Refinishing Neglected Kayaks


I'd neglected my personal stitch and glue Petrels a long time and the varnish had pretty much burned through.

If I had taken better care of them I could have just given them a light sanding, applied a coat or two of new varnish and been on my way.

But this stuff is dead. It needs to come off. Where its powdery the varnish is already gone and the epoxy is exposed.

As a science experiment, I decided to use paint stripper to get it all off and then use a two-part varnish to refinish.

I'm using a paint stripper from TotalBoat that is said to be safe with epoxy. I spread it on thick.

Some stretch wrap to keep the stripper from drying out.

I let it sit overnight

The yellow gunk is the varnish.

The white is epoxy. It seems like the stripper did soften the epoxy a bit.

The stripper is water soluble, I give it a good scrubbing.

I sand with 120 and 220 grit.

Give it a good cleaning with alcohol.

I patch up a few spots and skim coat the whole thing with epoxy.

Mask off at the sheer line, and wipe it down with a tack cloth.

Wipe it down with the varnish solvent.

Apply the 2-part varnish with a foam brush. I did 3 coats.

My Two refinished stitch and glue Petrels are in the front. Behind is my strip Petrel that got new varnish last year, and all the way back is my Night Heron SG which will get some work soon.

Here is a comparison of the strip Petrel Play with the newly refinished Petrel Play SG behind.

Happy Paddling and Thanks for Watching.