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Old 20-09-2010, 06:03   #1
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Bristol Finish

I an in the process of redoing the teak on our boat. I hate bright work, but love the way it looks when properly finished. I am considering using Bristol Finish in an effort to be lazy in the future and maintain that great look in the Florida sun.

Anyone have any experience / advise on using Bristol Finish?


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Old 20-09-2010, 06:42   #2
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Someone donated a can for the brightwork on the club Grand Banks 32, so I used it on the transom. The biggest plus was that I could put 4 coats on in an afternoon without sanding. I was painting in the sun, and it tended to get little blisters after a few minutes, which I had someone tip out with a wet brush. The club sprang for a cover which is on whenever the boat is not being used, but it looks good afer 6 years.

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Old 20-09-2010, 06:46   #3
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I've used it quite a while back. Personally, never again. I didn't think it lasted all that long and it is a SOB to strip. It's chemical resistant so strippers didn't work and it is heat resistant so a heat gun just scorched the wood. I ended up taking it off with coarse grit sandpaper.

What I use now is just good quality varnish. My favorite is Z-spar Flagship. I'm coming up on two years and it still looks good. The trick, especially here in Florida is to put down a lot of thin coats. Coats one and two are sealers, diluted with mineral spirits, the remaining coats are full strength although I put a touch of Penetrol in to keep down brush marks. By coat 5 its looking good but I put on a total of 9-10 coats with a light sanding between coats. Those last 4-5 coats are what gives the finish the longevity IMO. Roughly once a year I give the brightwork a light sanding with 220 grit, and give it 2-3 coats. It's then good for another year. As you can see most of the work is in the initial prep and the application of 9-10 coats but thereafter you can coast. Also, I highly recommend the Jen PolyBrush available from either Ace Hardware or Jamestown Distributors. I buy them a case at a time (48) to save money. DO NOT use the cheap foam brushes from Lowes or Home Depot, they disintegrate.

This, at least, is what works best for me after experimenting for the last 14 years.

Good luck,
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Old 20-09-2010, 06:49   #4
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Just switched from Cetol to Bristol Finish but only a few months ago. I didn't like the orange tint of Cetol and seems like I had to refinish every two years. Bristol is a two part product so its a little more difficult to apply. Using the wet method of application, the job can be done in a weekend after proper preparation (which is key). The finish looks great- if you like a wet look. The research I did indicates that you can expect a 7 coat job to last 4 years with some touch ups along the way. And the cured surface is hard as nails compared to Cetol.
Joe Ward
Southern Dream
New Orleans, LA
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Old 20-09-2010, 07:11   #5
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I used bristol on my teak last fall after under coating with two coats of penetraing epoxy. Two coats of bristol. In the spring I noticed moisture got under it and lifted it looked like crap. Tried to remove with heat/ alcohol nothing worked. If I ever use the quart I still have it will be after I have laid down at least tens coats of epifanes. Places that were smooth looked ok but where seams were or wood was rough, it lifted and turned brown. I have learned that this is a common problem with this product. So my advice is to not use it on weather exposed teak.
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Old 20-09-2010, 07:14   #6
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Bristol Finish

I too have switched to Bristol. I like not having to sand between each coat. We first did our rails around aft deck and because we kept getting an unexpected shower when we did that project, sanding did happen and it turned out beautiful! This summer we did all the rest of the teak on the aftdeck, around the wet bar and side doors, it looks wonderful. As for the other comment about it being 2 part making it more difficult, not sure what he means by that, it is very simple to mix and you can make up as much as you need for a days task. Can't give you long range diagnosis yet, but a little over 1 yr in Florida sun on rails and it is still beautiful! Good luck!
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Old 20-09-2010, 07:19   #7
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I've not used Bristol, but I do have good experiences with Epifanes. The trick that seems to prolong the finish (more than a year now in South Florida sun) for me is after you get the look and color, to apply two coats of Awlbright, a 3-part clear polyurethane with very good water and UV blockage.

The other alternative is a lot of coats of varnish.

Capt. Douglas Abbott
USCG/MCA IV/M.I./C.I. 500-ton Oceans
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