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SOF Alliance
07-24-2001, 12:26 AM
Can anybody give me advice on brushing liquids for varnish? Everything I read says it would be helpful in keeping things flowing during hot humid wheather (which I have plenty of right now) and help smooth out brush marks. However, I can't seem to find anything sold as "brushing liquid." I have varnished plenty in the past, but I seem to be having bad luck this summer. I'd be interested in anything that could help -- advice or otherwise.
Thanks.

John B
07-24-2001, 01:20 AM
If it's plain old fashioned ,ordinary, run of the mill varnish, I find mineral turps works just fine.
for me it's...
Paint, varnish, antifoul = clean up or thin with turps
West system = clean up with meths.

Concordia41
07-24-2001, 06:53 AM
Depends on what "flavor" of varnish you're using. Epifanes produces their own retarder and accelerator products. Contact the manufacturer of your product, you're probably not going to find it on the shelves of Waste Marine.

Also, I've not tried it, but I think on one of the threads there was a discussion on using Penatrol as a flow fluid.

Jonathan Kabak
07-24-2001, 09:32 AM
To echo what has already been said many brands of Varnish have their own brushing liquids like Interlux has 333 for theirs. For Captains varnish and McCloughsky I love using penatrol. I tend to not put in as much as the can says to, but I do like to start with a healthy mixture.


Jonathan

Roger Cumming
07-24-2001, 09:40 AM
Interlux #333 Brushing Liquid. Very nice stuff.

SOF Alliance
07-24-2001, 10:18 AM
Thanks to everybody for the quick response. I'll seek out my factory-approved brushing liquid for Zspar Captains varnish. I'm in a little bit of a hurry, so I hope I can find what I need or a suitable alternative at my local West Marine (limited options in these parts). Otherwise, I'll resort to mail order.
Thanks. again

SOF Alliance
07-24-2001, 10:31 AM
Thanks to everybody for the quick response. I'll seek out my factory-approved brushing liquid for Zspar Captains varnish. I'm in a little bit of a hurry, so I hope I can find what I need or a suitable alternative at my local West Marine (limited options in these parts). Otherwise, I'll resort to mail order.
Thanks. again

Ed Harrow
07-24-2001, 12:34 PM
Penatrol should work a treat for your Zspar, and you can get it at any good hardware/paint store. Like Jonathan says, use something less than what is recommended on the Penatrol can.

Scott Rosen
07-26-2001, 01:56 PM
I've finally got the first few coats on my recently wooded brightwork. For varnish, I've been using Detco's Crystal Varnish. I've played with just about every varnish out there and I can say with absolute conviction that this varnish flows and levels far better than any other, even in hot or windy conditions. If you really need extra flow, a capfull of the Detco proprietary thinner works wonders. One of the more amazing things about this product is that not only does it flow exceptionally well, it dries to dust free in less than an hour! So it's possible to get several buildup coats in one day, cause you don't have to sand between coats if you do the recoating within 24 hours. It also resists runs and sags better than the others, so you can apply thicker coats to vertical surfaces.

Since it's a phenolic/tung oil product, it looks as good as any of the other "premium" varnishes like Captains, Epifanes, etc. This product eliminates lots of the basic application problems of traditional varnish.

Nicholas Carey
07-26-2001, 02:24 PM
Originally posted by SOF Alliance:
Can anybody give me advice on brushing liquids for varnish? Everything I read says it would be helpful in keeping things flowing during hot humid wheather (which I have plenty of right now) and help smooth out brush marks. However, I can't seem to find anything sold as "brushing liquid."

Interlux 333 Brushing Liquid is, if you read the ingredient list, simply high quality mineral spirits.

If you use Epifanes varnish, use Epifanes thinners, etc. Something about Epifanes' chemistry makes Bad Things[1] happen if you use someone else's thinners.

I was taught varnishing as a 2-person team: one person lays down the varnish cross grain with a foam roller and the other follows [literally!] immediately behind, brushing out along the grain, with a dry foam brush. You don't stop, you don't look back[2] and you always keep a wet edge.

We could coat a 30' foot Hacker runabout in about 30 minutes that way.

1. Bad Things. For example, loss of gloss and or Epifanes' stops "flowing" well.

2. Don't look back. If you look back and try to correct a sag or a run, you'll simply set in the brush marks. Easier to remove the sags or runs on the next coat -- and there's always a next coat!

dasboat
07-26-2001, 04:01 PM
Scott,what is the uv filtration like in that product you use?
Can you say more about things like gloss retention and durability?
Dasboat

[This message has been edited by dasboat (edited 07-26-2001).]

Scott Rosen
07-26-2001, 05:14 PM
This is the first year I've used it. Varnish that I applied to my hatch cover in the early spring still looks new. The manufacturer claims that it has the highest and best UV protection available. I did a little test for durability. I placed about an eighth of an inch of varnish in the bottom of a plastic one quart yogurt container. When the varnish dried, I removed it. What I got was a strong but flexible amber colored round disk. It resists scratches pretty well, although my 80 lb Labrador Retriever can scratch it with her claws. The color is a nice rich amber. But it's the flexibility that impresses me. I can bend the disk completely in on itself and it won't break or show any folds or other signs of distress. It goes right back to its original shape. If it does that on my brightwork, then it will certainly resist cracking from the movement of joints.

Check out the website. http://detcomarine.com

dasboat
07-26-2001, 06:28 PM
Scott thanks.Thirty five yrs. of varnishing and I am still looking for the perfect stuff.
Gonna give it a try.
Any problems your aware of applying this stuff over other finishes?
I'll read the can of course.
Regards,Dasboat

Scott Rosen
07-26-2001, 07:05 PM
Dasboat,

The key to varnishing happiness is lower expectations. There is no perfect stuff. If you expect a varnish to be finicky to apply and to get dull after a couple of months in the sun, then Decto will exceed your expectations. If you expect miracles, then you will be disappointed. By the way, please do check out the website, as Detco has excellent technical assistance. I put them in the same catagory as Smith & Co.--both make excellent products, they understand their customers and they provide top notch support. And so far, both of these companies have been completely truthful about the benefits AND the limitations of their products. One of things that has impressed me the most about both of these companies is their willingness to spend way too much time on the phone with a small fry customer like me. They couldn't make enough money off of me to pay a day's phone bill but they give me their time anyway. I like that.

dasboat
07-26-2001, 09:42 PM
Scott,thanks again.
Dangit I keep trying for that perfect varnish job...oh well.
Here in the northern calif.delta I have varnished every other year and gotten good results with pettit bac-v-spar or captains.It is the gloss retention that doesn't seem up to snuff to me.
What I'm really looking for is something as durable as those two products,but stays shiny longer.
Detco will get a try.I sure like their other products.
Regards,Dasboat

Suprcargo
07-27-2001, 12:28 PM
Scott, are you trying the Detco w/ CPES underneath ?? tnx, John

Scott Rosen
07-27-2001, 01:58 PM
Yes. Detco with CPES underneath. It looks real nice. I'm planning on overcoating the varnish with a 2 part clear LPU, probably Smith's Five Year Clear or Detco's Sterling. I would expect to greatly extend the gloss and the life of the film this way. According to Steve Smith, and also the folks at Detco, such an overcoat would keep the gloss looking like new for several seasons at least and would let me go several seasons without having to add any refresher coats. It would also greatly increase the abrasion resistance. Repairs would be tricky, but not all that difficult. Refresher coats every several years or so would be with the LPU, not the varnish.

It's more work up front, but the benefits in longevity and reduced maintanence seem worth it to me.

The way I see it, I'll end up with a varnish sandwich. CPES on the bottom. Varnish in the middle. LPU on top.

If it doesn't work as planned, then the worst thing that could happen is that I sand off the LPU coats and add another coat of varnish.

Suprcargo
07-27-2001, 03:59 PM
Thanks Scott, I was leaning towards trying Detco's 2 part for the teak decks on ALICEMARIE, I've heard nothing but good about that...maybe I'll add to the order and try the crystal as well.. Thanks, John

dasboat
07-27-2001, 06:26 PM
Suprcargo,say more about detco two part for teak decks.
Still trying to decide what finish I will use on the decks I installed last winter.
regards,Dasboat

Scott Rosen
07-30-2001, 11:30 AM
I figure I'll report on my varnishing progress with Detco's Crystal, since it's such a remarkable product.

In three days, I've applied seven coats. This is the fasted building varnish I've ever seen. Day one, after the teak was thoroughly sanded to 120 grit profile and bleached with oxalic acid, I applied CPES and two coats of Crystal. Day two (five days later), I did a moderate sanding to 220 grit profile and then applied three heavy coats, with about an hour and a half between coats. No runs, no sags. Day three (next morning), I did a fairly heavy sanding to 220 grit profile followed by two coats, slightly thinned because of the hot weather and wind.

I have to keep reminding myself that this is a traditional varnish, not one of the new "easy teak treatments." The color is a traditional golden-amber. Gloss is excellent, with lots of depth.

I tried to ply the chemical secrets of this formula out of the techies at Detco, but no luck. All I could get from them was a statement that it's basically the same technology that they use in their 2 part LPU to make it flow and level so well. Maybe Chemist can chime in and explain how a tung oil/phenolic varnish can be made to flow so well, yet cure fast enough to touch within an hour. And why hasn't anyone else done this? I note that the can says that UV absorbers account for 3% by weight, which is high compared to other varnishes.

At this rate, I'll be done after two more varnishing days. That's less than half the time I expected it to take.

Suprcargo
07-30-2001, 01:00 PM
Dasboat, ALICEMARIE is a 1970 Wooden Grand Banks 36' Classic. She has teak (approx 7/8") over plywood decks, According to one fellow on the www.oya.com (http://www.oya.com) forum who has been working on these exact boats for nearly as long as they have been around this is what he uses...with great success.. I believe he is associated with a marina out Pacific NW, and has great advice in many other areas on these boats... thus my inclination..This is 2 part seam compound.. the teak stays "au natural" Thanks for the info Scott...Rgds, John

[This message has been edited by Suprcargo (edited 07-30-2001).]

Jon Agne
08-05-2001, 09:41 AM
Scott,

This sounds great. I'm wondering how this stuff will stand up on spars. I'll be taking mine to bare wood this winter and starting from scratch. They are all solid doug fir.

Let me know how your project turned out.

Jon

Richard Smith
08-02-2006, 08:42 PM
Six years later . . .

i, too, am considering using the Crystal Varnish then Clear LPU. How is is holding up. Any thoughts?

StevenBauer
08-02-2006, 11:14 PM
Scott hasn't posted since April. Anyone talked to him?

Steven

Joe Lambert
08-03-2006, 10:25 AM
Can anyone tell me what it is about epiphanes brushing liquid that makes it special? I've always been of the school of thought that said turpentine made about the best solvent and buying it in a special can "epiphanes" just means paying more. Am I being cheap here and missing the boat? Does it make a differance?

Nicholas Carey
08-03-2006, 02:34 PM
Can anyone tell me what it is about epiphanes brushing liquid that makes it special? I've always been of the school of thought that said turpentine made about the best solvent and buying it in a special can "epiphanes" just means paying more. Am I being cheap here and missing the boat? Does it make a differance?It works with Epifanes. Using other thinners, brushing liquids, etc. with Epifanes makes the Epifanes behave badly -- poor levelling, doesn't flow as well, etc. My experience anyway.

lesharo
08-08-2006, 11:12 AM
I've tried Crystal; it is thin, has very strong smelling solvents, and dries quick. It is like brushing lacquer almost. I tried it and I'm done with it. I see no reason for it. Detco sold out a couple years ago.

I've always wondered about the thinners for specific products too. I've tried 333 in Epifanes and it seemed to bubble; I didn't even use it. It scared me. It's funny how a manufacturer's thinner is good for everything they make, even very different products, but you supposedly can't use it for anything else. Note the 333 for Briteside, all the undercoaters and primers, the enamel finish, Schooner, Goldspar etc. Of course, you can use the Interlux 333 for quite a few products made by others, Easypoxy is one.

There are some manufacturers who even specify just "paint thinner", Pratt & Lambert is one. Of course Epifanes also specifies steam distilled turpentine. But paint thinner won't work? Anybody checked the label of 333 lately? The last time I did it had kerosene in it. Now that's a slow thinner.