On Mon, 25 Apr 2005 22:20:56 -0500, "A. Brown"
:>> Several years ago, my DH used marine spar varnish to coat the wooden
:>> pillars and deck railing on our front porch. It's now peeling off the
:>> I'd like to refinish it (with something else!), but am unsure of how
:>> best to remove the existing varnish.
:>> Suggestions please?
:> Wire wheel works well.
:> Spar varnish is usually a good choice for outdoor wood. Last year I
:> used Sikkens Cetol Marine on a couple of things but it is too soon to
:> tell just how good it is.
:Wouldn't the wire wheel scratch up the wood? I have a wire brush, but was
:hesitant to try that for the same reason. I'm not sure what the
:pillars/columns are made of, but they seem like a relatively soft wood -
:they're not solid, they're "faux" Doric columns that are apparently just
:"wrapped" around whatever is really supporting the roof.
:The spar varnish still looks great from the inside of the porch - but
:anywhere it's been exposed to the sun and water, it's in bad shape. I'm
:guessing that he didn't do much (or any) prep work on it before putting
:on the varnish, and I have no idea what sort of finishes may have been
:put on the wood in previous years.
If that varnish is getting direct sun, it's just going to need
refinishing eventually, that's the nature of varnish, even spar varnish.
If you want to do a really good job you should really consider paint
remover, in my opinion. Then wash it well, let it dry, sand it well,
brush off the sanding dust and continue on a refinishing plan, be it
more varnish, polyurethane or whatever you want.
In using paint remover, wear protective gloves (rubber, or similar),
apply with a cheap brush, after the varnish is softened and blistered,
work it with an abrasive pad and wash with plenty of water, if you have
drainage, or make do if you don't. Good tough brushes and water will
help you remove the paint remover. A scraper may be helpful with the
tougher spots of varnish, but they'll be softened by the paint remover.