Active Active   Unanswered Unanswered

Cold weather varnishing

One part science, five parts experimentation. Every wood boat veteran has their secret recipe for a showy finish. Share your trials and triumphs.

Moderators: Don Vogt, Al Benton, Don Ayers

JacobErdey
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:31 pm
Location: Hammond, LA
Contact:

Cold weather varnishing

Post by JacobErdey » Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:14 pm

As I approach the varnishing stage of my project, I am growing slightly concerned about the climate in which I will have for varnishing. I know Pettit says "Temps 50 degrees Fahrenheit and below will extend drying times considerably" which is obviously understandable, but just wanting to make sure that extended drying times is the only concern I should have. My local temp will stay between 30-60 degrees pretty much 90% of the time. And I know I'll have to keep an eye on humidity and how thick I lay it on. But does anyone have anyone have any big red flags I should look out for while varnishing in the 30 degree temp range? Should I avoid that at all costs? If longer dry time is all I have to worry about then that's no problem, but if anyone has some horror story about low temp varnishing then I'll have to figure something out. Any input is greatly appreciated
Current Project: 1950 Chris Craft Sportsman 18'

Greg Wallace
Posts: 363
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 2:49 pm
Location: Indian Lake, Ohio
Contact:

Re: Cold weather varnishing

Post by Greg Wallace » Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:42 am

At thirty degrees your gonna need two hands to drag the brush. I'd wait for warmer weather.
Greg Wallace 23 Custom 22166 former Chris-Craft dealer Russells Point, Oh.

JacobErdey
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:31 pm
Location: Hammond, LA
Contact:

Re: Cold weather varnishing

Post by JacobErdey » Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:19 pm

Well I have no problem warming the building to 50-55 degrees for a few hours to apply the varnish, but over night the ambient temps will be dropping into the 30's, so I was wondering if those lows would damage the varnish before it cures in some way?
Current Project: 1950 Chris Craft Sportsman 18'

Greg Wallace
Posts: 363
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 2:49 pm
Location: Indian Lake, Ohio
Contact:

Re: Cold weather varnishing

Post by Greg Wallace » Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:12 am

You may be trying something none of us has experienced. I would call Pettit and see what they have to say. I would be interested in their reply.
Greg Wallace 23 Custom 22166 former Chris-Craft dealer Russells Point, Oh.

User avatar
maritimeclassics
Posts: 619
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 4:35 pm
Location: Traverse City, Mi
Contact:

Re: Cold weather varnishing

Post by maritimeclassics » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:51 am

Working on big cruisers in Portland Oregon I had to varnish in cold weather. I used epifanes varnish at the time and on a regular basis varnished in 50 degree weather it then got colder after dark. I would have really good results with the flow and flattening out because it had more time to settle and the brush strokes to come together. The biggest disadvantage is the dry time. I could only coat every other day due to the dry time. I got the boathouse as warm as I could get it (about 50 degrees in the winter) and then apply my varnish, I would shut the heat off for the night and then in the morning turn the heaters back on and work on something else while the varnish from the day before cured. I would have to wait 48 hours before I scotch brighted or sanded and then applied another coat. I am sure this same process would work with Pettit captains but with a high build varnish you may have to wait even longer before the next coat.
Family member of Chris Craft founder
Owner of Maritime Classics
http://www.maritimeclassics.com
Ph# 231-486-6148

Restoration Projects:
1936 25' Gar Wood Custom
1947 Ventnor Hydroplane
1957 17' Deluxe Runabout
1948 25' Chris Craft Sportsman Twin
1959 19' Sliver Arrow Hull #75
1929 26' Chris Craft Custom Runabout
1937 25' Chris Craft Custom Runabout

User avatar
robertpaul
Posts: 337
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 2:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Cold weather varnishing

Post by robertpaul » Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:48 pm

Did you experience runs or sagging on vertical surfaces due to the extended drying time? I am sure you were careful to apply thin coats, but with the longer time required for the solvents to flash, I am curious if this was a problem.
1937 35' Double Stateroom Enclosed Cruiser

joanroy
Posts: 686
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:46 pm
Contact:

Re: Cold weather varnishing

Post by joanroy » Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:30 pm

Paint and varnish sag is caused by too thick and heavy applications. Make sure your varnish is warm, dip your brush tip 1/4 inch only.

User avatar
maritimeclassics
Posts: 619
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 4:35 pm
Location: Traverse City, Mi
Contact:

Re: Cold weather varnishing

Post by maritimeclassics » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:36 am

Not really, it was about 50 when it was applied so it skimmed over so there really wasn't difference. It just took longer to fully cure.
Family member of Chris Craft founder
Owner of Maritime Classics
http://www.maritimeclassics.com
Ph# 231-486-6148

Restoration Projects:
1936 25' Gar Wood Custom
1947 Ventnor Hydroplane
1957 17' Deluxe Runabout
1948 25' Chris Craft Sportsman Twin
1959 19' Sliver Arrow Hull #75
1929 26' Chris Craft Custom Runabout
1937 25' Chris Craft Custom Runabout

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests