Crazing in finish??

Scot T

LOVES Wooden Canoes
I took down a canoe that has been curing for a while and prepped it to paint last week. I put on the first coat, left it to dry for three days (it's been cool and raining here so left it for a while). Two days ago I wet sanded out the high spots in the first coat, rinsed it off well and left it in the shop to dry over night. It looked good yesterday so put on the second coat.

That's when the crazing started to show up. It's mainly along the bottom, amidship to approx. the goring planks. The ends and sides are fine (basically all vertical surfaces are fine).

This is only my third recanvas so I've not had a lot of experience but looking at "new" things in my scheduel: I'm using the filler formula from this website (not new but no problem before); CIL Marine Enamel is new (I used Interlux before), I thinned it by about 10-15% for the second coat; my shop was pretty hot as I'd left the heat on, gone away for the day forgetting to turn it down and the sun came out making the shop pretty hot when I got home; there was a drop of dish soap in the water used to wet sand, it acts as a lubricant for the sandpaper; and I used quite a bit of rinse water to make sure all the residue was off the canoe before putting it to dry in the shop.

So my thoughts; 1) I'm pretty sure the filler was sufficently cured, I couldn't mark it or dig out a chip with my nail (maybe), 2) the soap in the water contaminated the finish ( I use this when rubbing out the laquer finish on guitars, maybe it is not good for enamel or filler), 3) too much water was used to rinse, 4) the shop was too hot and dried the finish too fast although it appears that the filler is the crazed one, 5) and ...I don't know.

So, am I looking at a recanvas here or is there a solution that will smooth it over. I searched here and came up with a couple posts but thought I'd get more input.

It's not as bad to the naked eye as it looks in the photo. I was using a macro lens.


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Are those actual splits or are they ridges? It makes a difference in determining what is going on. In the photo they look like little ridges. This finish issue is often referred to as "alligatoring", a similar problem is called "orange peel".

Try sanding section more aggressively, down to the filler, and see if it exetends that deep.

Issues with the canvas, filler, and paint are THE most frustrating things. There is much that I feel in control of, but some things seem to control me! ARGH!
Yes, you are correct Douglas. They are ridges. I should have been more detailed. They are like "orange peeling" but not quite what I think of as "orange peeling". Alligatoring" is good. It looks like what happens when French polishing and too much alcohol is used and the freshly done finish buckles and hardens. But not so much like the cracking that one sometimes sees on old canoe finishes. It seems to follow the weave of the canvas although the canvas is filled and one cannot see it.

I looked at it again this afternoon and the ridges seem to have reduced down a bit.

I'm pretty good at hand done shellac and varnish finishes but I'm finding that some of my tricks used to get a stunning finish with those don't carry over so well to paint.

I don't think Forrest Gump was always correct about life being a box of chocolates...sometimes it's more like a jar of jalapenos, what you do today just might come and burn you in the a** tomorrow.

Here's another shot.


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The orange peel effect looks just like effect that an older finished gets when get old and dried out which would lead me to suspect that purhapes the finish died too fast.
The farily uniform ridges seem to suggest that plank edges are lifting. Does this boat have very narrow planking as the ridges seem to indicate?
Do not fret

I think that if you sand with 180 and put a little penetrol in the paint and let it cure and sand and paint etc. that it'll be fine. I had that same thing show up after first coat of paint and I think it was the filler. It all worked out fine with sand/paint/cure/sand/repeat.
Thanks for piping in Rollin and Dave.

In the photos I posted it's hard to get a perspective on the size of these ridges so I went out and took another shot. I put a penny in the photo to give a reference point.

The canoe is an old Huron that I'm learning on (I've got a few on the go). The planking is about 3" wide so what we are seeing in the photo is not the planking.

It could be that the finish dried too fast. As I said, I'd left the heat on in the shop by accident and when I came home it was very hot in there with the sun shining full blast and all.


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My gut feeling is that, yes, the paint dried way too fast. Let it cure for a few days, give it a good sanding, then continue. Paint doesn't mind drying a little bit slowly, but does not like to dry too fast.

Basically, the skin dried and shrank while the under paint was still wet.