Storing Varnish

Steve Ambrose

Nut in a Canoe
I've been buying Captain's Spar Varnish in qts for the convenience since one qt will generally do a canoe and what little is usually left over tends to skin over and dry out even with my best efforts to reseal the can carefully. Varnish prices seem to have gone up quite a bit over the last few months so I'm considering purchasing by the gallon but I'm afraid once the gallon is open I'll end up losing more than I saved. I guess I could split it into qt cans to keep evaporation to a minimum. Any thoughts?
Call me crazy, but this is what I use to preserve partial cans of any expensive paint or varnish.



If the can's not in good shape, I transfer the contents to a mason jar instead. Anyway, my wife bought this gizmo from an infomercial for sealing food containers. You can seal a can or jar of paint or varnish, stick it on a shelf, leave it for years and when you open it, it's just like it was when you sealed the jar. Essentially, you punch a pinhole in the lid with a map tack. Then you stick a little band-aid-like strip that they provide a bunch of over the hole. You position the suction cup of the pump over the hole and suck all the air out of the container. Just to be sure, I usually stick a piece of packing tape over the band-aid for long-term storage. Saving one half-can of boat paint or varnish will pay for the pump. It's typical, somewhat over-hyped infomercial fare, but it really works beautifully to preserve expensive paint and varnish.
'Finish Preserve' doesn't work that well, you need a lot of it, and it's fairly expensive. Collapsable bottles seems a not bad idea, how much of your expensive varnish will you lose in the transfer process? That vacuum pack thingy looks like a good idea.
Hi Steve, I've been buying gallons and splitting it out into qt cans. I also can get pint cans for smaller leftovers. Attached are pictures of my last project I just delivered. Now back to the OT.


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