Le Tonkinois Varnish

B & D Murkin

UK main importers for

Le Tonkinois varnish

Flexidisc sander

The Flexi arrived today. What a piece of kit, outstanding. I followed your instructions on a really nasty length of mahogany. It coped with it no probs, took layer after layer of varnish off, didn't clog and no damage to the wood. I can't tell you how pleased I am to have found a varnish and a gadget that will take the slog out of my restoration!


Cutty Sark   We are recommending the oil to our visitors as the results are still looking fantastic. Some elements of the brightworks were initially treated 2 years ago and are still looking smart. Really is a superb product.


I have all my cockpit varnish to do, and out of all the varnishes I've used Le Tonkinois No1 has proved to be the best by far, it's easy to use and gives the best finish I've seen so far, after seven years on my last boat it still looked as good as new.


Bought your Flexidisc kit yesterday. Absolutely brilliant.


Le Tonkinois

I am a very satisfied user of this amazing product. I have used it on the oak joinery and boathouse doors on my house for the last 4 years and it still looks like new.

I should add that we are within 20 metres of the high water mark and in winter the easterly winds sandblast the house - so this durability is no mean feat!

I now want to use it on the teak outer decks of my boat.


Thanks for the Le Tonkinois Vernis no.1 you sent recently. I have been busy since then, revarnishing my conservatory. The product is everything you promised- sweet to brush, easygoing, not prone to streaking, hugely malleable and it has brought out the mahogany to a marvellous reddish glow...

Many thanks- even my wife is impressed with the work, which in my case is a definite first.


I just want to say how wonderful Le Tonkinois is for use in the home.  My kitchen worktops were varnished with three coats 4 years ago.  I love to cook, and bake all my own bread.

I can honestly say that this finish has endured bleach and many other cleaning products over the years including a Vaporetto steam cleaner which I use regularly.  Also the best part of using this finish for me is that I can take pans off the gas and place them straight on to the worktops without causing any damage whatsoever, very handy for casseroles out of the oven when they're piping hot before taking to the table. Good looking too.

Summing up Its Brilliant!! everyone should be using it!!


Thanks Brian will send you some photos when the boat is finished. I will be more than happy for you to use them. This varnish is just so good you just want to keep using it


We only use Le Tonkinois varnish now. It has weathered superbly well.

HMS Pickle is a really extreme environment. We have used it in the accommodation as well as on out spars and hatches. We have used it on softwood like the Russian larch as well as the oak doors and accommodation panelling.


I am a great friend of Le Tonkinois varnish. I have used it in my cottage in Finnish Lapland, the most demanding place being the wooden panels on the shower cabinet in the washing room adjacent to the sauna (not in the sauna hot-room itself, where the temperature can rise over 100 degrees Celsius). The heat from the sauna leaks to the washing room so the varnished panels can get very warm indeed, but the varnish stays good.


As I promised, here are photographs of our Ash garden seat. The sculptor of the seat finished it in Danish Oil so I gave it 2 more coats to ensure that it was well protected. Unfortunately the Danish Oil failed after one winter, Linseed oil fared only slightly better. To my DELIGHT Le Tonkinois Oil Varnish has  worked wonderfully. The natural grain of the wood is beautifully displayed  (if anything better than the Danish Oil) and after a full year outside in all weathers the finish is a good as new.

Clearly the finish is going to last VERY  WELL. A surprising result is that the seat has required very little cleaning - the occasional rain shower leaves it looking perfect. The high gloss is hard and durable. I have also used it on two carved deer left outside in our garden, with total satisfaction after other finishes have failed. I expect that in a couple of years I will be sending you more photographs of a still perfect finish on the  tree seat. Where several other well recognised products have failed or disappointed, Le Tonkinois has proved the perfect product for my outdoor garden furniture.


Just a few pictures of the Centaur Cockpit before and after using your product, as you can see the transformation is great; it seems like sailing a different boat now. Not on the scale of your Gallery but just as impressive, as I only have week ends to work on the boat that’s if the weather is kind to me.


What a wonderful product the Le Tonkinois Varnish is. Certainly lives up to my expectations and does all it claims to do. I would confidently recommend it to anyone.


I bought your excellent varnish at the NEC show in November (and also two years previously) to treat the woodwork on my show winning 1956 split-screen Morris Minor Traveller. There are lots of debates in the "woody" fraternity regarding varnishing against other treatments, but I think the finish is superb and it has certainly had many admirers.


Your exhibit at this years Gateshead Flower Show was excellent and the drill clamp and sharpener attachment both work a treat!



I was wary when I first encountered ‘Le Tonkinois’, having been in advertising for over forty years, I viewed everything I saw and heard with a healthy degree of scepticism. A varnish could never rejuvenate ‘tired ‘ wood or be that easy to apply. Your quiet enthusiasm convinced me to give ‘Le Tonkinois’ a trial on the handrails of our boat. How right you were! After one year the wood had retained its richness of colour and there was no cracking, blistering or lifting. The handrails stood the test perfectly, unlike the traditional varnish applied at the same time which had deteriorated in its usual depressing way.

We have now applied ‘Le Tonkinois’ to all surfaces on the outside of the boat after cleaning and removing all traces of traditional varnish. The results are excellent on both old and new wood. With its ease of application, exceptional finish in less than perfect conditions and hard wearing properties, I am a convert. In fact I’m even beginning to sound like you! I enclose a couple of pictures which don’t really do ‘Le Tonkinois’ true justice.


The teak in my cockpit had been looking a little tired. In the end I decided to sand and revarnish with Le Tonkinois which, I have to say, was a joy to use. It was such a pleasure to apply that I am (almost) looking forward to the next time.


Used the Le Tonkinois on a well used designer bath  in Surrey. The only difficulty I had was taking the photos, the bath was reflecting all the lights including sunlight. The finish was like glass.


These discs are the absolute best thing I have found for bringing brightwork on 120 year old beam engines back to a bright yet unscratched finish - to the point that visitors have asked "were the engines originally chromed?"



This guy is a if not the leading authority. Check out his comprehensive info


Roy Murkin deserves a medal for collating and publishing so much useful information!


Tonkinois lasts very well and is very, very easy to use. The boat now has 4-5 coats, which is about equal to 10 coats of regular varnish.

Varnished wood allows you to see rot and other issues with wood that paint would cover up. There is no more maintenance than paint and less so since the linseed actually helps preserve the wood. Tonkinois has the proteins removed, so it does not have the blackening effect of other linseed-oil based products.


Here are a couple of pics as promised. I have used the longbows extensively in the field and found no problem with the varnish finish despite repeated flexing.  I also use it on some of my turned woodware where a really glossy finish is suitable. Two coats gives a good finish, 3 -superb!. Expect a repeat order next spring!


I finished my TR6 Oak veneered dash board with Le Tonkinois Varnish with excellent results – the final result was beautiful – even if I say so myself.

R. Y.

Just thought I'd let you know I am over the moon with the excellent finish on our elderly Freeman, the wood work is the best it has ever been and we have had the boat 22 years and despaired of ever having a good varnish that lasted more than one season.

Skydiver has now been uncovered all winter since being varnished last Oct.Nov and is sparkling like a jewel.


HMS Pickle   Click to enlarge Alyson Clare  Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Snow goose   Click to enlarge morrisminor1_big.jpg ashseat_big.jpg seasidehouse1_big.jpg raidboat2_big.jpg longbow1_big.jpg


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