Minwax vs Varethane - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-26-2020, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Minwax vs Varethane

I have been using Minwax for years; really for no other reason than convenience. I never used anything else. I buy most of my "this type of Products" at Lowes. Couple of wks ago, I went to buy a pint of minwax cherry stain and they were out, forcing me to go to Home Depot. (BTW, no problem with BD, just Lowes is closer). HD didn't have minwax, only varethane, so I bought it.
Well, I cannot believe the difference in the depth of color and the quality of stain. I looked at the other project I had done in the last couple of years stained with Minwax and looked at the project I just did with Varethane and couldn't believe the difference. It was like a completely different stain. So after seeing the difference, I went back to HD and bought some varathane poly, satin finish. The only difference I could discern with that, was the Varathene felt thicker, which honestly, I'm not sure I liked. But Varathene has a new user on stain. It's far an above better (IMHO) than the minwax.

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post #2 of 9 Old 03-27-2020, 05:55 PM
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That’s good to know! I’ve used Minwax for 40 years (I think I’ve probably got some cans that are 40 years old :)

Lately I’ve been using dye and I’d encourage you to try it next time you’re ready to make a switch.


https://homesteadfinishingproducts.c...t-liquid-dyes/
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-27-2020, 07:37 PM
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Same here. I started experimenting with dyes about 15 years ago, have not used stain since. No comparison in the realistic rendition. The sky is the limit in how you can use it too, staining, shading, toning.
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post #4 of 9 Old 03-27-2020, 10:23 PM
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I don't know about stains. I spray Minwax mineral spirits based polyurethane exclusively. I thin it 10%; and it atomizes well in a HVLP gun, self levels, and rubs smooth. I tried Varathane poly and just could not get it to work for me. As I recall, it seemed gummy, but it's been a while. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has had success spraying it.
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-28-2020, 03:43 AM
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Fun fact, Minwax and Varathane are both owned by the same company, RPM International. Now, I'm not gonna say those cans have the same thing with marginally different dye ratios in them, but I am going to wink suggestively in that general direction

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post #6 of 9 Old 03-28-2020, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
Fun fact, Minwax and Varathane are both owned by the same company, RPM International. Now, I'm not gonna say those cans have the same thing with marginally different dye ratios in them, but I am going to wink suggestively in that general direction
Interesting, I wounder why HD and Ace Hardware only sell Varathane now while Lowes still sells Minwax?.
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-29-2020, 12:46 PM
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Interesting, I wounder why HD and Ace Hardware only sell Varathane now while Lowes still sells Minwax?.
Illusion of exclusivity while all the profits funnel back to the same place? I will say that both companies, Minwax and Varathane, funnel back into the main holding company through a subsidiary or two each, and i wont outright say that all the products are made in the same factory. Im sure that each company maintains its own formulas with their own respective supply chains, something im sure looks like this:


Anti-corporation sarcasm aside, seriously, its just the illusion of choice being monetized. If you want a better example, look at power tools, specifically 14 inch bandsaws. So many to choose from, and they cant even be bothered to pretend that they didnt all come from the same factory.

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post #8 of 9 Old 03-29-2020, 12:54 PM
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Makes me think of a recent conversation I over heard regarding ammunition reloading powders. Guy with commercial reloading experience said he received a barrel labeled with Brand X and when he opened the barrel found an inspection tag for Brand Y. Hard to know in that situation if it was a bunch of guys sitting around BSing or not.

"Quality is like buying oats. If you want nice, clean, fresh oats, you must pay a fair price. However, if you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse, that comes a bit cheaper."
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-29-2020, 03:18 PM
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No manufacturer want's to compete with itself. If RPM sells both its brands to one store, they will probably promote the one with a better margin and just use the other as a prop so customers have a false sense of choice when they buy the one the store want to sell. No 2 stores want to sell exactly the same product since then they just compete on price; so it's hard to sell the same product to 2 big box stores since they will just beat you up forever for a lower price than their competition pays. Small stores can't compete with the big boxes, so they look for a source (possibly RPM) to private label a product for them. It may carry a lower price from the supplier since it doesn't have to support the marketing costs associated with the brand name.

I used to be half confused and half horrified when the marketing guys explained this stuff to me.
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