Glossy vs Satin Finish

Rethinking my finishDSC00004There was a time when I liked the high gloss look of beautifully finished wood.  My rudder was finished with high gloss marine varnish shown below.DSC00001Over the years, however, I’ve come to appreciate and even favor a more satin finish.  Even though my rudder was completely finished, I decided to apply a satin finish over the high gloss to tame things down a bit.  DSC00004To me, the satin finish is a softer, more appealing look…more hand rubbed in appearance.  I am much happier with this finish.  DSC00005I applied the satin finish directly over the high gloss (after lightly sanding).


  1. High gloss is a hard finish that is said to offer the best wear and UV protection amongst clear finishes.
  2. High gloss offers a show stopper look.
  3. High gloss shows every last spec of dust in the finish.
  4. High gloss shows hard water spots.
  5. High gloss magnifies imperfections.
  6. Satin finish looks more hand rubbed.
  7. Satin finish hides imperfections.
  8. Satin finish hides hard water spots.
  9. Satin finish applied over high gloss finish seems to offer the best of both worlds, if you like a more subtle look.



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