Monday, May 25, 2009


Turns out the teak has been fairly well protected from the elements with all this varnish I've been slathering on. If only I could figure out a way to protect it from myself ....

DISASTER #1: While I was putting the dregs of my varnish on the companionway, Chip had been coating the newly repaired soft spots with epoxy. On the last brushstroke, I looked down at the cockpit grate I was standing on -- the one we just refinished last fall? Yeah, I was standing in a big, epoxy footprint. After a lot of hopping about saying words, I grabbed the paint thinner and a rag. Oh, boy. I was furiously scrubbing at the epoxy when I noticed the wave pattern of the footprint and looked at my flip-flops with a diamond pattern. The waves belonged to Mr. Epoxy himself, not me. I had only spread it around a little, making it worse. Teamwork.

I got it off and fortunately, the epoxy kicked before either of us made it into the house.

DISASTER #2: It was Saturday. I was out of my usual varnish, so I decided it would be a good time to try the new bulletproof variety my friend John Bayliss gave me.

You remember that gorgeous hatch garage I refinished last August? The one that got blown over onto the basketball hoop? I subsequently repaired the basketball hoop gouges and had it ready for bulletproofing.

John had explained to me how to use this amazing varnish -- months ago -- instructions I had long since forgotten.

The directions on the can would make a legal disclaimer look like a billboard. The only words I could read, even with a magnifying glass, were, "FOR PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY."

I'm thinking, "How hard can it be? It's a can of varnish." Danger.

On my first attempt, I put on one part of an (unbeknownst to me) three-part varnish. After three hours, it was still as wet as when I painted it on.

DISASTER #3: Now I realized it might be harder than I thought. A thorough search of the store room uncovered another part of what I now knew was a three-part varnish, thanks to some web searching.

So I'm thinking (I know, danger) leave the one part on, mix the two parts and put it over the one part and maybe it'll all kick.

Stop laughing.

After three hours, it was not only still wet, there was now an array of little creatures splayed out across my once beautiful garage.

An hour of scrubbing with paint thinner, and I'm bug-free and back where I started. Disasters 2 and 3 did not damage the varnish underneath.

I've now secured the third part of the three-part varnish along with instructions. It's raining and is predicted to continue for days.


Thank god for paint thinner.

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