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Author Topic:   Varnish on Fiberglass
hauptjm posted 04-06-2000 09:40 AM ET (US)   Profile for hauptjm  
I have been trying like hell to get old varnish off of both the textured deck and the smooth surfaces on my 18 ft. Outrage. The boats an '85 and I'm sure some of the varnish is also. I about to use oxalyc acid. Has anyone had as difficult a time in getting varnish off of a fiberglass deck. I have committed to never having anything but oil on my teak. Unfortunately, the previous owner had no idea of what he was doing. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
David Reid posted 04-09-2000 10:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Reid  Send Email to David Reid     
West Marine has a varnish stripper for fiberglass hulls. It's not exactly for putting on the fiberglass (it's intended for the WOOD!), but I imagine it will be ok for you to very carefully spot your offending varnish with this stuff, attempting to get as little onto the glass as possible. Give it some time, like 20-to-30 minutes. I just refinished an entire teak-covered '85 O/R 18.5' and can recommend it. It's a little slow, but gave me no problems messing up the gell coat (your main concern here). Follow up with a good grade of teak cleaner (phos. acis) and brightener (oxalic acid), and you'll look good as new. Unless the old varnish went on over unsanded teak, or the varnish had worn away leaving the wood exposed to the elements for some time, you probably will only need a light sanding with 180 grit to be ready for oil. Good luck.
hauptjm posted 04-10-2000 11:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
David, I appreciate your reply. I already have some of the stripper you indicated. I used it on the gunwales. I tried a small spot before posting, but "chickened out" for fear of damaging the gel-coat. I'll try it again in an inconspicous place. Unfortunately, the previous owner never prepped the wood at all. He simply "slapped" on another bad coat of varnish every year for 12 years.
bigz posted 04-10-2000 12:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Interlux makes a paint/varnish stripper which is recommended for use on wood,fiberglass,and metal called Interstrip.
Regards Thomas
Eric posted 05-18-2000 01:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
I am thinking of using a product like interstrip to get the old layers of paint out of the inner hull of my Nauset. My worry is whether the chemical stripper will hurt the foam? The deck plugs are pretty loose. Also, how well does this stuff work?
JB posted 07-06-2000 02:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for JB  Send Email to JB     
Try some M.E.K, available in paint departments near the thinners and acetone. I know it takes off (softens) paint and doesn't seem to harm cured fiberglass.

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