We have installed tongue-and-groove pine on the vaulted ceilings throughout our home. We installed it in March, and it was too cold to pre-stain. I am wondering what is the best way to apply clear Varathane to the ceiling. An HVLP (sprayer) seems like it may be a tool worth exploring for this project, rather than the daunting task of brushing it on. Do you have any advice or recommendations? – Randy Potter
Tim Inman: I would suggest a roller or, even better, a lamb’s wool pad applicator. These are commonly available at paint stores. Rollers will tend to leave air bubbles in your varnish surface. The pad (actually made and sold for floor finishing) will be the better choice. Get an applicator holder for the lamb’s wool leather and a long handle to screw into the applicator – just like a roller – and you’ll be good to go. Wear a hat and safety glasses, and keep your mouth closed.
Chris Marshall: We’ve probably all been in situations where the excitement to get the DIY project done can sometimes put the cart before the horse. In the case of your tongue-and-groove pine, Randy, it definitely would have been easier to wait for warmer weather and pre-finish before installing. At least then, gravity would have been on your side. But, I’m with Tim here: under your present circumstances, go with a pad applicator and try to keep from saturating it to the point that it drips. And by all means, use those drop cloths! Good luck with your finishing job.