Help support the WCHA Forums by making a tax-deductible donation!


Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by slk, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. slk

    slk Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    What brand of marine spar varnish do you guys use. Years ago when I made my first canoes I would use "Man O War" but wow the price has gone up. Does anyone know of a reasonable place to get that brand anymore. I see there are several brands out there but are they equal. Even rustolium makes a marine spar varnish now.

  2. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    There are quite a few threads where different products are mentioned. There is a current thread where Epifanes and Captains Z Spar are mentioned. I'm sure there are many more.
    There are several Wooden Canoe Magazine articles about varnishing that may mention brands...but I did not go back to look. These are the related volumes.
    Varnishing 69:10-11,14-15; 86:10-11; 87:13-14; 133:9-13; 144:9-11 41:15-16; 81:14;

    I prefer and use Epifanes. Some may find it to be a bit on the thick side. I thin the first coats and finish with un-thinned coats. On new work I typically apply 5 or more coats. When you apply that many coats of varnish you need to be 100% certain to allow adequate drying time between coats. You also need to be sure to scuff up the finish (sand) between coats. Also, be sure to use a good quality brush. A good varnish should not be applied with a bad'll get streaks, runs and probably leave bristles behind.
    If I'm re-varnishing rails on one of my daily drivers I'll scuff up the old wood and then apply a couple coats and call it a day.

    WRT cost, the cost difference between a mediocre and a really good varnish is insignificant to me.. in the grand scheme of things, a few extra dollars on paint and varnish are money well spent. Once I'm done with a boat I don't want to have to worry about doing anything else to it for a long while....other than possibly repairing damage...
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019

Share This Page