Minwax vs Varathane: Which One Is Suitable For Wood Finishing 

Minwax vs Varathane

We know that choosing the right finish can be difficult. That’s why we’re here to help you find the best one for your project. There are many different brands of wood finishing products on the market today.

Minwax and Varathane are two of the most popular ones. Both have been around for years, so they’ve built a strong following with loyal customers who swear by their products. But which one is right for your project? Let’s compare them side-by-side to find out!

Minwax is an American brand of wood finishing products, and Varathane paint stripper is an Australian brand of paint stripping products.

Both brands offer quality products at reasonable prices. However, there are significant differences between these two products. We will show you how each brand stacks up against each other in durability, ease-of-use, price point, and more. Let’s gauge some of them. 

What is Minwax

Minwax is the number one brand of stains and finishes in North America. They offer over 400 products, including stains, sealers, and topcoats that provide superior protection against water damage, scratches, fading from sun exposure, or other environmental elements.

Their products are available at home centers and hardware stores across North America.

What is Varathane

Varathane is the leading brand of wood finishes in Australia. They offer an extensive line of products to help you finish your next project.

Their products are available at home centers, hardware stores, and online retailers nationwide. Whether it’s a quick fix or a full-scale renovation, they have everything you need to get the job done right.

You can find their products in many different colors and styles so that they match your personal taste perfectly!

It doesn’t matter if you want to refinish old furniture or give your floors an entirely new look – they have something for everyone! With their wide range of finishes, there is no project too big or small for us!

Differences Between Minwax and Varathane

Thickness of product

Minwax has a thicker consistency, while Varathane paint stripper is thinner and more watery. The thickness of the product affects the ease of use significantly.

If the product is too thick then it takes longer to spread evenly across the surface. In addition, if the product becomes too thick after application, it might even start to dry out before you get rid of the rest of the old paint.

On the contrary, if the product is too thin, it may not remove all of the old paint. Thus, choosing the appropriate product thickness can help in achieving better results.


Both brands have their unique odors that they leave on the surface after cleaning. For instance, Minwax smells like lemon and orange peels; however, the odor from Varathane paint stripper is milder than Minwax.

It does not leave any harsh odor as other paint strippers do.

Ingredients used

Minwax contains only natural ingredients such as turpentine, mineral spirits, and linseed oil, which protect the surface. In contrast, the Varathane paint stripper also uses petroleum-based solvents. These solvents evaporate faster when exposed to heat.

This means that the Varathane paint stripper needs to be applied quickly to avoid drying up. On the contrary, Minwax does not require quick removal because it remains soft on the surface. Therefore, it can be left on the object for days or weeks depending upon the need.

Application Method

You cannot just apply Minwax without using gloves. This is because the product is extremely slippery and difficult to handle due to its high viscosity. Moreover, it requires thorough mixing with the solvent.

This makes it easy to miss some parts of the work area. On the contrary, the Varathane paint stripper works well without the use of gloves. It is very much like waxing, and therefore, it is recommended to use protective equipment during application.


While both brands come at affordable prices, min wax costs about $15 per gallon, while Varathane costs around $9 per gallon.

Results Achieved

Using either Minwax or Varathane will result in excellent outcomes. However, applying Minwax usually takes longer. As mentioned earlier, this is because the product requires thorough mixing and spreading on the surface.

Applying Varathane paint stripper gets rid of most of the old paint in a few quick applications. Moreover, the product does not require extensive mixing, unlike Minwax. The product provides excellent results within 30 minutes after application.

Ease of Use

One thing that makes one brand preferable over another is the user experience. With Varathane, there are fewer steps involved in the application making the process easier to master.

Minwax is highly versatile, but it requires multiple steps, including pre-treating and mixing, to achieve optimum results. Using Minwax without following proper procedures might compromise the quality of the end product.

Maintenance Required

After finishing the job, both products require maintenance. Although Varathane maintains good results without frequent maintenance, Minwax requires a few coats of polyurethane.


In conclusion, the best paint stripping solution depends on your personal preference. If you prefer a quick and effective way to get rid of stubborn paint stains, then Varathane is certainly your best choice.

If you love painting, you might want to consider using Varathane since the product allows you to keep the original look of the surface.

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