I am about to embark on varnishing my Matunuck, which I have stained.  I have to put a little paint on some spots, after I have sanded it all down, and then I want to start varnishing.

I have read some posts on here about varnishing, and I am a little confused.  Some folks  dilute it  with Penetrol by 10 percent,  or 10 percent mineral spirits and 10 percent penetrol --  Joey Schott says to do this.  I have the proper varnish -- Valspar that CLC recommends.   I have the right sand paper, I just need to get a squeegee  and I am ready to go. 

My question is, do I put a coat of 100 percent varnish on and then start diluting it after I have wet sanded?  Or do I go right for the diluted formula?  I am apprehensive about starting this process. 

This is my first boat.  Any words of encouragement out there?


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RE: varnishing

I talked to my boatbuilding partner Dave, and he has helped me out to a great extent.  But we have another question:  How long can we store the thinned varnish/thinned varnish with Penetrol in it?  I have two quarts of the Valspar varnish, I think that is enough for a Matunuck.  Right?

RE: varnishing

The varnish manufacturer should have the thinning schedule on the can, or at least on their web site. I haven't used Valspar, always use Epifanes, but they reccommend thinning 15% first coat and 10% every coat thereafter. It's best to mix small amounts in a seperate container and use it out of it instead of dipping the brush into the can as that's a great way to introduce particles. However if you've already mixed in the can and are using out of it shouldn't be a problem as long as you clean the boat thoroughly before each coat.

As far as storage, the thinned varnish has a pretty long shelf life as long as you're careful to wipe the rim and lid and get an airtight seal when you close it. Two quarts of varnish will be more than enough for the Matunuk. Plan on building something else!

What's the squeegee for?

George K

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