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Mixing brands of Varnish

Discussion in 'Strippers, Stitch-n-Glue, and Other Wood Composite' started by Norm Hein, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. Norm Hein

    Norm Hein Canoe Codger

    I believe it wont matter but I thought I would ask. It's time to do some touching up on one of my strippers but I want to upgrade from the MINWAX HELMSMAN SPAR varnish I have been using. So my question is, as long as I stay with an oil base I should have no trouble putting a different brand of varnish over what is on the canoe now. Correct?

  2. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    I’ve varnished over old varnish, not knowing what was on originally, with Epifanes. Haven’t had any issues.
    Just sand and tack to get a good mechanical bond. You should be fine.
    Dave Wermuth and Jim Dodd like this.
  3. OP
    Norm Hein

    Norm Hein Canoe Codger

    Hey Dave,
    Yeah that’s what I kind of figured. Ephifanes is what I plan to switch to. I’m looking forward to see the difference in quality.
  4. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Epifanes is great, I have best results when I use their thinner with it. It's one of the best. That being said, Pettit 1015 capt varnish is perfect every time. I've never had a problem with it even going over other finishes. It's old reliable and been around a long time and a good price if you buy it by the gallon.
    Jim Dodd likes this.
  5. OP
    Norm Hein

    Norm Hein Canoe Codger

    I'll check out the Pettit brand. No need to try and save a few bucks when you have so much time and money already invested.
    I learned that with tools along time ago.
    Jim Dodd likes this.
  6. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    How do you keep Capt's from gelling to pudding in a gal can?

    BTW, my preference in Interlux, goes on easy and smells great. :)

  7. OP
    Norm Hein

    Norm Hein Canoe Codger

    I have found that if I cover the varnish, actually touching it, with Saran Wrap then put the lid on, it seems to help.
  8. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    If I'm going to keep it a while I buy new quart cans and transfer it to them. Capt. varnish does skin over or gell over but not to bad like others. Epifanes usually stays pretty nice in quarts even after opened. I also always use a strainer on varnish . I use a lot of 1015 capt. varnish but you have to like gloss. I just did a canoe with Epifanes Matte , really nice change from looking at gloss all the time.
  9. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Maybe I was just unlucky. I lost about 3/4 of a qt can once, used a little bit and by the time I got back to it, the rest was jelly.
    Never had that happen with any other brand.
  10. Denise MsWdnBoat

    Denise MsWdnBoat Breaker of tradition

    Test! I just had a somewhat bad experience. True varnish seems to be disappearing from the shelves home centers, in a moment of stupidity, I picked up rustoleum's varathane spar urethane. It's okay very shiny, but it didn't dry in the usual reasons for using urethane instead of varnish. Oh well,

    I've always used true varnish on boats, a few days later it was okay, but I can't think of the mess had put this stuff on new epoxy instead of wood! Test.. always test!

    One thing worth doing. I have started storing my cans upside down. No more skin!
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  11. OP
    Norm Hein

    Norm Hein Canoe Codger

    Yeah I guess it would be worth the time it take to do a test for such a large project.
    Up side down can seems like an easy fix.
  12. Steve Lapey

    Steve Lapey LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Here at the canoe shop we buy Captain's Varnish in the gallon can, we also buy Classico pasta sauce 'cause it comes in nice mason jars with screw on lids. Upon opening the can of Captain's Varnish it is transferred to 4 or 5 of the jars. The residue in the gallon can is used on the job at hand so there is almost no waste. As the varnish is used from the mason jars, when there is about a half a jar that isn't going to be used in a while the varnish is transferred to a smaller jar such as a pickle jar or a jelly jar. Keep moving to smaller and smaller jars. The trick is to have as little air in the container as possible. Storing the jars upside down helps too, and, another trick is to use a square of Saran Wrap under the jar lids - this keeps the lids from getting stuck to the glass and becoming difficult to remove.
    Jim Dodd likes this.
  13. fred capenos

    fred capenos Canoe Pilot

    Try a devise called “Pump & Seal”. I learned about it here on the Forum several years ago. Well worth the money
  14. Rollin Thurlow

    Rollin Thurlow member since 1980

    Your thinking about it all wrong. Your stopping varnishing once you finish the boat and then you have left over varnish. What you need are more boats and you stop varnishing when you run out of varnish! NO waste, no storage and lots and lots of varnished boats!

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