Maintenance of varnish systems



All Epifanes varnishes contain  highly effective UV filters and inhibitors. A fully applied Epifanes varnish system with sufficient varnish film thickness will keep its high gloss and provide long term protection against UV radiation. Later than other brands, but inevitably also Epifanes varnish will have to be recoated from time to time..

Maintenance is necessary when loss of gloss is noticed. The time frame for maintenance depends on the amount of varnish film thickness and the amount of UV to which the varnish system is exposed. Delaying maintenance in this stage will lead to further deterioration, cracking and eventually complete de-adhering of the varnish system. In order to keep a varnish system in good condition, therefore  apply 2 or more new varnish coats annually.

Apply additional varnish coats in case the varnish system is exposed to higher UV radiation (i.e. flat horizontal surfaces or under tropical conditions). Also wood edges and areas liable to mechanical damages will require more varnish coats. A varnish system with insufficient film thickness will show thin and can offer only limited (temporary) protection against UV protection.

After degreasing and sanding, Epifanes Clear Varnish and Epifanes Woodfinish Gloss can be applied on almost all existing one- and two-component varnish brands. After surface preparation, Epifanes Poly-urethane Clear Gloss may be applied on practically all existing two-component Poly-urethane varnish systems and epoxy resin.

Ensure that the existing system is always dry and free of dirt, grease, salt, dust and other contamination. Remove sharp wood edges by sanding in order that they can hold more varnish. To avoid the intake of moisture and deformation of  wood, apply  3 or more varnish coats on the inside of the wood. Also make sure that sufficient film thickness is applied on overhanging areas where it takes longer for moisture to evaporate.


Judging the condition of varnish systems

1. Varnish system only shows loss of gloss

If the existing varnish system is still intact, bonding and without cracks, degrease with Epifanes Spraythinner for Paint & Varnish or denaturated alcohol, sand the surface with P280-360 dry and apply two or more new varnish coats.

2. Varnish system looks poor, shows loss of gloss and light crazing

An existing varnish system that still bonds, but shows both loss of gloss and light cracking indicates neglected maintenance. The varnish system can no longer provide sufficient (UV) protection. In this case degrease with Epifanes Spraythinner for Paint & Varnish or denaturated alcohol, sand the surface further down with P220-280 until all crazing and cracking has been sanded off and apply at least 4 new varnish coats.

3. Varnish system in bad condition

Damaged and bad adhering varnish systems must be removed by coarse sanding by hot air gun and sharp (!) scraper. Weathered spots may be treated with a cleaning or bleaching product. If either are used, wash the surface thoroughly with fresh water in order to remove any residue. Allow the surface to dry. If needed or desired, stain the bare wood with Epifanes Classic Mahogany Stain. Reapply a full new varnish system with sufficient film thickness.

4. Varnish system needing repair

After well degreasing and sanding, smaller spots needing repair may be filled with several coats of varnish. When an equal level has been achieved, sand to a smooth surface and apply one or more coats of varnish on the entire surface. Larger repair areas must be sanded back to bare wood followed by applying a full new varnish system with sufficient film thickness.


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