U/V resistant/clear epoxy vs OR over top varnish - how to go? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 21 Old 09-18-2011 Thread Starter
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U/V resistant/clear epoxy vs OR over top varnish - how to go?

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post #2 of 21 Old 09-18-2011
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Brightwork is brightwork. If you want it looking bright, then it's going to take continual work, no matter what you use. I have teak handrails and a cockpit grate. I do nothing to either, other than to wash them down. The boat sails just as well as if they were shiny, and it's one less thing to worry about.

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Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
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post #3 of 21 Old 09-18-2011
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Epoxy is sensitive to UV so it should be covered.
Varnish over epoxy can be done but not he other way around. epoxy will not hold on varnish.
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post #4 of 21 Old 09-18-2011
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I've used three coats of a thinned (i.e., penetrating) epoxy over wood, with several coats (usually 4 or 5) of polyurethane over that. The combination seems to wear very well, and resists peeling far better than any conventional varnish. Basically, the epoxy bonds to the wood, and the urethane protects the epoxy. Every couple of years I very lightly scuff up the surface and then apply a thin coat of urethane.

However, compared to varnish, it does have a slightly "plastic" look to it. I love the way conventional varnish looks when fresh, but I'll trade the durability of the urethane over epoxy combination for that slightly better look of conventional varnish any day.

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post #5 of 21 Old 09-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisncate View Post
For the record, I was thinking about the uv clear epoxy marketed for use in sunlight... but the other part - do you know for sure epoxy won't adhere to varnish?
i

it's not a matter of adherence, it's the UV protection. The exoxy will go cloudy in UV, unless there is a layer of varnish over the top of it. The varnish contains UV-opaque additives.

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post #6 of 21 Old 09-18-2011
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the epoxy, unless sprayed, will be difficult to get a consistent thickness to work with. It also will dent or crack upon impact unless the underlying wood is very hard.

Haven't mentioned this, but epoxy, when correctly applied will be VERY difficult to remove. Likely deep sanded at least.

I think you will find that epoxy over anything (varnish, caulk, poly, etc) will not hold up at all, and will tend to yellow, crack, chip, flake or discolor....no matter what "they" say.

give West Systems/G. Brothers a call...they are veritable experts on the stuff..
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post #7 of 21 Old 03-28-2012
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Re: U/V resistant/clear epoxy vs OR over top varnish - how to go?

I've decided to varnish the brightwork. There isn't really that much, cap rail, toe rail, bow pulpit area, handrail, a locker cover, three hatches and two sets of companionway boards. After some research on the net, mostly from epoxy sellers, the recommendation is to apply 2 to 3 coats of epoxy to the wood then cover that with 2 to 3 coats of varnish. Fine, however I'm not too crazy about removing the cap rail, toe rail and/or the bow pulpit wood in order to coat all surfaces of the wood. If I don't cover all surfaces will the water work its way around the epoxy separating the varnish? SlowButSteady did you take all the wood off in order to cover all the wood surfaces with epoxy?
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post #8 of 21 Old 03-28-2012
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Re: U/V resistant/clear epoxy vs OR over top varnish - how to go?

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...SlowButSteady did you take all the wood off in order to cover all the wood surfaces with epoxy?
Nope. For the companionway drop-boards, I did treat all the surfaces. But, for the bits that are fixed to the boat I just masked around them and treated the exposed surfaces. My guess is that it's probably better to let the wood "breath" a bit by leaving some unfinished surface, but that's just a guess (and justification for not going through the trouble of removing stuff; teak is so dense and oil-rich that i doubt it "breaths" anyway). In any case, for the teak bits I have removed over the years, the hidden surfaces look pretty much pristine when you unbolt/unscrew them from the boat; so I don't think it's all that necessary to treat those surfaces.

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post #9 of 21 Old 03-28-2012
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Re: U/V resistant/clear epoxy vs OR over top varnish - how to go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
I've used three coats of a thinned (i.e., penetrating) epoxy over wood, with several coats (usually 4 or 5) of polyurethane over that. The combination seems to wear very well, and resists peeling far better than any conventional varnish. Basically, the epoxy bonds to the wood, and the urethane protects the epoxy. Every couple of years I very lightly scuff up the surface and then apply a thin coat of urethane.

However, compared to varnish, it does have a slightly "plastic" look to it. I love the way conventional varnish looks when fresh, but I'll trade the durability of the urethane over epoxy combination for that slightly better look of conventional varnish any day.
I second the above. On my 35 year old boat that has spent its life in the tropics, the teak tow rail, teak deck grab rails, teak tiller and other trim had a rough life. If you are in non tropical climates maybe it is ok to leave teak uncovered, but otherwise I think a good UV coating is needed. My teak had a lot of UV damage as well as just wear and small cracking and voids. I put several coats of thin epoxy and then several coats of varnish. The epoxy filled and actually strengthen the teak and the varnish will protect from UV. It does not look like bristol condition bright work, but with the condition of my original teak it would have been difficult to get it to look that way anyway (too much missing wood)- and it looks a lot better than the original beat up teak. My teak toe rails still need some work, I will fill large cracks and voids with epoxy and wood flour and follow by several coats of varnish. Varnish up keep is not that big of deal, just a light sand followed by a coat of varnish every four months too keep things looking good- I can do that in 2 hours.
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post #10 of 21 Old 03-28-2012
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Re: U/V resistant/clear epoxy vs OR over top varnish - how to go?

SlowButsteady how many years has it been since you treated the wood this way? Any peeling?
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