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Old 13-04-2007, 09:16   #1
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Old Varnish.....

Hello all,

I would like to request some info, although I fear I might know the answer,

Just finished purchasing a 1983 Beneteau First 38, all of the Interior is a very DARK finish, have not seen any with this finish on the Internet or anywhere, it seems to be original, as its not in good shape, I have talk to a few people regarding stripping sanding and making it lighter color to brighten up the cabin, everybody tells me to leave as is, since the work is so much, I actually tried sanding a little with a belt sander with in a flat part, and barely seems to do anything. It seems cristalized if that makes any sense. My mechanic told me, "you want it lighter, buy another boat"

got to love mechanics. I have work on wood on older boats (Alberg 37, 1969) but the varnish on this boat is rare......

I guess this thread turn out to be a rant not much of a question....

Fly High, Sail Fast

Danny
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Old 13-04-2007, 09:39   #2
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Use the 3M safe paste stripper and then bleach the bare wood after cleaning to lighten if the stain is deeply embedded.

Another option is to glue on a thin veneer of teak and finish to your liking after a rough sand of the surfaces.

In either case, you may want to leave the harder areas original colour and just work on the larger flat areas like bulkheads. The contrast betwen dark and lighter woods would look fine.
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Old 13-04-2007, 10:16   #3
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good

Benny,

have not worked with the paste stripper, will take a look at it, I liked the idea of a thin veneer of teak over it, I actually saw a boat last night on the Internet and the contrast was actually atractive... Thanks
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Old 13-04-2007, 14:25   #4
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You most likely have a stain that would have penatrated deep into the wood and then a varnish over top. You need to strip the varnish away as Benny suggested and then somewhere unseen, you need to see how deeply the stain goes to see if the timber is salvageable. I don't think you would be sucessful in bleaching the timber as it can be very hit and miss over large surface areas of different wood density. ie, you only need on piece to have a little more heart and resin to react very differently to something dirrectly beside it. The result could become "patchy".
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Old 13-04-2007, 15:00   #5
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Benny-
Refinishing old wood is the tip of an inceberg. You'd have to check with Beneteau to find out what the original finish and materials are, they can tell you. Odds are it was veneered wood, so if you sand too aggressively, you'll have a problem. And as Wheels points out, if a stain was used, you won't just get it "off" the wood.
There's little way to be sure of what the previous owners used, even if you have a pro come look at it. (Or if you can take off a door or panel, and take it in to a finishing shop, they may be able to help you explore.)

Different finishes (shellac, varnish, varnish stains, urethanes etc.) will age differently. If it has cracked up and it is shellac--you can remove that with alcohol and refinish it, but the odds are it is varnish and you need more aggressive solvents and more work.

I'd also go with a paste remover, try it someplace small and out of the way if you can, see if it just takes off the finish and not the color, or if the color comes off evenly. You'll probably need cabinet scrapers and small brushes to get into corners and around trim, unless you also remove all the trim and replace it afterwards.

Refinishing has to be a labor of love, unless you're getting paid by the hour to do it.< G >

Good luck!
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Old 14-04-2007, 05:21   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
Benny-
Refinishing old wood is the tip of an inceberg. You'd have to check with Beneteau to find out what the original finish and materials are, they can tell you. Odds are it was veneered wood, so if you sand too aggressively, you'll have a problem. And as Wheels points out, if a stain was used, you won't just get it "off" the wood.
There's little way to be sure of what the previous owners used, even if you have a pro come look at it. (Or if you can take off a door or panel, and take it in to a finishing shop, they may be able to help you explore.)

Different finishes (shellac, varnish, varnish stains, urethanes etc.) will age differently. If it has cracked up and it is shellac--you can remove that with alcohol and refinish it, but the odds are it is varnish and you need more aggressive solvents and more work.

also go with a paste remover, try it someplace small and out of the way if you can, see if it just takes off the finish and not the color, or if the color comes off evenly. You'll probably need cabinet scrapers and small brushes to get into corners and around trim, unless you also remove all the trim and replace it afterwards.

Refinishing has to be a labor of love, unless you're getting paid by the hour to do it.< G >

Good luck!
A heat gun and a sharp scraper works great on solid wood - that's what I would use if it is, indeed, solid wood. I wouldn't use it for veenered wood though.
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Old 14-04-2007, 06:23   #7
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Definitely think long and hard before doing this project. I did the same thing. We got our boat and I felt the teak was too "dark." Why? I was more used to modern materials and finishes. And older boat is quite often loaded with *real* teak and many solid bits of it. Real teak is dark by nature. You'll go through all the trouble of stripping and then bleaching, only to come back to the original color you have now when you apply new varnish or oil to it. (did I mention what a PITA varnishing is??)

If I were in your shoes (and I was 2 years ago), I'd steer clear of trying to change teak's color. It's like p*ssing into the wind. It won't change to a modern (read "cheap") wood color. It is a very hearty wood with natural oils that will leach back up and keep it dark.

Now... if it's just the varnish in bad shape, that's different. Strip away with a chemical stripper (just use a mask rated for the chemicals and get fresh air in the boat). Then, re-apply varnish for the next few months (it takes FOREVER!) and you'll have a finish just like the factory... which was probably shades darker than you would expect.
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Old 14-04-2007, 23:38   #8
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It may seem like a terrible thing to do but if you have way to much dark wood you can carefully select sections and paint them over......(ducking behind large safe object now).......Beautifull varnished timber can look so much better if it is contrasted with a lighter solid colour.
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Old 16-04-2007, 08:24   #9
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a lot of good suggestions, SSULLIVAN you do have a point, this week I spent some time on it, I started thinking it might be easier just to improve the lighting on it so the areas look lighter , I will try the paste stripper on a small non visible area to see how it reacts. as far as being the original color, I dont believe so, since I have not seen any other this shade, I will take pics and post.

Thanks all,

Danny H
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