How much varnish is left?

I have put several thin coats of varnish on the hull of my Eastport pram and have sanded it with 440 wet sandpaper between each coat.  What I am not sure of is how much varnish I am removing by sanding?  I am concerned if I am removing too much there won't be enough varnish left behind even after five coats to provide adequate UV protection.  I sand until most of the gloss of the varnish is gone with some shiny spots left, but I still feel like I am taking most of it off.  Is there any way to tell how much varnish is on the hull? 

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RE: How much varnish is left?


Many of us use Scotchbrite pads instead of sand paper.  They will rough up the surface for bonding to the next coat without removing mutch varnish.  If you have drips and runs, you will need the sand paper to get those out, but otherwise the pads should do it.  If you do a search on this sight for Scotchbrite, you should pick up a rather extensive discussion on this issue from a few months ago.

By the way, both of my boats have 5 coats of Captain's varnish.  I sanded one and used scotchbrite on the other.  The sanded one is now 2 1/2 years old and shows no damage to the epoxy.

Good luck.  You are almost done!!

Paul G.

Thanks Paul but..

I am aware of the Scotchbrite route but decided to go with the sanding.  Do you know how to tell if enough varnish is on the wood regardless of the method used?

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