Refinishing Questions

I know this is a repetitive and much covered topic.  I've read all I can find on this subject, including the Tips for Boatbuilders, but I still need some handholding.  I have an 8 year old varnished kayak that has had good use, has got plenty of scratches, some down to the glass and the wood, even a small hole in the bow.  I'd like to do a complete overhaul, including a thin layer of epoxy everywhere and then coats of varnish.  Questions:  What is the best sanding strategy for this plan?  What grits, etc?  How do I know when I've sanded far enough into the epoxy layer to get good epoxy adhesion?  Should I remove all deck fittings or just sand around them?  I have a fairly standard bungy setup.  Any special handling when I refit it?  Any other advice?

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RE: Refinishing Questions


1. Just replacing the varnish - #400 grit and wet sand down to the epoxy.

2. Completely refinishing - #220 and sand slightly into the epoxy, but not into the glass.

3. Missing or damaged glass - #220 and sand to the wood.

4. Damaged wood - #80 and sand into the wood

Finishing up

Case 1 is just like when you varnished it the first time. Case 2, apply one or 2 very thin coats of epoxy, sand with #220  and repeat until all the glossy spots are gone. Now you're back to case 1. For case 3, aplly a glass patch that overlaps the remaing glass by at least 2 inches.Fill the weave, feather it in, fair it and you're back to case 2.

Case 4 is pretty difficult to make invisible. Depending on the amount of damage, either patch it with putty (epoxy + filler) or put on a new piece of wood (either as an onlay or patch). Once the damage is patched, fair it and you're back in case 3.

Good luck,




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