So I'm near the end of my varnishing coats on my Crosby Capri. I haven't paid a ton of attention to the layering coats knowing I was just going to sand them down. As I'm getting closer, on these last couple coats (before the final) I'm pretending it's the last coat and not have any imperfections. All I have to say is I'm glad it's not my last coat and I'm about ready to slit my throat. I finished up the benches last night in hopes that it would the final coat on those before I hit the boat itself. I blew them off thoroughly with my compressor, then wiped them down twice with Epiphanes thinner, then hit them with a tack cloth. When I checked them after they dried the finish looked great (using Epiphanes varnish) but there were a ton of tiny dust particles in it that I didn't see when I was alying it on. I'm in an enclosed garage that I swept before I varnished (the benches are on the garage floor). I'm still using cheap foam brushes until the final coat. Could that be the problem? I didn't have a drop cloth under them either. Could stepping around them on what I think to be a dust-free floor be kicking up dust that settles on the benches? Any ideas?
Don't worry about the fine dust lint in the final varnish. I did a small little runabout for the Tahoe show a few years ago and stressed about the same thing. Three years later they are gone . After you use your boat a couple of times and wipe her down after each use, these will go away. Plus just sitting on the wood benches, will wear them down. As your boat ages, wear patterns will appear making a nice patina. Most high end wooden boat shops now polish their last coats. I dont do this, it dulls the natural finish and thins the overall coat thickness. You should be happy and proud. Besides only you know they are there.
Thanks guys. I was wondering if they would sort of get worn off. They look like they would. Gonna try for final coat on the benches tomorrow. Bought some nice Wooster foam brushes today. I also think I'll varnish off the floor and put the benches up on some work horses. Not sure why I'm striving for perfection. We use the boat a lot and my little kids will scratch the heck out of it anyway.
Clean clean clean. not only the item being varnished but the room. let it settle for many hours. wet the floor and varnish naked. Or at least in the least amount of clothing possible. once completed leave the room and don't let anyone or anything in for a day. early morning is best time as the air typically moves less.
Did my final coat on the benches today. I ended up taking them inside the house and varnishing in a room upstairs that we don't use too much. I shut the double doors a did the two benches and the seat back. They turned out better than when I did it in the garage, but, amazingly, there are still several dust particles visible. It's crazy to me, as there was absolutely no moving air, I blew out the foam brushes w/ my compressor, double wiped w/ thinner, and double swept w/tack cloth. I've seen a few You-tubes of guys varnishing outside. I assume they are doing some buffing after? Man, this is the last time I want to do this for awhile. Time to finish off the deck and the rest.
I won't use an air compressor at all for a day before I want to paint or varnish. It just puts the dust in the air that seems to float forever. Like the others have said, clean, clean and clean some more and then get out, to leave it all settle. When I do lay a finish, I almost sneak into the work area. I don't want to stir the air by waving doors or slamming doors, etc. I lay my finish and leave, smoothly and quietly, so no dust, lint or some bug thinks about flying into the finish. Another thing, fluorescent lights do draw dust when they are on. They also drop some of that dust when they are turned off. So think about that when you turn them off and on. I try to clean even them the day before on the finish coats, so that when I do turn them on to lay a finish, all the dust that can be in the room has settled and will not be drawn to the lights and dropped on my finish when I leave the area. Even then, in an imperfect world, some dust will get into the finish or some bug will take 6" to crawl his last distance. I don't enter the room until the finish is really tack dry. When I know I am done and the finish is weeks hard. I will use 3M's Finesse IT 11, to rub out the finish as you would a new car finish.
You are not doing any polishing. You will always have dust in finish. A negative pressure booth would help but is not the perfect solution either. If you furnace or ac turns on dust will become airborne. That is why the furniture inxustry does not use varnich anymore, takes way to long to flash dry.
You are right! That is why the heat I put in my workshop is a vented natural gas space type of heater. Of course elevated above the floor as per code. There is no fan to stir the air, there is also no noise to mess up the TV/tunes. It is amazing how this heater though, will still draw air across the floor, to go up the flu. Now, this is just me, there is no way I would want a fossil fuel heat source, without it being vented. I worked in the HVAC industry at one time, so this is where I am coming from. Any combustible fuel creates water and carbon monoxide. Neither of these do I want in my work space. Just breathing paint and varnish fumes is bad enough, I don't need to add more toxins to the air. I also don't want more humidity in the air for my varnish.
All my polishing/sanding is done outside. I don't want anymore dust in the work area, that I can help. Once you are used to doing this, you think nothing of it and will actually thank yourself for keeping the dirt out of the work area. Much easier to keep everything else clean as well.