Re: Varnish Suggestions

Posted by Steve Miller on Sep 9, 2004

Yes there is a difference between Penetrol and thinner. My earlier posts (above) cover it.

Keeping a wet edge means that you apply the varnish from dry (unvarnished) to wet (varnished). You always want to work from dry to wet. Apply the varnish to a new section next to what you just varnished. Work the new section into the old by brushing from dry to wet, lifting your brush as you stroke into the old section to feather the two sections together and not leave any visible transition. If you brush from wet to dry you will leave marks where the brush first hits the wet varnish. They won't tip out.

If you can tip a 1/2 panel and not mess up the surface then great! I have found that unless you work really fast then you should tip more often. Maybe ever 5 or 6 sq feet or 2 sections. The varnish will set on you long before its dry and tipping will make it worse. Sometimes the brush will tell you. Is is still slippery or does it drag a bit. Tipping should be no drag and very light pressure.

If you are getting sags then you are putting too much on and that may be why you can wait so long to tip. Thinner coats need to be tipped faster.

Thicker varnish means loss of solvent. Varnish starts losing its solvent as soon as you open the can. Pour some out of the can, about what you think you can use in 15 or 20 minutes if its not too hot. Be sure to run it through a paint filter (cone shape paper, mesh at the tip of the cone, available at any paint store or Home Center). Put the lid back on the can tightly. If you need more then open the can again. Do NOT return any varnish from your cup back into the can. It will have dust and other crud in it and be thicker from sitting out open for 20 or more minutes. Better to not put so much in the cup. That also means never work directly from the varnish can.

If you have thick varnish you can add some of the correct thinner. Not too much. Maybe an ounce. Then throw in a ounce of Penetrol. Stir gently and see how it looks. Probably ok.

In Response to: Re: Varnish Suggestions by Gert Walter on Sep 8, 2004