MC16.5 varnish - is this normal?


I have put 2 coats of International Schooner on so far with a wet sand in between using 600 wet and dry. I am using a good natural bristle brush to brush it on. Before first coat, after sanding I wiped off with a dry cloth, vacuumed and then wiped over with enamel thinner #1 (as recommended on schooner can).

While the finish looks great from a distance, up close you see hundreds of little specks -dust?

It's hard to see in these small photos but they're pretty much all over, you can feel them with your hand when you caress.... sorry, rub the surface in a manly non-loving sort of way.

Is this normal (the specks I mean not the caressing)? Apart from painting in a vacuum with a borrowed NASA suit I don't know how to avoid specks of dust flying around. I see other glossy finish boats/kayaks on here - do they have specks in them too or am I doing something wrong?

Thanks for your help


p.s. These aren't 'fisheyes' are they? They're different again right?






13 replies:

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RE: MC16.5 varnish - is this normal?

1st off. nice work on the boat. it looks great. another floating coffee table.

I have had the same issue and have used a couple approaches.

1-wet down the floor with a pump sprayer and and vacume any dust off any surface i can find.

2- i have cover up as much of the shelving and areas with thin painters plastic, it comes in small rolles but folds out. 

No matter how many coats of varnish you lay on (my WD-12 has 7) you will find small spots or brush marks that will drive you mad....but it all goes away when you get the 1st case of PLS (Parking Lot Syndrome).  the only way to fight PLS is to allow at least 1/2 to 1 additional hour of the trip time to brag about your boat in random parking lots, boat launches, red lights, etc.

again nice work.... post some pic's of your maiden voyage.


RE: MC16.5 varnish - is this normal?

Beautiful job. Some builders increase the local humidy to keep the dust down by building in a puddle of water. Making a clean room from painters' tarp, weeting the floor and walls before you get started and keeping your clothes and yourself scrupulously clean are the only ways to avoid dust (at least that the average builder can afford). And even if you do all that, gnats love to settle onto varnish.

Don't worry. As Jon says, you'll be the only one who knows. The rest of the world will think that it's the most beautiful boat they've ever seen.



RE: MC16.5 varnish - is this normal?

Some people think I went too far...but its not that much trouble.  About 10 bucks of plastic.  1 mil thick.  I also wet down the area with a garden hose.

RE: MC16.5 varnish - is this normal?

If you can try to apply varnish early in the morning before the wind comes up or late at night after it dies down. I did one coat in the afternoon on an extra windy day and had what you discribed. Mine turned out to be lint from a near by bathroom toilet roll.

Wet sanding 600 up to 1200 before buffing should knock it down completely. How long does that varnish smell? I used the 2 part LPU and it was oderless with 48 hours.


RE: MC16.5 varnish - is this normal?

Consider dust the problem.

I'm going to take a guess at the source in the first pic you posted lets see a couch, chair, cotton rags, and a big blue dust magnet. Everything with fibers in your shop could have contributed just pat those with the sun shining in there some afternoon. Was a load of laundry going too? Look over head also for dusty boxes.

Hers some pics of an overhead tarp setup.

RE: MC16.5 varnish - is this normal?

Thanks for the replies and compliments.

Yes, quite a few sources of dust in there. Admittedly the first coat went on when it was quite windy but the second was a very calm day. I didn't think dust would 'rise' on its own accord from wherever it sits but it obviously does. Before my next coat I'm gong to wet sand again, wash, dry and then use a tack cloth - something I didn't do on the first two (tack cloth). I might even strain the varnish. I live in a small town and don't have easy access to these basic things so it's mail order or rely on friends and family in the city.

I will also dampen the floor.

I don't think I will go the temporary spray booth setup this time but I appreciate the info and links - thanks again.

Also to cattail, the International Schooner Tropical varnish is quite good on the odour side - hardly noticeable the next day. 



RE: MC16.5 varnish - is this normal?

Looks good to me! And it sounds like the typical dust problem. I did trying vacuuming the day before and a spray bottle but not the trouble of a plastic tent and I still had dust (but I don't pay attention to that anymore). I also tried doing it outside on a lawn during a clam morning. I got gnats then. If you do get gnats don't try to get them out when it is wet, just let it dry and wipe them off later. It looks better than a smeared gnat in epoxy.

RE: MC16.5 varnish - is this normal?

First: Nice looking boat!

Three other ideas that worked for me: 1. After wiping off as much dust as you can with a soft brush or tack cloth, wipe it again with Interlux 333 brushing liquid (then soak the rag in water to prevent spontaneous combustion). 2. Apply the varnish with a foam brush instead of a bristle brush. 3. Ignore the remaining dust spots - nobody else will ever notice!

RE: MC16.5 varnish - is this normal?

I just noticed you seem to be working on a bare concrete floor. Just walking on that floor will raise a lot of dust. Spread some 4-mil poly, or painters drop cloths on it, and while your at it cover the overstuffed furniture.

RE: MC16.5 varnish - is this normal?

Steve - picking-up on TFA's comment above about covering the furniture, I think it is here that the problem lies.   Clearly, with those two very soft and comfortable-looking chairs in your workshop, you are spending too much time reclining in them and studying the craft.   Must be the best furnished shop around!   To me, it looks absolutely perfect - grand piano quality - although obviously only you can feel the surface.   If I can get anything approaching that visually I'll be happy.

Now - outta those chairs and onto the water...



RE: MC16.5 varnish - is this normal?

I also worried about dust specks, etc. on my WD10. But after the first few scratches on your first trip, you realize it is after all a boat, not a piece of furniture. I still caress, it though.

RE: MC16.5 varnish - is this normal?

Nice Job!!

I hope I could also have the same!! :(  :(

office furniture Clearwater fl

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