’52 C C Riviera Make it Snow and Get Varnish to Die For! 12 23 2014

What do I mean when I say, “Making it snow is the key to delivering varnish that is to die for?”
Here is the answer. Although it may seem counterintuitive, the gloss and ability to reflect light varies directly with the degree to which the surface is flat. The difference between an inexpensive mirror and an expensive one can be seen by your reflection when you look into it. The silver plating on the expensive mirror is absolutely flat, so it accurately reflects light rays hitting it. The cheap mirror’s wavy reflection tells you that its surface is less than absolutely flat.
Here RJ appears to be destroying the glossy surface evident in the last Riviera project clip. It looks like snow, yes? And that is your goal at this stage of the varnishing process.
RJ sanded the surface lightly after three coats of Pettit Hi-Build gloss varnish had been applied. Now, following allowing the fifth coat to cure at 65 degr4ees and 60% humidity for 24 hours, it is time to go for flat. He is able to use the random orbit sander and 220 grit on the flat areas, of which there are precious few on the Riviera’s hull.
The rest, and especially on the corners and edges, and on the rolling gunwales and covering boards, he must sand by hand. using 2-1/2” wide strips of Sikit Gold Roll P220. That sea of discarded strips on the floor around the boat speaks volumes about how quickly the paper fills and thereby becomes useless.
Your goal, one that must be achieved without cutting through the varnish to wood, is a uniformly dull snow field, as RJ explains in detail here.
Coat number six will be rolled and tipped tomorrow morning, and we will share the results with the community in a follow-on video.

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