Interlux Recalls New Compass Varnish

Sometimes I guess you can just have too much of a good thing. The case in point here is Interlux’s new Compass varnish, introduced last fall, which incorporated a new, fast-drying chemistry. Unfortunately, it seems to be just a little bit too fast-drying. An OceanLines reader in North Carolina noticed cans of the varnish being [...]

26th March 2010.
By Tom Tripp

Interlux Compass Varnish

Interlux Compass Varnish

Sometimes I guess you can just have too much of a good thing. The case in point here is Interlux’s new Compass varnish, introduced last fall, which incorporated a new, fast-drying chemistry. Unfortunately, it seems to be just a little bit too fast-drying. An OceanLines reader in North Carolina noticed cans of the varnish being collected at his marina store for a recall, so we checked with Interlux. In my experience, the Interlux brand, from International Paint LLC, is generally top-quality. So in this case, I think it’s fair to include the company’s response to my query verbatim:

“Yes, unfortunately the Compass varnish is on recall at the moment, but it’s intended to be a temporary measure. The product is absolutely superb when applying on small areas but too many of our varnishes found it drying too quickly, which makes it difficult to apply. There are no doubts about its performance, longevity or durability, this is an application concern only. We have some very fast driers in the product to make it dust-free, and while it’s not leading to any issues on smaller areas, it does prove a challenge on larger areas where you need more wet- edge and working time. Listening to our customers, we’re reviewing this feedback and we’ve got our chemists on track intending to fix that.

We were in a tricky situation as we’ve also had customers call in that loves it and don’t understand why we’ve recalled it, but Interlux is all about ‘making it easy’ for consumers and professionals alike, so we’re wanting to ensure we supply a product anybody can apply and above all, that it’s suitable for any projects – large or small. The recall affects Compass only, no others. If somebody has successfully applied Compass already you’re in a good place and you will get to enjoy the great performing product that it is. For the rest of the good folks out there, we’re just improving the application properties so it will be easier to brush on.”

A representative from AkzoNobel, the parent company, said they don’t have a timeline just yet for when the product might return to the shelves but did note that the original Schooner varnish, which is similar to the Compass but without the hyper-speed drying chemistry, should be in stock at most retailers in April. I will update this item as soon as we any information on when Compass might be back. For now, I would recommend you call the Interlux help line at 1-800-468-7589 if you’re having problems. If you’re only doing small pieces, it seems like you’ll be okay, and you’ll still have one of the best UV-resistant varnishes out there.

Thanks, Ron.

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About the author:

Tom Tripp

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Tom is the publisher of www.OceanLines.biz, a website about passagemaking boats and information. He is also a contributor to Chesapeake Bay Magazine who has been at sea aboard everything from a 17-foot homemade wooden fishing boat to a 1,000-foot-long, 96,000-ton, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

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