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27. Varnishing - general precautions

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The biggest enemy in varnishing is dust. Every measure, large and small must be taken against it to achieve a reasonably good finish.

A plastic sheet is stretched temporarily above the kayak to catch dust falling from the strips rack and lights. The whole shop is vacuumed and the air is allowed to settle for three days. Everything is prepared ahead of time so that there is no unnecessary movement. If you can wet the floor all the better.

Aside from the dust in the shop which is the least of your problems, a huge amount also comes from:

  • brushes- disposable foam brushes do not harbor old residues. Keep them well covered. Pat with tack cloth prior to varnishing
  • clothing-must be clean. If you are a fanatic about dust, wear none. [shorts will do :)]
  • hair-dust free head cover is good
  • varnish-must be strained (disposable sieves are available in every paint store)
  • varnishing container-use disposables and wipe it with new tack cloth
  • used tack cloth- use a new one especially before finishing coats
The masking tape and a drip skirt at the sheer protect the already varnished hull below.

Three coats of varnish are the bare bones minimum. Four to six is enough.

A Cape Ann Double ready to hit the surf!


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Last page update: 11 January 2020