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Old 11-09-2019, 11:27   #1
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A good inexpensive varnish

I'm not a huge fan of varnishing. So much so, that I painted my cap rails, my cockpit covings, and lazarette hatches. All are wood on my old boat. I use to use epifanes varnish. Which is a really good varnish. It's also a really expensive varnish.

Being a frugal and rather poor sailor I was always looking for alternates. There's a lot of bad varnish out there.

But two years ago, I got a can of varnish from the ace hardware store, that has turned out to be just as good as epiphanes. Best of all from my Frugal standpoint, it was only $16 a quart. That varnish was McCluskey Marine spar varnish, number 6539 Gloss.

2 years ago I stripped my three main hatches back down to bare wood and applied five coats, of the McCluskey varnish. Last year I did a light sanding, and put one more coat on. Today I'm just about to put another coat on after two years. The varnish is still holding up very well, with no breakthrough or cracking. I've been extremely pleased with it.

I thought I'd pass that along to the collective. I have not been compensated in any way for this opinion. I never do that sort of thing. This is just my real world experience.

Having used epiphanes for a number of years, I have found that the McCluskey varnish is at least as good, if not better.
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:05   #2
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Re: A good inexpensive varnish

That's good to know. I've been using TotalBoat varnish, and it's not a cheap, but it's reasonable, and pretty good as well.

To anyone using varnish a lot - how have you been keeping the varnish from skinning over in the can, from a partial use? I've been using a product called "Bloxygen" - which works well, but it's somewhat pricey. Are there any good alternative methods anyone knows of?
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:09   #3
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Re: A good inexpensive varnish

will one of those wine box bags hold up? They are great for keeping the air out, but don't know of the chemical interactions.
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:10   #4
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Re: A good inexpensive varnish

Quote:
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To anyone using varnish a lot - how have you been keeping the varnish from skinning over in the can, from a partial use? I've been using a product called "Bloxygen" - which works well, but it's somewhat pricey. Are there any good alternative methods anyone knows of?
You know, the McCloskey varnish does not seem to skim over. There was no skim on top of it last year or even today when I opened the can. That was with a third of a can of varnish left.
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:18   #5
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Re: A good inexpensive varnish

I knew a Hinckley owner at my dock (in Florida) who had a woman come down from New England to do the varnishing. they used a 50-50 mixture of Epifanes and Ace Hardware varnish.
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:39   #6
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Re: A good inexpensive varnish

A trick a dear friend showed me, is to store the varnish upside down, then, when you re-open it, the skin is on the bottom. Only works for gloss varnish.

Another friend taught me to take a nail, and puncture the dip the lid fits into, so any spills will drain back down into the can; and also, to put a rubber band over the tin, and brush against it, to remove excess varnish from the brush, again, drips back down into tin.

Ann
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Old 11-09-2019, 14:08   #7
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Re: A good inexpensive varnish

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Another friend taught me to take a nail, and puncture the dip the lid fits into, so any spills will drain back down into the can; and also, to put a rubber band over the tin, and brush against it, to remove excess varnish from the brush, again, drips back down into tin.
That is a great idea! Thx.
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Old 11-09-2019, 14:34   #8
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Re: A good inexpensive varnish

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Originally Posted by Hardhead View Post
That's good to know. I've been using TotalBoat varnish, and it's not a cheap, but it's reasonable, and pretty good as well.

To anyone using varnish a lot - how have you been keeping the varnish from skinning over in the can, from a partial use? I've been using a product called "Bloxygen" - which works well, but it's somewhat pricey. Are there any good alternative methods anyone knows of?


I use a fair amount of Bloxygen for all sorts of applications: Extending the life of a special bottle of wine (that happens rarely), preserving coffee beans, etc. What would be significantly less expensive would be to buy a refillable tank of argon gas and a regulator although your return on investment would take a while. Also, that’s a lot of hardware to keep on a small sailboat. The small footprint of the Bloxygen can is very convenient.

Fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 11-09-2019, 15:00   #9
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Re: A good inexpensive varnish

My tip: walk into a big home and garden department and find the best varnish


FOR MOUNTAIN HUTS


that they offer.


These are better quality and less expensive than regular International and Hempel boat stuff.


Specifically, I had great results with this brand:


https://www.amazon.es/Desconocido-Pr.../dp/B07DC9PK9W


maker: V33 - mountain hut varnish



Easy to get online but maybe not available from your nearest land based supplier.


PS I love your avatar ... have we met before? ;-)



++Hugs, have fun varnishing!
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Old 11-09-2019, 15:02   #10
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Re: A good inexpensive varnish

Propane.
Store in fridge.
SUNCOVERS!!!!!!
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Old 12-09-2019, 00:36   #11
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Re: A good inexpensive varnish

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My tip: walk into a big home and garden department and find the best varnish

++Hugs, have fun varnishing!
barnakiel
Well I walked into one of the Hardware Chains and said I wanted varnish for my yacht. The Saleswoman said

"Do you want this one or do you want the same varnish in the Marine Section for double the price?"
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Old 12-09-2019, 00:45   #12
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Re: A good inexpensive varnish

I prefer Epifanes because it can withstand the tropical sun.
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:24   #13
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Re: A good inexpensive varnish

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Originally Posted by Hardhead View Post
That's good to know. I've been using TotalBoat varnish, and it's not a cheap, but it's reasonable, and pretty good as well.

To anyone using varnish a lot - how have you been keeping the varnish from skinning over in the can, from a partial use? I've been using a product called "Bloxygen" - which works well, but it's somewhat pricey. Are there any good alternative methods anyone knows of?
I purge the air out with Nitrogen and seal it. I might add it works great with wine as well.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:56   #14
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Re: A good inexpensive varnish

Thanks for very useful tip. I also use bottom paint from Home Depot which is about half the price of the premium brands and hold up very well.
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:04   #15
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Re: A good inexpensive varnish

6 months ago I bought a quart of Minwax Urethane Spar varnish and did all my handrails, and teak cockpit trim. I live in South Florida and so far, its held up well in a very hot, very wet Ft.Lauderdale summer. No sign of deterioration.

Its really easy to apply and its water based so clean up is really easy. Its inexpensive as well.
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