How much should I level out the epoxy layer before I start my varnish work? I’m not yet at that stage, but I have gone and removed all the apparent runs in the epoxy coat, but I can still feel irregularities in the epoxy. I’m expecting to put down about 5 coats of varnish before my work is done, so my question is whether I should wait and do more of my leveling work once I begin to varnish on, or really work on reducing these irregularities at this stage.
Varnish will not have the body to fill irregularities; it will highlight them – so you need to level now. I added a full extra coat of epoxy to get a good surface before varnishing. Alternatively, if irregularities are limited you could spot recoat with epoxy and sand.
I know there is an urgency to get going with the varnish, but worth taking your time to get epoxy finish right before moving on.
Thanks. I’ve been hitting the bumps with a razor blade as I’ve been working on other areas, and will also go over with the random-orbital sander and possibly some fairing boards before I start any varnish. I’m about 200 pages in on the manual, just completing the doors. I’ve been jumping around a bit, but will be putting a truck bed coating on the bottom this weekend before I flip it back over.
After we built the teardrop we built a kayak. Before we went into the varnish layer, we went over the epoxy with a 3M green abrasive pad very gently. With that we obtained the most uniform epoxy surface yet. It was a very uniform grey. Varnish went on much easier than before but we mostly attributed that to the temperature.
The 3M seems to be finer than 120 but cuts epoxy better than most sandpapers we have used. Because of the cutting feature, you do not want to apply a lot of pressure. With easy pressure you can get an even look of grey across the epoxy and the varnish job was the easiest yet.
Another non-conventional tool we have used was neoprene as an applicator for epoxy and also a tipping tool. We were desperate and could not find a good tipping brush when we tried it. I do not have the specs on the density but it is a pretty fine grain and about a half inch thick. We can buy it locally by the foot off a 2 foot wide roll.