Varnish Process

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TX_yakker
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Varnish Process

Post by TX_yakker » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:02 pm

Being a member of various internet forums, I'm very aware of the search function and have seen many members get flamed for asking questions that could be answered with a search. In my defense, I tried searching with various "phrases" but cant seem to find a good answer to what I'm looking for so here goes.

Put my first coat of Epifanes high gloss on this afternoon. Nice warm Texas day! I rolled the boat out into the sun for about 20 minutes to warm it up, rolled it back into the garage and got ready. I also let my varnish sit out in the sun for a little while too to warm that up. I read somewhere that warming the varnish helps.......i think. Anyhow, I did the process of working one side, then the other, in about an 8-10" wide section from centerline down to the gunnel (I have those taped off and protected) and things seemed to go well. Its all drying right now.

I guess I wait about 24 hours before going back to see if I can sand? I am figuring on wet sanding with 220 grit, even though thats kind of new to me. Once the hull is sanded, wiped, and cleaned with a tack cloth, the second coat will be going on. I plan to do 3 coats on the outer hull, so do I sand between each layer? Can I go and apply the 3rd coat once the 2nd is no longer tacky to the touch? I'm totally new to this varnish stuff. I did my seat frames and that was easy stuff, but I would just wait until a coat was dry and then apply another on top of it. Came out well enough, but I want to make sure I'm doing things the right way on the hull since its a large surface area with more room for mistakes. Trying to avoid as many of those dang mistakes as possible :tu

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Patricks Dad
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Re: Varnish Process

Post by Patricks Dad » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:47 pm

I think the Epifanes guidance is to sand between each coat. However, being the lazy guy that I am, I "sand" between every other coat. Once the first coat is on and past the tacky stage, I put on a second coat without sanding. Once the 2nd coat is dry enough to sand - ~ 24 hours depending on temp/humidity, I scuff the surface of the 2nd coat with a green scotch pad before putting on the 3rd and forth coats. If the finish doesn't scuff but instead seems to "ball up", it's too early.

Approach every coat as though it is the final coat wrt how much care you put into it.
Randy Pfeifer
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Randy.Pfeifer1@gmail.com

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Jim Dodd
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Re: Varnish Process

Post by Jim Dodd » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:49 pm

I am soo not an expert ! But if I sand varnish between coats, I go with 320grit.
I wish I was an expert in varnishing, as that is what I see as my biggest down fall.

Good topic though ! Varnishing that is.

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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Glen Smith
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Re: Varnish Process

Post by Glen Smith » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:13 pm

I apply the varnish according to Ted's application technique but the similarity ends there.
I use Epifanes and dilute it about 10% with Epifanes brushing thinner. I use a 3" quality foam brush. When the first coat is no longer tacky I apply coat number 2 without sanding. When the second coat is no longer tacky I apply coat number 3 without sanding.
Of course if I have runs, sags or dust nibs I have to wait 24 hours, scrape, sand, then move on. However, on my 6 last boats, I have not needed to do any sanding so I applied 3 coats in one day. I also place the brush in the freezer between coats and reuse the same brush for the first 2 coats. I use a new brush for the 3rd coat.

I have always been complimented on the beauty of my varnish jobs so I guess I did ok.

TX_yakker
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Re: Varnish Process

Post by TX_yakker » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:08 am

Applying the next coat of varnish without sanding, is it easy to see where your wet line is? Applying it to the sanded hull, seeing your wet line is a no brainer but with the gloss of the previous coat of varnish I'm curious how easy it is to follow.

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Patricks Dad
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Re: Varnish Process

Post by Patricks Dad » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:16 am

Good question. It is indeed much harder to see where you've been if you don't sand. But a strong light shining in parallel with the hull helps a bunch.
Randy Pfeifer
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Randy.Pfeifer1@gmail.com

TX_yakker
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Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:11 am

Re: Varnish Process

Post by TX_yakker » Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:37 am

Good to know, thanks guys! I have 2 lamps set up just as you described, shining along the length of the hull. I think I'll probably sand the first coat tomorrow morning just for kicks, do the second coat and then once the second is no longer tacky (and it comes out all fine) then go ahead and do the third right on top of it. Doing it in the afternoon in the garage, I have the 2 lamps shining down the length of the hull and then the sunlight from outside of the garage shining down other end of the hull.

Chipper1959
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Location: Cowansville Qc Canada

Re: Varnish Process

Post by Chipper1959 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:17 am

There was a post on the Techniques forum describing how to use a brown paper bag to get rid of dust nibs. I wanted to try it but completely forgot when the time came.

Search in the techniques forum for "paper bag".

alick burt
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Re: Varnish Process

Post by alick burt » Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:54 pm

Hi Folks
I go along with most of what has been said here but would like to add a couple of things I have found useful.The first is that I was always told to leave the first coat in particular a good long time to dry it should be "bone hard"or putting more material on top of it just makes things take longer to dry.
Second was that it is very important to stir the varnish well.(I had one boat that took ages to dry and i think this was the cause.I rang the varnish maker( Flag) and they told me that if it is'nt well stirred the thicker component ends up at the bottom of the can and it doesn't dry properly!
If you are rubbing down with wet and dry I have also heard that rain water is better than tap water though I haven't had any problems with the latter.
Cheers
Alick

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