Varnish/ Grit/Varnish

Posted by Lloyd on Nov 27, 2004

Between coats of varnish and paint I sanded my two boats with 320 or 400 grit sandpaper.

The new published book "Kayaks You Can Build" seems to favor 220 and a posting I found on Nick Schades BB from several years ago also supports 220.

Here is a exert from the first part of the BB message (with a link to the thread following it).

The message was posted by Rob Macks of Laughing Loons Kayaks back in 2001.

Unless you are buffing out a finish any grit over 220 is a waste of effort when varnishing an epoxy coated boat surface.

And unless your boat will never leave the walls of a museum, show room, or if the selling price is over a mill, itís a BIG waste of effort to buff out a boat finish. Buffing out a finish is not something you learn on the first try.

All the marine spar varnishes Iím familiar with (and Iíve used quite a few) suggest sanding ONLY up to 220 grit before application.

Iíve been sanding for over thirty years. I used to HATE sanding. I still donít love it, but itís bearable when you know what youíre doing and what grit to use.

320 is used with the water based finishes because these are so thin, and 400 and 600 grit papers take down a very small amount of material.

To address these statements myself I'd need to conduct an experiment or look for supporting references.

I'm look for references here and look forward to your opinions.

I'll stand back now.