Monday, November 26, 2007

Kayak Skim Coat

The final thin layer of epoxy was applied to the kayak on Sunday. Unfortunately, quite a bit of dust got stirred up while it was still tacky, so the surfaces basically feel like the Braille version of War & Peace. The next step is a sanding with 220 grit paper, though, which will hopefully smooth it out. After that, it gets varnished. I have an open question that I need to resolve first, though. When I sand the epoxy, it loses the glassy shine that looks so darn good. Putting another layer of epoxy on brings the shine back. Here's the question: will varnish bring back the shine too? If not, I'm reluctant to sand it again. I'd rather just varnish it the way it is now:


  1. It's lookin' pretty! I'm flying to AVL tomorrow. Should be a hoot.

  2. well i'm no expert but i thought that is what varnish did. varnish also keeps out water although old school varnish did this very poorly. (hence Polyurethane) i have no idea how it will work over fiberglass(google varnish)
    best of luck, i really enjoy your blog.
    this will publish as soon as i remember my password

  3. Leon -

    Thanks for the reply, and it's always nice to hear that people are enjoying the blog.

    After hearing a couple of replies on the question, I'm pretty sure the varnish will restore the glossy finish after sanding, but that's actually not the reason they have you put it on there, at least according to the build manual.

    Regarding the finish, I think what happens with the epoxy is that it fills the fine, invisible scratches that the sanding creates, and which cause the loss of glossiness. Varnish will probably do exactly the same thing.

    The reason they say that you need to put on the varnish in the build manual, though, is to protect the epoxy from the UV light of the sun - apparently through time it will cause the epoxy to become cloudy, which of course would look awful.

    So, I think I can safely go ahead and sand the dust out of the epoxy now that I know the varnish will restore the finish, but it begs the question of how I keep dust from getting in the wet varnish!

    For that, I'm thinking of asking the local A&P school if I can use their paint booth for awhile.

  4. Brandon -

    AVL is a nice place. Went there once in the Tampico. IFR both ways. You staying down there for a few days?