Help support the WCHA Forums by making a tax-deductible donation!

Varnish Over Old Varnish?

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Howie, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Ok, so this may be a stupid question - but what the hell, it's too cold out to to varnish outside so why not ask questions. The varnish on the 1965 Old Town I'm presently working on is in quite decent shape. I'll have to strip & varnish the inner rails & rib tips, but the finish on the ribs & planking is in quite nice condition save for one or two spots where some areas where the varnish was too thick & had flaked away from the wood. Plus the aged color is just prefect. I really don't want to strip this finish off if I can help it. Anyone see any reason why I can't add a few touch-up coats of varnish atop the old finish - as long as it's been cleaned thoroughly?
  2. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    No problem giving it a quick sand and then putting a few coats of good spar on it..that's actually supposed to be regular maintenance for one of these babies. You do want to rough it up before you varnish.
    Are you sure that the finish is varnish, not urethane? Folks tend to spoil these boats by using minwax or whatever they can buy at Lowes...
  3. OP

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Pretty sure. It's a 1965, the original owner was an Old Town marketing rep who took the canoe back to OT twice in the late 60's for repairs & other work, and it's stayed in the family all these years. Doesn't look like any work was done on it after OT finished with it. Plus the owner's son hates polyurethane as well. Good thought - thanks.
  4. Scott Rowe

    Scott Rowe Random Adventurer

    Howie, I seem to recall Pat doing a rejuvenating coating on old varnish...1/3, 1/3, 1/3 , turp, mineral spirits, varnish (I think). Might be worth giving him a call.
  5. OP

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Thanks Scott.. I will.
  6. thechief

    thechief Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Your right. I'd say sand lightly the area you refer to that has flaked. Touch up that that flaked then rough up the entire interior and give it a coat of spar finish. It should do the job and blend sufficiently.
  7. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    My 1972 16' Guide still has its original varnish on the inside. It's been scuffed up with Scotchbrite pad a couple times and given a fresh coat, but still looks good. No problems.

    guide 010.jpg
    JimT likes this.
  8. OP

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    O Todd... Very nice indeed. I must say, I've never liked the pale yellow color on a canoe but your Guide looks great with it - it goes great with the amber wood. I used 'yellow' only twice: one with Epifane - it was a deep shiny yellow that looked great, and once with Total Boat's yellow which I didn't like. But I'm rethinking the Total Boat color - bet it would look good with with really amber wood like yours. Thanks for the post.
  9. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    I've actually never been crazy about yellow canoes, but if the wood still has that nice rosy color, I don't think there is any exterior color that sets it off any better than a soft yellow. I had that one custom mixed because I didn't want one that was too obnoxious.
  10. shelldrake

    shelldrake LOVES Wooden Canoes

    My first canoe in the early '70s was a yellow Old Town ABS. Fishing friend of mine claimed the color scared the fish away!

Share This Page