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Thread: Varnishing over vinyl applied lettering?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Virginia, USA
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    Question Varnishing over vinyl applied lettering?

    Working on UNA. I'm coming back to applying the several coats of varnish I left off before using her before sailing. I had applied only 4. She has been garage kept. It has been several years of use now and I decided to pull the vinyl name lettering off before new varnish. Wish I hadn't. The letters pulled off several coats of varnish locally. I may not have gotten the initial coats properly toothed enough to grab onto the epoxy sealed okume ply. Damage done.

    As an afterthought, can you varnish over vinyl lettering after a gentle 220 sanding? Was watching Louis Sauzedde's varnishing Rhode Island Red. Looked like it had vinyl lettering. Very crisp.

    Tanks for the help!
    -Eddie

    PS: been using Petit's Z-Spar
    My Sooty and other boats: https://lingeringlunacy.com/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
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    639

    Default Re: Varnishing over vinyl applied lettering?

    I would be concerned that the edges would create a minefield of potential problems with film integrity where the varnish needs to bridge from a soft material to a hard material, it's like adding a pull tab to the varnish inviting future peeling.

    an alternative: Sign painting seems to be a resurgent artform, there may be somebody down your way who could do the lovely UNA justice for a reasonable fee. When I looked around a bit I found a whole community of very creative and interesting signpainters entirely outside the traditional boat world; the guy who named GINGER had never put a name on a boat nor even seen a wood boat before. He did gold leaf and border in an afternoon and I went over it with varnish a day later, with subsequent follow on coats.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
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    Default Re: Varnishing over vinyl applied lettering?

    What Skegemog said. As for trying to varnish over vinyl stick on-lettering, don't even go there. The edges of the letters would create a nightmare of runs and sags in your varnish. You can varnish over painted lettering for a few coats before the varnish starts to overwhelm the lettering and it starts looking faded from the coloration of the varnish and has to be redone. If you really want to go "first cabin," you can cut your letters out of bronze sheet and have that gold-plated (a thin plating of 12KT shouldn't to break you) and fastened to the transom with small screws. This permits the letters to be removed whenever you want to refinish the varnish and then reattached.

    You needn't confine yourself to the marine industry to source metal lettering, either. See: https://www.google.com/search?q=bron...mgrc=_&spf=212







    One of our forumites' boats above. See forum discussion at:http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...bronze-letters
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 04-28-2017 at 11:17 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Virginia, USA
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    Default Re: Varnishing over vinyl applied lettering?

    Very good guys. Thank you!
    I'd thought about painting the short name on this go-round myself. The metal letters could work well and may not be too many pennies with such a short name.
    My Sooty and other boats: https://lingeringlunacy.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    PNW, an island west of Seattle
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    Default Re: Varnishing over vinyl applied lettering?

    If you want to paint or gold leaf the letters on yourself but lack a sign painter's hand, you can get a stencil cut by a sign shop. This is similar to vinyl letters except you use the part that isn't the letters. Also, and very important, the self stick stencil material is not nearly as sticky as a vinyl letter. It is meant to be removed. The material I've used is called Gerbermask, made by the Gerber company. A sign shop will have an equivalent.

    Jeff

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Madison Wisconsin
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    Default Re: Varnishing over vinyl applied lettering?

    Plus... vinyl is not totally dimensionally stable. If you were to varnish over it, there is a very good chance that it will eventually contract and/or creep enough to cause a problem. In addition to stencils, there are also some home silk screen kits where you make the screen using a special film exposed over a photocopied image.

    The gold is stenciled, the green is silk screened.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    Seattle, WA
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    8,759

    Default Re: Varnishing over vinyl applied lettering?

    Friends don't let friends use StickOn letters.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Default Re: Varnishing over vinyl applied lettering?

    Todd, if you show photos of stuff like that, you've got to bring enough for everyone.

    Jeff

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