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Water based varnish, anyone?

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Water based varnish, anyone?

Post by JacobErdey » Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:18 pm

So, I'm approaching the staining and varnishing segment of this restoration project, and have some curiosities. This very well may be a stupid question, but I've heard a lot of great things about these new water based varnishes/spar urethane's, etc. So my question is two-fold. 1. Would any of these water based products be sensible to use instead of traditional oil based stuff? (on the inside or outsides of the boat or both) And 2. If that should be avoided, what are your favorite brands of oil based varnish to use on the entire boat? (and I'm sure I'll get 20 opinions on this one, but I'm all ears)

And as a Bonus: 3. Anyone have a strong opinion against using regular yellow can minwax penetrating stain instead of the Interlux filler stain? (I'm a cabinet guy so I'm very familiar with minwax stain, but haven't experimented at all with the filler type stains)

Current Project: 1950 Chris Craft Sportsman 18'

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Re: Water based varnish, anyone?

Post by joanroy » Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:49 pm

Stay with the traditional oil based boat products. Water based paints and varnishes are not breathable, trap moisture, don’t sand well, and generally look like a plastic finish. Important to use the Interlux filler stain to fill the 80 grit sanded wood. Always apply two coats of sealer over the fully dried stain and a full coat of varnish before your first sand then build from there. I use Interlux Chris Craft filler stain, Interlux sealer, and Pettit Captains varnish. Have Fun!

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Re: Water based varnish, anyone?

Post by rpccc43 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:36 pm

NO THANK YOU. Have recently tried TB Halycon and Pettit Sea Gold. Not pleased with either. The former comes out of the container pure white and despite being described as clear and glossy it's neither. Sea Gold is way better but still a matt finish, not bad as a base to build up come coats but I wouldn't use it outside of the boat. I finish everything with Captains which is my go to varnish (tried most of them).

Bonus: I use Minwax Sedona red inside the boat with a base of sanding sealer and have been very pleased with color and finish consistency. Outside I use Interlux Chris Craft red filler stain mostly for correct CC color and "look" of the finish.

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Re: Water based varnish, anyone?

Post by jfrprops » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:40 pm

I am a Epifanes guy....but as to advice...Johnroy's post and the on just above are both right on. The sea gold does work Ok...but the post just above mine tells the whole story...
John in Va
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

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