Author Topic: Varnishing Hull  (Read 3552 times)

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freightliner009

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Varnishing Hull
« on: February 14, 2014, 13:27:07 »
I have an all wooden hull that I have lightly sanded and repainted. How many coats of satin varnish should I give it?
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mike_victoriabc

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Re: Varnishing Hull
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2014, 09:17:13 »
I used to watch my father redo the dashboards and trim in his old Rover and MG cars - a thinned down coat first, wet sand, followed by multi coats, wet sanding between each until he was satisfied with the appearance. He used the same process on the old wood sailboats he built (in the 50-60's). Still have them - still look good. Varnish composition has probably changed since those days though.

west coast tug

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Re: Varnishing Hull
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2014, 09:33:24 »
The usual amount is about 7 for gloss. You want enough so that the wood grain is no longer seen in reflection , Satin finish though will hide a lot of imperfections.
Sand the first coats down with 220 , The last 2 coats should be 320 , Don't varnish in damp conditions the surface will change and can milk out a bit.
Gary

freightliner009

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Re: Varnishing Hull
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2014, 10:35:50 »
Thanks guys,

I did say 'varnish' what I should've said is satin Polyurethane varnish, does that alter your advice? Sorry, my fault  ;)
Proud  father of a new Hobby Engine 1/35 scale Southampton tug and 1/24 scale hand crafted Zeeland tug

west coast tug

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Re: Varnishing Hull
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2014, 09:19:28 »
The perfection of clear coats is the hiding of the wood grain , The smooth surface also tells that all the holes are filled and the water will not enter.

On the real  larger boats the wood tends to hold water moisture , In the sun some bubbles can appear under the surface .
Then in winter if not stored in a dry building or boat shed the surface can be ice damaged from the moisture.

On a model that has very thin planking and is taken home every day you don't have to worry about this at all .
I had a large 41 foot cabin cruiser back in the 80's Varnish every year you learn stuff.
Gary

freightliner009

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Re: Varnishing Hull
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2014, 11:27:35 »
Hi Gary,

I got another two coats on it today totalling 4 at the moment and you're right, as the coats are building up I can certainly see and feel it becoming smoother.
Proud  father of a new Hobby Engine 1/35 scale Southampton tug and 1/24 scale hand crafted Zeeland tug

west coast tug

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Re: Varnishing Hull
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2014, 09:07:07 »
I found out you can power sand the first 5 coats if you want but the last should be by hand .
Try a sponge brush they are really good for varnish no more than 1/3 dipped.
Gary

freightliner009

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Re: Varnishing Hull
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2014, 06:02:57 »
Got my 320 wet and dry today, I have to say that after giving the hull a rub down with it what a difference it has made again. I have just given it a 5th coat of ployurethane and it looks so much smoother. I will play it by ear as to the amount of coats but is the final coat applied and then left?
Proud  father of a new Hobby Engine 1/35 scale Southampton tug and 1/24 scale hand crafted Zeeland tug

west coast tug

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Re: Varnishing Hull
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2014, 08:43:56 »
The final coat is left alone ,Unless your going to fine cut and polish it but that's another art form, And usually ends up gloss not satin.
Gary
 

freightliner009

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Re: Varnishing Hull
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2014, 05:45:41 »
Thanks Gary,

My word, what a difference this has made, unbelievable. I have thus far only done one half of the hull due to space constraints but I will take an image of the untouched side as it was when I got it and one of the work I've done on the current half later and post them.
The original paintwork was in gloss, you could see all of the brush marks etc., it looked like coat after coat had been applied making it look all thick and nasty. Ok, it's taken quite a bit of work all by hand but well worth it. I didn't even take it right back to the wood either, just a good sanding down to give the new paint something to key to, but the rubbing down between each coat of varnish was the turning point and a must. I didn't use the 220 grade just the 320 grade between coats. I put the pin stripe on too, just need a final coat of polyurethane now and that side is finished.
I'll take a couple of images later so you can see the before and after ;o)

Andy.                                               
Proud  father of a new Hobby Engine 1/35 scale Southampton tug and 1/24 scale hand crafted Zeeland tug

west coast tug

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Re: Varnishing Hull
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2014, 08:59:21 »
You probably understand the term Wet'd Edge for Painting/ Varnishing. Some people don't under stand that if the paint stays wet at the advancing edge all the surface will flow together , And appear to be sprayed on instead. The trick to this is a larger brush . And not in the sun for paint.
Gary

freightliner009

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Re: Varnishing Hull
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2014, 12:46:05 »
Oh yes, I understand that but didn't know that was what it was called. Luckily although I am rubbish with electronics my forte does appear to be painting/renovating. Having said that I usually do old Dinky toys, strip and refurbish back to a new state but I have never attempted a 3' wooden boat but it seems to be going very well.
As with these things it pays you not to rush things and take your time, excuse the 'off topicness' of this image but this is my usual passion, this was stripped back to the bare casting.......


Proud  father of a new Hobby Engine 1/35 scale Southampton tug and 1/24 scale hand crafted Zeeland tug