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Old 11-07-2020, 05:16   #1
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Removing tape after multiple varnish layers

I am revarnishing my deck teak. I applied 3 layers of West System 2 part epoxy. With that if you reapply after 1.5 hours you can apply without sanding. I put down 3 coats.

I am now putting on 6 coats of Epifanes Rapidclear varnish. Applying this product you need to wait 5 - 6 hours to reapply another cost without sanding, otherwise 24 hours. Very easy to remove after the 2nd varnish coat.

The epoxy was vary hard to remove after the 3 coats. With the varnish I removed the blue tape easily after the 2nd coat. I now sand and apply tape and start with another 2 coats.

My question is, to apply the tape, it takes over an hour. If I leave the blue tape on after the 2nd coat and what 24 hours AND then apply 2 more coats,(additional 10 hours of curing time), is the tape easily removed or do I again get into the same problem as when removing the tape after the 2 part epoxy application?

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s/v Aloisius
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Old 11-07-2020, 05:51   #2
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Re: Removing tape after multiple varnish layers

Its likely that the tape will be easier to remove with varnish than epoxy, but my first move would be to upgrade the tape. Most "blue tape" today is the cheap chinese copy of 3-M's lowest grade, sometimes difficult to even get off the roll without tearing. Look for green "Frog Tape" or better quality professional autobody tape.
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Old 11-07-2020, 06:43   #3
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Re: Removing tape after multiple varnish layers

I agree on the Blue Tape, although we live in Grenada and I have not seen any other type of painters tape than the blue tape. Good comment though, thank you.
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Old 11-07-2020, 06:48   #4
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Re: Removing tape after multiple varnish layers

I found that the Blue tape was easy to pull up when I used the 2 part epoxy except where I applied the epoxy and covered some blue tape, it hardened and was a problem to remove.

The varnish did not bind to the tape as the epoxy did. My question now is after 2 days, will the varnish then bind to the tape as the epoxy did in 3 - 4 hours?
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Old 11-07-2020, 07:00   #5
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Re: Removing tape after multiple varnish layers

Grenada is a great place, the only country i've ever seen signs saying "Thank You America"..
Sounds like you are using top quality blue tape. I would still believe varnish is less problematic than epoxy, also sunlight degrades the tape, and the solvents have an effect as well. Somewhere I read of guidelines for tape exposed to UV (maybe 3-M)?
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Old 11-07-2020, 07:44   #6
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Re: Removing tape after multiple varnish layers

There's a limit to blue tape time, not sure what it is but I'd use it not more than 2-3 days in the sun. Use green tape for longer.

Who varnishes decking? Boy oh boy I hope you dont have a peeling epoxy mess in a year!
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Old 11-07-2020, 08:52   #7
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Re: Removing tape after multiple varnish layers

3M clean edge or regular blue tape. 10-12 coats of Epiphanes gloss varnish over 2-3weeks without retaping (in hot SC sun all day.) Tape came off fine- sometimes have to use a razor blade along drips or runs.

Agree with Cheechako -varnishing deck??
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Old 11-07-2020, 09:59   #8
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Re: Removing tape after multiple varnish layers

Score along the edge with a sharp blade, concentrating on cutting along the extreme edge of the tape
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Old 11-07-2020, 10:16   #9
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Re: Removing tape after multiple varnish layers

I can't imagine why you would put on three coats of epoxy. Sand to bare wood, put on one coat of clear epoxy resin thinned by 30% so it soaks into the grain. Pull tape immediately. Sand smooth after a one-day cure. This will seal the wood. Re-tape and put on another coat of epoxy thinned 10%. Pull tape immediately. Sand smooth after a one-day cure. This creates a sealed vanish base. Re-tape for varnish. Depending on varnish type you may get away with one taping and multiply coats without sanding in between. If sanding is necessary, wet sand lightly, the epoxy has already sealed the sub-straight. Pull the tape off at a 45 degree angle, pulling forward toward the end of your work. Maintenance coat every six-months to one year depending on climate and varnish type. Work in small sections to minimize screw ups like trying to do too much without re-taping. Remember the "easy way" is the hard way because it's really the "easy way" because it lasts much longer and looks more professional. Don't apply tape and wait a couple of weeks in the hot sun before painting like a guy I hired. They taped the entire boat and every fitting and then left the job.
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Old 11-07-2020, 10:47   #10
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Re: Removing tape after multiple varnish layers

I retape after three coats - a hassle but less of a hassle than having newly varnished surfaces/edges torn off. My bible is Rebecca Whitman's "Brightwork". Old but so is traditional varnishing.
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Old 11-07-2020, 10:52   #11
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Re: Removing tape after multiple varnish layers

After doing epoxy and varnish on deck handrails A few times with tape I have moved to doing it freehand with no tape. As long as you have a steady hand and catch drips of epoxy before they dry it seems to be less hassle than taping around so many curvy corners. Any varnish drips can easily be removed with a sharp edge.
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Old 11-07-2020, 11:02   #12
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Re: Removing tape after multiple varnish layers

I guess that we must all find what works for us. I've tried freehand and had more problems in tidying up than prior taping. I've paid a professional who said he could do it freehand and then paid another professional to tidy up. I may not have a steady hand nor always get the right varnish consistency. I feel that if someone asks the question they are likely to need to play it a bit safe until they can make their own informed choice. I accept it is not a trivial task - it takes me one working day to mask up for my deck varnishing, and that is on a GRP boat! So annually I only need to do it once as I'm topping up. From scratch I would have to do it three times at least to get at least nine coats which I then build up annually. Rebecca Whitmans recommends taping up to prepare, which can then damage tape edges, and then re-taping for the actual varnishing - and using different tapes since the first needs to be abrasion resistant and the second to have fine edging qualities. You need to love varnishing and the end result though or it just does not make sense.
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Old 11-07-2020, 11:14   #13
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Re: Removing tape after multiple varnish layers

I agree with the one coat method, only I don't thin it and leave the tape on for sanding and varnishing. It's too much epoxy that makes it hard to remove the tape
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Old 11-07-2020, 16:00   #14
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Re: Removing tape after multiple varnish layers

With epoxy, use an automotive grade tape (3M 233+ for example, other brand automotive grades work too) and pull it as the epoxy begins to set and way before it is hard. Sometimes a pre-cut with a razor blade is also a good measure. Waiting too long and/or a sloppy pre-cut gets me little green or orange tape slivers under the epoxy which are annoying to remove.
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Old 11-07-2020, 16:52   #15
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Re: Removing tape after multiple varnish layers

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1affiah View Post
Its likely that the tape will be easier to remove with varnish than epoxy, but my first move would be to upgrade the tape. Most "blue tape" today is the cheap chinese copy of 3-M's lowest grade, sometimes difficult to even get off the roll without tearing. Look for green "Frog Tape" or better quality professional autobody tape.
Yes indeed

The blue tape comes apart to easy

Use the green tape , or yellow depending on the manufacture

Expensive , but it save much time when removing
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