bubbles in varnish

im on my second coat of varnish and seem to have alot of tiny bubbles in it they'll sand out ok but how do i prevent the on susequent coats? ps im  putting it on and tipping it out with a foam brush in 70 degree weather

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RE: bubbles in varnish


Maybe a different brand of foam brush? Application results are very sensitive to the type of brush. As usual, the more expensive the brush the better the results. In my experience the Home Depot brushes are the worst. The best used to be the ones that CLC sold, the ones with the wooden handle going down into the foam. Unfortunately, the last box of brushes I got from them were the kind with the plastic insert and they did not do as good a job.

Another possibility is maybe you need to thin your varnish a bit.



RE: bubbles in varnish

I would like to suggest we block all Chinese imports.



RE: bubbles in varnish

Starting at noon today.


RE: bubbles in varnish

Are you sure it is bubbles and not dust?  The only problem I had with the varnish was lap marks from the foam brush.  I solved that problem by thinning it a little with "Interlux 333" thinner.  Of coarse it took 4 coats before I discovered this, hence my yak has 5 coats of varnish.



RE: bubbles in varnish

I do not like thinning varnish unless it is one of the first two coats on bare wood.  Use Penetrol instead to increase the flow time.  A couple of ounces per quart of varnish.  This lets the varnish flow long enough for the bubbles to come out.  Stirring varnish adds bubbles so you should filter your varnish into your paint cup when pouring it out of the can.  Use a cone paint filter.  Looks like a coffee filter but with cheesecloth inserts.  I filter every time I varnish even though I generally do not stir varnish unless I have added Penetrol or thinner.  Varnish does not seem to seperate like paint. 

Filters and Penetrol are available at any paint store or big box home improvement store.  Be sure to get the Penetrol for oil based paints not the version for latex paint.


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