Re: Varnish Suggestions

Posted by Steve Miller on Sep 8, 2004

Black art is right on. Any thing that works to provide a finish that makes the owner happy is fine by me! I once watched a professional varnisher do a transom with a sable artists brush. While it was perfect, the "black art" paid her very well by the hour for an owner who was very afraid of doing his own varnish.

I don't find that Penetrol affects the "drying" of the varnish very much. It does help the brush drag less and the varnish to flow better - which I think may be the same thing really.

It delays the "set" of the varnish to allow for better tipping results and an easier time keeping a wet edge. Its the "set" of the varnish that gets most in trouble. That means the varnish is to the point that you can't tip or that brushing into the wet edge will mess it up. Its a matter of minutes gained while working "on the edge". Set is not the same thing as dry. Dry means its ready to sand and recoat. Thin coats are still the rule to prevent sags and runs which to me mean too much varnish for the surface (at that temp/humidity/varnish formula/thinner/no thinner/Penetrol/etc).

For large boat panels (or transoms) I'd use a roller then tip - no boo's now - to get the varnish on in a hurry. I like the 4" white round end foam rollers from Home Depot. I also have a shelf full of nice brushes to use on projects too.

I've even been known to roll on an area, brush it smooth then tip after a few minutes. Sort of depends on what I am doing.

I do like doing varnish which makes a bit strange to some people! :-)

In Response to: Re: Varnish Suggestions by jennifer & terry on Sep 8, 2004