View Full Version : The varnish demon

Ed Neal
08-12-2002, 04:06 PM
I'm finishing off a 12ft. sailing dighy with walnut transom and trim. I'm using Z-Spar Captain's varnish and the first seven coats on most of the boat have been fine. But I can't seem to get the inner face of the transom right. Each coat goes on fine, looks fine when finished brushing, but in the morning there is a sag. I sand it down and recoat only to find a sag the next day. I've tried over 5 coats this way but can't seem to get it right. Last night I thinned the varnish (15%) with turpentine and put on a very thin layer with a foam brush and still there are a few sag marks that weren't there when I finished brushing out the varnish.

A few questions: Is Penetrol a better thinning agent than turpentine? There is nothing on the can about using it with varnish.

Will a badger hair brush influence the outcome better than the foam brush?

If I reach the end of my patience and throw in the towel, wiping rag and brush, what is the best way to knock down the varnish gloss and create a matte (oiled look) finish?

Any suggestions or technique improvements are appreciated.

Ken Hall
08-12-2002, 04:12 PM
I think you found a heavy spot in the gravity. Try moving the boat. smile.gif

In all seriousness, you might try using Penetrol on a sample amount of varnish and a scrap of walnut, if you have same. I'm no great varnisher, so my ability to advise is limited. Good luck to you--sounds like you'll have a nice boat.