sv Elysium

Cruising thrugh Life


HMG Varnish

We began the process of removing all the oil from the wood. Our boat was comprised of 2 wood surfaces; teak and mahogany. We used paper towels saturated in Alcohol, and Acetone to remove what oils we could. Then we sanded with 80 grit paper till 90% of the oiled wood was removed and then moved to 120 for finishing. At times W/ would sand with 180 or 220 but mostly this didn't make the varnishing go faster.

During this time of stripping we tested out 3 varnishes. One was a paint store Exterior Gloss and the other was a yacht varnish like Epiphanes. The yacht varnish darkened the teak so much we immediately discarded it. The hardware store varnish we liked so I varnished a piece of mahogany the way we wanted it to look and I put the piece in the dishwasher for approximately a month. After a month I looked at it and the varnish looked good. So we began by putting on the hardware varnish.

This lasted for about 3 months and then we began to notice a haze over the varnish. We wiped it off with Alcohol (it was one of the solvents) and a few days later the haze was back. I wasn't happy. We had by now about 4 large panels completed with this varnish so we stopped by the paint store and asked the manager. He said that the haze is the UV protectant. In my mind this wasn't acceptable.

Even though this varnish is in the interior of the boat we wanted a high UV protecting varnish. On boats, light ends up going everywhere. Even with awnings light comes through our large salon windows, through the hatches, reflecting off any SS, through the ports. We wanted lots of UV protection. We also wanted a varnish that didn't add color to the wood. We wanted the natural beauty and color to show through.


All images and content copyright of David A. Kall