Varnish and Paint

I epoxy-fiberglassed the hull and deck of my kayak.

The hull looks great. I am planning on varnishing it to keep the wood visible. But unfortunately the deck looks bad and there is no fixing it.

Therefore, I plan on painting the deck.

Since there is no hard-edge between the deck and hull of my kayak, I am not sure what my order of operations should be. I was initially thinking I should:

- mask the deck.
- paint the deck
- remove masking tape.
- sand the paint.
- varnish the entire kayak.

Does varnish stick to (sanded) paint? And if so, would you advise that approach? Why, why-not?


3 replies:

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RE: Varnish and Paint


Generally, it is better to varnish first then paint second.  Paint overtop of varnish looks like paint, but varnish overtop of paint looks bad.  You can do things in the oppisit order, but then you have to be very careful with your masking.

Make sure that your paint and varnish are compatable.  If you are using the CLC recommended Interlux Brightsides and Schooner Varnish, then they are.

First, varnish the area that will be bright.  There is really no need to mask before varnish because you will creating the edge with the tape.  Once it is safe to put tape on the varnish, mask off the edge where you will be painting.  It is very importanat to use a high quality tape like Fine Line.  The cheaper blue stuff allows a little paint underneath which creates a ragged edge.  Next, use something like 320 grit to rough up any varnish that you will be painting over.  If you are gentle, you can leave the tape in place as you put on multiple coats of paint and wet sand in between.  When done, you should have a nice crisp line.  If not, you can always lay automotive pinstrip over the edge to cover any mistakes.

Below is a picture of my Ch17LT after its three year tune up.  



RE: Varnish and Paint

   Thanks for the tip. If my paint and varnish don't play well together then I'll just have to get fancy with the masking.

RE: Varnish and Paint

   I built the teardrop camper.  The CLC recommendation was to bring the paint 1" up the sides.  I had the camper inverted (duh) and used fine line tape to mask the side.  I used Epifanes 2-part polyurethane paint.  There was an interval of a few weeks before varnishing.  I couldn't ascertain compatability so I played it safe and used fine line tape to mask the paint before varnishing.  The fine line tape is only 1/4" wide so in both cases I used 2" blue painters tape on top of the fine line to catch any drips.  Came out fine.  When I masked for painting, I was nervous about paint seeping under the fine line tape, so after I applied if I burnished it with the knobby end of a large scewdriver.

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