Fisheye Killer for Spar Varnish

Cleanup and remedy advice for silicone contamination affecting a spar varnish re-coat application. July 3, 2008

We have a countertop that a client cleaned with Pledge in-between coats. We re-coated with Cabot gloss spar varnish and noticed the problem. I have read most of the archives here regarding fisheyes, but my basic question regards compatibility. Is there a particular type of fisheye killer that will work with spar varnish? I tried Cabot technical service but they were no help. I can get SW V3K780 Fisheye Eliminator at my local automotive paint store. My ML Campbell distributor has the MLC fisheye killer as well as a *universal* product. Does anyone have either first-hand or specific knowledge of what products would be compatible with spar varnish?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor A:
There are two types of spar varnish. The older ones are made with a high percentage of oils - normally tung and or linseed and copal resins. The new ones can be of two types also, oil and phenolic or urethane oil types. You should be able to find out which by looking for the ingredients on the can or asking your supplier. The urethane type might need the type II silicone additive - all the others would use the type I additive. Marson sells both in their product line called smoothie, which can be purchased at any automotive paint supply store. Type II is in a toluol base with microscopic resin particles, type I is silicone oil. The IIl is normally used in automotive cat urethanes, and the type I in varnishes, lacquers, etc. I would suggest trying the type one first and moving on from there if you can't get info on the type you're using.

As to removing the pledge, you may try using a mixture of clear ammonia mixed with VMP naptha and scrubbing the surface and cleaning off with clean rags or paper towels a few times before recoating, then scrub using steel wool or fine scotch brite. This will not stay mixed and you'll have to shake each time before applying but the ammonia will act as a medium to hold the pledge in solution to a large degree and enable it to be fairly well removed - use good ventilation in doing so. This works better on the raw wood than on a coating but I've had different degrees of success over coatings doing so.

From the original questioner:
Thank you for your detailed response. That was exactly the information I was looking for. It appears that it is a phenolic resin based product, so a type I additive it is. Thank you again.

From contributor A:
If you use the cleaner neutralize with Boraxo or lemon juice afterwards.