In praise of old, cold varnish

I'm nearing completion of my Shearwater Sport Sectional. The last stage, of course, is varnishing, and I had about a 1/2 quart of Interlux Schooner 96 left over from when I built my dory two years ago. I decided to use it up.

First I broke the layer of jellied varnish and mixed it up as best I could. Then I filtered it through a double layer of cheese-cloth. I was left with some impressively thick varnish -- perhaps made less viscous because I was applying it in 50-degree temps. I decided not to thin it.

I'm surprised and pleased by how well it went on the boat. Because it was so thick, each coat seemed equivalent to me of about two coats of new varnish applied on a warm day. Because it was so cold, it dried slowly, giving me more time to hunt down holidays. And in drying slowly, it could very gradually flow out to eliminate any streaks from the fibers of the brush -- without actually drooping or dripping.

Have I discovered the secret of applying varnish . . . or was I just lucky?

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RE: In praise of old, cold varnish

I don't know whether you've stumbled onto the secret of applying varnish or not.  Tomorrow, for sure, I begin the task of varnishing my Chesapeake 17.  Although my last boat, a NE Dory looked good when I was finished, from doling out the varnish to application to, especially, brush clean-up, in many ways this final part of the process was the hardest.  As I prepare to wade into it again, I keep reading and reading about how to make it look beautiful yet I'm not convinced that I've seen anything that actually produces results any better than your old and cold experience.  Keep us posted as you get more results.   

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