Here's what I do to other people's boats, since I built my own, specifically to avoid skating rink cabin
soles (highly varnished teak and holly with a light application of water
and rolling seas). Mine are simply painted non-skid with throw rugs in port.
1. Mask the margin between the sole (i.e., leave it bare of tape) and adjoining vertical surfaces. Then apply that red resin paper, found at Home Depot, to further mask the areas above.
2. Using Jasco Premium Epoxy
Remover, work on a one foot square at a time. Brush it on thickly, let it bubble the substrate, gently remove the crud with a flexible steel
putty knife (2" works great, but have a quiver of sizes available). Then apply a fresh second coat to get the remaining crud up. You don't have to leave it on for more than about five minutes per coat. HAVE EXCELLENT VENTILATION, WEAR GLOVES AND SAFETY
3. Continue stripping until you come to a good dividing point, or strip everything at once. Let it air dry overnight. LIGHTLY SAND with 220 grit paper, cleaning
up with a vacuum.
4. Use two-part bleaches (usually a sodium hydroxide and oxalic acid sequence) to wet the surface of the wood. Again, work in small sections at a time. The sodium hydroxide turns the wood dark. It is also breaking down any oils or grease that may have stained the wood. Then,when uniformly dark and still damp, brush on the oxalic acid solution. It will change color almost immediately. Don't skimp on the neutralizing solution. When the color of the teak is pretty uniform, sop up the excess with paper towels or cloth rags. Let it dry overnight.
5. LIGHTLY SAND with 220, clean with a vacuum. This takes off any wood fibers that stand up like a cheap
haircut. Now, you need to make a decision that reaches the heart of maintenance
: How much money
do you want to spend, and how long do you want the job to last?
6. If cheap
and cheerful, don't have much time or money
, is your answer, then varnish
or one-part polyurethane
is your answer. I don't heartily recommend this route
, but here it goes: If the teak doesn't look warm enough in color, rub on a coat of a gel-stain (Nutmeg is the color I use). Rub in a little, burnish it with a cloth rag, and move on to get the job done and have as close a uniform color as possible. The holly portion of the sole won't take the stain like the teak will. Then apply a well-thinned coat of varnish
to the sole. Let dry overnight. Next day, knock the cheap haircut finish off with 220 grit paper, clean well with vacuum, followed by a cloth rag dampened with denatured alcohol (remember to ventilate!). Now apply a standard coat of varnish and let dry overnight. Continue as many times as needed to feed your ego and budget
7. If you are searching for longevity and have the financial resources, consider this route
: Stain for effect, let the finish air dry for several days, lightly sand and clean well. Use West System 105 resin and 207 Special Hardener to apply two coats of finish, sanding
well between coats. Then apply 2 or 3 coats of clear linear polyurethane
as the topcoat. This will maximize the skating rink effect and demand that people wear sunglasses inside to reduce the glare.
8. Or, consider painting and applying non-skid....