Finishing Wood with Marine Spar

Discussion in 'Boating Discussion' started by WellFairFisher, Jun 25, 2005.

  1. WellFairFisher

    WellFairFisher "Delicious Bass"

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    Warren
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    Well.....Been bustin my ass all week workin on this boat....

    Took out all the wood and stripped it, sanded, and i'm on my 5th coat of Marine Spar Varnish..

    Lookin pretty good, i'm now sanding with 4/0 steel wool between coats and painting with a foam brush.

    My question is.....As you can see in the pics there are quite a few small bubbles and waves. Do I need to put on a thin or heavy finish coat to get rid of this????. It takes me an hour to sand each peice flat with the 4/0 steel wool and 24 hours till it dries so I can do it again.....

    I've got soooo much work and time into this wood so far i'm to the point where I want it to look nice(before I started I was only interested in taking off the old peeling varnish and put on some protection).....

    I am aware that the only way to get it completely flat may be to spray it, if thats the case i'll quit being a picky bitch and leave it the way it is.......

    Is marine spar buffable????.......Any Suggestions??? Wood is 28 years old.....Warren

    deckhatch.JPG consoleside.JPG
     
  2. mezr 2ice

    mezr 2ice Member

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    Adam
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    I aint no expert but it almost looks like there may be some contamination on the wood when you are varnishing. Are you wiping with acetone or solvent between coats? I have heard that is a no no because there is crap that gets left on the surface from solvents. If not, try thinning the varnish so it flows out better and make sure it is not exposed to direct sun as it dries or that dew does not condense on it overnight. My 2 cents
     
  3. JUSTJACK

    JUSTJACK just jack

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    Jack Chalais
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    You can't get a smoothe finish without having a smoothe surface when using high gloss spar varnish. From the pics is looks like the surface isn't all that even. I'll generally disassemble the parts when possible and run them thru a planer before finishing. Another trick when you can't even out the surface is us a matte finish instead of hi-gloss. You won't get an uneven reflection off the surface. And.....if you're using spar varnish be prepared to do it all over again next year if the part is exposed to UV a lot. I use Armada instead of varnish. http://armadacoatings.com/HomePage.html The stuff really works great and unlike Cetol is lets the natural wood finish come thru. I generally get 3-4 years on the finish. My 2¢ JJ
     
  4. BluefinCurly

    BluefinCurly Skipper

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    Better off wiping with a tack rag prior to coating.

    The shit is difficult to work with. Be sure to stir gently, not shake, use a very high quality natural brush, should use only mineral spirits as opposed to laquer thinner or acetone, and plan on multiple thin coats that are fully cured inbetween for best reslults.
     
  5. WellFairFisher

    WellFairFisher "Delicious Bass"

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    Just checked it and we're gettin there.....I've been wiping it down after sanding with the 0000 steel wool with denatured alcohol.....

    Gonna stop by Home Depot today and get another paint strainer and try it with that.....Been letting it cure for 24 hours between coats before I start sanding again.....

    Some of the parts are getting really flat but still have the small bubbles. I'm now painting and letting the parts dry in the rodwrapping room so the dust stays down.......

    This finish should hold up for me, my boat stays in the garage and I mostly fish at night. Stripped it completely so I could flip it and redo all the patches and gelcoat. Getting this out of the way while its out.......I'll post some more pics when I/if I ever get done.......Warren

    P.S....What can I use to thin it out for a final coat that will still let it cure completely????
     
  6. BluefinCurly

    BluefinCurly Skipper

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    check the can, but it should be mineral spirits.
     
  7. Hithard

    Hithard Newbie

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    Mineral spirits is what I would use. With finishing prep is everything, and high gloss is not forgiving at all. It looks to me like those coats are going on a little thick so I'd agree with thinning the varnish. But it looks pretty good for a first attempt. I know how hard it can be to work with new products and I applaud your effort.

    Mike
     
  8. roxfisher

    roxfisher Newbie

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    The varnish is crawling. This is a paint term for it not wetting the old surface completely leaving hills, valleys and what wine experts call "legs" when you swirl wine in a wine glass.

    Do the following. Allow the varnish to cure, give it a day or two. Then sand with 0000 steel wool, and clean with VMP Naptha. Acetone will soften and mineral spirits will leave a slight hydrocarbon (oily) film. Wipe with a tack cloth right before you apply the new coat.
    Do not work in hot sun, use a shade. Do not work in windy area, try to block off the wind. The reason is if you dry the surface at a faster rate than evaporation, you will get anywhere from wrinkles, to crawling, to orangepeeling to even a crackle finish.
    Get rid of the foam brush. They tend to incorporate air. Use a good china bristle brush.
    DO NOT overwork the varnish when applying, lay down a thin coat, and LEAVE IT ALONE, no back and forth brushing.
     
  9. Hithard

    Hithard Newbie

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    Wow who knew she slays the fish on the weekend on gives great finishing advice during the week! Thats I right I forgot I did use naptha. Oh yeah and always, always while doing finishing have plenty of tack clothes they are key.
     
  10. roxfisher

    roxfisher Newbie

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    I have worked in the coatings industry for 30 years (no not in the office, in the lab, and yup I am farting dust old). Sometimes I hesitate to post advice, because some male types will NOT accept my knowledge in the industry. I still train the customer service reps, but, when they get ahold of one they can't answer I get it.
    My favorite was a gentleman, that was upset because I was female. "Isn't there a man I can talk to?", was his query.
    I calmly answered, "There was, but I just fired him".
    He never called back.
     
  11. BluefinCurly

    BluefinCurly Skipper

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    GREAT advice Rox.

    We should start a sticky just for you!
     
  12. roxfisher

    roxfisher Newbie

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    I don't know about a thread, but if anyone needs a little assistance I will do what I can. There are so many coatings out there I don't know them all, some of the basics have changed due to new coatings that meet regs on voc, but I am glad to help.
     
    Gil Marlin and (deleted member) like this.
  13. Gil Marlin

    Gil Marlin World Peace? Visualize Using Your Turn Indicator

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    good water based marine varnishes on the market??? I refinished my floors and used a water based semi gloss interior varnish and was very pleased with lack of fumes, dry time and durability. fish?:
     
  14. roxfisher

    roxfisher Newbie

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    Yes, the resins that have been brought into the industry in the past few years, are getting closer and closer to the old solvent ones. One thing to keep in mind, old finishes with "hot solvent" reductions, lacquer, acetone, 111 tri, will re wet themselves, ie, slightly soften the old surface to melt into the new one. Water based coatings do not have that capability. What to watch for? Make SURE the coating is cured, dry time is fast but the cure rate can be as much as 4 days.
     
  15. blowboater

    blowboater Fishing with Papa

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    from the pics - you're not at a steel wool mode yet. too many valleys. i would use a block with fine paper to even things out more. and throw away the foam - too many bubbles. if you want a picture perfect job spend the bucks on a good badger hair brush - and take care if it.

    i've found that i REALLY like the 3M scratchy pads for doing final roughing up and smoothing between coats.
     
  16. roxfisher

    roxfisher Newbie

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    Dont use the scratchy pads with a hotter solvent, you will gum up the surface and the pad.

    The mistake most people make is OVERWORKING the coating. Lay it on, level it out, thin coat, (more is not better) and LEAVE IT ALONE.
    Let the coating level itself, they formulate it to do so and don't try to DRY IT FASTER.
     
  17. blowboater

    blowboater Fishing with Papa

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    roxy - i agree. i don't use solvent when i'm 'sanding' for the top coats. i use a solvent to wipe down the dust (and help tie in the coats) but not while sanding. many thin coats certainly beat trying to pour it on thick.

    if you work for a coatings co - do you also sell retail?
     
  18. roxfisher

    roxfisher Newbie

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    I work in an allied industry manufacturing strippers, sealers, wood preservatives, etc. I formulate new products and supervise manufacturing. I worked for 3 coatings companies over the years, am a current member of two international coatings organizations. Wish I sold retail, but we don't. We sell to big box, hardware stores etc. Sheet, just had to pay retail myself for some architectural paint. LOL.
     
  19. WellFairFisher

    WellFairFisher "Delicious Bass"

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    Thanks a bunch......Roxy, your hardcore :beerbang: .......

    I need more paint strainers......I'm starting to get chunks from film thats forming when I have the can open.....

    I was using 400/600 paper but it was getting gummed up really quick and getting expensive.....They didn't have 000 or 00 at lowes so I got 4/0.....

    I've been freezing my foam and bristle brushes between coats.....Softens up pretty quick when I take them out.....Used to do this with house paint, is it O.K. to do with varnish also?...Or should I be cleaning them/tossin em when i'm done?????
     
  20. Gil Marlin

    Gil Marlin World Peace? Visualize Using Your Turn Indicator

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    Foam brushes are no good for varnish. They make air bubbles when you push down on them, get a high quality brush made for varnish... and clean it completley after use, don't freeze it...
     

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