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Old 22-01-2015, 15:51   #1
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Refinish Interior Teak

Shiva has a lot of beautiful teak on her interior. It looks great after 30 yrs. About 5 years ago I got this crazy idea to apply another coat of Epiphanes ... rubbed effect on the flat surfaces and high gloss on the trim, fiddles etc. I hired a fella from Bequi who does this sort of thing where the boat was moored. I supplied the materials and he the labor. He sanded and I think brushed on a coat or two. It look OK.. not great... but not awful. The orginal finish was obviously sprayed on by Contest at the factory and shows no brush strokes even on close inspection.

He only did the main cabin. The high gloss looked better, almost perfect.
Last year the finish he applied began to "peel".. first on the top of the nav desk... It's not as if I can scape of the layer and it comes off in pieces/flakes. Some of the rubbed effect seems fine.

The gloss has also begun to peel too... mostly at the trim near the companionway subject to water more than any other part... but this is hardly the cause. Other hand grips show the same "delamination" of the finish.

So this is not a good thing. I need to fix it. First I need to understand what happened. He did light sanding. A friend said the original finish was some sort of 2 part polyurethane and not compatible with varnish and so a proper bond did not take place. But why did this delamination not happen sooner and it took 5 or more years?

Questions:

Should I sand? How much? what grit? Steel wool?

What is an effective way to peel the top coats? Wouldn't this be a means to determine that I had gotten down to the old finish layer?

What new top coat should I use? I don't want the peeling in a few years.

I do want both the rubbed effect satin and the high gloss.

Thank you!
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Old 22-01-2015, 17:35   #2
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Re: Refinish Interior Teak

The problem with lacquering teak is teak is an oily wood. Any increase in temperature will cause the wood to bleed/gas. And the higher the temp the more it bleeds.

Direct sun light is even worse, it'll only last for weeks or a few months. First, it'll show little white spots which turns into bubbles and eventually delimitation. Large surface areas are the worst. Small strips seem to hold up fairly well.

In most cases interiors are made with mahogany covered ply with teak trim/strips. But if you have all teak I would just go with a teak oil rather then a full lacquer finish. For lacquering strips I wipe it down with MEK or acetone just before the coating, and on a warm/hot day.

*I really like working with teak. It's a great wood for furnisher and carving. And it smells good too. As well, the sanding dust doesn't go airborne as much like a lot of woods.
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Old 22-01-2015, 18:00   #3
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Re: Refinish Interior Teak

If it's a 2 part polyurethane, which is most likely the case with a factory finish, and a production boat.

I would sand it with 320, don't burn through the color, then hit it with some 4/0 bronze wool. You should now have removed any secondary applied varnish, and be back at the 2 part polyurethane.

Now wipe twice with Issapropal Alcohol, not denatured alcohol.

Now use Smiths Penetrating Epoxy, this will become the bond coat, 2 coats with a fo-wool in between.

Then fo-wool after 24 hrs and lay down a coat of varnish, then sand and varnish until it meets your liking.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandero View Post
Shiva has a lot of beautiful teak on her interior. It looks great after 30 yrs. About 5 years ago I got this crazy idea to apply another coat of Epiphanes ... rubbed effect on the flat surfaces and high gloss on the trim, fiddles etc. I hired a fella from Bequi who does this sort of thing where the boat was moored. I supplied the materials and he the labor. He sanded and I think brushed on a coat or two. It look OK.. not great... but not awful. The orginal finish was obviously sprayed on by Contest at the factory and shows no brush strokes even on close inspection.

He only did the main cabin. The high gloss looked better, almost perfect.
Last year the finish he applied began to "peel".. first on the top of the nav desk... It's not as if I can scape of the layer and it comes off in pieces/flakes. Some of the rubbed effect seems fine.

The gloss has also begun to peel too... mostly at the trim near the companionway subject to water more than any other part... but this is hardly the cause. Other hand grips show the same "delamination" of the finish.

So this is not a good thing. I need to fix it. First I need to understand what happened. He did light sanding. A friend said the original finish was some sort of 2 part polyurethane and not compatible with varnish and so a proper bond did not take place. But why did this delamination not happen sooner and it took 5 or more years?

Questions:

Should I sand? How much? what grit? Steel wool?

What is an effective way to peel the top coats? Wouldn't this be a means to determine that I had gotten down to the old finish layer?

What new top coat should I use? I don't want the peeling in a few years.

I do want both the rubbed effect satin and the high gloss.

Thank you!
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Old 22-01-2015, 19:44   #4
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Re: Refinish Interior Teak

Thanks...

What is fo-wool?

If I understand I sand / wool down the top coat to get to the 2 part original finish... prep is for and apply smiths epoxy and the prepare that for whatever varnish I wish?
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Old 22-01-2015, 20:10   #5
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Re: Refinish Interior Teak

If the finish is 30 years old, and it was a quality job, they would have genuinely hand-rubbed the finish. This is how Bristol did mine. This is a tedious multi-step process using an oil-based varnish and rottenstone.

Most "hand-rubbed" varnishes are simply low-gloss polyurethane. I tried using it, and thought it didn't look very good.

So far from putting an oil-based varnish on top of a polyurethane, you did the reverse. However, your friend is mistaken, in the sense that you will never get a chemical bond between an old finish, and a new one, even with similar chemistries. That is what the sanding is for, to provide a mechanical bond. To get a chemical bond, you'd have to put the finishes on within a day or less.

In my opinion, and based on considerable experimentation, the best way to refresh a rubbed finish is to sand lightly, get the surface clean, apply two coats of well thinned spar varnish, then rub to adjust the gloss.

Using just rottenstone gives a higher gloss. Using 4F first, then rottenstone, gives a lower one.

One advantage is that you can always go back and adjust the gloss. What I did was do it all with rottenstone, then any areas that still looked too glossy got the 4F.
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Old 22-01-2015, 20:29   #6
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Re: Refinish Interior Teak

"In most cases interiors are made with mahogany covered ply with teak trim/strips"

Speak for yourself, mine's all solid teak, apart from the bulkheads, which are Bruynzeel teak ply, and the floor, which has a veneer of teak, "only" 1/4" thick.
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Old 22-01-2015, 22:18   #7
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Re: Refinish Interior Teak

Sorry guys. It's either a truly rubbed finish or a rubbed effect finish. Two different systems. You might investigate a French rubbed approach before you get deeply engaged in sanding, stripping or any of those other odious pleasures of boat maintenance.

First, using some white towel surface rags and alcohol, investigate, in a remote corner of the woodwork, how much crap is on the surface. Then do the same with some paint thinner. If the substrate is secure and unstained, the simple addition of the thinner will duplicate the eventual finish of French Polishing, it merely takes time.

Second, using a good quality, HIGH GLOSS not "rubbed effect" or semi-gloss, marine spar varnish, with UV stabilizers to make stuff last longer, even inside, you begin the actual process. Check out YouTube videos on French polishing to see the process unfold.

Third, If it works successfully for you, reapply a rubbed coat in a day or so. If conditions are right, you can even apply several coats daily. You will only have to invest in good quality cotton rags and a large jar of elbow grease.

This leaves a VERY thin layer of varnish, that slowly and sturdily builds over time. Think of it as polishing and you understand why they call it that. The application combines surface abrasion by the cloth and the lubricating of varnish to achieve its goal, which is a deep, warm reflective finish. Think grand piano.

You can apply it any time you feel motivated. It both cleans and slowly builds the protective, attractive finish, and you have a product you will be most proud of. Or, you can slap a coat of varnish on top of your wood work,then play with dust, drips and surface imperfections. You choose.
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Old 23-01-2015, 04:27   #8
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Re: Refinish Interior Teak

Thanks for the replies.

The mfg most probably used a spray applied 2 part polyurethane rubbed effect on the veneered panels and trim. I think at some point I added high gloss by hand brushing the fiddles and hand holds. in the main cabin and head. The aft cabin is all matter/satin/rubbed effect. It's still in very good shape and has not been refinished.

I am going to experiment but first I need to remove the top coats.
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Old 23-01-2015, 06:20   #9
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Re: Refinish Interior Teak

The factory finish would have in all likelihood been a sprayed 2 part. But this is irrelevant. You can varnish 1 part over a 2 part.
To be honest 5 years is not a bad result for a single part varnish in a high traffic area...
So the problem you are having is mechanical adhesion failure ie the varnish is flaking. You mentioned that he gave it a " light sand" and therein lies the problem. You can use a light grade of sandpaper but you can never give anything a light sand if you are expecting a 1st class job. Single part paints and varnishes depend on mechanical adhesion and want a properly sanded a prepped surface to stick to. Short cuts are always punished.
Epiphanes is a quality product and when applied correctly looks wonderful. One thing about it is it needs multiple coats to achieve that "glow" and depth. One coat is never enough for a decent finish. Epiphanies rubbed effect is perhaps the easiest varnish I've ever worked with and is very forgiving. The high gloss requires more skill and practice.
You add that you were able to see brush marks in the finish. A good varnisher never leaves brush marks...
So now you have some flaking varnish. Don't worry, it's not a big deal. I would use a 220 sandpaper to remove the flakes and flatten the surface. Always use a sanding block on flat areas. Once the loose flakes are removed and your surface is completely sanded and the brush marks left from the previous job have disappeared, switch to 320 grit and thoroughly sand the area again. A good job is depends on proper preparation. Everything needs to be clean and dust free before applying varnish including your brush and tub.
Although it is possible to hot coat 1 and 2 part varnishes I believe it's always best to sand in between coats with 320 for flat surfaces for the best possible bond. I use green scotch bright to sand things like hand rails in between coats. I don't use steel wool ever...
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Old 23-01-2015, 08:11   #10
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Re: Refinish Interior Teak

Thanks!
Brush strokes are very hard to see and impossible to feel... and you can see them only in certain lighting conditions. High traffic areas took the hit... but I will not redo everything... and can do areas at different times and gauge the results.

The idea thing is to *varnish* on Sunday afternoon so it sets up for another coat the following weekend after more prep. The problem is the mess!
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Old 23-01-2015, 09:24   #11
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Re: Refinish Interior Teak

Why don't you contact Contest and fine out what they used/did!?
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