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S&S Swan General - Varnish
05 December 2013 - 18:42
Join Date: 02 February 2007
Posts: 202

Hello everyone. Maintenance season has arrived again! I know the subject of interior varnish has been discussed in the past, but was unable to find the right link in the forum. I want to obtain a good satin finish, and using Epiphane satin for the two last coats. I am using International Schooner for the first coats starting with 20% dilution, and finishing at 5%.
The problem I would like to discuss is the fact that Epiphane satin, is rather thick, and does not spread well with a brush. Should it be diluted even for the last coats? By how much? Or is there a trick to obtain a very even last coat IE without brush traces?? Maybe Matteo could help, since I understood he is also using Epiphane varnish. Other brands suggested??
Many thanks, and happy maintenance season to all!
Philippe 41/022

05 December 2013 - 21:31
Join Date: 15 April 2011
Posts: 393

Dear Philippe,

Have you thought about rubbing out the varnish? It's a little tricky but will provide flawless results. After you apply the final coat, let it cure for at least 2-4 weeks. Then, rub out with synthetic pads, I use Danish oil in this stage or sometimes just water and soap, to the sheen you like. There are articles about this method on web which you can easily find using a google search.

Good luck!

Chris Mabel's Casse Tete 43/003

06 December 2013 - 21:24
Join Date: 27 January 2011
Posts: 140

Hi Philippe,

I am rolling Epifanes whereever this is possible. The result is immaculate. Two layers are necessary, and I wait 24 h between the two layers to be on the safe side. I dilute Epifanes with 5-10%. As you say, with a brush you need to be quick and you risk seeing the brush traces. As stated elsewhere on the forum, the better the brush the better the result (artist brushes).

Christian IF 411/28

07 December 2013 - 17:59
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1018

Dear Philippe,
look at this old post:
Fair winds!
Matteo (38/067 Only You)

08 December 2013 - 19:33
Join Date: 06 January 2012
Posts: 67

Hello and greets from Finland!
I just talked last week with an exNautor specialist about the varnishing process they used and below is his advice:

-> apply 6..8 coats of clear D-Dur 2 component varnish and let it dry
-> drysand the surface thorougly with grade 240 or 360
-> rub out with teakoil and fine metal wool
-> let it dry and polish it with some cloth

According to him the surface is very easy to repair afterwards and the quality of the varnishing job is not critical as it is always sanded.

I'm in the middle of the varnishing project with CAID and decided to leave the floorboards clear and shiny. Just a try. They were in a very poor condition, check the pics before and after! Everything else will be that usual satin finish. I sanded all of the old varnish very carefully away with 120 grit paper and then used the D-DUR 2 component Clear varnish (8 layers).

IHe 431-12 "CAID"


Before and after

The same foorboards as in the first pic, 6 layers of varnish

09 December 2013 - 09:56
Join Date: 02 February 2007
Posts: 202

Thank you for the information, but could you please explain what is D Dur? I have never heard of this in France. Brand name would probably help.
We use two components polyurethane for our floor boards, and put some grit in the varnish along some of the "planks" (1 out of 3) where the floor is especially wide like at the bottom of the companionway. Useful when heeling!
Kind regards.
Philippe 41/022 Soeur Anne

09 December 2013 - 10:44
Join Date: 06 January 2012
Posts: 67

D-DUR is the marketing name of 2 component AkzoNobel varnish. The product has been on the market ca 50 years and I've heard that it is quite widely used in the high end Yacht industry in Finland.

15 February 2014 - 14:40
Join Date: 27 January 2011
Posts: 140

I just finished renovating the aft-cabin floorboards and the stairs above the engine box with Epifanes DD 2K varnish: 5 rolled layers of clear varnish, 2 layers of satin varnish. The result is excellent and very much resembles the combination of the Epifanes 1K clear and rubbed effect varnish. It is more robust, but also more expensive than the 1K combination. Since it is possible to apply 2 layers within 24 hours without sanding, one can proceed fairly quickly. I did one layer, sand, two layers, sand, two layers, sand, 2 layers satin. I will now proceed and rejuvenate the remaining floorboards.

Christian IF 411/028

03 April 2019 - 18:33
Join Date: 15 April 2011
Posts: 393

Dear All,

I too am in the procees of restoring my cabin sole.  I have been using a heat gun with paint scraper to remove the exisiting coating, which is very thick.  It has done a very good job of keeping the wood safe but over the years has become reddish in hue and the holly strips are muddled in color.  

I am experimenting to get the final finish as clear as possibly.  So, after removing the exisitng coating, I used a card scraper to clean off any remaining old varnish and then applied a two-part teack cleaner.  

Back to the shop and judiciously scraped again and then some fine sanding.  The floorboards look great!

On a test piece, I applied Epifanes high gloss varnish, my go-to varnish, and I was not happy.  The varnish has too much color for me which means that the holly strips are less clear and darker than I would like.  The teak is fine.  

My nesxt step, after removing this varnish, is to try a two-part varnish, which I understand is much clearer.  

Chris mabel's Casse Tete 43/003

03 April 2019 - 19:00
Join Date: 27 January 2011
Posts: 140

Hi Chris, 

I did all floor boards plus the table with the Epifanes two-component varnish I described earlier in the thread, and the result is excellent. I also used a heat gun to remove the old varnish. The two-component varnish is considerably more robust than the other one. There was just one issue: I initially applied two satin top layers, which was perfect for the table but made the floor boards super slippery. My floor boards are therefore glossy now, and everything else satin.

I was onboard Oracabessa last summer and the owners had applied the satin original varnish from Finland, which was not slippery, and looked great.

Christian 411/028 IF

04 April 2019 - 11:25
Join Date: 15 April 2011
Posts: 393

Hi Christian,

Thank you.  I am very happy to hear that you had very good results.  If you prefer the satin finish you could use 3M pads and dainsh oil or even soapy water to reduce the sheen to a level that you prefer.

I like the glossy finish but am a little concerned about traction.  I know of one application that uses fine particles sprinkled onto wet varnish in strips; when dry, additional coats are laid on top.  I may experiment with this.  If I do, I'll write again.

Chris Mabels Casse Tete 43/003

08 April 2019 - 19:12
Join Date: 15 April 2011
Posts: 393

Dear All,

I just ordered one-quart-each of Epifanes two-part clear high-gloss varnish and Interlux Perfection Plus two-part varnish.  I plan to test these and will report back with my findings.


Mabel's Casse Tete  43/003

18 September 2020 - 23:10
Join Date: 24 April 2020
Posts: 18

reviving an old thread  -any feedback as to preference of these 2 products?

tips for application?

19 September 2020 - 09:03
Join Date: 02 February 2007
Posts: 202


In any case you should never use two parts varnish on top of a one part varnish. The solvents of the two parts will most probably dissolve the under-coat.

Varnishing inside does not require two parts varnish but for the sole boards, making sure you get rid of all the previous varnish before.

I am personnaly very happy with Epiphane one part for the 2 finishing coats . Especially since I discovered thanks to this forum that the "secret" is to warm it slightly before application (# 30°c).

All the best to you and your beauties.

Philippe. 41/022

21 September 2020 - 10:22
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1018

Dear Adrian,

Philippe is of course correct, be careful to over varnish with a 2 part varnish on top of a 1 part one. In case you are not sure which kind/brand has been originally applied, get rid of all coats and start from bare wook. Anyway, Philippe is again correct (as always!), and I thing a 2 part varnish is good only for the floorboards.

I am taking care personally of the varnishing and I am very happy with Osmo Wax, a natural oil Nautor used to apply when Sadolin and Sadolux have been dismissed, which means in the early 90'. It is a natural oil, transparent, no solvent (which also means when you apply it you do not need to protect your nose/mouth), very easy to apply it (instructions will be on "Technical papers" on, later today).

Fair winds!

matteo (47/069 Vanessa)

23 September 2020 - 07:38
Join Date: 03 February 2011
Posts: 39


am planning the refurbish floorboards and need to strip off old layers of varnish.

Would be glad to hear method for the stripping job. Guess thin layer in plywood needs thoughtful precaution before varnishing. 

Look forward to see the light and dark contrast of floorboard plywood surfaces in the shape pictured here.

Thorbjorn/Ravn 411/036

23 September 2020 - 13:57
Join Date: 15 April 2011
Posts: 393

Hi Thorbjorn,

I used a heat gun with scraper to remove 2-part varnish.  I did burn the veneer a few times but after 2-part bleach and very light sanding, all good.


Chris  Mabel's Casse Tete  43/003

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