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How do I keep air bubbles out of my varnish?


Konrad
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Awh Greg,

Tongue is firmly in cheek ;D  Hope it did not sound more like foot in mouth ;D  Attempts at humor are sometimes too oblique.

Someone looked at Lapwing's rain spattered deck and asked me "What do you have on the finish?"  My answer was, "Dust, insects and bird poop".  Not far from the truth either.

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Someone looked at Lapwing's rain spattered deck and asked me "What do you have on the finish?"  My answer was, "Dust, insects and bird poop".  Not far from the truth either.

I like that answer!  Finishing is my nemesis, so I just build "ten foot" projects now.  When someone starts to look at one of them, I usher them aside, make sure they are about ten foot away, and we can talk about it.  If they get closer, their opinion changes!

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OK, well a minor update with some succes to report...

I stayed with the same brand of brush, but started loading it more.

Dipping it in a full 1/3 and letting it really fill up, and then sort of ooze off the brush while moving along the wood.

I can't say that this has completely solved the problem, but I will say it's reduced the air pockets by a good 50% from what I'd been seeing.  It causes the varnish to "pile up" some, and I'm not so sure about that.  But still...

So basically, I must have been trying to apply it too thin, with too much brush pressure. 

I just let the weight of the brush do the work this time, and it's certainly an improvement.

If I get real serious about this thing, it sounds like ultimately I can probably solve this completely with better brushes and better (mail order) varnish.

Like I say to my 5 yr old:  "Thanks for all the 'help'..."  ;)

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I use foam brushes for applying varnish and have not experienced the bubble problem unless I keep stroking without enough on the brush.  I buy 1", 1-1/2", and 2" brushes by the box from both Duckworks and Rockler, depending on what else I am ordering, but mostly from Duckworks.  I also buy the chip brushes from Duckworks.  I do not like the foam brushes that do not have a support inside the foam as those come loose easily from the handle and do not maintain a good shape for application.  I think those kind came from Ace Hardware and the big box stores.  Needless to say, I do not buy from them any more.

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