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Old 27-10-2015, 13:02   #1
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remove varnish toerail

I didn't want to infringe on the other varnish thread so....
I have decided to NOT varnish, paint, or epoxy my 39 yr old teak wood rail...not going to replace either...
However it IS currently varnished and starting to badly degrade; i.e.... black pin mold...some small quarter size wood showing 4-5 spots...varnish starting to lift off..yellowy dull spots, easily scraped off...black runs etc...about 30% of the varnish is really starting to go bad as described above, various problems..
So...what's the best/easiest way to get off the varnish? heat gun/scrape??? is this the only option?
though the teak wood is somewhat thin/ from previous maint/age...I plan to brush/clean with teak cleaner/ light sand... when I get all the varnish off then coat with teakguard or honey oil or similar...can't stand the physical maint of varnishing....too much
best, fastest , easiest way to get the old varnish off ?
I'm sure this has never been asked before...help
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Old 27-10-2015, 13:22   #2
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Re: remove varnish toerail

In my experience the heat gun is fastest and removes the least amount of wood. However, if the wood is thin, be VERY CAREFUL not to scorch the wood.

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Old 27-10-2015, 14:59   #3
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Re: remove varnish toerail

Stripper.
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Old 27-10-2015, 15:54   #4
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Re: remove varnish toerail

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Stripper.

Actually that's a pretty good suggestion if there is minimal wood. What would you suggest, I would use Citrus Strip.

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Old 27-10-2015, 15:55   #5
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Re: remove varnish toerail

do you scrape a lot with stripper? use blue tape on the gelcoat/paint?...details please!!...the aircraft stripper at lowes home depot is strong stuff, never used it on wood tho..
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Old 27-10-2015, 16:23   #6
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Re: remove varnish toerail

Normally you would use a SOFT nylon bristle brush. If you feel the need to scrape, a small PLASTIC BLADE could be used gently. Remember to thoroughly rinse of the stripper.

For the safety of your wood and glass I would use CitraStrip or whatever it's called. Get it at any brick & mortar store.......Lowes, Home Depot, Wallmart, etc.


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Old 27-10-2015, 16:30   #7
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Re: remove varnish toerail

G'day, Mate. When we have needed to strip any old varnish, taping the surrounding gelcoat and heat gun has worked well. Cheers
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Old 27-10-2015, 17:02   #8
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Re: remove varnish toerail

Heat gun.
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Old 27-10-2015, 17:04   #9
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Re: remove varnish toerail

My vote on heat gun. Easy and much easier to keep project clean compared to using stripper. The soft gunk you create with stripper is a real PITA to clean up.
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Old 27-10-2015, 17:06   #10
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Re: remove varnish toerail

All the varnish was peeling on my boat when I first bought it after it had sat on the hard for 5 years.

I finally sanded off the peeling varnish and rest has mostly warn off with use...........
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Old 27-10-2015, 19:37   #11
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Re: remove varnish toerail

With a heat gun it is virtually impossible to heat only the toe rail surface you want stripped, without also affecting deck or topside finish. On some jobs this won't matter. With stripper it is possible to apply it only to the area you want stripped, usually preceded by careful masking.

The heading "varnish" loosely includes quite a number of varying chemical preparations, the best removal method for which may vary. But most will include the use of sharp paint and cabinet scrapers.
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Old 27-10-2015, 20:29   #12
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Re: remove varnish toerail

Maintaining our 30 year young teak caprail, eyebrow and hand rails is always a challenge. I finally stripped the rub rail and let it go silver - it looks fine and is maintenance free. The cap rail, eyebrow and hand rails I like varnished. Here's a post from when we stripped them (from Cetol) and started over -- 3 Ways To Strip Teak. There's an entire section on maintaining our teak on my website if you're interested - under "Maintenance"

Good Luck!
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Old 27-10-2015, 20:35   #13
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Re: remove varnish toerail

If you have access to a hose, I prefer wet sanding.... works great ends up clean and when done right only removes finish, not wood.
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Old 28-10-2015, 19:15   #14
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Re: remove varnish toerail

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTHAW View Post
...I plan to brush/clean with teak cleaner/ light sand... when I get all the varnish off then coat with teakguard or honey oil or similar...can't stand the physical maint of varnishing....too much
best, fastest , easiest way to get the old varnish off ?
I'm sure this has never been asked before...help
Teak cleaners "eat" the soft wood leaving the teak with peaks and valleys, requiring a lot of sanding to smooth it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
...The heading "varnish" loosely includes quite a number of varying chemical preparations, the best removal method for which may vary. But most will include the use of sharp paint and cabinet scrapers.
For a thin strip of teak, this is the best method, which will lift the varnish and very little wood. If you do it good, there will be very little sanding left to do.

Then go with 5 coats of clear gloss Cetol. Lightly sand and coat once a year - a 2 hrs maintenance job....
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