-borne with water-borne.

    However, providing that the existing finish is sound and fully dry, there is no problem with overcoating solvent-borne with water-borne or water-borne with solvent-borne.


I don't want to colour the wood. I just want to protect it from the weather. What should I use?

  • Using a coating with no colour and expecting it to work well is like using sunglasses with no shading.

    However, providing that the existing finish is sound and fully dry, there is no problem with overcoating solvent-borne with water-borne or water-borne with solvent-borne.


My windows are now very dark, but I would like to use a lighter shade. What can I do?

  • In order to highlight the natural features of timber, woodstains are translucent (i.e. semi-transparent).

    The final shade achieved is a combination of the colour of the surface to which they are applied and their own pigmentation. A light coloured wood stain onto a dark surface will therefore always allow the dark colour to be seen, and thus the finish remains dark.

    To achieve a lighter shade requires either stripping of the existing finish and re-coating or the application of an opaque, paint-like coating (such as Cetol BL Opaque, Rubbol XD Gloss, Rubbol AZ plus or Rubbol Satura plus.)

    Sikkens Cetol woodstains offer excellent protection without over-darkening any existing woodstain finish.

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