Bristol Finish Application Notes

Exterior Application Information

Bristol Finish Traditional Amber Urethane requires the same basic prep as an ordinary varnish, but the application is both easier and faster. You'll save almost 75% of the labor compared with ordinary varnish!

Preparation Procedures

New or Bare Wood: Sand up to 220 grit. Remove dust and wipe with acetone.

Previously Varnished Surfaces: New coatings should be allowed to cure fully before over-coating with Traditional Amber Urethane. Check compatibility on a small area before coating large areas.

Sand with 220 grit until smooth and dull. Use a ScotchBrite pad for sharp corners and edges. Remove dust and wipe with acetone.

Application Procedures

Measuring and Mixing: Mix together 8 parts by volume Urethane Base to 1 part by volume Catalyst. Stir thoroughly.

Thinning: The viscosity should be suitable for use as supplied. If desired, thin with acetone or MEK, 1 part by volume or less. In extremely hot weather (90°F/32°C) use our Tropical Reducer to slow the dry time.

Application: 4 coats are required for minimum UV resistance and durability. 6 coats are recommended for optimum performance. More coats may be required to completely fill the wood grain for porous wood types. More coats (up to 8) will be required for severe tropical exposure. More coats may be applied for a deep wet look finish.

There are three methods to choose from for application:

Wet-on-Wet Method: Apply the first coat and allow to dry to a firm tack (approximately 1 to 2 hours). Apply the second or next coat without sanding. Continue until all coats are applied.

Re-coat without sanding at any time up to 24 hours after the last coat.

Fast Method: Apply all but the last coat using the Wet-on-Wet Method described. Don't stop because of runs, drips or small amounts of dust. Allow to cure and sand with 220 grit until smooth and dull. Use a ScotchBrite pad for sharp corners and edges. Remove dust with acetone, then lightly wipe with a tack rag. Apply the final coat.

This method gives a fast build-up and the chance to remove any defects with a minimum of labor.

Dry Method: Apply a coat, allow to dry completely, sand and repeat until all coats are applied.

Roller application: Quickly wet out a 2' x 2' or so area, and tip once with a slightly wet brush.

If a satin or non-gloss finish is required, apply a final coat mixed with our Satin Additive.


Apply on bare wood, epoxy-saturated wood, over wood stains, sealers, and existing varnish or Cetol if the finish is in good condition

Application Methods:  Suitable for brush, roller or spray

Recoat Time: 1 to 24 hours at 70°F (21°C)

Pot life: 4 hours at 70°F (21°C)

 Cure Time: 24 hours at 70°F (21°C)

Working Conditions:  Full sun or shade

Temperatures between 32°-120°F (0-49°C), Humidity of 0% to 99%

To view the Application Guidelines, or for helpful articles and expert advice on preparation, refinishing techniques and much more, please see the Tech Data page on the main menu.