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Old 05-21-2018, 12:52 PM   #1
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Help with Bright Work stain

OK TF I need help identifying what I am doing wrong.

I don't have a lot of bright work, just teak around the cockpit.

I removed the old stain and sanded the teak. Using 80 grit and working my way up to 220 grit. A friend told be I had sanded it to much and ruff it up a little with 180, which I did.

I am using Pettit 2015 Flagship Premium Exterior Marine Varnish and a Purdy 2.5" soft brush. I wait for 14 hours before applying another coat.

After the second coat, I started to get these soft spots with swirl marks and it is soft. John (Pairadice suggested that I thin the varnish a little.

What am I doing wrong?
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:59 PM   #2
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Looks like “orange peel”. Lots of discussions on the internet. I’d call Pettit.
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Old 05-21-2018, 01:11 PM   #3
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I would thin the varnish some also.It looks like it is trying to dry on top to soon. Could be some of the natural oil in the teak showing up after you sanded with 80 grit . I would probably sand it now with 180 or 220, thin the varnish and recoat. IMHO I don't think the dryers they are allowed to put in the varnish these days are what they used to be and require more thinning.
I'm no expert but I was always told (by my Dad ) a house painter by trade that raw wood has got to get to "know" the varnish and the only way to do that is to start with thinned coats.
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Old 05-21-2018, 01:12 PM   #4
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What were the temps when you were doing it?
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Old 05-21-2018, 01:21 PM   #5
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Just wait until it hardens, then wet sand the orange peel area flat with 220 grit. There can be lots of causes of orange peel, including putting on too much varnish in one area, putting it on when it is too hot, old varnish, etc.

I would suggest that you switch to 2 inch high quality foam brushes - the ones with wooden dowel handles you can buy at a paint store (not Lowe's). These will let you brush out the coats without overloading one area. They are much more forgiving when "working" the varnish by stroking back and forth as you move through the wood. You can also add just a bit of boiled linseed oil to the varnish which will allow it to flatten out before flashing and that will eliminate any orange peel at the cost of slightly longer drying time between the 7 to 10 coats I know you are going to apply....
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Old 05-21-2018, 01:33 PM   #6
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Looks like it's too thick and solvent is evaporating too quickly from top. It will have to be sanded down. I use Epifanes, thin first coat 50%, wait 24 hours, sand, thin 2nd coat 25%, etc. 8 thin coats are better than 4 thick coats.
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Old 05-21-2018, 02:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by menzies View Post
What were the temps when you were doing it?
60-65f in the shade
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:00 PM   #8
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I called Pittit and they told me that the second coat went on too thick. He recommended letting it dry and then sanding with 220 grit to get it flat, then diluting the next coat by 10%.

Thanks Larry for the suggestion. This will have to wait till we get back.
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Old 05-21-2018, 04:12 PM   #9
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I think Pettit is a bit conservative with the thinner recommendations. Might have something to do with EPA off gassing and such. I used Epifane to do the sign boards a couple years back and really liked the results. First coat was like 70% thinner and about 10 percent less thinner each coat after, but final coat #9 was about 10% still. And yes the foam brush worked better for me, they dont drop the hair like a regular brush and cheap enuff to use a fresh one every other coat. I tried the brush in the baggy then in the freezer, LOL, baggies dont de well with thinnner. Glad the admiral didn’t catch that one, I get myself in the dog house enuff as it is.
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Old 05-21-2018, 05:56 PM   #10
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Are the problem areas always near a bung over a screw? If so then whatever was used to set the bung was likely smeared around the surrounding teak, or a solvent was used to clean up around the bung and was smeared around. And whatever it was is likely then reacting to the varnish you are using.

You might be able to sand the orange peel smooth and add more coats. But you may need to go back to bare wood. I would only go to 120 grit at most. Then use a couple of CPES coats on the bare wood. Test on a piece of scrap to see if your varnish of choice can be applied over CPES.
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Old 05-21-2018, 06:11 PM   #11
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I agree with Insequent. I also wipe the raw teak with acetone immediately before the first coat goes down. That removes teak oil and perhaps other contaminants from the surface.
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Old 05-21-2018, 06:37 PM   #12
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Lots of good tips. You have to experiment a little. I found it important to:
-"wet sand" the final sanding with as fine a sanpaper you can fine. Even between coats. Means add a little water between the wood and sandpaper.
-dilute the first two coats at least. I use regular thinner.
-I prefer the foam brushes to "lay it on" as opposed to brushing back & forth. No too much, just enough to cover without ripples, bubbles, drips etc.

Good luck
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Old 05-21-2018, 07:02 PM   #13
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In addition to adding more thinner I would also add some Japan drier to the varnish.
This will help with the drying.
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Old 05-25-2018, 11:30 AM   #14
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So for now I put all the hardware back on until we get back from the trip. But know I have to hear Crusty jaw jacking about how ugly it is......
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Old 05-25-2018, 11:36 AM   #15
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"But know I have to hear Crusty jaw jacking about how ugly it is......"

That's what friends are for
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Old 05-25-2018, 12:42 PM   #16
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Aw come on bud, its a good 30 ft job!
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Old 05-26-2018, 08:08 AM   #17
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Fast horse at 50 yards..... But the crinkling is the result of too much material, too thick. Yes, it's curing top down.



I'll add +++ to the foam brush. I'd used the expensive Epifanes varnish brushes for a long time, but have switched 100% to foam brush for varnish. All foam brushes are not created equal, the ones you'll get at the home centers look the same but are not. JENN is the brand to use, it'll be stamped on the handle.

I'm also in the thinning camp. Even though Epifanes recommends straight from the can for final coats, I always thin. If you're starting on bare wood, thin at least 50% or more for 1st coat. 50/30/20/10. The graininess will fill in if you wetsand between coats. I remove the sanding residue with Dawn & water, wipe dry and then even things with a scotchbrite pad. I prefer a wipedown with denatured alcohol over acetone, acetone doesn't always play nice with the varnish. And.. a tack rag just ahead of the varnish. More coats = that mirror deep finish. No shortcuts to a high gloss.
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Old 05-26-2018, 10:06 AM   #18
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I used Le Tonkinoise, no thinning, no solvents in it. Sand between coats, foam brush. EPA and you will be happy.
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Old 05-26-2018, 01:01 PM   #19
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Aw come on bud, its a good 30 ft job!
30 feet of hell!!!!!
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Old 05-26-2018, 04:28 PM   #20
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30 feet of hell!!!!!
When viewed from 30 feet itís acceptable. LOL!!!!
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