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Thread: Captains Varnish - What on earth am I doing wrong

  1. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
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    11,475

    Default Re: Captains Varnish - What on earth am I doing wrong

    I always strain the varnish out of the can into a clean container that I use for the application. I never use varnish straight out of the can without straining same. As mentioned before be sure that your brush is not the source of the nerds in your varnish. Crack open the shop door and flip the dry bush in to a sunbeam. If you sea nerdy varnish dandruff in the air, you need to give the brush a super clean in one of the high powered cleaners for dirty brushes. I use Star Ten.
    Jay

  2. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    South Australia and Tasmania
    Posts
    14,581

    Default Re: Captains Varnish - What on earth am I doing wrong

    Chuck it on the floor, kick it around a bit, put it on the boat and go fishing. Screw a drink holder onto the side of it while you are there.

  3. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    St. Simon\'s Island, GA, USA
    Posts
    5,323

    Default Re: Captains Varnish - What on earth am I doing wrong

    I bought my varnish at ACE, and I layed it on with a foam brush. Why foam? Because I am lazy and hate cleaning brushes. I use them once and throw them away. I am happy with my work but it would not pass at Nevin's City Island.

    John Gardiner said, "It ain't a piano."

  4. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Aloha, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Captains Varnish - What on earth am I doing wrong

    I wasn't so happy with what I thought was my last coat of Flagship, due to the little pit spots all over. I concluded it must be dust.

    So decided to go for another last coat. I blew the garage out with compressed air, a few days in a row. Mopped floor and then ran 2 electronic air filters for a couple days. Sanded with 240g, then tack cloth, more air filter, then varnish. It's not perfect by a long shot, but way better than before and I called it good.

    Did use Gen foam brush, btw.

  5. #40
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Lexington, VA
    Posts
    880

    Default Re: Captains Varnish - What on earth am I doing wrong

    I just finished a 4' x 8' cherry dining room table for my wife. The table top was sanded with grits from 180 to 1000 (yes, Abranet 1000) on the advice of a professional furniture maker friend (www.viccovonvoss.com). The finish was Petit Captian's 1015. Applied the first coat cut 50% with Petit's thinner. Second coat was cut 25%. Followed by 6 coats of full strength. All coats were applied with a 2 1/2" Purdy natural bristle brush. Each coat was sanded with 400 and 600 Abranet before the next coat. Vacuum, wipe down with denatured alcohol, tack with tack cloth, varnish, repeat...

    My shop is dusty enough that I was never going to have a perfect coat no matter what I did but there are no specs in the final finish. The secret was sanding/buffing after the final coat. Start at 400 grit, work up to the 1000 grit, then follow with the maroon, light gray, and white ScotchBrite pads. You can see the specs disappear as you sand. Sand only enough that they do disappear and then move on. The final finish is glass smooth. Vicco the furniture maker was here this weekend and was quite impressed.

    Just don't ask how many hours I have in the finish..

  6. #41
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Waterbury Center, Vermont
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Captains Varnish - What on earth am I doing wrong

    Get rid of the plastic sheeting. It is a magnet for airborne dust. It will act to keep dust in suspension in the air. Good painters that I have worked with start with an empty room, vacuum the ceiling and the walls then the floor. I have buffed out small table tops with rottenstone and pumice, but an auto buffer with buffing compounds is way faster. Just take care not to buff through a layer of varnish. The resulting fish eye won’t go away.

    You can cut a Scothbrite pad to size and stick it to a hook and loop DA sander BTW.

  7. #42
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,475

    Default Re: Captains Varnish - What on earth am I doing wrong

    Foam brushes in an open bin in hardware stores are pre'primed dust magnets unless packed in a protective bag.
    Jay

  8. #43
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Clearwater FL
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Captains Varnish - What on earth am I doing wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by SailAR View Post
    Are you still using the same can of varnish?
    I am, I have about 1/5th left. I'm wondering if its starting to get a little thick which explains the brush strokes in my last attempt.

  9. #44
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Clearwater FL
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Captains Varnish - What on earth am I doing wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by John Husky View Post
    Get rid of the plastic sheeting. It is a magnet for airborne dust. It will act to keep dust in suspension in the air. Good painters that I have worked with start with an empty room, vacuum the ceiling and the walls then the floor. I have buffed out small table tops with rottenstone and pumice, but an auto buffer with buffing compounds is way faster. Just take care not to buff through a layer of varnish. The resulting fish eye won’t go away.

    You can cut a Scothbrite pad to size and stick it to a hook and loop DA sander BTW.

    I was thinking about this the other day. I switched varnish the same time as i built the booth, which is when the dust started appearing. Maybe I'll try without.

  10. #45
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Long Island Sound - no wind land
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Captains Varnish - What on earth am I doing wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by KiloRomeo View Post
    I am, I have about 1/5th left. I'm wondering if its starting to get a little thick which explains the brush strokes in my last attempt.
    I was just wondering if you somehow got grit in the varnish can and keep going back to the same dusty well.

    And yes, it is likely you are getting brush strokes because of the aged varnish.

  11. #46
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Clearwater FL
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Captains Varnish - What on earth am I doing wrong

    Well I'm still getting dust in the finish but not as bad as before. I did away with the plastic sheeting, got another new can of varnish, new tack rag and a new can of mineral spirits. It's not perfect but I don't have runs or brush strokes. Finally tossing in the towel with this coat. Next time I'll come up with a better solution for a filtered paint booth and order the interlux schooner varnish and see if I get better results.






  12. #47
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Clearwater FL
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Captains Varnish - What on earth am I doing wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Draketail View Post
    I just finished a 4' x 8' cherry dining room table for my wife. The table top was sanded with grits from 180 to 1000 (yes, Abranet 1000) on the advice of a professional furniture maker friend (www.viccovonvoss.com). The finish was Petit Captian's 1015. Applied the first coat cut 50% with Petit's thinner. Second coat was cut 25%. Followed by 6 coats of full strength. All coats were applied with a 2 1/2" Purdy natural bristle brush. Each coat was sanded with 400 and 600 Abranet before the next coat. Vacuum, wipe down with denatured alcohol, tack with tack cloth, varnish, repeat...

    My shop is dusty enough that I was never going to have a perfect coat no matter what I did but there are no specs in the final finish. The secret was sanding/buffing after the final coat. Start at 400 grit, work up to the 1000 grit, then follow with the maroon, light gray, and white ScotchBrite pads. You can see the specs disappear as you sand. Sand only enough that they do disappear and then move on. The final finish is glass smooth. Vicco the furniture maker was here this weekend and was quite impressed.

    Just don't ask how many hours I have in the finish..
    You finished with the white pad? Or that was last before a compound/polish/wax?

  13. #48
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Clearwater FL
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Captains Varnish - What on earth am I doing wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by John Husky View Post
    Get rid of the plastic sheeting. It is a magnet for airborne dust. It will act to keep dust in suspension in the air. Good painters that I have worked with start with an empty room, vacuum the ceiling and the walls then the floor. I have buffed out small table tops with rottenstone and pumice, but an auto buffer with buffing compounds is way faster. Just take care not to buff through a layer of varnish. The resulting fish eye won’t go away.

    You can cut a Scothbrite pad to size and stick it to a hook and loop DA sander BTW.

    Great tip on the sander, I'll have to keep that in mind.

  14. #49
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Waterbury Center, Vermont
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Captains Varnish - What on earth am I doing wrong

    Damn, that is a nice finish.

  15. #50
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Lexington, VA
    Posts
    880

    Default Re: Captains Varnish - What on earth am I doing wrong

    KiloRomeo,

    I finished with the white pad. I didn't compound/wax. Glossy enough....

  16. #51
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    2,422

    Default Re: Captains Varnish - What on earth am I doing wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by SailAR View Post
    Are you still using the same can of varnish?
    I'm with SailAR.. I have varnished hundreds, if not thousands of square feet of teak, and never had the issue you are having. And I have not gone to the lengths you ave to avoid dust. The worst I have seen is very minor dust that polishes off. I suspect the issue is with the varnish. Try some Epifanes instead. Thin it 50% to start and then go to 20%.

    Soles done outside...



    tack, wipe with thinner, apply with new foam brush (dust it off before you start), let dry...

    Scott
    Now is a good time!


    Steward of MAKOTO [WB Magazine #232], and Honored Member of the LPBC

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