Varnish Application Methods?

I am about to varnish the interior and rails of my NED and I am curious what others have used for technique.  The NED manual says to roll and tip, similar to the paint application, but in the tips for boatbuilders it says to use a foam brush with a 90 degree pattern (  So what is the best method for the NED?  What have others done?  Does it even matter? :)  Thanks!



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RE: Varnish Application Methods?

There are probably about any many varnish application techniques as there are folks who use varnish, so there is no wrong answer here.

My technique is to roll and tip using the small 4" trim rollers available in the box stores.  They also sell disposable roller trays thge same size.  No doubt there is more wastage compared to the foam brush approach but I get better coverage with fewer missed areas. 

Another tip is to always pour the varnish through a filter or cheese cloth before application.  Partial cans will form a skim layer and little dried varnish nubs which detract from a varnish job.

Lastly, I am now a BIG fan of Epifanes RapidClear Varnish.  It is a semi gloss which applies much easier than Schooner and does not require sanding between coats.  It also dries quickly and can be over-coated in 5 hours.  I have used it on three race kayaks that get heavy usage and it has held up very well.  If you are going for that furniture like finish, than go with a high gloss like Schooner.

2nd boat from the left has Schooner, other 3 are RapidClear.     

RE: Varnish Application Methods?

Thanks M N.  I put the first coat of Interlux Schooner on this morning using the roll and tip method.  It worked great.  If the weather keeps up, I should be launching in about 2 weeks.    

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