Fisheyes in final coat of epoxy

I am finishing up my Wood Duck 12 build.  I applied the final skim coat of epoxy and after letting it dry I noticed a few fisheyes in the finish.  I have only used clean rags dipped in denatured alcohol to wipe down the boat so not sure how those got there, obviously some contamination from my work area.

My question is will lightly sanding those areas remove the fisheyes, and should I then try to recoat those areas only, or sand and recoat the entire boat again?

Thanks in advance for any assistance

Steve C

6 replies:

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RE: Fisheyes in final coat of epoxy

Ah, the dreaded fish eyes. Lots of speculation as to where they really come from. Seems you can do everything right and still get 'em. No big deal, just a light sanding in that area and another thin coat of epoxy. Sometimes I'll just put a drop of epoxy directly i the fish eye and sand if flat after it cures. Whatever you do it'll all blend in after sanding and varnish.

George K

RE: Fisheyes in final coat of epoxy

If that does't work get a fisheye additive. Was not that easy for me.


RE: Fisheyes in final coat of epoxy

The 'clean rags' could be the problem. Soap residue or fabric softener residue from the wash contaminates the dryer/lint trap, and anti-static (Bounce) also is coated in the dryer. Use only paper towels..never had a problem. Penetrol is the common anti-fisheye additive, but I have never used it w/epoxy. If you do, trial it on a scrap board. Did you wash the area with soap & water? A must if you are using West epoxy, not such a bad idea for any final coat, then alcohol. Also, make sure your mixing containers & mix sticks are fresh and residue free of shop dust; any unseen amount could cause a problem. Have you or anyone used air freshener in the area, or any other airborne product? Does the heating system vent into your finish area? Just trying to eliminate all the potential contaminates before or during the initial wet layer of epoxy. Hope this helped to locate the problem. Good luck!

RE: Fisheyes in final coat of epoxy

Using compressed air to blow off the sanding dust can contaminate the surface with oil.  Not using enough solvent/alcohol can just smear the contaminate rather then remove it. 

ANY silicone oil product can cause major headaches because it is so hard to remove silicone oil. 


RE: Fisheyes in final coat of epoxy

I agree with Celeste.  Compressors are a problem.  Contaminants are spread if not thoroughly cleaned with denatured alcohol.  After cleaning with alcohol, I use damp cotton rags followed by a tack cloth to ensure that all dust is removed.

Chenango Pete

RE: Fisheyes in final coat of epoxy

I agree with you on all things but one, Pete. 

Do Not use a Tack cloth! Tach cloth + denatured alcohol= disaster.

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