Builders' Forum Archives
Re: deck sanding/epoxy
Posted by Howard on Apr 6, 2005
prep it with 220
don't wet sand varnish if you don't have epoxy underneath, it is very easy to get the deck wet and it can easily discolour/stain/raise the grain of the wood so that it won't match the surrounding grain.
if you insist on not putting epoxy down first, take some scrap wood and experiment with getting it wet before committing to this approach. this way you can be comfortable about the effects of getting it wet and how it may impact the look.
without an epoxy layer you will also have to be incredibly diligent to keep your varnish layer fresh and unscratched to prevent moisture damage/stains. i have a large sailboat with teak, and the only areas that don't have water stains are the areas that are consistently refinished every year. (my kayak deck only gets refinished once every 3 to 4 years)
simply put,if you don't epoxy the deck, you won't have much of a moisture barrier to prevent the plywood from getting wet.
once your plys get wet, they will discolour and becuase you only have a thin veneer, you will not have the ability to sand it out.
you will not see, in my view, any reduction in the quality of the finish by varnishing over the epoxy.
if you are sensitive about weight, i would still suggest glassing the deck (just go with 2 oz cloth) becuase it makes a significant difference in the impact resistance of the deck to paddle strikes and the like and enhances the the ability of the epoxy to form a moisture barrier.
In Response to: deck sanding/epoxy by ray on Apr 6, 2005