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kmealy posted a topic in FinishingThree techniques for good varnish finish Thin the finish. Most varnishes will flow out better if you thin them a bit. I like to thin the first couple finishes a lot (50:50), then move to 60:40, then 90:10 for subsequent coats. Stir well to bring the flatteners into suspension and regularly during application because they will settle out faster in a thinner finish. I like to pour out the varnish into a separate container so I don't contaminate the can. Brush technique. First, use a good, natural bristle brush. "Condition" it before use by wetting with mineral spirits, then wiping with a clean rag. Dip the brush into the varnish and remove excess on the side of the container. Start the strokes away from edges or you'll get a run on the edge. Work from one end to the other. When the whole surface is covered, wipe the varnish off the brush, hold it nearly vertical and "tip-off" the finish by lightly passing the brush from one end to the other. This fills the dry spots and cuts down the heavy spots. Sand between coats. Let the finish dry at least overnight. Sanding will remove the defects like dust, lint, and bubbles in the slow-drying finish. A good sandpaper is 3M's 216U, sold as "Sandblaster." P400 grit is a good one to use. This will level and remove the defects. A follow up with light gray Scotch-Brite™ Ultra Fine Hand Pad 7448 will provide an even dullness. Remove the dust with a cloth dampened in mineral spirits or naphtha. Steel wool can leave shards that might eventually rust.
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