What if I don't want an amber glow to my varnish?

All the varnishes state they are amber in color, or bring out a warm amber glow or some such.

I want clear. I like the look of the wood I have and just want a clear UV protectent to coat the epoxy. Is there no such thing, as a good marine grade clear varnish?

Suggestions?

Thank you very much


7 replies:

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RE: What if I don't want an amber glow to my varnish?

Maybe an automotive clear coat but I'm not sure if it would work over sanded epoxy. You'd need to talk to a paint store about that.

             Chris 

 

RE: What if I don't want an amber glow to my varnish?

An Automotive clear coat is actually a very good option. I used a product called Diamond Hard, an acrylic Urethane, used in automotive refinishing on my 19 ft stitch and glue. It does not dry out like varnish, remains water clear for years, is a UV barrier (although the wood does darken with age, even under all that finish) and can be sanded, repaired and buffed out.

You can do all sorts of custom artwork, pen stripes, air brush art, simple mask and spray lettering, bottom paint and top it all with a clear coat that makes the color changes seamless.

I built that kayak in 1990 and it is still like new, although gently used. I did store it outdoors for about 6 months in mild winter conditions and got one small blister on a portion of the red oak rub rail, but that probably had more to do with the natural oil in the wood and not the finish. Don't use red oak under epoxy!! Learned that a bit late.

And yes, Urethanes stick quite well to a sanded, fiberglass finish. 

I will soon be doing a Koholo SUP and plan on finishing it in automotive clear coat with some airbrush work if I can get my creative mojo back. 

RE: What if I don't want an amber glow to my varnish?

I used the System 3 WR-LPU, which is a 2-part water-based marine/UV finish (polyurethane).  It does not have an amber glow at all, and has held up very well.  It can be a bit tricky to apply, but if you can keep the humidity high and the temperature relatively low I found it was quite easy.  I also liked the water clean up and less toxic nature.  I used the satin finish and it turned out great, but they also have a gloss finish.  If you search on the name you will find many application tips (also on West Coast Paddler build forum).  I found thinning about 10% with water, applying with a small roller (trim roller - I used Shur-Line) and tipping out with a good quality brush (Purdy all-paint) worked very well. 

Kathy

RE: What if I don't want an amber glow to my varnish?

I used Supermarine SM 1000 clear gloss on my Wood Duck 12 hybrid.  It has great UV protection and once I figured out how to thin it proprely, it worked out great.  It has a deep wet looking gloss shine with no amber tint. I will use it again on my next kayak. 

Lou

http://supermarinepaint.com/clears&varnish.asp

RE: What if I don't want an amber glow to my varnish?

Thanks for the link Lou. I've used Minwax Helmsman Marine Urethane on my last two boats. It's half the price of varnish, goes on easily with a brush, self-levels and is super clear. It doesn't weather well, though, so needs a quick recoat every year. I'll try the Supermarine on my next boat. -Wes

RE: What if I don't want an amber glow to my varnish?

Thank you, everyone. I was getting frustrated, if you couldnt tell. I just want the natural colors of the woods I have in this kayak, (redwood, cedar, pine, mahogany and walnut) to show thru. Especially the subtle reds, and stark whites, without the varnish tainting the color.

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