Six litres of Varnol went into the Honduras mahogany planks of this skiff, inside, while the numerous splits in the hull planks were fixed with an epoxy/dust mix, and the topsides then primed with Woodseal before varnishing wth Hempels' Classic
The exception to the rule was my devotion to the now-defunct Woodseal, a single pot clear primer by Hempels, which was great as a first coat under varnish and paint; a really tough first layer, which gripped the wood fibres like egg to a non-stick frying pan (at least ours, until we discovered that frying eggs in butter is the answer). Now it's back to old technology, and Varnol (sometimes mixed with a little Cuprinol) as a first coat under anything, varnish or paint. It also is magic for revitalising old, dried-up, brittle timbers.
So here is my list of poisons. What are yours?
Paints and finishes
Varnol to prime bare wood surfaces, revitalise old, dried up timber and provide a basis for a paint or traditional varnish finish, which can be anything good from International, Epifanes, Hempels etc. Varnol, thinned up to 75% with pure turpentine, provides a superb foundation, which to some extent penetrates into and sticks to the bare wood, and the subsequent paint/varnishes. It can also be left as a final coat, which can easily be touched up by misting with thinned Varnol.
Underwater primer, as a base coat for bottom paint. I don't buy the expensive stuff from the top makers, as it's a pretty simple concoction and my local stockist, Norlands, have a perfectly good alternative at half the price. I'll try and remember the name...
Varnish, best quality from Hempels, (Classic or Favourite), International, Ravilak or Epifanes. No two-pack products. Again, Norlands do an excellent varnish, which is thick and brown and is called Sea Plane varnish, which I like the sound of. Good for general use, and nowhere near as pricey as the posh stuff.
Primer undercoat, (Hempels or International Pre-Kote) often mixed with proprietary enamel to give a semi gloss before the final topcoat. Norlands do a cheap one which is fine.
Hempels Multicoat (for a semi gloss finish that requires one coat, primer/topcoat: bilges in clinker dinghies, for example). Highly rated: tough and easy to apply.
Enamel, best quality ie International Toplac or Hempels.
Black bitumen, to seal the bilges on old boats, after soaking in Varnol, or as a last resort.
With the demise of UCP and Woodseal I am looking for a bulletproof, high tech clear primer, ideally one pot. I suspect I will need to go for International's two-pack clear primer UCP replacement, or the equivalent Epifanes, and try not to waste the mix.
Collano Semparoc for all laminating. I have also used it as an epoxy substitute when building a clinker ply pram (with epoxy fillets to strengthen joints and seal end grain). Much better than Balcotan, which bit the dust for some reason. I do not mourn its passing...
Epoxy, to mend splits in planks (mixed with wood dust from the plank itself).