FAQ: How To Finish Canoe Paddle?

What is the best finish for a canoe paddle?

Unlike some other oils, Pure Tung Oil has a long lifespan and doesn’t darken your wood, but if you want a darker hue, consider using Dark Tung Oil for finishing canoe paddles.

What do you coat a canoe paddle with?

You may use a fine marine tung oil product like Behr or boiled linseed oil. For more tips on oiling your Badger Paddle, please visit our maintenance page. To truly keep your paddle in it’s best condition, a varnished paddle should be checked for any “scars” from use at the end of every season.

How do you pick a canoe paddle shape?


  1. A longer blade will maintain “bite” in a chop.
  2. A narrower blade is quieter and will enter and exit the water with less turbulence.
  3. A broad blade is more powerful and will be better suited for moving water.
  4. A broad blade, surface area being equal, will be better suited for shallow water.

What paint do you use on a paddle?

Using acrylic paint and a paintbrush, paint around taped sections in colours of your choice. Don’t forget about the side edges of your paddle blade while doing this! Leave to dry. Gently brush varnish over paddle blade and leave to dry.

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What is marine grade varnish?

MARINE GRADE VARNISH imparts a rich, clear amber tone that enhances wood grain; creates a durable, uv resistant waterproof finish that wont fade; ideal for interior and exterior wood, brightwork on boats & outdoor furniture.

How does tung oil work?

Tung oil hardens upon exposure to air (through polymerization), and the resulting coating is transparent and has a deep, almost wet look. Used mostly for finishing and protecting wood, after numerous coats, the finish can even look plastic-like. Related drying oils include linseed, safflower, poppy, and soybean oils.

How do you thin pure tung oil?

Use thinned down oil 1 1/2 parts Citrus Solvent to 1 Part Pure Tung Oil with a clean T-shirt or bed sheet material, apply a thin coat over night or for the weekend if possible. Tung will provide a deep rich color to wood floors.

How do you maintain a wooden paddle?

Make sure your paddle is clean and dry. If not, clean your paddle well with fresh water and dry completely. Gently sand roughed spots (if needed) with a 220 grit sandpaper, then finishing with a 320 grit paper to help ensure a smooth finish. Use a lint-free cloth to run oil over the entire surface of the paddle.

How do you care for a wooden canoe paddle?

Wipe off dust. Apply two or three thin coats of solvent based (not water based) outdoor or marine grade polyurethane. Allow several hours between coats for drying, rub lightly with fine (220) abrasive before each new coat for a better finish.

How many coats of varnish do you need for oars?

I would use a marine varnish, thin the first coat about 10%, add a full strength 2nd coat, sand with 320 grit when dry, tack and add a 3rd coat. I wasn’t happy with just linseed oil on my oars when I first built mine. They got a refinishing 3 years later with thinned varnish, then 3 coats of full strength varnish.

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How do you remove varnish from a paddle?

Just strip the handle and grip if it is laminated, leave the blade be. Use 110 then 220 sandpaper and then for a proper resealing take turpentine 80% and varnish 20% and re coat the shaft and let this dry; sand it back down lightly. The turpentine and varnish will have sealed all the pores in the wood.

What’s the difference between spar varnish and spar urethane?

Spar varnish and spar urethane are two very different compounds. The main difference between the two is spar varnish will eventually chip or chalk off over time, while spar urethane will maintain a hard, shiny surface.

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