Removing varnish

Ok…I asked another member this question but I’m going to throw it out to everyone just on the possibility someone had another answer.

Is it possible to chemiclly remove the varnish off a wood boat ‘without destroying or comprimising the fiberglass’ or is sanding the only method,and; if sanding is the only method how does one do it without again comprimising the fibreglass underneath.

Citristrip is my first thought.

– Last Updated: Oct-11-04 6:12 PM EST –

Turns paint and varnish to a jelly that can be wiped off without affecting wood. My concern would be for the resins in the f/g and the jel coat. I read the bottle. Though it says it was orginally devloped for use in automotive refinishing (which I would expect to include fiberglass bodies), it says it disolves polyurethanes and epoxies too. I'd call their help line first. I tried, but got voicemail. If you want to pursue this yourself, here's their help line number: 800-398-3892.

Another thought: Try contacting a marina to see what they use. High end boats and yachts have a lot of wood trim on fiberglass hulls.


doesn’t need to be completely removed. Just sand and re-coat. Wet sanding is the best and I’ve used 400 and 600 grit. Both are real aggressive. Wipe off the residue and varnish. Why are you trying to remove the old varnish?

I re-varnish my wood boats about once every two years.

I would like to find out about the contact cement problem. I would think some Off would work but I haven’t tried that. Acetone doesn’t touch the stuff.


Joe… Not ready quite yet…but…
I’m not ready quite yet to tackle the contact cement problem…but I’ll let you know what I find out. Denatured Alcohol works well when the stuff is setting up…but I don;t know about it after it;s been cured. WD-40 works well for duct tape residue…I may start there… I’ll make a posting when I figure it out :slight_smile:

Re: Contact Marina
Yeah…and maby the local NoahsMarine here. Thanks

Paint Stripper will attack Epoxies.

– Last Updated: Oct-14-04 7:26 AM EST –

Whilst not necessarily completely removing them it will weaken them.

With regard to contact adhesives, xylene based solvent blends will remove it. Spray paint thinners (non cellulose) usually have xylene in the formulation.