Re: preparing for varnish

Posted by Steve Miller on Apr 17, 2005

You probably won't like some of my answer but you did ask. :-)

It's likely that one coat of epoxy on the wood is not enough after sanding to be ready for varnish. You will have bare wood showing for sure even sanding with 300. Two coats, sanding then a 3rd coat is more like it. One coat of epoxy is probably just a waste of time.

Why did you spend all the money on 2 part "varnish" when it seems you are taking the less is better path? One coat of epoxy and 2 coats of any finish will only just barely seal the wood on an unglassed deck.

The Interlux website shows that the recommendation for Perfection is 5-7 coats over bare wood (first coat thinned) or 3-4 coats over previously coated surfaces (old Perfection or epoxy).

Note that Interlux is the US version of your International. Perfection used to called Interthane here.

Since epoxy is probably much less expensive per coat than the 2 part Perfection I would say do the 3 coat method I already mentioned then 3 - 4 coats of the varnish. But by the time you get all that done you might as well have glassed the deck in the first place. But you already know that.

While 2 coats of any varnish seems like enough to provide some minimum protection it misses the point of on-going boat maintenance. One of the reasons so many coats of varnish are specified is that the last coat or two are considered sacrificial. You can sand them off and recoat every so often and never get to bare wood. I use 5 - 7 coats of varnish over the epoxy or glass but I like brightwork to a depth to it that comes only with many coats. Its more work up front but will pay you back over the long haul in easier maintenance and a better looking boat. Doing it right at the front end is much less work that the refinish job will be in a year.

My 2 cents.

In Response to: preparing for varnish by ray on Apr 17, 2005