Clean up between varnish coats

How do you clean up after wet sanding between varnish coats?  Is water good enough to get all the grit and varnish residue off?



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RE: Clean up between varnish coats

During warm weather, I hose the puppy down, then dry it off with a microfiber towel. Then wipe it all off again with clean paper shop towel soaked with denatured alcohol. Indoors when it is just too cold outside, I wipe it off with clean, damp rags, going over a couple times. Then use the microfiber towel. Then the clean paper shop towels with denatured alcohol. If you are using the Interlux Schooner varnish, their recommended, "Brushing Liquid 333" is good for final wipe down too but, I think, more scarily toxic than the denatured alcohol. Other varnishes, I would check the manufacturer for their recommended thinner/cleaner. Denatured alcohol has done a pretty good job for me.

Be careful with any rags or towels that you never run them through a dryer that has had fabric softener sheets run through it. Can leave a bad residue that will mess up your varnish. Luckily, I hate those things, and know for certain that the inside of my dryer has never seen them. Otherwise, I'd probably stick to the throwaway type "Big-Box-O-Rags" available at your local Mega-Hardware-Mart.


Ogata (eric)

RE: Clean up between varnish coats

I recommend a wipe down with a 'tack rag' as the final step before varninsh application.  A tack rag is available at any hardware or paint store  and is cheesecloth wetted with varnish.  It will pick up any remaining grit or dust.


RE: Clean up between varnish coats

I'd recommend adding a splash of liquid washing-up detergent to the water used in the wet & dry sanding process, and afterwards when cleaning-off the residue.   The surfactants keep the rubbish in suspension and give a cleaner job.   Not so much detergent should be used so as to create froth and bubbles - just a dash will do.   Adequate rinsing-off will prevent any harmful interaction between remaining microscopic detergent traces (if any - which there shouldn't be) and the next coats.   Use the same idea when rubbing-down paint or epoxies - it makes the job quicker, cleaner, and gives a finer finish too due to the lubricating properties of the water/ detergent mix.

Lol from Oz

RE: Clean up between varnish coats

I use water & a tack rag.



RE: Clean up between varnish coats

I have used isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) after a wet wipe of water.  The rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly, leaves essentially no residue, and dries the surface as it goes.  Cheaper than denatured alcohol too.  Either would work well in cool weather also.



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