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General Finishes

High Performance Water Based Varnish - Satin - Gallon

Item 811247
Model B152-L Gallon


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  • Includes a PaintCare Fee
  • General Finishes® High Performance polyurethane finishes are a unique hybrid of urethane and acrylic technology. The specialized urethane modification provides the superior toughness, durability, and water resistance necessary for high wear surfaces such as tables and cabinets. HP (High...


    General Finishes® High Performance polyurethane finishes are a unique hybrid of urethane and acrylic technology. The specialized urethane modification provides the superior toughness, durability, and water resistance necessary for high wear surfaces such as tables and cabinets. HP (High Performance) is formulated to resist foaming, prevent sagging and resist running like ordinary water based finishes. This finish contains all the consumer-friendly characteristics of a Poly Acrylic Blend including being non-yellowing and offering easy water cleanup. In addition, HP is stabilized with UV absorbers to maximize its performance and afford protection to the stains, paints, and wood underneath. High Performance is a fast drying, low odor, non-flammable alternative to conventional lacquers. It is suitable for interior woodwork, case goods, furniture, and cabinets. The free dry time is only 15 minutes with 2-4 hours between coats, which means you can finish a project in short order.


    • Extremely tough durable finish
    • Contains UV stabilizers
    • Can be used over most water base and solvent base stains
    • Resists foaming, sagging and running
    • Non-yellowing and easy to clean up
    • Fast drying, low odor, non-flammable alternative to conventional lacquers


    • Size: Gallon
    • Color: Clear
    • Sheen: Satin
    • Type: water based clear topcoat
    • Interior/Exterior Use: Interior use only
    • Recommended Use: interior woodwork, case goods, furniture, and cabinets
    • Solids by Weight & Volume: Weight-26%; Volume-24%
    • Application Method: Brush, roll or spray
    • Coats: 2-3
    • Coverage: 500-600 sq.ft.
    • Ideal Drying Conditions: 70°F and 50% humidity
    • Dry Time - Touch: 30+ minutes
    • Dry Time - Recoat: 2+ hours
    • Dry Time - Light Use: 7-10 days
    • Dry Time - Cure: 21 days
    • Clean Up: Soap and water
    • VOC: <172 g/L

    What's Included:

    • (1) General Finishes - High Performance Water Based Varnish - Satin - Gallon

    Instructions / MSDS

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    4.25 out of 5 stars
    4 Reviews
    1. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Great Product!

      I have read the comments and problems when applying this product with a bristle brush. I have had excellent results using a foam brush to apply this finish. This eliminates brush marks, and it is easier to control the amount being applied. Based on my experience, if you get the "milkey" look, you have applied too much material. I am currently finishing a barrister's bookcase with raised panel sides. The foam brush makes it much easier to finish the small details around the raised panels, without applying too much material. I also use only a foam brush to apply oil-based Polyurethane . Give the foam brush a try. I am confident your results will be much better.

    2. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Fantastic finish of the future

      I want to address this to Dave's review, as I understand how water based finishes can be tough to handle at first, but they are worth the learning curve. I just completed refinishing my kitchen cabinets with this product, brushing the finish on the installed cabinet carcasses, and spraying the finish on the door fronts with a Fuji HVLP sprayer. I have to say the results were fantastic, but these new water based finishes are new technology and require a bit of finesse early on, until you get used to the "quirks." Dave, it sounds like you are used to the old solvent based varnishes, where you have all day to brush out a good finish. Water based finishes are different. High Performance is best when sprayed and I highly recommend the Fuji mini mite 3 gravity gun. It's worth every penny. I have so many new projects that I plan for this gun. That said, I got great results brushing this finish, but you have to be careful. When brushing, use a quality synthetic brush, like a Purdy, soft bristle. Brush quickly but smoothly. Water based finishes "cure" quickly, so you need to work in a small area and "glop" the finish on first, then QUICKLY smooth out the finish and then leave it alone! Move quickly and overlap previous areas. Don't stop until you reach a definitive zone, like a cabinet or bookshelf edge. Go for a thin finish, and build up. This isn't like varnish, where you can put on one or two thick coats. Plan for 3-4 thin coats minimum. You've got about 1 minute working time, then watch as the finish self levels beautifully. If you have problems with chalky appearence, this is probably due to either excess humidity, or oil based stains underneath that haven't cured. Make sure humidity is below 60%. Oil based stains need 2-3 days to cure before overcoating with water based clear coats. I do agree that brushing with lots of corners is tough. That's where a spray gun excels. On my cabinets, I took each surface plane one at a time, and wiped off any excess finish that "wrapped" around a corner. In my case, I even tinted the finish, which is even more challenging, but the final result looks fantastic! I basically painted over an old factory lacquer finish that had degraded with a dark walnut toned finish and completely rehabilated old, tired cabinets. I couldn't be happier with this superior finish, but it does take some getting used to. I recommend studying up on water based finishes to understand their properties before tackling a tricky project.

    3. 2.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Does not brush on well at all

      I bought this at the advice of the employees at my local WoodCraft store. I wanted to get away from using a competitors poly and this was highly recommended. I needed something that would brush on well, as I do not have a spray setup. I was told this would work. Well let me tell you this brushes on horrible. I started with the shelves of a bookcase I am making and it worked only ok. A little bit of foaming but I thought it was acceptable. When I moved onto the carcass of the case is when I ran into trouble. The case has lots of little corners and this product does not work for this piece. It caused a chalky deposit in all of the corners. I called General Finishes and talked to them. They advised me to make sure the product was very well mixed, which it was, and to make sure that I pretty much globbed it on, and very lightly spread it over the piece. I tried this and it causes do much excess in the corners, I stopped after only about 2 minutes. I have applied other competitors poly before without any of the hassle of this product. After doing som research online it seems that this product works best when sprayed. I am going bite the bullet and buy a hvlp gun and see what happens when I spray this. Hopefully I can amend this review after that. But as of now, if you are going to try and brush this on, stay away.

    4. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      I always use the General finishes

      multiple times we use it to finish our hand-made picture frames

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