How to Finish With Varathane Diamond Wood Finish

Updated July 11, 2018

Varathane Diamond Wood Finish is a water-based polyurethane manufactured by the Rust-Oleum Corporation. It is available in spray cans as well as in half-pint, quart and gallon cans. According to the finish's online product brochure, it produces a clear surface that resists yellowing better than comparable oil-based finishes manufactured by the same company. It is odour-free and easier to clean up than oil-based finishes. Varathane Diamond Wood Finish is readily applied by spraying or painting with a paintbrush. You will get the best results if you first take steps to properly prepare the surface.

Wash the surface to be coated if it already has a finish. Mix detergent with hot water in a bucket and use the solution to wash off dirt, grime and old wax.

De-gloss the existing finish by sanding it lightly by hand with 150-grit sandpaper. If the surface is unfinished, sand it with 120-grit sandpaper, wipe off the sanding dust with a rag, and sand it again with 150-grit sandpaper. Either sand by hand or use an orbital sander. If you sand by hand, always move the paper with the grain of the wood.

Apply the Varathane Diamond Wood Finish by spraying from a spray can or painting with a paintbrush. If you spray, hold the tip of the can about 6 inches from the surface and depress the nozzle. Keep the can moving in a lateral or vertical direction as long as the nozzle is depressed. Move in a steady motion from one edge of the surface to the other and return, overlapping by about one half of the spray pattern. Leave a light, wet coat without drips.

Paint the product with a paintbrush that has synthetic bristles. Move the brush with the grain of the wood, being careful not to leave voids, or areas without finish.

Let the first coat dry for two hours. Sand the surface lightly, then apply a second coat. Let it dry for two hours, then apply a third coat. The Rust-Oleum Corporation recommends a minimum of three coats for best results. The surface is ready for handling after the final coat has dried for two hours.


If you have to wait longer than 24 hours between the second and third coats, lightly sand the surface before applying the third coat.


Varathane Diamond Wood Finish is nontoxic; you can ingest up to an ounce without significant ill effects. If you ingest more than that, do not induce vomiting; instead, drink water and seek medical attention. If you get Varathane Diamond Wood Finish in your eyes, flush them with water for 15 minutes and seek medical attention. Do not rub your eyes.

Things You'll Need

  • Detergent
  • Bucket
  • Rag
  • Medium-grit sandpaper
  • Orbital sander
  • Synthetic-bristle paintbrush
  • 220-grit sandpaper
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About the Author

Chris Deziel has a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in humanities. Besides having an abiding interest in popular science, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since 1975. As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies.