Unfinished Wood

can I varnish unfinished wood?

I have this water based varnish, Varathane, and I really don't want to sand everything down. Do I have too? Will like look OK if I don't? And does anyone know how well it will seal the wood, it's being used on a small part of an animal enclosure.
it will be inside, and it's for a snake so it won't be getting chewed on.

it would be faster to sand it first. otherwise you will have to put on multiple coats to build it up to a smooth finish. It will seal good

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