It's cold outside , and they say don't do it.

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XQSME
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It's cold outside , and they say don't do it.

Post by XQSME » Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:12 pm

Good afternoon all.

Everywhere I look the guidance suggests it is best to varnish in a temperature of between 20 and 25c and certainly not below 10c.

Given that XQSME is in an unheated workshop, in the UK, in March and I am reluctant to suggest bringing her indoors.....the temp recently hasn't risen above 9c

Does it REALLY matter if temp is too low? Does a low temp just extend drying time? Anyone had experience of cool varnishing?

and so on.....
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Rupert
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Re: It's cold outside , and they say don't do it.

Post by Rupert » Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:23 pm

I've varnished with ice forming on the water bucket. Not wise, but certainly 10+ C is fine. Trouble is, it is still getting cold at night, and the longer it takes to dry, the more dust will end up in it. I'm waiting a short while longer before getting the roller out again.
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Re: It's cold outside , and they say don't do it.

Post by Michael4 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:45 pm

I ignored my own advice and varnished Desperation's decks in January in the garage with two fan heaters on to help it dry.

The result is an effective non slip surface. Idiot.

I'll do it again in high summer...promise.
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Re: It's cold outside , and they say don't do it.

Post by sam mason » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:29 pm

Hmmmm,
I have put lots of varnish on in the cold before now with acceptable results.
A lot will depend on what sort of varnish it is. A 2 pack varnish will go off in any temp once the reaction has started as indeed will a decent one pack but that will take longer with the afore mentioned dust implications. The moisture content of the cold air will have an effect on the end product. If it is cold and damp the varnish will be at best lacklustre and at worst cloudy or blind. The other problem is that cold varnish thickens and drags off the brush resulting in too much going on and the usual runs etc . The answer here is to thin the varnish a bit more to achieve a decent flow and have 2 brushes current so as one cools and causes drag you can swap straight over to a clean one
I have 2x 3kw fan heaters in the shed but the best heating for varnishing at this time of year is a big oil filled radiator and leave it on all the time. With one part varnish you can stand the tin on the radiator for an hour before use and this will warm things up a bit
With the climate being what it is you could be waiting forever for a decent settled warm period
Good luck

Michael Brigg
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Re: It's cold outside , and they say don't do it.

Post by Michael Brigg » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:41 pm

Like Rupert, I find there is a tendency for more dust, but if you are rubbing down between coats this is not too much of a problem.

Image

The real pain is avoiding big :cry: runs... It goes on with a modern German glassy factory look and you retire to bed, dreaming of deep limpid pools, only to find a huge tsunami of tacky varnish approaching the edge of the gunwhale in the morning, resembling the origins of Jurassic Park amber, dead insects and all. :mrgreen:

If you catch it before it dries, attempts to brush it out in the cold are met with ever thicker stiffer treacle like results. Adding a bit of thinner seems to encourage even faster runs.

The only way to void this as a thinned mix in the first place, and that means putting on about 16 coats.. ...I'm just not that patient!

Then you have to wait for it to dry.. :roll:

I have to confess I put an oil radiator in the garage which solved most of these problems.

Unfortunately it was discovered.

...spent the rest of the evening on the naughty step, and she's been checking the electricity bills since! :evil:
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chris
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Re: It's cold outside , and they say don't do it.

Post by chris » Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:30 am

If it is traditional varnish then a few - and I mean just a few- drops of terebene helps if the temp is too cold for drying in asensible time.

Rupert
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Re: It's cold outside , and they say don't do it.

Post by Rupert » Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:04 am

Terebene?
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Ed
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Re: It's cold outside , and they say don't do it.

Post by Ed » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:14 am

Paint Driers

http://www.decoratingdirect.co.uk/viewp ... NE_DRIERS/


I have used it, but it rather threw me, changing the wet-edge somewhat. Would experiment first.

I will varnish down to 5-6 degrees at a push, by just thinning till the varnish flows out easily. It will be thin and you will need lots of coats, but there you go.

Best wishes

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Re: It's cold outside , and they say don't do it.

Post by Rupert » Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:32 pm

I pop the tin in hot water for half an hour or so before use.
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XQSME
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Re: It's cold outside , and they say don't do it.

Post by XQSME » Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:23 pm

Thankyou all for your replies, warming the varnish before use sounds good....still concerned about the air and wood temp though.
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Alan P.
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Re: It's cold outside , and they say don't do it.

Post by Alan P. » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:16 pm

A lot of sound advise and tips above.

Personally, I would keep the varnish in the house at room temp a good while before applying it rather than warming it up just before. Pour out only enough to do the job. Applying is pretty much the same at the temps talked about if the varnish is at normal room temp. Obviously the drying time will be much longer but should not be a problem if the work is inside,ie a dry and dust free. Just apply, shut the door and leave well alone.

I only add a drop of driers(tiny amounts needed so read instructions) when I'm painting outside in very cold conditions. Usually call it a day at minus 5c, especially with gloss paint.

Go for it!
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XQSME
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Re: It's cold outside , and they say don't do it.

Post by XQSME » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:26 pm

Thanks Alan, that gives me confidence. I will give it a go
1965 Albacore No 1775 "XQSME"
previous = 1962 Wayfarer W170 "Peter Pan"
Flying Fifteen
Twister

XQSME
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Re: It's cold outside , and they say don't do it.

Post by XQSME » Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:26 pm

Have brought the varnish indoors and hidden it under the dining table...added makeshift insulation to my workshop and with a floodlight this evening the temperature rose in 40 mins or so from 3 to 4.5 degrees!! , I even took my gloves off.

I think , when I dig out and put my old coleman lantern which gives off plenty of heat in there tomorrow morning I will be able to start my first thin coat.

fingers crossed
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previous = 1962 Wayfarer W170 "Peter Pan"
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trebor
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Re: It's cold outside , and they say don't do it.

Post by trebor » Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:58 pm

I sometimes wonder if instructions on products refer to productivity times and proffesional use rather than DIY.
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Re: It's cold outside , and they say don't do it.

Post by jpa_wfsc » Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:40 pm

A coleman will produce a lot of warm moisture in the air - when it cools down it will get very damp in there!
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