Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Bartley clear gel

Q: I recently purchased a quart of Bartley Gel Varnish over the internet. The product I received is Bartley Gel Stain – Clear Satin. Is this the same as the Bartley Gel Varnish?
A: Yep. The best I can figure is that Bartley started as a one step wipe on stain and finish, sold as an “all you need do is wipe on the stain and you’re done” panacea. That started people referring to what was actually a tinted finish as a stain. It made sense to keep the familiar name for the clear version. The same gestalt exists in deck coatings; most are technically tinted finishes, but are called stains.