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Peggy Harris' Tips for Using
the Ultimate Varnish Brush

2303S - 1 Ultimate Varnish Brush

Peggy's Ultimate Varnish Brush photo

  • Begin with a clean, dry brush. (always dust it out.)
  • Use quality varnish, such as J.W., Etc. - Right-Step Satin Varnish
  • With a full load on the dry brush, pool the varnish in the middle of the surface, then quickly spread the pool to the edges of the surface. Stroke in any direction - speed is important.
  • Quickly wipe excess varnish from the brush on a damp paper towel
  • Quickly return to the surface and smooth the varnish with the brush laid down flat (held almost parallel to the surface.) You may need to continue to remove some excess onto the damp paper towel as you work.
  • Cease stroking before the varnish begins to "grab" the surface.
  • Larger bubbles will disappear with the smoothing step, but hundreds of little pin-prick bubbles may remain. Ignore them - they will evaporate.
  • This method results in thinner coats of varnish and may take more applications than you are accustomed to applying.
  • While not necessary, I use 6 - 20 coats of varnish, sanding every several coats with super fine wet-dry sandpaper or sanding film. As you can see, speed is very important in the early stages of the varnishing process, saving your time for the smoothing process.
  • Reserve your new brush for varnishing ONLY.


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