The UK MCA recommend 2-pack paint and varnish such as International Perfection Plus on new wooden builds and restorations. It is expensive, it needs special thinners rather than white spirit, but it gives the hardest, longest lasting finish, good UV protection and the best lusture.
Most, it not all, marine paint brands have a 2-pack product in their range.
Here are some top tips regarding the use of International 2 pack.
- The hardener is, I understand, to some extent moisture cured. So it's best to keep it in a warm dry place (like the airing cupboard). The varnish part is OK the the garage. Sadly, once opened, the hardener will go off eventually, and you can't buy it separately. Even unopened hardener will start to go off eventually (after about 3 years). As far as I can see, the hardener for the paint & for the varnish are identical, so I just have one tin of hardener open at a time and use if for paint or varnish as required.
- Once you can't get any more hardener out of the tin via the spout, you can get the remaining hardener out by taking the tin lid off (sadly you may need to bend the lid to get it off). Apart from 'waste not, want not', this can help get one tin of hardener to cure more than one tin of paint/varnish, which is alway useful. If you save the lids of empty tins of paint or varnish, you can can use these on the tin of hardener.
- I don't bother with International 'Universal Clear Primer' (UCP) or 'Clear Wood Sealer'. I just prime bare wood areas with slightly thinned varnish (I think they suggest thinning 10% with Thinners no 9). In my experience the UCP discolours at a faster rate than varnish in UV light, so you have to revarnish a patch of bare wood, and prime with UCP, it can end up a slightly different colour to the surronding wood.