Builders' Forum Archives
Re: varnishing strangenes
Posted by Terry Mcadams on Jun 17, 2004
Y'all are probably getting sick or me telling about the summer job I had as a kid helping a sign-painter letter and varnish yacht transoms (I'm dating myself here, back when all yacht transom were varnished mahogany). Anyhow, to make a living, this guy had to varnish in all weather (sometimes we rigged a tarp and varnished in the rain). Anyhow, the secret to drying in high humidity was adding lacquer thinner - 10 -15% if it was very hot/sticky or raining, 5% for a cooler/dryer day. The thinner speeds drying, which prevents runs and sags and makes the varnish recoatable faster. Also, apply the stuff thin. THIN! The thinner the better. And fast. We'd use stiff brushes (not particularly clean, just stiff) and work the varnish in circles for a few seconds almost to a lather to further stiffen it, then a quick tip-off, then get the heck away from it. Quick, cold water wet-sand every other coat and the dust bumps on the final coat would get knocked off by the auto polish we used last.
Never had any complaints from the often very picky owners, except about the fingerprints from the folks around the yard fondling their transoms.
In Response to: varnishing strangeness by Shaun on Jun 15, 2004