Scary Varnish

Probably a bit mundane for you lot but today was paint the boat day.
Only it didn’t exactly work out as planned.
First was the clean the mold off the varnish.
Done and dusted EXCEPT the mold had eaten through the varnish and into the wood.
Ho hum, out comes the sandpaper and less than a micron later I’m through the top skin of beautiful beech and showing PLYWOOD instead of solid wood.

Yep, a builders trick to cut back on materials.
OK, out came the colouring waxes and I recovered from that BUT I still had to varnish about 120 square feet of wood.
Thing about beech (veneer or otherwise) is it bleaches well in the sun, and we like to hang pictures. Yep, the little white patches on the walls were everywhere.
Ordinarily that’s not a problem as you keep moving the pictures around to different places (not just swapping them over) and everywhere gets a bit patchy aka not so noticeable. Except I forgot!
So it was decided to let the sun do its work at correcting the little ’tilt’ but as everything looked a bit tired, we’d freshen up the varnish anyway.

So what’s a little darker than English Beech (man-made version it seems), brings out the grain, but comes in fast dry satin finish.
It was called Medium Oak. 20 minute touch dry (essential with  dog), water-soluble, and re-coatable in an hour. Simple eh? It was, right until I did a patch test. It was GREEN!

Now I knew some chemicals turn colour when cured but this was GREEN!!!!!!!!!
So, while I carrying on sanding, a test bit was placed outside to dry.
Not bad, except once I started in earnest, the whole damn cabin turned green.
A really horrible green too.
I was horrified. SWMBO got called in to look at the problem.

And I got “the stare”
aka I’m in the sh’t.

‘Its green’, says she.
‘I know’, says I.
‘So why put it on’?, says she
‘Because the test piece worked a treat’, says I
‘What this one’, says she holding up a green stick!

And my heart sunk!
The bloody stuff on the test piece had turned from a lovely deep brown to a mossy green.
SWMBO doesn’t miss a beat and swoops up the can to read the small print.
Less than 8 pitch for me looks just like the scribbling of an ant on drugs so in the main, I trust the big writing i.e. “Does exactly what it says on the tin”.
Except they never write “Maybe” after that.
Yet in the 2 x 1 inch compacted version of War and Peace was a little tiny note.
“This product may cure multiple times before settling into it’s finished colour, depending on the ambient temperature and humidity”.

After having a wash, changing my tee-shirt, and two cups of tea, it had indeed turned brown. Some two hours AFTER it was touch dry. Only it took another hour before the same happened to the boat. Me sweating every second of the way.

Moral of the story?
Don’t trust boat builders, READ THE SMALL PRINT, and don’t believe your eyes until a few hours has passed AFTER what they say.

That and tread VERY softly around SWMBO.

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