Active Active   Unanswered Unanswered

Varnish Lifting

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 Ayers, Don Vogt, Al Benton

Warren
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:32 pm
Contact:

Varnish Lifting

Post by Warren » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:39 am

I'm hoping to tap into the brain trust here. I recently completed a rebuild on a 1932 Chris Craft 21' Triple. The first time out I hit the dock cracking a plank and a gouge across the covering board. I replaced the plank without any problems but when I went to address the gouge on the Covering board I noticed that the Varnish lifted off in sheets without any effort at all. This was not the case when I replaced the topside plank. I had to use a heat gun and a lot of elbow to get the Varnish off, so why is it lifting off the covering board?

This was my prep work prior. After all needed wood was replaced the boat was sanded starting with 80 grit then 100 and finally 120 grit. Boat was washed with water between each grit. I then bleached entire boat to have all the wood blend to match. Washed to neutralize bleach, let dry completely for 2 weeks. Lightly sanded with 220 grit to remove the raised grain. Next step was to stain whole boat Chris Craft Red which was purchaced from a respected restorer in California. Let this dry for 1 week then taped off deck and topsides leaving only Covering Boards and King Plank exposed. Applied Black stain over the dry red stain and immediately wiped off. Note this stain also came from same respected retorer. This was let to dry for 2 weeks. Rubbed white towel on it to see when dry. After this I applied two coats of Pettit Sealer 2018 lightly sanding with 220 grit between coats. Then started the build up of the Varnish. I used Epiphanes and put on 13 coats per instructions.

So my question is where did I go wrong? I'm now back to the stage where I've applied the Red stain, letting it dry and then I'll apply the Black. After that I'm thinking I wont use the Pettit Sealer and put on a couple of really thin varnish coats. Maybe try to squeegee the first coat into the surface?
Warren
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

jfrprops
Posts: 2053
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 10:41 pm
Location: Powhatan Courthouse Virginia
Contact:

Re: Varnish Lifting

Post by jfrprops » Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:36 pm

Well since no one in the serious varnish brain trust has yet checked in....let me say that from my point of view you messed by doing all the meticulous great work....I just slap some on and Go Boating....then too...I don't have that wonderful rare boat.
Someone with come along and be serious help to you....come on guys...start posting.
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)

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

Re: Varnish Lifting

Post by joanroy » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:34 pm

220 was to fine of a sand and it closed the grain so you didn’t get good adhesion with the first coat. I sand bare wood to 80, stain, two coats of sealer, one full coat of varnish, then sand by hand with 120 to smooth being careful not to sand into the stain. After that you can use 220 and go finer between coats to achieve your desired build and finish.

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

Re: Varnish Lifting

Post by joanroy » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:23 pm

I’ve always had good results with Interlux filler stain, Interlux sealer, and Pettit Captains varnish.

George Emmanuel
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:44 am
Location: Gainesville, Florida
Contact:

Re: Varnish Lifting

Post by George Emmanuel » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:09 am

Sometime ago I posted a similar question as I experienced the same thing. I'm currently restoring a 17' Sportsman and prior to beginning the stain/varnish I did some research and found that gell stain and Petit's sealer were popular. So I did exactly as you've done and had the same results. ( I assume from your post you used gell stain). Years ago I restored an award winning Cavalier using my old tried and true system of Interlux and 50/50 varnish/mineral spirits. The plywood on the boat was all new Brunzele brand and prior to applying stain it was sanded with 325 grit, mainly because I feared sanding through the thin veneer. The varnish job never gave me any problems.

When I first experienced the peeling it was at the waterline when I pulled the tape. On investigation I could see the stain (gell) was still in place. That led me to believe the Petit sealer didn't penetrate the stain. Maybe it's not supposed to? But it was obvious the bond wasn't there. So when I did the interior covering boards I went back to my old method. There is an ever so slight difference in color, but I'm not going to worry about that....covering boards require a lot of work to remove for work.

I have not experimented with gell and 50/50, but may in the future on a test piece of mahogany.

George

Warren
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:32 pm
Contact:

Re: Varnish Lifting

Post by Warren » Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:58 am

Thanks Joanroy and George for your replies. The stain I used was not Gel Stain but it was custom made for the color by a Professional who knows his stuff. What I think the problem is, the Pettit Sealer was too thick to penetrate the two applications of stain on the Covering Boards as it worked on the rest of the boat where it was just the Red or 1 application.

I decided not use the Pettit Sealer and thin the first application of Varnish 25% Epiphanes and 75% Epiphanes Thinner. Let dry a few days, rubbed on it and seemed to adhere well. Next coat I used a purple scotch bright pad to scuff the finish then 50% Epiphanes and 50% Epiphanes Thinner. Last night I again scuffed the finish with a scotch bright pad then applied 75% Epiphanes and 25% Epiphanes thinner. After this dries out I will continue building up the coats to 13 or so and call it good!

Warren

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests