put letters under epoxy or under varnish?

  I have chosen a name for my Matunuck and am going to apply the letters this weekend.  My question is, do I put the letters under a coat of epoxy?  Or do I put the letters on now before I start the varnishing and cover the letters with only coats of varnish?  It is going to look pretty nice -- gold letters over dark, stained side rail.  The letters will be on the stern

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RE: put letters under epoxy or under varnish?

One of the big questions is how are applying letters? Is it printed on rice paper, or painted, or vinyl, or just painted on the hull?

RE: put letters under epoxy or under varnish?

If you are painting the letters on, you can apply them on top of the epoxy and then varnish over. Lightly wet sand the edges of the paint to remove any ridges and use steel wool to take the sheen off so the varnish can adhere to the paint. 

Cheers,

 

David 

RE: put letters under epoxy or under varnish?

 

Thank you.  The letters are metallic which I got at a sign shop and which are compatible with the epoxy, I already experimented with it.  They are attached to plastic over which you rub on and presto! they stick. 

RE: put letters under epoxy or under varnish?

I have worked in the sign business for a LOOOOONG time. If it is not too late, your best bet is to put the lettering on top of the finish, rather than under any type of finish. Most of the vinyl lettering sold now comes in a high performance version, and will last 3-4 years in direct sunlight. On a garaged or trailered boat they could last for...ever? The vinyl will last longer than the varnish you put over them, and I have seen varnish actually crack and peel, and take the lettering with it when the lettering shrinks and expands due to changes in temperature. Put 'em on top, and the worst is you may have to replace the letters in a few years. Put them under the varnish, and you may have to re-varnish early, and still replace the lettering.

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