Help! First coast of Epiphanes varnish still tacky after 4 days

I am in tMhe final stages of finishing my Peeler Skiff and applied my first coat of epiphanes varnish thinned 50%.  It's been 4 days and the finish is still quite tacky.  I've tried a couple of things to fix the problem.  Tried using lacquer thinner to remove but I am concered about damaging the underlying epoxy.  I also read that if  you wipe it with Varsal it will help it to cure but it doesn't seem to be working.

My question is: Can I use lacquer thinner or acetone to remove the varnish without damaging the epoxy layer?


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RE: Help! First coast of Epiphanes varnish still tacky after 4 days

   No need to reply.  I was hoping that I would get help from the forum but in the end I had to figure it out for myself.  I honestly find that the forum has not been a big help given that no one replys to my questions.

RE: Help! First coast of Epiphanes varnish still tacky after 4 days

   Sorry nobody got to this question before you figured it out. The main problem I saw was you thinned the varnish 50%  I've used Epiphanes quite a lot and never thin it over 10% for the first coat and 5% for following coats. The 50% dilution is used if you're going over bare wood only. You should be going over epoxy coated surfaces.

And as far as nobody answering your questions here on the forum, you have asked four questions here and the first three have from three to eight replies. This is the only one that nobody got to before you figured out what to do, so I'm a bit confused as to why you made the above statement. 

Hope the rest of your varnish goes well.


George K

RE: Help! First coast of Epiphanes varnish still tacky after 4 days

A couple more reasons why the replies were slow in coming:

First, you asked the question on a Sunday morning. People tend to have many things besides to do on weekends besides hanging out on the forum.

Next, you were asking specifically about Epifanes thinned 50%. Those of us who don't use Epifanes and/or have never thinned it 50% had no good answer for you. Rather than crowding the thread with noise we stayed quiet so that when the real answer came through it would be easily found. BTW, what was the answer? Builders reading this months or years from now will be curious as to how you fixed it.

Finally, you posted your "never mind" only 37 hours after the question. I realize that made it over 5 days since you applied the varnish, but for the rest of us that was just a bit over a day since the question showed up here. George had an answer for you less than 2 days after you posted.

Remember, this is a volunteer forum of fellow builders. If you need faster actual tech support, Epifanes has a tech support line at 800.269.0961 in the US. Their website has international contact info, too. CLC also has a customer support and contact link at the top of this page.

So we weren't ignoring you, it's just the nature of a builder forum.


RE: Help! First coast of Epiphanes varnish still tacky after 4 days

   My apologies for my terse note.  I was having a bad day and should not have used this forum to vent my frustration.

I think my varnish problem did stem from the fact that I diluted it based on manufactures instructions.  But I now realize that is for an application over wood. I ended up using a mild paint and varnish stripper to remove the sticky layer of varnish.  I did a test piece last night and it seems to be curing nicely.

Once again my apologies.

RE: Help! First coast of Epiphanes varnish still tacky after 4 days

Everyone has bad days, especially when their "baby" is not coming along as it should. It's hard to see so much work and expensive material suddenly not working. I'm glad to hear that you averted disaster and hope that the rest of your build is trouble-free. Don't forget to post pictures once you get it in the water.



RE: Help! First coast of Epiphanes varnish still tacky after 4 days

In the end this forum worked for you PG, if perhaps not in a fashion that would have helped you avoid that bad day. Glad you worked out the answer to your question, that's what many of us had to do in the days before Internet and forums like this one, or even CNC-cut parts kits with which we could assemble real boats.

This thread'll be here for others who might ask the same question someday so take some satisfaction from that too along with the pleasures of your project... maybe a bit less from there being no <edit> button here for those moments you'd wished you hadn't hit the <post message> one quite so quickly.

One note of caution: please be aware of the risks inherent with using acetone or lacquer thinner in the volume you must have had to use to remove that varnish layer. Both are extremely flammable as well as quite toxic in nature when in a vapor state. Breathing those fumes or allowing the liquids to contact your skin in any quantity over time may have contributed something to your having that bad day. An errant spark or other ignition source at the wrong moment certainly would have.

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