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Old 18-04-2008, 10:06   #1
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Epifanes High Gloss Varnish question

Ok, I have use most of the traditional varnishes, I used the high tech 2 part varnishes and on several recommendations I am now trying Epifanes High Gloss Varnish.

Has anyone used this? I was very surprised to see so much grey pigment there is when I opened up the can, I am also surprised at how "thick" the consistancy is and the drying time seems to be longer than most varnishes. The resulting finish looks fine but in order to get a good flow we have been adding about 10% thinner to each coat.

Any comments on this stuff?
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Old 18-04-2008, 10:35   #2
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varnish

Oh Boy. You have opened up an area where people have strong opinions and little data. I think I have tried them all over the 35 years I have owned boats with brightwork--every varnish, epoxy and substitute. My view is that you are with the best. The stuff needs to be thick (although you need to thin with first coats on bare wood and the grey is UV inhibitors which are critical to the stuff lasting) Here is why Epiphanes is the best:
1. It has the most UV inhibitors and the tropical charter boats who do brightwork do not use anything but Epiphanes--I know what I am talking about on this one, I spent two years in the tropics.
2. The Smith epoxies are probably better for lasting in the sun but they do not move with the wood, so you get cracking if there are any joints in your woodwork or at juntures with other materials that expand at different rates.
3. My view is that all the pseudo products ("Honey Teak", Cetol) look like pseudo products. Epiphanes will look natural when applied. These products always look fake. Why not just go all the way to plastic if you want something fake?

Here are some tips on Epiphanes:

1. Read a book on the subject of prep and varnish. Not just a chapter. The book I recommend is BrightWork by Rebecca Whitman. You can cut some of her corners, but not if you want to have the showpieces she produces. This is the bible of varnish.
2. Prep is very important. Start out with 50/50 thinnner on first coats.
3. Plan on at least 6 coats first time around. Better to have 8. I have to strip my varnish about every 6-8 years after that if I quickly sand and coat each season after the initial. Folks stop by my boat to ask how it is done.
4. Fix nicks with scratch (sand) and patch in between to keep moisture out.

You are going to get a barage of stuff from this posting. Most of it will have the data point of one. This is one data point.
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Old 18-04-2008, 10:46   #3
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Ray,

Thanks - you already answered all my questions. My wife and I have been varnishing for close to 25 years so we have seen just about everything and at this point I am only adding this years layers for protection. There is no "wood" prep, just surface prep of good varnish.

I was just curious about a few of the characteristics and you confirmed my suspicions.

Thanks,

Scott
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Old 18-04-2008, 11:22   #4
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Scott, Epifanes High Gloss is all we use, in or out. We also very much like the Epifanes paints.
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Old 18-04-2008, 12:35   #5
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Quote:
Oh Boy. You have opened up an area where people have strong opinions and little data.
Quote:
I know what I am talking about on this one, I spent two years in the
Quote:
You are going to get a barage of stuff from this posting.
Pete, if you want to be taken seriously on this Board, I suggest you think clearly about what comments you make. There are some very experianced professional people on this board. You may even learn something from some of them if you choose.

Invitation, yes they are good products. Many others out there as well. Do realise that the harder and longer lasting a product is, the more pre you need, the harder to repair if damaged and the harder to prepare the next time you go to re-paint. The finishes that are easier and quicker to apply require less prep, easier to repair and easier to prep the next time. nor do they last as long. So it comes down to your circumstances. Certainly the clear hard coatings look stunning.
By the way, NZ is probably the harshest for UV in the world, due to our Ozone issue. We may not get as much sun in the tropics, but the UV level is very high. Tropical heat is as much about the heat as it is the UV. The hotter, the more movement of the timber and the softer the coatings become. You will note that when these coatings start breaking down, they tend to lift from the timber in small area's and the timber discolours from moisture underneath. UV damage is often surface chalking or failure of the film right through causing discolouration and cracking.
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Old 18-04-2008, 13:00   #6
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Thanks everyone,

I have enough information at this point so to keep things as simple as possible.

THIS POST IS CLOSED.
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Old 18-04-2008, 13:12   #7
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nice stuff to work with

I also have tried other types of varnishes, and I always come back to Epifanes High Gloss. Like everyone said you do have to thin it out for the first few coats and then sand between every other coat to get that really high gloss, I enjoy using this stuff, and do about 3 boats a season, seems people don't have the time or patients to do brightwork right. But appreciate a good job done by someone else.
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