The off season is the best time for boat projects. But doesn’t it just frost your cookies when you’re all set to finish that piece of trim, and you open the half-full can of varnish you thought you’d sealed up tightly last year only to find the contents rendered to goop? Experiences like that are what drove sailor and woodworking enthusiast Steve Zawalick to create Bloxygen, a product that saves your leftover paints and finishes from being ruined by exposure to oxygen and moisture.
Bloxygen—which stands for “blocks oxygen”—uses ultra pure, inert argon gas to essentially displace oxygen in a container. Spray the stuff in via a narrow tube, and the argon gas, which is 25% heavier than oxygen, falls to the surface of the can’s contents, pushing the oxygen up and out and creating a kind of protective gas blanket. Seal the container, and you can keep the contents viable for years—no more wasting and tossing out expensive, half-used cans of materials.
Bloxygen can preserve anything sensitive to oxygen and moisture, so you can use it for all sorts of coatings including paints, varnishes, fillers, oils, and catalysts. You can even use it to preserve and store wine and cooking oils (long-term cruisers take note). Each can provides about 150 seconds of gas, or about 75 uses in quarts (they recommend two-second sprays for quarts and four seconds for gallons, assuming the containers are half-full). One can is about $13 at Bloxygen.com.