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Varnish

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by slk, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. slk

    slk Curious about Wooden Canoes

    What brand of marine spar varnish do you guys use. Years ago when I made my first canoes I would use "Man O War" but wow the price has gone up. Does anyone know of a reasonable place to get that brand anymore. I see there are several brands out there but are they equal. Even rustolium makes a marine spar varnish now.

    Steve
     
  2. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    There are quite a few threads where different products are mentioned. There is a current thread where Epifanes and Captains Z Spar are mentioned. I'm sure there are many more.
    There are several Wooden Canoe Magazine articles about varnishing that may mention brands...but I did not go back to look. These are the related volumes.
    Varnishing 69:10-11,14-15; 86:10-11; 87:13-14; 133:9-13; 144:9-11 41:15-16; 81:14;

    I prefer and use Epifanes. Some may find it to be a bit on the thick side. I thin the first coats and finish with un-thinned coats. On new work I typically apply 5 or more coats. When you apply that many coats of varnish you need to be 100% certain to allow adequate drying time between coats. You also need to be sure to scuff up the finish (sand) between coats. Also, be sure to use a good quality brush. A good varnish should not be applied with a bad brush...you'll get streaks, runs and probably leave bristles behind.
    If I'm re-varnishing rails on one of my daily drivers I'll scuff up the old wood and then apply a couple coats and call it a day.

    WRT cost, the cost difference between a mediocre and a really good varnish is insignificant to me.. in the grand scheme of things, a few extra dollars on paint and varnish are money well spent. Once I'm done with a boat I don't want to have to worry about doing anything else to it for a long while....other than possibly repairing damage...
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019

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