Bad Romance

I mentioned on a previous post that I needed to do some Varnishing work, and was saving it for the end of my project list. The best for last.

The romance of working with wood, it’s aroma, the textures, its hidden colors and details suddenly revealed by the Varnish.

And indeed it was like that. For about 3% of the time.

Despite the disturbing inhaling of chemicals, it is indeed pretty gratifying to lay each new coat of Varnish, the wood’s every detail coming to life as the varnish spreads over the surface. And then there is the excitement of the final, finishing coats, each coming smoother and brighter than the other.

Varnishing, however, requires Sanding the wood first. And then again in between each new coat of Varnish. The better the Sanding, the better the final result will be. And whereas I did expect a lot of Sanding, I didn’t think it was SO MUCH when I got started.

But what I found complicated about the whole act of Varnishing was the fact that it entails a lot of idle time. Apply a coat of varnish when the air temperature is too high, and it won’t spread evenly. Apply it when the air is too moist, and the new coat will look like an orange skin. Apply over too hot a surface, and blisters will likely result. Imagine the impact of rain over a newly-laid, uncured coat of Varnish …

In desperation, I assembled a Varnishing Shop in our forward cabin, in hopes to have a more controlled environment to expedite the work. It did, but then Pesto’s fume detectors got aroused  with all the thinner that accumulated in the cabin.

I began this job one week before Adriana & the kids returned to Papeete, thinking it was plenty of time to get it done and still prepare Pesto for their arrival. They ended up arriving to a thoroughly dusted-over Pesto (and Skipper), and when I laid the final coat of Varnish it was already FOUR days that they had been here !

Despite the extra time, all the dust, the lost layers of skin in my hands, and all the chemicals deposited in my lungs, the end result was pretty good for a first-timer, I should say.

Will I do it again? Certainly. Planned accordingly, this is a job that can be more fun than pain. Besides, previous experiences have proven that contracting it to someone else either yields a poor result for an affordable price, or a great result for a very expensive tag. So – as they say – “I’ll be back”

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