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Thread: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

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    Default Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    I called Behr customer service today and they said that the Super Gloss Spar Varnish (04504) was discontinued, but that they had two new varnishes available by mail order (case lots) or that could be ordered in the stores. These are now called "Oil Based Spar Varnish Gloss" and "Oil Based Spar Varnish Satin" and have the product numbers B32004 and B30004, respectively for quart sizes. The representative said there were at least 1,000 cases of each in stock currently. The mail order price to Washington DC for a case of gloss was $81.12 (6 quarts I believe) including tax and shipping. They may be the same formulation as the originals, but he wasn't certain.

    Interestingly, he said Home Depot does not own Behr, but apparently is the sole retail outlet.

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    A Ray of Hope!

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    So what was the phone number... and who to talk to to order some...?


    R

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    So you can order through the stores and when it comes in you can pick it up there? Might save on shipping costs that way?

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Yes, he said it was cheaper ordering through the stores. I just called customer service; 1-877-237-6158. The question for Jay is whether this is what he received on his last order or was it the earlier one? I'd bet they are the same thing.....

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Who is Jay ?

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    ask for an MSDS - then email it to me (info@epoxyproducts.com)

    let me see what they are trying to pass off.

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    wouldnt that be a product data sheet (PDS) and not a (MSDS) material safety data sheet Paul?

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    If you delve deep into the other Behr thread you'll find that this is a new formula - tung oil has been replaced with soy oil, I think. When I ordered the older formulation over the phone (Super Spar) shipping was free. I still have most of a gallon left.



    Steven

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    product data sheet just tells you what the manufacture wants you to know. Sometimes they are good, sometimes just useless marketing. The MSDS legally has to provide certain key information.....

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    like how much you can pour onto a group of rats and have a 50% mortality rate?

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    hmmmm- somehow dont think soy oil is the equivalent of tung oil in a varnish. Sounds cheaply made but Id like to hear an experts opinion.

    there used to be a little marine paint shop up in NE - do they do any traditional varnish?

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Kirby Paint in New Bedford, MA? I have never heard of Soy Oil being used in varnish; is that real? I wouldn't know how to get the ingredients to the varnish. If someone wants to try, I posted the 877 # above.

    Jay is Jay Greer who started the first Behr thread.

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    ..... I still have most of a gallon left. Steven
    Hope it's locked up in a safe place now that you've made that information public!

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Where is the information regarding soy oil? I've never heard of such a thing...!

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    On phone with Behr; they say all varnish products are now discontinued, and the only stock are a few cans that may be floating around. I'm trying to find a person to whom to write.....

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    well, that sucks

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Damn! I've tried many varnishes and I love that Behr product. I think I'll be hitting up all the Home Depot's in my area this evening. Some big varnishing projects in the Spring!

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Hell, mixing up a batch of old time quality varnish has got to be a lot easier and less hazardous than cooking up a batch of crystal meth. You gotta wonder why somebody just doesn't do it. (The varnish, I mean.) Steve Smith at Smith and Co. Industrial Coatings (of CPES fame) used to cook up a pretty damn good varnish, very reasonably priced, that he "sold out the back door" of his warehouse. Probably still does.

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    I wrote customer service to see what the scoop actually is, since I've been given several conflicting pieces of information. Two days ago, I was told that there were 1,000 cases in stock; today I was told that it's gone, except for a few cans. When I have a reply, I'll post it here..

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Okay, Fess up. Who ordered the 1,000 cases?

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Quote Originally Posted by outofthenorm View Post
    Okay, Fess up. Who ordered the 1,000 cases?
    Must have been Pat Ford.


    Steven

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    Must have been Pat Ford.


    Steven
    David G
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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Bad News!

    Here's the answer I received from Behr Customer Service. Now, everybody needs to write them and ask it to be reinstated! The email link is on www.behr.com.

    "Thank you for contacting Behr Process Corporation.

    We appreciate your continued interest and enthusiasm for our Behr Oil-Based Gloss Spar Vanish and your loyalty. We regret to inform you that this product has indeed been discontinued, and thus it is no longer available for purchase. At this time, there are no plans to manufacture the Oil-Based Spar and we must recommend that you check with local retailer for a similar product that may suit your needs.

    We certainly appreciate that you have taken the time to inform us of the interest in the product, and sharing your feedback. We take the opinions of our customers very seriously, and we will make sure to share the information you have provided with the appropriate people within the organization."

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Has anyone here used Jamestown Distributers varnish recipe? I'm not ready until Spring but I am looking for a tough varnish for use in the sun on a veranda.

    Thanks,
    Ted

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Hi Gang,
    I just sent a letter to Behr, expressing my regrets to their dropping of Behr Super Spar Varnish from their product line.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    I wonder if they would be willing to part with the formula? There may still be a few cases roaming around as customer service told me a few days ago, but probably not as many as they had indicated.

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    I have often considered that. My guess is that the price would be beyond the means of any one of us.
    But, it couldn't hurt to ask.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Quote Originally Posted by outofthenorm View Post
    Okay, Fess up. Who ordered the 1,000 cases?
    Yeh, ok, you got me. It was actually a little over a thousand cases. 1032, to be exact.

    Hey, I have a suggestion for you guys searching for this mystical varnish. Reach around and GRAB YOUR HAIR AND PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR BUTT!!!!
    Go to Fisheries Supply and grab some Epifanes, Capains, Schooner, Man O'War or other 1 part traditional varnish. THEY ALL WORK AND PEOPLE HAVE BEEN USING THEM FOR YEARS!!!!

    We all have favorite methods and products we use, but to say that this varnish is the one which is a quantum leap in quality over the rest just beggars credulity. It DOES NOT HAVE as some wag suggested, unicorn horn powder...What does it matter that it was "boiled in copper cauldrons?" Was it unique in that regard? It more than a little pompous to suggest to others that they should use a product because one happened to have used it in Southern California.


    Oh, contrary to what the person touting Behr stated, Man O'War DOES have UV protection. It's not a very hip varnish these days...but I did a boat with it in the early 70s. It was still on the boat in the mid 80s.

    When I first started, a "dock captain" would come strolling by my job and tell the owner some outlandish advice...and then my client would tell me to follow it. People will tell you the darnedest things. If you don't know something, ask several people for their opinion.

    I have seen a lot of goofy stuff here, but this takes the cake! So much wasted time on this wild goose chase!

    jeebus.
    "Don't listen to those eastern blockheads." famous Seattle small boat designer and builder.

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    So Pat,

    Interesting post and all, but what we really want to know is: Are you gonna use all that marvelous varnish your own self, or will you be offering some of it for sale <G>
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    So Pat,

    Interesting post and all, but what we really want to know is: Are you gonna use all that marvelous varnish your own self, or will you be offering some of it for sale <G>
    Sorry, I ran all of it through my gold panning gear to get the unicorn horn dust. It's what the Behr fanatics had been smoking.
    "Don't listen to those eastern blockheads." famous Seattle small boat designer and builder.

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Pat, you've never used the stuff, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    Pat, you've never used the stuff, right?
    I'll bet that Pat has not used it but that wont stop him from passing judgement.
    Kinda like telling everyone that not following the instructions on the can is a fools errand and then proceeding to not follow the instructions on the can himself - on my boat! Dammit.

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Quote Originally Posted by GWB View Post
    I'll bet that Pat has not used it but that wont stop him from passing judgement.
    Kinda like telling everyone that not following the instructions on the can is a fools errand and then proceeding to not follow the instructions on the can himself - on my boat! Dammit.
    Nah, he hasn't, but I'm just teasing him. He's basically right, though Behr's stuff was nice stuff to use (mostly because it was so amazingly inexpensive).
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Quote Originally Posted by pcford View Post
    Yeh, ok, you got me. It was actually a little over a thousand cases. 1032, to be exact.

    Hey, I have a suggestion for you guys searching for this mystical varnish. Reach around and GRAB YOUR HAIR AND PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR BUTT!!!!
    Go to Fisheries Supply and grab some Epifanes, Capains, Schooner, Man O'War or other 1 part traditional varnish. THEY ALL WORK AND PEOPLE HAVE BEEN USING THEM FOR YEARS!!!!

    We all have favorite methods and products we use, but to say that this varnish is the one which is a quantum leap in quality over the rest just beggars credulity. It DOES NOT HAVE as some wag suggested, unicorn horn powder...What does it matter that it was "boiled in copper cauldrons?" Was it unique in that regard? It more than a little pompous to suggest to others that they should use a product because one happened to have used it in Southern California.


    Oh, contrary to what the person touting Behr stated, Man O'War DOES have UV protection. It's not a very hip varnish these days...but I did a boat with it in the early 70s. It was still on the boat in the mid 80s.

    When I first started, a "dock captain" would come strolling by my job and tell the owner some outlandish advice...and then my client would tell me to follow it. People will tell you the darnedest things. If you don't know something, ask several people for their opinion.

    I have seen a lot of goofy stuff here, but this takes the cake! So much wasted time on this wild goose chase!

    jeebus.
    Much as it galls me to have to admit it, Pat's pretty much dead right. It isn't that the elusive Behr varnish is so extra special as it is that it was CHEAP. The "usual suspect" brands he mentions are all good. Each has its idiosyncracies and some prefer one over the other. Keep in mind that the VOC regulations are causing manufacturers to can a thicker product, cutting back on the thinners and other evaporating ingredients, so most all of the oil based coatings require "conditioning" before use these days. In fact, the "real" stuff always has as experienced painters all know.

    Outfits that make Epiphanes and Captains and the rest charge a huge premium for the "boat on the label." Notice that WasteMarine's "house brand" is exactly the same compound as Captain's packaged with a Wastemarine label (so my spies tell me.) It's a bit cheaper. We're really not paying much for the stuff in the can, we're paying for those full page back cover ads in all the boating magazines!

    I wonder if Man O' War just got a bad rap back in the days when the fancier brands weren't as expensive. I've seen a lot of it used over the last forty years or so and never could tell the difference between it and the higher priced spread so long as it was applied properly. I don't see why it wouldn't be pretty much as good. It's sure been around forever. Maybe we ought to take another look at it. It might not be "as" good, but, heck, you have to lay on a new coat every season (or more often in the tropics) anyway. The expensive stuff has to be stripped and refininshed, too. Maybe the lower price point is worth it. I have to say, I bet if you poured Man O' War into an Epiphanes can, and put it on your boat, people would tell you how great your varnish looks all the same.

    Remember, the UV is suspended in the varnish coating. The more varnish you build up, the more UV protection you will have. It all will deteriorate over time, anyhow. That's the nature of the beast, UV protection or not. Nobody's found anything other than what they use now to protect against UV. It's not rocket science. You could cook it up in your mama's kitchen if you wanted to.

    BTW, McCloskey's Man O' War spar varnish does indeed contain UV inhibitors/protectants. It is a traditional tung oil based varnish. If you think it's too thin for your taste, or you want a bit more flexibility in the coating, add a bit of tung oil to it. The product is now made by Valspar. It's been around since the 1850's. I've heard it's the only varnish George Kirby sells and he is said to have said it's just as good as any of the others. Since Kirby's paint company has been in business as long as McCloskey's has been around, I'd expect George knows what he's talking about.

    I just might take a chance and try it! Nothing would prevent laying a coat or three of the expensive stuff on top of it if I didn't like it.

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Anyone try Ace Hardware Spar Varnish? Practical Sailor seemed to like it...

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Thanks Bob and Pat.... for your remarks.

    Anyone tried the Rust-oleum Spar Varnish ?... just curious. Their Marine exterior enamel seems quite good. I used it restoring an old 20 foot catamaran and its easy to apply and dries very tough. Their Marine enamel primer (for topsides) is excellent from my experience. Perhaps their varnish is a decent product. I will use it on some simple project in the future.

    I have used Man-o-war on several projects and found it to be very easy to apply and it looks great. I added a bit of Penetrol and got great flow. They also have a very nice semi-gloss.

    RodB

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    You know, I've always preferred polymerized tung oil as an interior finish and wondered why the spar varnishes (including Behr) were made with linseed oil --other than cost. I just ran across this info http://www.sutherlandwelles.com/marine.htm and wonder if anyone has used their marine varnish successfully?

    "If you are going to do something, do it now. Tomorrow is too late." -Pete GossWhat we're doing now--with the boat and then with other stuff and you can Follow us on Twitter

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    redbopeep,

    How sure are you that the typical spar varnishes are made with linseed oil? I don't have MSDS's in front of me at the moment to double check, but my understanding is that most use tung oil & phenolic resin.
    David G
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    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  40. #40
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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    I think the definition of a spar varnish is one made with TUNG oil. However it seems varnishes aren't made that way so much anymore.


    The msds here for "TrueTone" Gloss T320 which, as I understood, was the follow-on for "Behr" for just a bit there says "linseed". It is my understanding that you can't get TrueTone anymore anyway. Funny how they advertised it as exterior spar varnish but the MSDS says "interior" in the description...

    I recall looking up the MSDS for Behr and thinking it had linseed oil in it rather than tung oil, but I can't find my notes on that matter. I thought that a couple folks talked about that on the WBF's many discussions of Behr Spar Varnish.

    I use the Behr Spar Varnish and like it. I have 1 or 2 gallons left but it takes 1 gallon to do all the topsides brightwork on the boat (caprails, coveringboards, trim, wheel, housings, hatches, bulwarks, toerails...). While traveling in August, I varnished everything topsides with 2 to 3 coats of Behr EXCEPT for the cockpit combing and I now need to do it (bad, bad, girl!) since it is down to bare wood in a few worn spots! I'll be doing that this week. I ran out of varnish on our trip and picked up a quart of the West Marine in-house varnish for "touch up" and just in case stuff.

    Now that we're back in San Diego, I'll use the remaining Behr stuff that I have but I really, really need to decide on my "follow on" varnish brand and get some. That's why I'm curious about the Sutherland Welles stuff.
    Last edited by redbopeep; 11-13-2010 at 11:15 AM.
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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    A little more info on that whole Tung Oil thing...linseed oil and tung oil are termed "curing oils" for the varnish whereas alkyd oils are in the "drying oils" family. I'm not truly clear about the difference but it makes me think that one always has something like either linseed or tung oil along with whatever other drying oil is in the product.

    Many products tell us the base = Phenolic resin / Alkyd resin / Tung Oil without info about %. Technically, they can use the term alkyd resin when the content is soy oils in addition to other oils. In the paint world, these days, alkyd resin typically means soy but again can mean other things.

    from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkyd we learn that-->

    Typical sources of drying oils for alkyd coatings are sunflower oil, safflower oil, walnut oil, soybean oil, fish oil, corn oil, and tall oil (resinous oil by-product from pulp and paper manufacturing).

    Epifanes MSDS just says the base is Phenolic resin / Alkyd resin / Tung Oil
    http://www.jamestowndistributors.com...+Clear+Varnish

    Z-Spar Captains has unknown quantities of linseed oil vs tung oil but seems to have both. MSDS doesn't say but here's a little info http://www.jamestowndistributors.com...uct.do?pid=100

    Bottom line--it seems that most these manufacturers aren't telling you very much info about what's in the product. If the product works, great. However, I don't assume that any of them have a decent percentage of Tung Oil unless they specify the percentage in their lit/msds. I also would assume that many good recipes exist for excellent varnish at low price (e.g. without Tung Oil) since certainly that's what we got with Behr--a good product at a good price. I cannot imagine that the Behr varnish ever had much in the way of tung oil in it because it was marketed so cheaply. But, I liked the product.
    "If you are going to do something, do it now. Tomorrow is too late." -Pete GossWhat we're doing now--with the boat and then with other stuff and you can Follow us on Twitter

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    There must be an individual at Behr who can answer some of these questions... Somebody made the decisions about the formula and also about the marketing.

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Quote Originally Posted by John P Lebens View Post
    There must be an individual at Behr who can answer some of these questions... Somebody made the decisions about the formula and also about the marketing.
    They have discontinued the product. They have no incentive to tell a former customer what was in the former product. That's not the point anyway. The issue today is what good long lasting varnish is available at a comparable ease of use and comparable price.
    "If you are going to do something, do it now. Tomorrow is too late." -Pete GossWhat we're doing now--with the boat and then with other stuff and you can Follow us on Twitter

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    Default Re: Behr Spar Varnish - Update

    Never hurts to ask; the contact point is on the website: www.behr.com. I can't imagine that it was vastly different from the multitude of spar varnishes out there, with the exception of Le Tonkinois, which has no solvents in it; only oils and some drying agents, apparently.

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