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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Varnish- sanding between coats?

    I've just started revarnishing the 'dashboard' in our boat. It's teak veneer and due to poor previous applications over the years I've stripped it back and cleaned it down. I'm using Hempel Dura-satin which involves using 3 or 4 coats of gloss first, before a final top coat of satin. Although the instructions specify the number of coats and amount of thinning, nowhere do they comment on sanding between coats. Any thoughts? Interestingly, International Paints recommend sanding between alternate coats.

  2. #2
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    I would sand very lightly with 320 or 240 grit between each coat, vacuum and tack rag before the following.

    If the final finish is to be satin there is no no point in using gloss for the previous coats IMO (unless perhaps if you already have both sorts).

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BabaYaga View Post
    I would sand very lightly with 320 or 240 grit between each coat, vacuum and tack rag before the following.

    If the final finish is to be satin there is no no point in using gloss for the previous coats IMO (unless perhaps if you already have both sorts).
    Disagree: if you do half a dozen (or more) coats with satin you end up with losing much of the look of the grain of the wood - gloss first then one or two only of satin gives a better look. Personally I put on two or three gloss to build thickness first before sanding (wet) between each further coat. Tack rag before the last two or three coats.

  4. #4
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    +1

    Quote Originally Posted by jwilson View Post
    Disagree: if you do half a dozen (or more) coats with satin you end up with losing much of the look of the grain of the wood - gloss first then one or two only of satin gives a better look. Personally I put on two or three gloss to build thickness first before sanding (wet) between each further coat. Tack rag before the last two or three coats.
    Plank
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  5. #5
    pcatterall is offline Registered User
    Location : East Lancashire
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    Tack rag? is this a wipe with white spirit on a non linty cloth?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcatterall View Post
    Tack rag? is this a wipe with white spirit on a non linty cloth?
    Its a piece of cloth impregnated with some sticky substance. Dust sticks to it when you wipe it over a surface. It won't get dust out of crevices though so it's best to vacuum first then use a tack rag.

    You can buy tack rags at any decent decorators' supplies shop or on-line. I use Liberon but there are others.

    They can last a long time and it's best to keep them in an airtight container between uses to stop them drying out.

    You can also make your own http://www.thesuperhandyman.com/?page_id=116
    'The lyf so short
    the arte so long to lerne.'

  7. #7
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    Thanks gentlemen. I have done the first thinned coat of gloss. I will continue with another couple of coats then switch to satin. I think I'll also give it a light sand between coats - can't see it doing any harm.

  8. #8
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    One more suggestion - a final coat of 50:50 satin and gloss can give a nice finish - it's what I've used to match some factory-sprayed woodwork.

  9. #9
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    "satin" finish in varnish or paint is attained by adding a "matting agent" to what would otherwise be a gloss finish. Obviously paint manufacturers do this in advance of purchase for off the shelf products but industrial supplies are often sold with the matting agent separate for the sprayer to choose the level of gloss vs satin in a % scale. In opaque paints you don't need to worry but in clear finishes the matting agent, which is not entirely clear can obsure the substrate (ie grain).
    You should sand between every coat to "key in" the subsequent layer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Longer ago than I care to mention - working in a boatyard which still used oil varnish - I can still hear my foreman painter :

    "Put each coat on as if it were the last one and rub each coat down as if it were the first"

    Minimum 12 coats from a strip down in those days !!!

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