epoxy fisheyes over redwood...

Not about surfboards but…

I made a simple redwood display shelf of redwood. It was to hold potted plants and might be subject to water spills so I tried coating wtih epoxy. Hoping for a “bar top” finish, I spread a coat on pretty thick but it fisheyed like crazy. I wiped it down with denatured alcohol and sanded the heck out of it and recoated. The fisheyes came through again.

I’m thinking I should have sealed the redwood before coating but at this point, I have a lot of epoxy on there and wondering if there is a good way to seal the fisheyes to keep the next coat from doing the same thing. There is a raised frame around the edge that would make a complete strip difficult.

Alcohol wipes and sanding don’t seem to be removing what I believe is the wood oil coming through.

Any ideas?

Howzit John, Could it be the oils in the redwood,I know new growth lumber has this problem. Why not just use Spar varnish. We used to use Sickens for a lot of our outdoor projects but I wasn’t happy with the results as far as durablity was concerned. Since I started using varnish thing are lasting a lot longer and the glossy finish looks great also. Aloha,Kokua

Hi Kokua -

I was hoping for the thick “bar top” look. Like the old hatch cover tables you’d see in restaraunts?

Since the top will frequently get wet, I was thinking something thick would stand up better.

Any way to seal the fisheyes so additional coats will cure smooth?

Even though my plank is laminated with a center stringer and raised frame around the edges, I’m ready to just scrap it and start over.

Howzit John, By sanding the finish and recoating you will probably get the finish you want without the fish eyes. I did a bar top with varnish a while back and put down 5 coats and the finish is really nice. So far I 've done the bar top, some window sills, table tops,a bench and will be doing more bar tops and some out door furniture next. These are all items that are at a beach front home so durablilty is a factor and since spar varnish is used on wooden boats and wooden( older ) water skis, it just seems to work very well. I have used epoxy on a dolphin carved out of redwood that I restored,never got fish eyes.Aloha,Kokua  

P.S. I have seen many bartops and tables that were done with poly or epoxy and if there was no fiberglass laid down the tables would crack after a while.

Hi Kokua -

Do you think I can varnish over the fisheyed epoxy without the oil coming through?

Howzit John, Now that’s a question I can’r answer since I’ve never tried varnish over epoxy but the epoxy should have sealed the oils in to the wood. When ever working with poly over wood I sweet coat the wood first to keep the oils sealed. I have always done this as a prep before glassing balsa boards and tail blocks. I guess the thing to do is check the varnish can for applications and see if you can use it on finihes besides wood.Aloha,Kokua