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Varnishing Tips from Interlux

by Interlux

- Round the edges of any scrapers with a file to avoid gouging.

- Keep the sandpaper clean and change it frequently.

- Sand by numbers, finishing the surface with a progressively finer grade of paper.

- Varnishing is best achieved on warm, dry mornings; cold weather slows drying and dampness spoils the gloss.

- Always use a clean brush, previously used only for varnish.

- Always buy the highest quality varnish and brush available. This will ensure you achieve the most attractive finish.

- Clean new brushes before use.

- Test the finish on a spare piece of wood before applying to the boat. - On large areas use a foam roller to apply the initial coat, followed immediately behind with a wide brush for the finishing strokes - this is best done by two people.

- Alternatively, having cleaned and washed the brush, suspend it by its handle to avoid any "fishtailing" of the bristle.

- As the varnish ages in the can you may find there are lumps or contamination. Filtering the varnish into a separate container through a paint filter, cheesecloth or an old stocking is a good solution to this problem.

- Always pour the amount of varnish that you expect to use at any one time, into a separate container.

- When applying varnish always be sure to have good ventilation. Poor ventilation will result in a hazy or flat finish.

X Never apply direct from the can, as this will introduce contamination.

X Don't use varnish which has been open for a long period as it will have picked up dust.

X Do not varnish wood when exposed to direct sunlight.

X Never leave bare wood exposed too long as it will absorb moisture from the atmosphere.

Original article from Interlux (pdf)

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