I have been varnishing boat gear (rudders, tillers, daggerboards etc.) for the better part of 60 years, and the drill had always been the same: sand, shape, repair dings, and hand varnish with either a bristle or foam brush, then fine sand/steelwool and re-coat x 3 or 4. This year I had an inventory of 12 items to varnish. I happened to watch a YouTube video on using the "roll and tip" method of varnishing a large hatch cover and it looked like a promising method. So today I tried it. I used Interlux Traditional marine varnish applied with a 4.5" wide roller and a 3" wide "tip" foam brush. Application was fast, even with no runs or curtains. The cost was a littler higher owing to a little wasted varnish and the cost of disposable rollers and brushes, but the savings in time and the quality of the job more than made up for it. I knew how well this technique worked well for paint but it seems to work equally well for varnish.
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