Varnishing tip needed

I'm about a week away from finishing myh wife's Wood Duck 12 hybrid, but I'm getting a bit frustrated with varnishing the deck.  While doing the hull it seems I've finally gotten the knack for achieving a smooth varnish finish, because it came out awesome.  The deck however presents a new obstacle for me though.  I epoxied four wooden lugs for the deck rigging just in front of the cockpit, and they are causing me the grief.

Does anyone have a good tip for applying varnish on to and around these sorts of things without creating runs?  I've got two coats of varnish on at this point, and I tried adjusting the amount applied and the direction of stroking the foam brush, but I'm far from satisfied with the results.  Surely there must be a trick to this!  Anyone?



4 replies:

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RE: Varnishing tip needed

   On non-flat surfaces I've had success using a wiping varnish.  Just dilute the varnish with one part mineral spirits/paint thinner to one part varnish.  Wipe on with a rag.  It goes on thin so you'll need more coats than with a brush, but it's worked for me.

RE: Varnishing tip needed

Some smaller, artist-type brushes may help, too.  You can only do so much with a foam brush on smaller areas.


RE: Varnishing tip needed

   I've mostly given up on the foam brushes and use decent bristle brushes (not fancy, but natural bristle).  The bristle brushes also go around and into corners better than foam, I think.  So you can get around the base but not overload the varnish film.  Yeah, you have to clean them, but that's another use for yogurt cups.  Good for the little brushes and saves cleaner compared to a bigger bucket.

RE: Varnishing tip needed

   Thanks for the suggestions.  I tried getting as close to the padeyes as I dared, and then I coated them with a small bristle brush allowing the varnish flow into that laid down with the foam brush.  It worked better than using only the foam brush, but I have a good bit more trial and error work  ahead of me before I get the technique down.

Unfortunately vacation is rapidly approaching, so I need to move on.  Its probably only something l'll see anyway, but it will still bug me.  My plan is to tackle it again at the end of this season after the varnish has had a good while to harden.  My plan is to try fixing the issue with fine wet  paper and then finish off with polishing papers.

The boat is looking absolutely amazing, and I can't wait to see my wife paddle her away from shore for the first time.  We are both preparing to be frequently stopped and asked questions as we paddle about in the Clayton, NY region of the St. Lawrence River in a couple of weeks.



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