PDA

View Full Version : Adding just a little thinner to varnish?



Bill Mercer
08-18-2015, 12:45 AM
So, if you just need to add a few spoonfuls of thinner to a pot of varnish, anybody know how to do this without getting more thinner on the floor than into the intended container? Those pint cans of thinner pour OK when you need a lot, but when you need just a little it's dribble, dribble every-%$&#-where.

Breakaway
08-18-2015, 02:34 AM
Pour sideways; with the can with its narrow side up. (stops / slows any " glug-glug.")

Pour into another container first.

Use a turkey baster.

:)

Kevin

Cogeniac
08-18-2015, 10:11 AM
Use a turkey baster.

:)

Kevin

Or if you are really OCD, use a large syringe with volume markings.. that way you can get the mix just right....

Steamboat
08-18-2015, 10:34 AM
Use a turkey baster. Kevin

Where I come from we call that a 'pipette'!

Jay Greer
08-18-2015, 11:37 AM
Add turpentine rather than thinner to your varnish. You will be shocked and amazed as to how much better the varnish will flow, especially in the sun on a hot day!
"Old boat painter's trick"
Jay

David G
08-18-2015, 11:48 AM
Add turpentine rather than thinner to your varnish. You will be shocked and amazed as to how much better the varnish will flow, especially in the sun on a hot day!
"Old boat painter's trick"
Jay

In the interests of clarity, I'll note that turpentine IS a thinner - as is mineral spirits, acetone, lacquer thinner, toluene, MEK, etc.

Now... it's true that the most common thinner for varnish is mineral spirits, and that's what's often referred to as 'thinner' in the context. But precision is alway helpful in the complex, and sometimes confusing, world of finishing.

And I agree with Jay that turpentine is a definite improvement over mineral spirits for traditional spar varnish. Smells better, too. This is especially true these days, when the quality of mineral spirits is spotty. Lots of it is recycled, and not all that clean/pure. Some is like today's gasoline... has additives deliberately put in to reduce VOC's, or achieve other qualities. For jobs that matter, I tend to get my solvents from an industrial supplier these days. It's often more expensive, so I also keep various gallons of hardware-store solvents on hand for less demanding uses.

Dusty Yevsky
08-18-2015, 12:01 PM
Add turpentine rather than thinner to your varnish. You will be shocked and amazed as to how much better the varnish will flow, especially in the sun on a hot day!
"Old boat painter's trick"
Jay
+1.
I needed thinner for some Epifanes varnish and didn't have or want to buy the pricey proprietary thinner. I called Epifanes tech support and they assured me a high quality turpentine was just as good. Goes on great.

Canoeyawl
08-18-2015, 12:05 PM
Mineral spirits is often sold as "Turps" and is not the same thing as Turpentine...

David G
08-18-2015, 12:10 PM
Mineral spirits is often sold as "Turps" and is not the same thing as Turpentine...

Another of those pesky, misleading 'marketing names'. A pox upon their house for the deliberate imprecision.

Bob Cleek
08-18-2015, 12:30 PM
I'll add to the "turn the can on its side" trick, that if you are dealing with gallon cans of liquid that you want to pour small quantities from (I run into this a lot when mixing CPES, for instance) you can leave the metal "plug" in the neck of the bottle under the cap in place and just punch a hole the seal with a nail or punch. When you tip the can, you can squeeze the side a bit and it will squirt out in a neat stream and cut off when your hand lets up on the pressure. For really small amounts, you can just let it dribble of its own accord when the can is tipped.

Jay Greer
08-18-2015, 01:07 PM
One of the first things my father, who was a pharmacist, taught me was pouring out to the high side of a screw top can that has an off set spigot.
There is nothing worse than filling your crotch or socks with paint thinner and, this simple trick, mostly, obviates making that mistake. Pouring from the low side of the can, will often, make one jump and scream and shout plus the result of running straight for the nearest body of cool water!:d
Jay

Bill Mercer
08-18-2015, 03:10 PM
Well, there's no metal plug in this one, just a one of those safety caps with the plastic cap over the actual metal screw cap. I'll try the 'pour out the side or high side' trick. Luckily I didn't dump any down my pants, but I did spill all over the little table I was keeping the varnish and supplies on.

As for turpentine (I've got pure gum turpentine), this is Pettit 1015 Captain's Varnish--do turps really work better than the Pettit thinner? I'm using the 120/T-10 brushing thinner, which the guys at the chandlery thought would be best in our current conditions (high 80s-90s, working indoors).

Jay Greer
08-18-2015, 03:38 PM
Mineral spirits is often sold as "Turps" and is not the same thing as Turpentine...
Yah, when all else fails, read the label1 Indeed your studious and informative comment is a new one for me! Do you think the sales person may not be fully informed as to what he is peddling? I find that to be true of most sales people at boat boutiques today. One thing, I do prefer turpentine over mineral spirits for both sign and varnish work. It allows the material to flow more smoothly.
Jay

Dusty Yevsky
08-19-2015, 11:46 AM
As for turpentine (I've got pure gum turpentine), this is Pettit 1015 Captain's Varnish--do turps really work better than the Pettit thinner.

I couldn't say for sure if it would work "better" but I haven't had any problems substituting turpentine for proprietary thinners when it comes to high end varnish. I haven't tried it on polyurethane paint yet but intend to. I've always suspected the thinners were a bit a scam by manufacturers. The chemists in this crowd may disagree but I'll stick with what worked for me and save a lot of coin in the process.

Steamboat
08-19-2015, 01:29 PM
For working in a smaller scale or more occasional work some people may find these useful: http://www.amazon.com/Transfer-Pipettes-Narrow-Stem-Large/dp/B00JZVXT0I/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1440008782&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=10ml+transefer+pipette

WHYankee
08-19-2015, 03:29 PM
Nobody using VM&P (varnish makers and painter's) Naptha? Seems to work well for me.

Bill Mercer
08-19-2015, 06:47 PM
So, does anybody know how long after the last coat of varnish before one can use a boat? Using it, in this case, involves travel on a roof rack, and nylon straps.

David G
08-19-2015, 09:27 PM
So, does anybody know how long after the last coat of varnish before one can use a boat? Using it, in this case, involves travel on a roof rack, and nylon straps.

Depends on a number of factors. But my field test is via thumbnail. Find an unobtrusive spot. Press your thumbnail into the film. Try and make it dent. When you can no longer make it dent... wait a few more days minimum (in good weather).

Canoeyawl
08-19-2015, 09:39 PM
"Mineral spirits" can be all over the map in terms of purity, odor, and "oiliness" (my term) but it is usually just Stoddard solvent.
For painting I think Gasoline would work just as well, not that I am advocating that.

I don't use "mineral spirits" or even keep it in the shop, and instead use a specific solvent. Naphtha, acetone, turpentine or whatever, having had some minor finishing disasters in the past that I am convinced were the fault of generic "turps" or mineral spirits. One of the disasters involved cleaning brushes. My best Varnish brushes...

I like Turpentine, from a tree. It dries more slowly and does indeed improve oil based paints.

carioca1232001
08-20-2015, 07:20 AM
Add turpentine rather than thinner to your varnish. You will be shocked and amazed as to how much better the varnish will flow, especially in the sun on a hot day!
"Old boat painter's trick"
Jay

Seconded.

'Tree' turpentine is unmatched for thinning varnish and cleaning brushes. An added plus is the pleasant aroma that accompanies its use.

Lew Barrett
08-20-2015, 09:20 AM
The proscribed thinner for Epifanes is turpentine, and that's essentially what they sell you when you buy it in their branded can. You can substitute them back and forth with no visual difference.

David G
08-20-2015, 10:26 AM
The proscribed thinner for Epifanes is turpentine, and that's essentially what they sell you when you buy it in their branded can. You can substitute them back and forth with no visual difference.

Oops... small typo there. But a key one. I think you meant 'prescribed'.

Jay Greer
08-20-2015, 11:41 AM
Beware of storing bushes that contain Pure Gum Spirits of Turpentine without keeping them submerged in it or rinsing them in mineral spirits. Turps will evaporate, leaving a brush brick hard due to the resin it contains.
Jay

Canoeyawl
08-20-2015, 12:41 PM
Beware of storing bushes that contain Pure Gum Spirits of Turpentine without keeping them submerged in it or rinsing them in mineral spirits. Turps will evaporate, leaving a brush brick hard due to the resin it contains.
Jay

I use lacquer thinner for my final brush wash then soapy water, lots of soapy water, then a clean rinse.
And I'll say that it (cleaning brushes) has become such a pain and an ecological toxic hazard that I have taken to mostly using disposable brushes except for the last coat or two.

Arko
08-21-2015, 07:02 PM
Beware of storing bushes that contain Pure Gum Spirits of Turpentine without keeping them submerged in it or rinsing them in mineral spirits. Turps will evaporate, leaving a brush brick hard due to the resin it contains.
Jay

A painful lesson I learned just recently, that sucked.

Jay Greer
08-22-2015, 12:17 PM
I use lacquer thinner for my final brush wash then soapy water, lots of soapy water, then a clean rinse.
And I'll say that it (cleaning brushes) has become such a pain and an ecological toxic hazard that I have taken to mostly using disposable brushes except for the last coat or two.
Sorry I have to say this but, lacquer thinner is not comparable with some forms of finish and can cause curdling of paint in a brush.
So, one should make a test first rather than chance damaging the bristles of a good brush. Ace Hardware is now marketing a special brush cleaner that contains both acetone and toluene that will strip nearly all residual paint from the bristles of a brush that has build up in the heel. Unless you are using water based paint, I would shy away from using soap and water to finish clean a brush as well. Quality brushes can be perminatly damaged by the use of soap and water for cleansing as it can cause bristles to swell in the ferrule which promotes loss of the chisel edge by swelling and splaying the bristles as well as robbing them of their resilience. The Hamilton Co. of England makes quality brushes that are specially treated to allow them to be used both with water based paints and water cleaning. Been there. Done that. That is how I learned.
Jay

carioca1232001
08-22-2015, 05:12 PM
Beware of storing bushes that contain Pure Gum Spirits of Turpentine without keeping them submerged in it or rinsing them in mineral spirits. Turps will evaporate, leaving a brush brick hard due to the resin it contains.
Jay

Thanks for the tip.