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Smith & Rodger Aquacoat SP Wood Floor Lacquer/Varnish Review

© Copyright Author Gary Hughes/Woodfloor-Renovations
>> You need our express prior permission to use/amend text from this Article <<

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Smith & Rodgers Aquacoat SP is a water based lacquer that is used to seal wooden floors. Offering excellent durability, this product is available in three finishes and can be used on all domestic, dance, bar, and school floors. The Matt version gives a natural looking appearance and far better performance than its Hard wax Oil counterparts. 

The above text is the standard Smith & Rodger product information about their Aquacoat SP wood floor lacquer/finish which we used on one of our projects for the first time [Mid Feb 2012]

Having used the excellent Aquacoat Xtra recently, we have just trialled its sister product, Aquacoat SP. This is Smith & Rodgers starter product, and I have to say we were again very impressed with their lacquers.

The material we were working on was Beech Parquet Blocks, which on this project were virtually all loose in this 18m2 bedroom. When we had finished all the [extensive] block repairs, the floor was ready to be sanded.

We sanded off and prepared the floor to our usual high standard, the whole floor had to be gap filled as the floor did look rather gappy and our clients wanted them filled. After the prep work was finished the areas were thoroughly vacuumed and then tack clothed as well to remove any fine residual dust and debris.

For the first coat on this parquet floor we used Junckers Baseprime to give a lovely natural colourization to the parquet and also to protect the subsequent coats of lacquer from any possible contamination. The lacquer system for this project was 1 coat of Junckers Baseprime followed by 2 x coats of Aquacoat SP.

When we first poured out the Aquacoat SP [Satin] onto the floor, it was of a different consistency to its big brother [Aquacoat Xtra] that said the product was white-ish in appearance and sat nicely on the floor prior to our cutting in of the parquet border.

The Aquacoat SP worked easily and covered the Beech parquet nicely leaving no lap lines at all, reworking was less than minimal, just the briefest rub over with the 4" foam roller we were using to cut in and any proud areas of lacquer were gone leaving a lovely clean and even finish.

When we applied the Aquacoat SP to the main areas of the floor we used a new 15" medium pile roller, we poured out an amount of product onto the floor to apply directly, the lacquer sat very nicely on the parquet and rolled out particularly easily and evenly to cover the floor very nicely indeed, the product levelled out quickly as well leaving no lap lines whatsoever, this is a very easy product to apply and I'm sure is a big favourite with the DIY market.

If any DIYer's out there are reading this review - Don't hesitate to use Aquacoat SP on your project, for a 'budget sensitive' lacquer it has all the hallmarks and traits of much more expensive products.

When the first coat of lacquer had dried, aesthetically the product had a clear crisp look to it meaning the natural grain structure of the wood shone through, and the Satin lacquer we were using had the right level of sheen for the room - Our clients thought so anyway !!

We found the drying times of the lacquer were pretty quick as well, well under the 2 hours per coat that the manufacturers say is the norm, we applied the 3 coats overall in under 4 hours which is good for the application of any lacquer system.

In summary Aquacoat SP is clearly a high quality formulation, and being at the lower end of the wood floor lacquer cost scale you really do get a lot of bang for your buck. Being particularly easy to apply and having virtually the same qualities as much more expensive products, this lacquer should be the first choice for the cost conscious DIY market.

Cost wise, Aquacoat SP is around the same price as Bona Novia and Junckers Pro Finish, two of the market leading floor lacquer products in this category of finishes, and in our opinion is every bit as good as them.

The coverage rate we achieved is also good, on this project we achieved a coverage rate of around 12 m2 per litre of Aquacoat SP. Smith and Rodger specify an application rate of approx 10-12m2 per litre of Aquacoat SP, so we know that we had delivered the product properly at the correct film coat depth.

Aquacoat SP comes delivered in a 1 litre, 2.5 litre, 5 litre, and is available in 4 different sheen levels which are:- Dead Flat Matt, Matt, Satin or Gloss.

All these finishes will look superb when properly applied and it would of course depend on the choice of the end user as to what aesthetic sheen level best suits their particular area /room/project that the product is being applied into.

smith and Rodger Aquacoat SP before picture
Smith and Rodger Aquacoat SP after picture

The above pictures are of the room in its direct "before and after" condition - Quite a transformation I think you would agree.

*NB* Woodfloor-Renovations would like to thank Mr Ian McAslan, Smith & Rodger Managing Director for his help and valued assistance on this project. Thanks Ian.

Smith and Rodger Information Panel
  • Low odour and low flammability
  • Rapid dry and over coating
  • Good clarity and flow. Reduced film yellowing (compared to solvent based varnish)
  • Good chemical and abrasion resistance. Available in Gloss, Satin & Matt
  • Especially useful for retaining the natural appearance of pale coloured woods

Uses Primarily used in the coating of wooden floors, the product is also suitable for most interior woodwork including furniture, doors, facings, skirting etc.

Direction for Uses
  • Ensure room conditions are warm dry and well ventilated. Do not apply if the temperature is below 13 °C and/or the relative humidity is above 65%.
  • Ensure the wood is clean, dry, sanded smooth and dust free.
  • Apply using a brush, spray or lambs wool applicator (for floors).
  • Apply at least 3 coats (more if heavier wear is anticipated). Allow the previous coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next. A light sanding between coats using 120 grade sandpaper will improve the appearance.
  • Wash all the equipment immediately after use with cold water. Ensure the spray vessels are suitably lined or have removable plastic inserts.
  • Please wear gloves when applying Aquacoat SP.

Drying Times
Assuming good application and curing conditions:
Touch Dry and overcoat able - 2 hours. Full cure reached: 8-10 days.
Avoid heavy use for at least 72 hours after the final coat. Do not put rugs on the floor or subject the floor to any wet cleaning or wax polish maintenance for at least 8-10 days.
Note - Heavy coats should not be applied as this will adversely affect the drying and curing time, as will re coating too soon or covering the floor with polythene or other sheeting.

Coverage Depending on the porosity of the wood and film weight approximately 10-12 square metres per litre.

Shelf Life Up to 12 months if stored tightly sealed in the original container in warm dry conditions. Store away from direct heat. Protect from frost.

Health & Safety Read the instruction label on the container and the Health and Safety information sheet.

Further Advice
If using Aquacoat SP on a stained or previously coated surface a trial application should be made before coating the whole surface to check on suitability. Like solvent based Polyurethane varnish, wood coated with Aquacoat XTRA has a tendency to yellow with time. This effect can be pronounced where a floor is covered with rugs. The life of the coating will vary depending on the conditions of use. It is recommended that suitable barrier mats are used at entrances and that a regular maintenance schedule is carried out.


We are very often asked 'How many coats of lacquer do i need' - the simple answer is as many as you like, but this always relates to cost & the time frame involved in the project. As a general rule of thumb a Professional Floor Sanding company will specify 3 Coats of Lacquer/Seal or 2 coats of Oil as a standard system for a domestic situation, extra coats of lacquer will be at an extra cost, anything between £4 - £6 per coat per m2 eg. For a 20m2 lounge to be given a 4th coat of lacquer should cost between £80 - £120

If in doubt just ask your Floor Sanding Professional.

Aquacoat SP can be applied to a wood floor in a number of ways, a floor sanding professional will use a variety of application methods depending on the size of project, but if you are looking to apply lacquer to for example a 20m2 lounge, Oak strip, a 9" roller would be perfectly acceptable, the roller refill you need should be a 'medium pile' with the pile length being approx 8mm, a decent quality roller will have that information on the packet, use an inch and three quarter roller and cage, these are more robust and just better than the cheaper inch and a half alternatives.

  • Look out for a light blue line around the roller refill, this designates that the pile has been thermo fused onto the actual roller sleeve and is highly unlikely to shed hair/pile into the lacquer.

For cutting in we would recommend using a 4" Mini Paint Roller with a foam refill, these products are cheap but do the job extremely well. You don't always have to buy the manufacturers recommended products, which are normally twice the price of perfectly suitable alternatives.

The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of Woodfloor-Renovations through our experiences with the numerous Floor Sanding & Sealing projects that we have undertaken.

** No guarantee whatsoever is offered with this advice **

REMEMBER: ALWAYS follow the manufacturers instructions and read them carefully.

If you are not sure about any aspect of this article consult a Professional.

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