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Brightwork: A Simple How-to Guide


This how-to was sent in by Linda Moore, who was the "JD How-to Contest" winner. Congratulations Linda!

Warning: Beautifully varnished wood trim on your boat will draw admiring fans! If you are paralyzed with the thought of revitalizing your aged teak, then read on for the basic brightwork plan. I'll outline some basic tools and supplies that you can purchase from Jamestown Distributors. Don't procrastinate by spending time researching the options, or you may never start the project. Just go with this list, and you can later enjoy enhancing your brightwork technique and supplies.

General Supplies:
  • Shop Rags (MDI-86884)
  • Nitrile Gloves (BOS-1UH0007M - sizes!)
  • Mineral Spirits or Interlux Brushing Liquid 333
  • 3M Blue Painters Tape (3M-06819 -- 1-1/2 inches wide)
  • Paint Pails (PS16PP 16 oz)
  • Garbage Bags
  • Vacuum
Stripping Tools:
  • Red Devil Scraper (RED-3040 1-1/2 in)
  • Milwaukee Dual Heat Gun (MIL-1220HS)
Stripping Supplies:
  • Amazon's Strip Away (AMA-SA925)
  • Brush
Sanding: 3M 9 x 11 sand paper, 5 sheets of each grade Hint: Cut each sheet into 4 pieces, then fold each piece in 3rds when using.
  • 3M-20619 -- 80 Grit
  • 3M-20621 -- 120 Grit
  • MMM-20624 -- 220 Grit
  • 3M-14190 -- 320 Grit
Varnishing:
  • Foam Brushes (BRUF3 3 in)
  • Paint Strainers (PSPSF)
  • Interlux Original Varnish (INT-0090Q) or Interlux Schooner
  • Interlux Jet Speed Varnish (INT-0100Q)
  • 3M Tack Cloth (3M-03192 10/Bag)
Order your supplies, and when they arrive, take the box of goodies to your boat, and follow these steps:

General: Use the 3M Blue Painters Tape to protect adjacent surfaces. You may replace the tape during the project as needed. The garbage bags will be handy for every step.

Stripping: You can scrape just the old, bad stuff, or you can completely strip. To completely strip, follow these steps.
    Tools & Supplies for this step:
  • Shop Rags (MDI-86884)
  • Nitrile Gloves (BOS-1UH0007M - sizes!)
  • Paint Pails (PS16PP 16 oz)
  • Garbage Bags
  • Red Devil Scraper (RED-3040 1-1/2 in)
  • Milwaukee Dual Heat Gun (MIL-1220HS)
  • Amazon's Strip Away (AMA-SA925)
  • Brush
  1. Hold heat gun at an angle until the old varnish starts to bubble, then scrape with the Red Devil Scraper. Wipe residue on shop rag. Do this for the entire project area.
  2. To completely remove any residual varnish, coat the surface with the Amazon Strip Away (pour in a paint pail, and use the brush to apply). Wait a few minutes, and then use the scraper to remove. Wipe completely with the shop rags.
  3. WOW, doesn't it already look great!!
Sanding:
    Tools & Supplies for this step:
  • 3M sand paper
  • Shop Rags (MDI-86884)
  • Nitrile Gloves (BOS-1UH0007M - sizes!)
  • Mineral Spirits or Interlux Brushing Liquid 333
  • Garbage Bags
  • Vacuum
  1. Sand over the stripped wood using the 3M 80-grit sandpaper, then 120 grit, and finish with 220 grit.
  2. Wear nitrile gloves. Pour mineral spirits or Interlux Brushing Liquid 333 on a shop rag and wipe the wood. Your hard work is already paying off! It will look gorgeous!
  3. Vacuum any loose sanding, etc. for a clean varnishing environment.
Varnishing: Apply at least 8 coats to protect bare wood. Wait a day between coats. Before each coat you must sand and wipe with mineral spirits or Interlux Brushing Liquid 333.
    Tools & Supplies for this step:
  • 3M sand paper
  • Shop Rags (MDI-86884)
  • Nitrile Gloves (BOS-1UH0007M - sizes!)
  • Mineral Spirits or Interlux Brushing Liquid 333
  • Garbage Bags
  • Foam Brushes (BRUF3 3 in)
  • Paint Strainers (PSPSF)
  • Interlux Original Varnish (INT-0090Q) or Interlux Schooner
  • Interlux Jet Speed Varnish (INT-0100Q)
  • 3M Tack Cloth (3M-03192 10/Bag)
This is the daily process.
  1. Lightly sand, except between sealing coat and coat #1.
  2. Use 220 grit before coats 2-4, 320 grit for coats 5-8.
  3. Wear nitrile gloves.
  4. Wipe sanded area using shop rag soaked with mineral spirits or Interlux Brushing Liquid 333.
  5. Open the Interlux Varnish and pour the needed amount of varnish into the paint pail. Pour through a paint strainer. Be conservative, varnish goes a long way!
  6. The 1st coat on bare wood is a sealer coat and doesn't count as 1 of the 8 needed coats of varnish. Use the Interlux Jet Dry Varnish and thin with 10% Interlux Brushing Liquid 333. Do not sand between this sealing coat and the official Coat 1.
  7. Use a hammer to securely close the varnish can, and dispose of the paint strainer.
  8. Use the 3M tack cloth to blot any loose dust, etc. on the wood. Blot just forward of your next brushing area. Rest the tack cloth adjacent to where you stop blotting, but not on the wood itself.
  9. Use the foam brush to apply - remember, a little goes a long way.
  10. At the end of each day dispose of the foam brush, paint pail and any poured, but remaining varnish.
  11. Wait a day before applying the next coat. You can use the Interlux Jet Dry for the 1st 4 coats, but not for the finishing coats.
I hope that you will feel comfortable with your brightwork project. After your 1st project you will fall in love with the beauty of your wood, and I encourage you to learn more about the options regarding supplies, products, and techniques. It's work, but it's boat work, so just remember to ENJOY!!!!

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