Step Levelling

Don't brush out the varnish as you would paint. Once the surface has been laid down, let it level itself and dry. Suspend your brush in a can of mineral spirits between coats to keep it pliable. Once you have stopped brushing, don't attempt to add more varnish or do additional brushing. If you suddenly see an area that doesn't have enough varnish, leave it alone. You can handle it by sanding carefully after the varnish has dried and by coating it properly the next time around.

Dust Specks If you are applying a satin finish, you probably won't see any dust specks in the new surface. If you are putting down a glossy coat, you now may be horrified to see a collection of little dust bumps in the new varnish. Don't panic. First, remember that this is a first coat and that sanding between finishes will take care of many of these bumps. Second, if some seem too big or really annoy you, lift them out using the tip of a very fine artist's brush. Do this deftly, trying not to disturb the varnish very much. If you decide to remove dust specks, do so before the drying gets very far along. This allows the varnish to level itself after the dust speck has been removed. If you wait too long, you may create a tiny crater when you lift out the dust speck because the varnish, once it has begun to dry, won't level itself.

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