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Old 12-06-2007, 04:55   #1
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Companionway Steps Refinishing...Epoxy?

I am currently refinishing the steps of the companionway on Titere. All teak going down inside the cabin. The area takes a beating from uv rays and traffic, wet feet etc. It is sanded clean and ready to be refinished. I am going to apply satin polyurethane finish on the vertical surfaces which I think dont take much abuse. But for the steps I was considering applying the West System epoxy as the first coat and then sand it and apply satin polyurethane to provide some uv protection and take away the gloss. Is this possible? Has anyone tried this combination?, What is the best way to thin out the epoxy for application?....
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:15   #2
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Consider spar urethane. It has MUCH higher UV resistance than polyurethane.

George
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:44   #3
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Will it work on top of the epoxy? Is it worth to apply epoxy first?
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Old 12-06-2007, 13:17   #4
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I would not do the epoxy, just 3 good coats of urethane, sanding lightly between and wiping with mineral spirits. I have had good luck with this on the teak board where I carry my outboard open to all weather and UV.

Every couple of years, give it a light sanding and apply another coat or two.

You will receive other opinions on good ways to do it. There are others, I just think this is the best result as compared to work involved.

For safety sake, you might consider adding a few non skid strips after finishing.

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Old 12-06-2007, 13:42   #5
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Yes top coating poylurathane over epoxy works.
But I suggest you just polyurathane all the way. I have not used, so can not give a personal recomendation, but many rave on about the benifits of a product called "ultimate sole". I believe this stuff gives excellent grip even thought the surface is gloss or satin(not sure which). I have my steps in a gloss epithane. 3yrs and no marks and it is full gloss and looks great. But these steps are internal and can not get wet, so I don't know what they would be like if they were wet, for grip that is.
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Old 18-06-2007, 21:07   #6
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I mixed in some of the non-skid microspheres from Interlux with my varnish on mahogany steps. They are fairly small and become translucent and hold up very well. Much better looking than non-skid strips.
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Old 18-06-2007, 22:50   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avazquez
I am currently refinishing the steps of the companionway on Titere. All teak going down inside the cabin. The area takes a beating from uv rays and traffic, wet feet etc. It is sanded clean and ready to be refinished. I am going to apply satin polyurethane finish on the vertical surfaces which I think dont take much abuse. But for the steps I was considering applying the West System epoxy as the first coat and then sand it and apply satin polyurethane to provide some uv protection and take away the gloss. Is this possible? Has anyone tried this combination?, What is the best way to thin out the epoxy for application?....
Yo Vas,

here is a case where a little bit of knowledge is dangerous. READ the W.E.S.T. system literature. one does not THIN this product. Nor is it recommended to ever apply just ONE coat. You can experiment if you'd like but you won't do better than following the procedures specified by Gougeon Brothers.

best, andy
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Old 19-06-2007, 04:20   #8
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Ok....This is what I have done.....Since there are different opinions I decided to simply experiment. First of all YES you can thin epoxy resin. West System epoxy can be thinned with some special products but also with acetone. I read it in one of their manuals, I did it and it works fine. So I applied one coat of epoxy over a vertical teak corner and then sanded it smooth with 320. Applied three coats of Epifanes Rubbed Effect Varnish, sanding in between, and it looks beautiful. How long will it hold? We'll see. I guess the advantage is that the epoxy seals the wood and then it is easy to apply the varnish and get that smooth looking surface. On another surface I just went with the Varnish and I guess the difference is that it requires more applications in order to achieve the smooth surface. Next I am going to do the Sail locker access door with two coats of epoxy and two coats of Varnish.....I'll post the outcome......
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Old 27-06-2007, 06:49   #9
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Varnish Build-Up Coats ~ Don Casey Tip #36

Scratch through the topcoat of almost any painted surface and you will find an underlying primer coat. Primer prepares the raw surface for the paint. The result is a better finish.

It is useful to think of varnishing as a similar two-step process. With varnish we don't use the term primer, but we could. Varnishing raw wood always begins with several so-called "build-up" coats, and these perform almost the same function as primer under paint. We want the build-up coats, first and foremost, to get a good grip on the wood. After that, we want them to level out the surface, filling the wood's pores. We also want the build-up coats to clarify the wood, bringing out the beauty of the grain.

You can use the same varnish for both build-up coats and finish coats, but the pros often use a less expensive varnish for the build-up coats. Only color and clarity matter; flow, gloss, and UV resistance do not become an issue until we get to the topcoats. For a foot-deep finish, plan on applying six build-up coats followed by three or four carefully applied finish coats.

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Old 27-06-2007, 07:14   #10
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Hmmm. Scuffing, satin, gloss, non-skid.

Our boat came with the steps unfinished. When I asked about this the previous owner (16 yrs cruising, 50,000 miles) said that was so you didn't need to add non-skid strips or worry about it being a slippery finish that looks good but could be dangerous.

Unfinished teak decks don't need non-skid and their grip is well known. Even when wet. They also hold up well for years without being coated with anything even though they are exposed to the elements and saltwater.

So why put a finish on the steps? Unfinished teak in the cabin will last even longer than outside.

I'm surprised more people don't do this.

Thoughts?
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Old 27-06-2007, 08:16   #11
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I guess because it is dificult to wash companionway steps. Raw wood will get dirty if you spill stuff on it or if you step on it with firty feet/shoes etc. And I guess it looks much better when finished.
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Old 27-06-2007, 08:55   #12
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I did a sail locker door and some companionway steps with two coats of West system epoxy and here is the procedure:1. Removed old finish with paint remover.2. Sand the wood with 100 - 220 grit. Clean surface with acetone and vacuum cleaner.3. Apply one coat of epoxy thinned with acetone.4. Sand with 220 until smooth. Clean surface with acetone and vacuum cleaner.5. Apply thicker coat of epoxy. 6. For a cristal clear finish apply atomized acetone with a sprayer.7 Let cure. Sand smooth with 220. Clean surface with acetone and vacuum cleaner.8. Apply three coats of Epifanes Rubbed Effect Varnish, thinned with mineral spirits. Sand with 320 grit and clean surface with mineral spirits and vacuum cleaner between varnish coats.The result is a perfectly smooth thick satin surface. Simply Beautiful.
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Old 27-06-2007, 09:45   #13
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I guess for me, I'd rather certain aspects of my boat be safe than pretty. To each their own I guess. Not that finished wood can't be safe, but it sounds like you need to go to greater lengths to make it that way.

Not sure where all the dirt would be coming from that you are worried about getting on the teak. If that were the case, wouldn't the rest of the boat be filthy too? And dirt on a boat can wreak havoc on those pretty finishes, what with all the grit and such.

Just for the record, the rest of the wood inside and out is finished on my boat. I just see a lot of merit to leaving the steps unfinished.

Cheers.
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Old 27-06-2007, 10:22   #14
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Dont get me wrong.....In my case I have a 20 plus years old sailboat.Some of the wood is veneered, and has been sanded many many times. It seems to me that in MY CASE it is better to protect the wood as much as possible. I simply apply 3M transparent antislip tape and it works fine and looks great. I f I leave the wood without any finish it will absorb humidity and will stain eventually with foot traffic. But I guess whatever works for you is fine with YOU....
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Old 27-06-2007, 11:07   #15
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But I guess whatever works for you is fine with YOU....
Not trying to get into a pissing match here, avazquez. As I said,

Quote:
To each their own I guess
Everyone needs to do what is right for them and their boat. It just makes sense to me to leave the steps unfinished, and I was wondering what other people think about that.

It seems like folks go to great effort and time to finish their steps all pretty-like, and then slap non-skid tape on them. Never really understood that. Besides being ugly, IMO, non-skid is tough on bare feet.

In the interest of safety, I can deal with a few small planks of wood unfinished. It's a matter of practicality for me. Not to imply you aren't safe or practical.

Of course, I don't have kids, so maybe that would be an issue for some. Kids are messy.

Again, to each their own.

Peace
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