Varnish Finishing

I have five coats of varnish on my Skerry.  It looks pretty good, but there is a little more texture from the brush strokes than I'm willing to live with.  As an experiment, I wet sanded one side of the rudder blade to 4000 grit after the last varnish coat had cured in a hot garage for a week or 10 days.  It is now amazingly smooth (I would say glass smooth) with a pretty crisp mirror reflection.  It lacks that "wet" look of unsanded high gloss varnish, however.  I feel like a final rub down with some sort of wax or buffing compound would give it a great look, but I'm not sure what product would be appropriate.  

I think a "piano finish" would be sort of silly on a boat, but it is fun to learn how they do that.  I'm looking for advice on what product and technique I can use to finish this out and what grit should I sand to before using that product.

The last time I posted on this subject, no one responded so please jump in there!


Hooper Williams - Brevard, NC 

3 replies:

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RE: Varnish Finishing

Hooper,on my kayak I used a product from Griots Garage called Complete Compound, it came out baby butt smooth and a nice shine. I've heard somewhere that Mequiars has a polish or rubbing compound #7 thats supposed  to work as well. Good luck 

RE: Varnish Finishing

 Thanks J.  How long ago was that?  How has it held up?  Have you been able to do touch-ups or additional varnish coats since then?

 I'm a little nervous about using a product designed for car paint on boat varnish, but maybe that is perfect.  

Thanks again,


RE: Varnish Finishing

  It's been 2 years, holding up well and no touch ups as yet. 

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