Author Topic: Rubbing Compound after varnish  (Read 1211 times)

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Offline maction17

  • Posts: 18
Rubbing Compound after varnish
« on: July 11, 2017, 06:43 AM »
Hey Foggers,

Just your average DIYer looking for some finishing advice. I'm finishing up a new outdoor patio table. The final coat of spar varnish went on yesterday, and after it cures, I'd like to apply some rubbing compound to cut the reflective qualities and add a little luster.

I have an ETS 125 and a RO125, and I'm wondering if this final step should involve one of those. If so, should I get a new pad? Consumables? How would you finish this off?

I threw in a before pic of the slabs that came my way practically for free. The dimensioning was done with my TS55, which required a pass on each side because the slabs are 3" thick. Cleaned up the kerf with a jack plane and joined the slabs with a whole bunch of dominos.

Thanks for the advice,

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Offline Untidy Shop

  • Posts: 2632
Re: Rubbing Compound after varnish
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2017, 07:15 AM »
If you have used a true spar varnish you may have problems here. Spar Varnish is soft, so it can flex and move with a spar/mast. Hence, yes it is suitable for outdoor finishes such as window frames, but it is not great for kitchen benchtops, table tops or as in your case where you want to rub down the gloss.

You might find the following links informative -
high gloss exterior varnish that is flexible when fully cured, allowing surfaces to bend, twist, expand and contract without the coating cracking or splitting.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2017, 07:25 AM by Untidy Shop »
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Offline maction17

  • Posts: 18
Re: Rubbing Compound after varnish
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2017, 06:45 AM »
Thanks for these. It's been good to learn more about the properties of spar and long vs. short oil. I'm curious because the compound recommendation comes from a couple of boat builders back where I'm from in Maine. I also used a blend of two different spars (per their rec), so I wonder if that factors in at all. Regardless, I have some time- the last coat just went on two days ago, and I want to let it fully cure before I consider using the compound. 


Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 594
Re: Rubbing Compound after varnish
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2017, 04:41 PM »
Wet sand it by hand. Start with something like a 1400 grit and move down as needed. It will cut the glare from the table.

To me "luster" infers a glossy finish.

Personally it looks GREAT! and I would leave it as is. It will dull over time anyhow.

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2163
Re: Rubbing Compound after varnish
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2017, 09:53 AM »
If the table is sitting outside, it will lose its super reflective gloss with the UV/Sun shining on it in time. Otherwise, the suggestions of high grit wet sanding will speed up the process that Mother Nature will do for you..... [wink]
 The Varnish may, or may not, be cured enough for sanding only after a few days of being applied, but if you wait a week or two, you're ready to degloss it.
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....