Re: Order of Finish

Posted by Steve Miller on Aug 23, 2004

75.6 km per hour!

Not sure about that but I'll have a go at the rest of your questions.

First, if you have no experience with paint, varnish and sandpaper then read up on the subject and see if you can find someone local to you to discuss the topic - maybe off this list. The subjects raised by your post really demand more of an answer than can be done here.

Wooden Boat has several good books on finishing and varnishing (brightwork). See link.

Our host here at CLC has some good help in their shop tips.

Sanding starts with coarser paper since it removes more material faster. Once you have a smooth surface on your epoxy using 120 (some guys love to start with 80, I disagree especially if you use a carbide scraper to get the high spots, runs and drips etc first) then you are going to move to a finer paper to remove the sanding marks from the last paper. This might go 120-150-180-220. The idea is to finish with paper fine enough that the sanding marks it leaves won't show in your finish. 220 is fine enough to start painting or varnishing.

I use Mirka sanding disks for my ROS and they work fine for wet sanding or hand sanding too. Buy them in bulk by the box of 100 and not in the 5 pack from the local big box Home Improvement store!

How to know when to change paper? Not sure how to descibe it other than when the surface looks uniform. Start with 120 and when the surface is uniformly dull with no shiney spots and nicely smooth and "fair" (no bumps or dips) then go to 150. Move to 150 when the surface is again uniform. Sort of a touchy feely thing. Progress through the grits with the understanding that each grit will take less time than the one before it. Get into the "zen of sanding" by leaving the work when you get tired or tired of it and come back later with a fresh mind.

Only stain if you are sure it will not affect the bond of the epoxy! That has been discussed here on the forum so do a search. I'd say just go with the natural beauty of the okume! Its really nice. If you do stain then do it before epoxy.

Yes you can varnish over marine paint but why? It will change the look and gloss of the paint and make it sort of amber. Varnish is not clear. I like to varnish first then paint any overlaps over the varnish. Sand it first.

Kurt - any better description for Rob?

I'll email you my write up on painting and varnishing. Its been posted here before.

Good luck!

Wooden Boat books

In Response to: Order of Finish by Rob on Aug 23, 2004