1952 Chris Craft Riviera Runabout Varnish Update

Varnishing the Chris-Craft 18’ Riviera Runabout began last Monday. Today, after RJ lightly hand-sanded the entire hull with 400 grit, he and John rolled and tipped the fourth coat of Pettit Hi-Build Gloss Varnish onto her.

As you can see in the reflection of the lights, the surface is not completely flat yet, and the gloss we are after will not begin emerging unless and until it is perfectly flat.

Two more coats will be applied tomorrow and Saturday, and then she will be moved out into the shop and sanded with a pneumatic random orbit using 400 grit dry paper until RJ has achieved as uniformly white a “snow field” on all surfaces as he can without cutting completely through the cured varnish.

Sanding will be followed by a wipe down with acetone, and then she goes back into the paint room, where the next two coats will be applied followed by the same relocation, sanding and wipe-down process again.

We will continue the back and forth until we hit 14 coats, at which time we will evaluate the situation. One issue we must deal with is that all of the seam grooves are also filling with varnish, and might require careful cleaning to remain deep enough to hold the white Sikaflex.

We will be back to you with updates next week.

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