Acacia wood is one of the hardest wood types on the planet that mostly used for making interior and exterior furniture and for construction purposes due to its great strength.
On the other hand, Spar urethane is mostly popular as a waterproofing sealer for furniture and woodwork.
When I was a beginner, I was curious about using spar urethane on my acacia woof furniture and did a deep research about it with the help of some other woodworking fellows.
Here’s what I’ve learned. Let’s find out, Can you use spar urethane on Acacia wood?
Yes, you can use spar urethane on acacia wood without any issues. Spar urethane makes acacia wood waterproof and protects it from UV light, moisture, extreme weather conditions, and other elements. Spar urethane makes a protective coat over acacia wood while enhancing the wood’s appearance with an even finish.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
In this article we’ll explore, whether can you use spar urethane on acacia wood and how to apply spar urethane on acacia wood properly without making any mistakes. We’ll discuss all the tips and techniques that can be useful during the application process.
Furthermore, I’ll answer some frequently asked questions as well.
Let’s dig in!
Is Spar Urethane Good For Acacia Wood?
Spar urethane is good for acacia wood since acacia wood takes spar urethane so well and it makes a protective layer over acacia wood that helps to protect the wood from environmental elements while improving the wood’s appearance.
Once you apply spar urethane over acacia wood, the first few finishes will quickly be absorbed into the wood which helps to saturate the acacia wood fibers inside.
This helps to increase the wood’s flexibility to prevent the wood from cracking and splitting.
The excess spar urethane amount will sit on the acacia wood surface and start to build a protective coat over it.
Once spar urethane gets exposed to the outside air, it begins to polymerize with the help of atmospheric oxygen and form a super hard and tight coat over the wood.
This protective coat helps to protect acacia wood from moisture and UV light.
Spar urethane finish works as a barrier between the acacia wood and the outside world, avoiding moisture from getting inside the wood.
Plus, spar urethane contains UV blockers which absorb UV light from direct sunlight and stop them from hitting the acacia wood underneath.
Therefore, acacia wood will get protected from the damage of UV light like wood cracking, color fading, and discolorations.
Spar urethane coat isolates the acacia wood and protects the wood from insect attacks, water damage, and rotting.
Plus, spar urethane makes acacia wood tolerate extreme weather conditions such as rain, snow and temperature fluctuations, and high humidity levels which is super useful for acacia wood outdoor furniture and woodwork.
As you can see, spar urethane makes acacia wood more durable and help to get protected it from almost any environmental impact with proper care.
What else do we need to confirm that spar urethane is excellent for acacia wood? It has everything we expect from a wood finish.
Spar urethane not only protects the acacia wood from weather elements but also highlights the wood grain improving the wood’s appearance.
Spar urethane makes a protective and also more flexible finish over acacia wood. Therefore, acacia wood is able to expand and contract freely according to the humidity changes of the environment without warping or cracking the wood.
Spar urethane comes in different sheens such as gloss, semi-gloss, and satin. Select the one that suits your acacia wood most and try it over untreated acacia wood or stained acacia wood or painted acacia wood.
Spar urethane can attach to both untreated wood, stained wood, and painted wood.
Therefore, you don’t need to remove the existing layer of acacia wood to protect it with spar urethane. Spar urethane works as a top layer which exposes it to the environment.
There’re main two types of spar urethane you can use on acacia wood. They are,
- Oil-based spar urethane
- Water-based spar urethane
Let’s see how oil-based spar urethane and water-based spar urethane work over acacia wood by comparing each for better understanding.
|Oil-Based Spar Urethane on Acacia wood||Water-Based Spar Urethane on Acacia wood|
|Makes thicker coats||Makes thinner coats|
|Give amber yellowish tone to the wood||Provide a clear finish|
|Darkens the wood slightly||Give a clear finish and won’t darken over time|
|More stable and hard finish||Moderately stable and hard finish|
|Takes more time to dry and cure||Takes less time to dry and cure|
|Thin with mineral spirits before the application||Thin with denatured alcohol before the application|
|Difficult to clean and mineral spirits are required||Easy to clean with water|
|Susceptible to dents||Susceptible to scratches|
|Less flexible finish||More flexible finish|
As you can see there’s some slight difference between oil-based spar urethane and water-based spar urethane.
Water-based spar urethane is more popular as a clear finish while oil-based spar urethane is more popular as a more stable and cheap finish.
In terms of protection, both oil-based spar urethane and water-based work are all same. They do block UV and protect the wood from moisture and other elements perfectly.
Spar urethane makes Acacia wood more durable and more attractive with a protective sealer and improved sheen. It is one of the best finishes you can go with.
What Can Spar Urethane Be Used For?
Spar urethane can be used for almost any acacia wood application. some of them are as follows,
- Acacia wood furniture
- Acacia wood exterior projects
- Wood carvings
- Acacia wood floorings
- Finishing acacia wood doors
- Window frames
- Boxes and crates
As you can see spar urethane can literally use for any acacia woodwork with no issues at all.
In order to summarize the things we have learned, let’s see some advantages we can get by using spar urethane over acacia wood.
Benefits Of Using Spar urethane On Acacia
- Spar urethane makes acacia wood waterproof
- Spar urethane protects acacia wood from moisture and UV light
- Spar urethane improves the acacia wood’s sheen
- Prevent wood from warping and cracking
- Spar urethane hides deep scratches and cracks on acacia wood
- Easy to apply
- Makes the acacia wood more durable
- Spar urethane is non-toxic
- Food safe when fully cured
- Make a tough and tight protective coat over the wood
- Easy to maintain
- Lasts for so long
- Spar urethane helps to tolerate acacia wood from extreme weather such as rain, snow, and temperature changes.
- Protect wood from insect and bugs attacks
As you can see spar urethane is filled with many advantages.
I know, now you’re fully satisfied with the benefits that you’re going to gain from the spar urethane and eagerly waiting to know the application process.
Don’t worry! That’s what we’re going to talk about next.
Tools And Material To Apply Spar Urethane On Acacia Wood
- Spar urethane (oil-based or water-based)
- Suitable applicator (bristle brush, foam brush, sprayer, roller)
- Acacia wood furniture or woodwork
- Thinner (mineral spirits for oil-based spar urethane or denatured alcohol for water-based spar urethane)
- 120 grit sandpaper
- 320-grit or 400-grit sandpaper
- Lint-free tack cloths
- TSP (trisodium phosphate)
- Clean rags
- Mixing container (plastic or glass)
- Face mask
- Scrap wood (optional)
As you can see I have included a scarp wood in the list.
This is because testing spar urethane first with acacia scrap wood makes it easier to identify how will the finish look over the main acacia wood project and help to minimize the mistakes you could make during the application process.
Gather the supplies on the list and get ready for the application process.
How To Use Spar Urethane On Acacia Wood?
- Surface preparation and clean the acacia wood
- Sand the acacia wood surface
- Spar urethane thinning
- Apply the first coat of spar urethane
- Let the first coat dry properly
- Lightly sand the spar urethane coat
- Apply more spar urethane coats
- Let the coats dry and cure
Let’s discuss each of the above steps in detail to get a clear idea about using spar urethane over acacia wood.
1. Surface Preparation And Clean The Acacia Wood
First, you need to take the acacia wood furniture or woodwork to a well-ventilated area which helps spar urethane coats to dry faster.
Generally, spar urethane takes more time to dry than other finishes. By finishing the acacia wood in a ventilated area with good air circulation the spar urethane coats will dry faster and more efficiently which makes it easier to get a nice and even-looking finish.
Plus, upon finishing spar urethane releases chemicals and harsh fumes like many other finishes which can cause breathing issues, and skin and eye irritations.
Working in a ventilated area helps to remove those chemicals and harsh fumes quickly from the working space.
Open the windows of your working area or take your acacia wood outside to make the area more ventilated.
After that clean the entire acacia wood with clean rags to remove dust, dirt, and grease.
You can use TSP (trisodium phosphate) to remove stubborn dirt from the surface and make it super clean.
To do that saturate a clean rag with TSP and wipe the surface thoroughly until the dirt gets off it. Then let the surface dry.
Having a dust-free surface is a must when finishing with spar urethane since dust can easily trap inside the spar urethane finish which can cause to ruin the wood’s appearance and reduce the performance of the finishing coat.
Once your acacia wood surface is super nice and clean you are free to move on to the next step.
2. Sand The Acacia Wood Suarface
Sanding the acacia wood surface is important before sanding. Sanding help to smoothen the surface and remove bumps, and surface randomness from it.
Plus, sanding opens up the porous structure of the acacia wood and makes the wood easy to absorb the spar urethane finish so well without forming random blotches or splotches on the surface.
Take the 120-grit sandpaper and sand the entire acacia wood surface along the direction of the wood grain with even pressure without missing any spots.
Sanding along the wood grain helps to even wood color all over the wood and to avoid leaving sanding marks.
Plus, sanding helps to make a good adhesion between the wood and the spar urethane coats. Sanding gives adhesive properties to the wood.
Once you’re done with sanding, clean the entire surface with clean rags to remove sawdust. It is important to make the surface clean with no sawdust for an even finish.
After cleaning the surface you’ll get a super nice acacia wood surface that is ready to take on spar urethane.
3. Spar Urethane Thinning
Generally, spar urethane makes a thick coat that may take so long to dry and cure.
In order to make thin spar urethane coats and for the ease of application process, thinning is recommended.
Oil-based spar urethane can be thinned by mixing with mineral spirits and water-based spar urethane should be thinned by mixing with denatured alcohol.
Even though thinning is an optional step, it helps spar urethane to make an even finish over acacia wood which dries and cures faster than the regular ones.
Mineral spirits and denatured alcohol have a high evaporation rate. By mixing those high evaporative solvents with spar urethane, you’ll be able to make spar urethane dry and cure faster.
Here’s how to thin oil-based spar urethane and water-based spar urethane before the application process,
- Thin oil-based spar urethane by mixing four parts of spar urethane one part of mineral spirits in a mixing container.
- Thin water-based spar urethane by mixing four parts of spar urethane with one part of denatured alcohol in a mixing container.
- If you’re going to apply spar urethane on acacia wood by spraying, thinning is not necessary since the sprayer releases a thin coat of spar urethane easily through its nozzle.
- Thinning is good if you’re willing to apply spar urethane by brushing, wiping, or using a foam brush
Now it’s time to apply thinned spar urethane over acacia wood.
4. Apply The First Coat Of Spar Urethane
Now apply a thin coat of spar urethane over the entire acacia wood along the direction of the wood grain with an even pressure using a suitable applicator.
You can apply spar urethane over acacia wood using 4 different methods. They are,
- Using a foam brush
- Using a bristle brush
Select the applicator that suits the mist and apply a thin coat of spar urethane over acacia wood.
Follow the acacia wood grain to make an even-looking spar urethane finish without forming blotches, and a tacky surface.
Use very light and long strokes when applying and avoid forming brush marks during the process and catch runs.
You’ll notice how a significant amount of spar urethane gets absorbed into the wood when you’re applying the first coat.
Absorbed spar urethane saturates the acacia wood fibers making them more flexible which helps to prevent the wood from cracking.
Once the top acacia wood layer is saturated with spar urethane, the remaining will sit on the surface to make a protective coat over the wood.
Take 10 to 15 application time to apply spar urethane over acacia wood. but this can vary upon the area you have to cover.
Let the first spar urethane coat sit on acacia wood for 30 minutes and then wipe off the excess spar urethane on the surface using a clean rag to even put the surface.
Removing excess is useful to make a thin spar urethane coat and to form even looking finish with no blotches or streaks.
You can try to apply spar urethane on scrap acacia wood to see how it will behave with acacia wood first and to minimize application errors.
- Do not shape spar urethane during the application since air bubbles may form in the finishing coat causing bubbles on the surface.
- Use a quality bristle brush to apply spar urethane since synthetic cheap brushes contain air holes that form bubbles on the finishing coat.
5. Let The First Spar Urethane Coat Dry Properly
After applying the first spar urethane coat over acacia wood let it dry completely for about 24 hours.
Mostly spar urethane dry within 4 to 6 hours but that can vary upon the environmental humidity and temperature levels.
Better to check the finishing surface after 6 hours by touching whether the coat is still tacky or feels cold.
If the spar urethane finish feels not tacky and has no coldness on the surface, you can consider it fully dried.
Sometimes drying time can take even more than 24 hours due to the thickness of the spar urethane coat you applied. Thick spar urethane coats a longer time to dry.
Water-based spar urethane tends to dry faster than oil-based spar urethane since it makes thinner coats.
Never apply the second spar urethane coat over the first one until the surface is fully dried. Applying a spar urethane coat before the previous one dries completely can ruin the wood’s appearance and form a tacky surface.
Keep the spar urethane applied to wood in a dust-free environment since dust tends to attach to the surface upon drying and give negative impacts on the finishing coat.
Upon drying spar urethane starts to make a protective coat over acacia wood which helps to protect the wood from moisture, UV light, water damage, insect attacks, high humidity, and extreme weather in near future.
Plus, you can notice how the sheen of acacia wood gradually increases upon drying the spar urethane coat.
When the surface is fully dried, you can move into the next step.
6. Lightly Sand The Spar Urethane Coat
Once the first spar urethane coat is fully dried over acacia wood, lightly sand the entire spar urethane coat with 320 grit or finer sandpaper along the direction of the wood grain with light pressure.
Light sanding between spar urethane coats helps the next spar urethane coats to stick well onto the surface. Sanding makes a good adhesion between spar urethane coats.
Upon sanding you can make the existing spar urethane coat smooth and thin while providing adhesive properties.
Due to the next spar urethane coat will easily hold on to the previous coat with no layer separations.
Lightly sand the finished surface without leaving any sanding marks and without missing any spots.
Once you’re done with light sanding, clean the dust and residue on the surface by wiping with clean rags.
7. Apply More Spar Urethane Coats
Now apply the second spar urethane coat over the sanded coat along the direction of the wood grain without missing any spots.
Follow the same application procedure you used to apply the first coat same for other coats as well.
Likewise, apply 3 to 5 coats of spar urethane on acacia wood to get a nice and even finish with an improved wood sheen.
After 5 coats you’ll notice how to spar urethane makes a protective coat over the acacia wood surface and how gradually improves the wood’s appearance.
Apply thin spar urethane coats to dry each one fast and efficiently. Make sure to let each coat dry 24 hours between coats and lightly sand after drying to build good adhesion between the surfaces.
8. Let The Coats Dry And Cure
After applying the final spar urethane coat over acacia wood let it dry for 24 hours and cure for 2 to 3 days.
Yes, during takes a long time that dry since that’s the average time that takes spar urethane to take its final appearance and to make the protective coat fully harden.
Leave the acacia wood to cure for 2 to 3 days without handling it in a dust-free environment.
This drying and curing time can vary on the environmental humidity and temperature levels.
When the environmental humidity is low, spar urethane coats will dry and cures faster within 24 hours.
But when the environmental humidity is high, it may take even more than weeks until fully dried and cured.
However, leave it a maximum of 2 weeks until fully cured, if the surface is not cured and feels tacky even after 14 days, sad to say, you’ve made a mistake during the application process.
Probably better to start over and let each coat dry properly before applying another over the existing one.
That’s it, folks! This is the best and easiest method to apply spar urethane on acacia wood without messing things up.
Follow the same procedure to apply spar urethane over painted wood and to apply over stained wood skipping the thinning step since those chemicals can dissolve with paints and stains.
How Long Does Spar Urethane Last Outside?
Spar urethane last outside for around two years under extreme weather conditions.
Better to apply spar urethane over outdoor furniture at least once per two years to keep the wood protected for so long without getting impacted by weather elements.
Restoring acacia wood with spar urethane can keep the wood fresh as new for a long time with improved sheen and keep it protected from UV and moisture.
Once the seal is broken, you can keep spar urethane for around 5 years. Keep the spar urethane container in a dust-free environment to use for several applications.
What Is The Best Sealant For Acacia Wood?
Generally, acacia wood goes well with almost any kind of sealer. But some protect acacia wood from environmental elements much better and make the wood waterproof while enhancing the wood’s appearance.
Here’re some of the best sealants for acacia wood,
Apply thin coats of the above finishes and make sure to clean and properly maintain acacia wood regularly to use it even more than several decades.
What Kind OF Spar Urethane Do You Use On Acacia Wood?
Here’re the best spar urethane products for acacia wood,
- Helmsman Spar Urethane
- Water-Based Helsman Spar Urethane
- Behlen’s Rockhard Tabletop Spar Urethane
- BEHR Oil-Based Spr Urethane
- Ultimate Spar Urethane
- Olympic Spar Urethane
I personally recommend Helmsman Spar urethane since that’s what I use mostly due to its high availability which makes an excellent protective coat over acacia wood.
Let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
What Is The Best Way To Seal Acacia Wood?
The best way to seal acacia wood and protect it for the outdoors is to apply a waterproofing sealer over acacia wood that contains UV blockers to protect the wood from weather elements.
Once the acacia wood is sealed, it is protected from extreme weather such as rain, snow, and temperature variations with improved wood appearance.
Apply spar urethane, spar varnish, lacquer, or tung oil to seal acacia wood outdoors.
They’ll seal the acacia wood properly by increasing the wood’s durability for so long.
Always use quality finishing brands and sealers to finish acacia wood.
Using poor, cheap products makes the finishing coat fade away over time and once the acacia wood is exposed to the outside air, it’ll start to damage and rot over time due to the moisture.
How Do You Weatherproof Acacia Wood?
You can weatherproof acacia wood by applying a weatherproofing sealer such as spar urethane.
Apply 3 to 5 thin coats of spar urethane along the wood grain of acacia wood and let each coat well for 2 to 3 days before handling to make the wood weatherproof.
Once the acacia wood is weatherproof, it’ll eventually get waterproofing ability as well.
The wood will tolerate extreme weather such as rain, snow, and high humidity levels without losing its stability.
What Is The Best Exterior Oil For Acacia Wood?
Apply thin oil coats over acacia wood and clean the surface regularly to keep it clean and nice without letting acacia wood furniture gets damaged from environmental elements.
Did I cover all you wanted to know about: Using Spar Urethane on Acacia Wood
In this article, we have widely discussed, whether can you use spar urethane on acacia wood and how to apply spar urethane on acacia wood properly without making any mistakes. Plus, we have methods the drying times and important tips as well.
Spar urethane can finish acacia wood so well by making a protective coat over wood which help to protect the wood from moisture, UV light, and weather elements. Apply thin coats of spar urethane on acacia wood and let each coat dry properly to get an even, nice finish.
Furthermore, I’ve answered some frequently asked questions as well.
Hope you learned everything you wanted to know about using spar urethan eon acacia wood in detail.
Try to apply spar urethane over acacia wood as your next DIY project and experience how it gradually makes a protective coat over the wood while improving the wood sheen.