Sanding Grits,,,Finishes,,, Varnishes,,,Paints,,, that Wet Look,,,

Painting options, interior and exterior.

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kens
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Sanding Grits,,,Finishes,,, Varnishes,,,Paints,,, that Wet Look,,,

Post by kens »

I'll open this thread with a welcome to those that differ with my opine, or just a general question.
In a former life, I was a professional automotive body repairman. The spray booth was my main domain.
Yeah, I did the body mud, the primer, the final delivery. Did that, got the t-shirt.
But I was the 'paint guy'. The paint booth was an area others dared not tread it seems.
I got to see all the common errors, sand scratches, waviness, fast dry, slow dry, color matching, etc., etc.
I read the many posts on this forum and get to feeling that many people are afraid to step away from the old school techniques such as varnish, and brushes.
I must ask why? Why varnish when there is so much more newer technology paint systems out there?
Why brushes when the newer gravity feed paint guns are now cheap?
You say varnish is a UV protectant....
your boat needs a UV protection,,, ,,but why varnish?
If varnish was so darned good, then why isn't our cars painted in varnish??? (how many cars are left out in the sun?)
If varnish was so darned good, then why don't you varnish your house? (your house is obviously left out in the sun)
I'm asking this as an objective question. Please respond.

I humbly ask to go on with this and get further into sandpaper grits, blocking, polishing, leveling, priming, and so on.
I am comfortable with spray techniques, and many others are apprehensive of this, I understand that, but, there seems to be a missing link.
Some missing link I cannot see, cannot understand, and yet I try to find.
Why the perceived connection to super fine grits like 1200, 1500, 2000 grit?
Truth be known, paint flows better over 320 than 2000.
Truth be known, modern clears are superior to varnish.
But why?
Please comment.
Oak..........the juice ain't worth the squeeze :D :shock: :o :)

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Bill Edmundson
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Re: Sanding Grits,,,Finishes,,, Varnishes,,,Paints,,, that Wet Look,,,

Post by Bill Edmundson »

Ken

I'm with you.

Bill
Mini -Tug, KH Tahoe 19 & Bartender 24 - There can be no miracle recoveries without first screwing up.
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vupilot
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Re: Sanding Grits,,,Finishes,,, Varnishes,,,Paints,,, that Wet Look,,,

Post by vupilot »

My .02 cents.
-The automotive cleared wood boats I have seen were easily swirled like a dark colored car that gets run through the gas station car wash and never polished.
-Varnish has a nice warm glow to it.
-Varnish seems to have good flexibility after cure, less prone to cracking.
-Brush strokes are sorta part of the appeal of varnish.
-Most importantly, varnish just smells better! :D

Bottom line... Its therapy, we don't build wood boats because we like doing things the easy way, or because we like modern things.[/u]

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Roberta
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Re: Sanding Grits,,,Finishes,,, Varnishes,,,Paints,,, that Wet Look,,,

Post by Roberta »

Both products can yield beautiful results. It's a matter of opinion as to the best method for wooden boats. Masking and a spray booth can make spraying difficult and impractical for many and a spray gun in inexperienced hands can be a disaster. Surface preparation is way more important than top coat method to achieve a quality finish. Too many builders think lobbing on copious amounts of paint will cover a multitude of sins.

Roberta
Roberta "Queen of the Boat Builders"
Built Zip "Oliver IV", Super Spartan "Jimmy 70", and Torpedo "The Glen L".

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kens
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Re: Sanding Grits,,,Finishes,,, Varnishes,,,Paints,,, that Wet Look,,,

Post by kens »

Roberta wrote:
Wed Dec 09, 2020 6:00 am
Both products can yield beautiful results. It's a matter of opinion as to the best method for wooden boats. Masking and a spray booth can make spraying difficult and impractical for many and a spray gun in inexperienced hands can be a disaster. Surface preparation is way more important than top coat method to achieve a quality finish. Too many builders think lobbing on copious amounts of paint will cover a multitude of sins.

Roberta
......And a paint brush in inexperienced hands can be a disaster too!
agreed, surface prep is the most important part. this is where an understanding of how to sand comes into play.
Just because someone may sand up to 600grit, doesn't necessarily make a slick finish and eye appeal.
Too many builders think copious amounts of sanding will cover a multitude of sins.
Oak..........the juice ain't worth the squeeze :D :shock: :o :)

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kens
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Re: Sanding Grits,,,Finishes,,, Varnishes,,,Paints,,, that Wet Look,,,

Post by kens »

A word about the shop environment, before even starting, look around for any silicone products. maybe car wax, oil, spray can lube, anything with silicone has to go. Just chuck it in the trash. chuck all the rags too.. there is nothing you can do with silicone contamination, solvent wash just thinns it out, and moves it around. you cant get rid of it. silicone will cause fisheyes in your final topcoat. yes there is a thing called -you guessed it-'fisheye eliminator'. That is only partly true it gets rid of fisheyes, but, condemns the gloss & sheen. If you want the 'wet look' then you cannot have any fisheye eliminator in your paint,,,,,and if there is absolutely no silicone in the shop, you likely wont need the eliminator. Get rid of all your generic rags in the shop. Only use rags that are good enough for a newborn baby's bottom, and dedicate such rags to the paint job. This means no oil changes, no wiping of tools & parts,
There was a body shop long time ago that did high end paint jobs on Corvettes. They bought into the weekly baby diaper exchange service. Yep, used pure cotton diapers as rags. Of course it was costly buying new setup deposits all the time, the cost of each job included a bag of fresh diapers.
If you want your paint job to be perfect, then your shop rags must be perfect too.
Oak..........the juice ain't worth the squeeze :D :shock: :o :)

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Roberta
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Re: Sanding Grits,,,Finishes,,, Varnishes,,,Paints,,, that Wet Look,,,

Post by Roberta »

I totally agree with you, Ken. I have used both methods with different products. Both are as good as the experience of the person applying the product. The deep gloss of many coats of varnish is hard to beat, though. The 17 coats of Epifanes I put on my Zip was pretty amazing. I am equally proud of the three coats of polyurethane on the Torpedo. Both were rolled with no tipping. I was also proud of the sprayed polyurethane finish on my RV-7A aluminum airplane. Just depends on who's doing it and their understanding of the products and methods.

Roberta
Roberta "Queen of the Boat Builders"
Built Zip "Oliver IV", Super Spartan "Jimmy 70", and Torpedo "The Glen L".

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kens
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Re: Sanding Grits,,,Finishes,,, Varnishes,,,Paints,,, that Wet Look,,,

Post by kens »

I have tried roll & tip and I just can't get the hang of it.
I tried varnish with brush, and it dried so fast there is no way I could imagine spraying it.
The people that do get good looks with varnish though, thay tend to all say it is finicky.
People that don't spray would say spraying is finicky. Well, OK.

Two things have happened to spraying in last 25 years.
the invention of polyurethane paint
the invention of the gravity feed spray gun
these 2 things have taken out 85% of the finicky-ness from spraying.

I'll move on to surface prep and sanding, this is common to all systems..... roll/tip/varnish/paint/spray.
Oak..........the juice ain't worth the squeeze :D :shock: :o :)

TAB
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Re: Sanding Grits,,,Finishes,,, Varnishes,,,Paints,,, that Wet Look,,,

Post by TAB »

I grew up as a painter... back when the union said I was able to use only a brush to apply paint. Then I remember when they allowed us to use rollers, and finally airless sprays. Later on I owned a cabinet shop and did 100% of the finishing in house.

Most painters can not use a brush to save their lives. It is a highly refined and very perishable skill.

So is using a spray gun ( any type),but you can get decent results with a spray gun with not a lot of exp. It can take an easy 10 years for some one to be good with a brush. Yes 10 years. When you would hire on an apprentice, they would cost you money for the 3 years or so. At year 5 they were break even and at about year 10 they made you money

TomB
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Re: Sanding Grits,,,Finishes,,, Varnishes,,,Paints,,, that Wet Look,,,

Post by TomB »

I appreciate the discussion...akin to do you like chocolate cake or white cake, sheet or layer?

How about sharing the recipes? For example?

I see HVLP sprayers for $30 and over $1000. What's the difference? Almost nobody wants their final coat to look like it was applied with a mop. What sprayer should I get? (I doubt my orchard sprayer would get the job done even if their sales sheet said "provides excellent results every time") How do I know where to start? Pressure? Tip size? How much thinner? How do I clean the sprayer after use?

Why would you choose one finish over another for a particular application? I.e., varnish for this, 2-part for that, urethane for something else?

Thanks,

Tom
In the home stretch on a Tahoe 23

Hercdrvr
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Re: Sanding Grits,,,Finishes,,, Varnishes,,,Paints,,, that Wet Look,,,

Post by Hercdrvr »

I like the depth of a multilayer varnish finish.
Matt B

TomB
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Re: Sanding Grits,,,Finishes,,, Varnishes,,,Paints,,, that Wet Look,,,

Post by TomB »

Matt,

You stepped up from the "I can't believe how cheap this is!" sprayer at HF to something better. What was the something better? Was it good enough or do you need something better yet?

Tom
In the home stretch on a Tahoe 23

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kens
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Re: Sanding Grits,,,Finishes,,, Varnishes,,,Paints,,, that Wet Look,,,

Post by kens »

"Why would you choose one finish over another for a particular application? I.e., varnish for this, 2-part for that, urethane for something else?"

2-part and urethane are really the same. It's the hardener (the second part) that completes the urethane paint.

Yes, there are 1-part paints that you can add hardener too. By themselves they are a old school 1 part air dry paint.
Add the hardener it becomes a urethane and chemically cures.

a pure urethane paint will not air dry by itself, the hardener is mandatory for it to dry. This is the top shelf quality stuff.
at the same time, this is the stuff you need to start using PPE personal protective equipment. especially face mask.
If doing a small job, and not wanting to get into PPE, I could use a 1 part or varnish.
But if doing a large size job, then donn the PPE and use the good stuff.
Oak..........the juice ain't worth the squeeze :D :shock: :o :)

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kens
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Re: Sanding Grits,,,Finishes,,, Varnishes,,,Paints,,, that Wet Look,,,

Post by kens »

"Why would you choose one finish over another for a particular application? I.e., varnish for this, 2-part for that, urethane for something else?"

There are several basic types of paints.
Lacquer, you don't see much of anymore, other types have surpassed lacquer quality
Enamel, this is your classic brush on paint, cleans up with solvent (note: there is no clear enamel)
Varnish, not a paint but a boiled down seed oil, mostly clear but not quite
All of these are air dry by evaporating the solvents in it

Then there is urethanes & polyurethanes.
these have enamel qualities about them, the hardener makes then dry (cure) chemically.
these do have a clear option where plain enamel does not.
these clean up with solvents
these also contain isocyanates, the reason for PPE, and also the higher quality of these paints.

there is water based paints recently of high quality, I have little exposure to these.

So, to get back to your original question, why would you choose one over the other?
Well, there is no such thing as clear enamel, as a big reason.
If you want a clear, you either choose varnish, or a urethane.
Oak..........the juice ain't worth the squeeze :D :shock: :o :)

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Re: Sanding Grits,,,Finishes,,, Varnishes,,,Paints,,, that Wet Look,,,

Post by JimmY »

I chose WR-LPU because I wanted to stay married! I know I was going to be finishing the bottom in the basement, and any kind of paint odor drives my wife nuts. She can't stand it.

I think the choice of finish is right up there with the choice of boat to build. We are all dealing with requirements and constraints (sorry engineer by trade). Building in the basement is also why I only built a 11' boat, it was all I could fit up the stairs!

When I refinished my classic outboard, I used a 2 part Alkaloid paint, because I could paint that at a friends shop. I could have also gotten Urethane paint for this, but the price was significantly more and it was another step up in PPE and handling.

With that said, I had not had much first hand experience with old wooden boats. When I started my build I had an image in my head of how I wanted the hull and deck to look. I thought that the caulking seams on an old Chris craft should be pure white, and the WR-LPU would not yellow over time. Knowing a little more now, I've seen a lot of classic boats with varnished over caulking with that honey tone. This is fine, but it is not the look that I wanted.

I watched some varnishing videos last night (Nick Schade kayak), and it appears that you can get a flat, glossy finish with just a brush and varnish. I will definitely look into this for future projects. My WR-LPU finish took a lot of coats, sanding to 2000, and 3 grades of polishing compounds. Yes, I do have some "swirl marks", but they are only visible at the right angles, and they remind of the work it took. The boat is 3 years old now, and has spent the last 3 summers on a lift at the lake for 5-6 months each year. I had a failure of some of the clear on one side where the cover doesn't protect the boat on the side facing south (the north side is fine). Also, only the clear over the bright work pealed, and not the clear over the red bottom paint which was strange to me. The rest of the boat looks as good as the day I finished it, minus some scuffs and scratches. I have routinely wiped down the hull with CLR to get rid of hard water marks, and I wax it a couple of times per season. So I consider this to be pretty low maintenance. I'm planning on making a new cover that properly covers the whole boat to replace the one size fits most that I currently have.

I'm not sure on the maintenance or longevity of a varnish finish, so I would like to hear from that crowd and this aspect of varnish.

I have looked at buying a 1940's Chris Craft, but after reading and researching the way these boats are built I don't want to get into that level of commitment. It would be a whole hobby just prepping and maintaining it. The one boat I seriously looked at had been stripped down to the hull frames. I thought I could do a "proper" cold molded hull over it, but then the CC purists would probably shun me! The plywood and cold molded wooden boats being built here are way better than these old classics in terms of durability, sea-worthiness, and performance, why shouldn't the finishes we use be equally better? Couldn't you tint clear PU to match varnish?
-Jim
Nothing says poor craftsmanship like wrinkles in your duct tape!

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