OK, it looks good, but I want perfection

Why not Polish it?
Mmmmm, not so easy, but you can polish some varnishes……but only once they have really gone HARD. So it follows that the hard poly and mono urethanes are much easier than the traditional varnishes and I certainly would not try to polish one of the oil finishes.

What do you do?
First you allow the varnish to really harden! To be safe this means a couple of weeks at least! Then you get some 1000 or 1200 grit wet’n’dry and using lots of water (with a little detergent in it) you rub down the varnish. If you find that the paper is blocking up with varnish, then the varnish is way too soft – so stop! All you are trying to do is to flatten any dust etc, once you have done this, it should be FLAT and just a little silky, but not matt, if it’s matt you have gone too far and will need to rough it up with some 180 grit and put another coat on.

Then make a quick visit to your local auto-shop and get some auto rubbing compound, some t-cut and some polish. Start with the rubbing compound, small areas, work slow (not in the sun)….rubbing it out. Then go to the t-cut, and by the time you finish with that it should be both flat, and totally sparkling, just as if you sprayed it.

I have to say, the thing about polishing is that it won’t rescue bad varnishing, and to be honest, the better the varnishing is to start with, the more difference it will make, but if you do have a good base that has been spoiled by a less than perfect topcoat, you might get away with it.

Of course if you want it to look perfect……then polishing will do it for you, but it is a bit of a fag and do watch out, my big sis polished the decks on my Jollyboat before a big event in Cowes and as soon as they got wet, my bum lost all grip and every time we hit a wave, I just slid down the whole way to the transom…… eventually I had to get my crew to trapeze with one leg either side of me just to keep me from falling in.