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post #11 of 29 Old 03-11-2017
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Re: Thinning Interlux Schooner Varnish

The boundary layer of varnish should be a bit below the actual surface of the wood. If starting over, it's a good idea to get a bit aggressive, by taking more of the bare layer off. This wouldn't be very perceptible to the human eye, but you want fresh wood to get your first new boundary layer to absorb and that probably gets into the mold too. You want your first highly thinned layer of varnish to be able to absorb a bit, so getting the mold and old imperceptible varnish out of the grain is good idea.


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Re: Thinning Interlux Schooner Varnish

Just a little off topic, but it concerns schooner varnish. I am getting persistent bubbles. I have been very careful about stirring, and I am on the 6th coat, and still getting them, the first couple of thinned coats I did not get them. The last couple coats I have been using non thinned varnish. Any suggestions???


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Re: Thinning Interlux Schooner Varnish

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Just a little off topic, but it concerns schooner varnish. I am getting persistent bubbles. I have been very careful about stirring, and I am on the 6th coat, and still getting them, the first couple of thinned coats I did not get them. The last couple coats I have been using non thinned varnish. Any suggestions???
The first thing that comes to mind is that modern varnishes don't flow like they did 20 years ago. I suspect an environmental reason. Perhaps VOCs or additive changes to accommodate environmental rules. Just a guess. My final coats all have 1-3% thinner now. Just a touch really, it still goes on relatively thick.

Other thoughts are that you should let your pot stand for a full 5 minutes, after stirring and before applying. Room temperature is important too. Varnish doesn't apply as well below 70 degrees. Some even run a wide flame torch over the varnish, immediately after applying to remove bubbles. I've never tried it, as I'm certain that requires some practice.


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Re: Thinning Interlux Schooner Varnish

For bubbles don't you just breath on it and the carbon dioxide make a them pop? Or is that just epoxy?


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Re: Thinning Interlux Schooner Varnish

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For bubbles don't you just breath on it and the carbon dioxide make a them pop? Or is that just epoxy?


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Re: Thinning Interlux Schooner Varnish

Add a touch of thinner, for environmental reasons the had to lower the VOC content, thinner brings it back up to where it used to be.

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Re: Thinning Interlux Schooner Varnish

As I suspected, they changed something. A touch of tinner goes a long way to fix this.

Also be sure they are actually air bubbles and not little bits of dust. Doing varnish work free of dust is like pitching a perfect game. Can and is done, not often.


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Re: Thinning Interlux Schooner Varnish

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Never heard that one. Sources? Did you try it?
Yes, it worked for me. I did the saloon table in a 2 pack resin. Worked like magic. 1 breath and they would pop.

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Re: Thinning Interlux Schooner Varnish

I have heard that using a hair dryer helps with bubbles, I will try that, and thinning a bit. I have been heating the thinner on an oil radiator in my shop to around 80 F beforehand, to see if it would brush a little better, but that had no effect.


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post #20 of 29 Old 03-13-2017
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Re: Thinning Interlux Schooner Varnish

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Originally Posted by SV Siren View Post
Just a little off topic, but it concerns schooner varnish. I am getting persistent bubbles. I have been very careful about stirring, and I am on the 6th coat, and still getting them, the first couple of thinned coats I did not get them. The last couple coats I have been using non thinned varnish. Any suggestions???
I had the same problem with Schooner varnish. It was most obvious trying to get that last perfect coat on. If I used it full strength it was too thick and I got brush strokes. It also seemed to start curing almost immediately and get even thicker as I applied it, even on relatively small areas.

However when I thinned it I would get bubbles, every time. I was quite careful with stirring and brushing. To be sure I would carefully inspect my cup after stirring to verify no bubbles at all in the varnish. Also experimented with various brushes and various strokes. Always I would get micro bubbles.

Starting inspecting the work very closely and I swear it looks like the bubbles were appearing in the varnish after I applied it, just like bubbles appearing in a soda. It's like the varnish was generating the bubbles. My theory is the thinner was causing some kind of reaction that generated the bubbles and I tried every kind of thinner I could think of: Schooner brushing thinner, mineral spirits, generic thinner and a couple more that I can't recall. All had the same result.

I even called tech support to ask but they couldn't come up with a solution.

One thing that I tried that helped a little. I warmed the varnish before applying (without thinner) to reduce the viscosity and slow the curing.

Finally gave up and used a urethane for the final, smooth coat. Will see how that works over time.

Only other idea I have is to try another brand of varnish.
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