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Old 03-02-2010, 15:08   #1
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Question Sanding Wood before Varnish - What Grit Sandpaper ?

I have stripped and sanded my interior teak cabinetry, trim and doors down to bare wood. What grit do I sand to before applying varnish? I plan on using Interlux Compass.

I have gotten various answers from numerous sources, so I am now quite confused. Some instructions say sand to 80 grit, others say all the way to 220. I am even finding differing instructions from the Interlux website. Don Casey says sand interior teak to 120, and mahogany to 220 (I have some mahogany as well).

I guess the theory is that with lower grits, the varnish will adhere much better to the wood.

Any opinions?
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Old 03-02-2010, 15:13   #2
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Depends how smooth you want the final finish. I'd recommend 220.
For "real pretty" 320 and raise the grain and resand.
There is no reason to use differing grits on different woods. Smooth is smooth.

If your final sanding is 80 grit, it'll look like s#*t.
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Old 03-02-2010, 15:19   #3
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+1 for 220. (But realize that grit size is fundamentally a religious question, and I don't think we're supposed to discuss such things on this forum.)

I also agree with the "smooth is smooth" sentiment.
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Old 03-02-2010, 15:52   #4
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I agree. If the project has already been sanded down fairly well, then 220 is a good start. If not, give it a swipe with 150 or even 100 in the bad areas and work your way back to 220. Varnish it, and then use 320 wet n dry with water to rough up the intermediate coats before application of the next one. I've been doing my mast this way for the last few years and its a beauty. The first time I did it, I put on 9 coats of Behr varnish. The next time it only took a wet sanding and one coat.


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Old 03-02-2010, 16:06   #5
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Grit

Hi!

I sand bare Teak down with final 180 grit before first coat.
Before next coat i sand with 240 to take the grain rise away.
Next coat lightly with 240 grit and than I do not use any sanding but adhere to min/max overpainting times .
Before the final coat again with 240 grit.

Please be careful so you do not sand through any veenered parts and when you are at it and have put that much time and effort to the projekt do not apply anything less than 6 coats so it will laaaast for a really long good time.

Good ""look"" and enjoy!

Rgds

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Old 03-02-2010, 16:58   #6
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Sanding teak


If you are going to do Teak I highly reccomend a coat of sealer first. Teak is an oily wood and can really take a long time for a coat of varnish to dry if not sealed first. I went with 220 grit as a final sand.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:53   #7
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Unless the wood is teak, switch to a finer grit for the final pass. The oiliness of teak makes it difficult for the varnish to adhere, so finish sanding with 100-grit paper provides a better "tooth" and contributes to a longer-lasting finish. On other woods - mahogany, for example - 150 grit paper will yield a slightly better finish. Use an even finer grit on interior furniture - 120 grit for teak and 220 grit for other woods.
This is from Don Casey's Sailboat Refinishing. From the advice given here I am torn between having a finer "tooth" for the varnish to adhere to, or a smoother surface to begin with. Wont the layers of varnish make whatever grit sanded surface underneath it smooth regardless?
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:40   #8
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Originally Posted by Beersmith View Post
This is from Don Casey's Sailboat Refinishing. From the advice given here I am torn between having a finer "tooth" for the varnish to adhere to, or a smoother surface to begin with. Wont the layers of varnish make whatever grit sanded surface underneath it smooth regardless?
Varnish will not cover defects in the substrate. If you try to coat it that thickly, it'll run and/or not harden for the next coat. In any event the bond between varnish and the wood is not a primarily mechanical one so you don't have to worry about "tooth"- it's not epoxy.

#220.

Teak I'd give a couple of wipes with denatured alcohol to remove the surface oil after sanding. Do a first cut coat (10-20% sprirts) then proceed as usual.
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:09   #9
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What about teak and holly floors?

Hi Fellow Cruisers! We want to tackle refinishing our teak and holly floors in the salon. Our Engine room access doors are also in the salon floor. The current floor is varnished and is looking really worn. .(granted it is a 1986!)

Before We tackle this project, what advice do ya'll have that have already done the floors? What mistakes did you make that you can keep us from making??

And while I'm asking for advice...we have solid teak paneling on the salon walls too. Hubby removed a framed picture that has left a UV shadow on the wall. Any good ideas on how to easily make that square the same as the rest of the wall??

Thanks!!
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:27   #10
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If there are areas on your floor boards in which all of the varnish has been worn off, you will probably need to strip all of the varnish and clean all of the wood to remove the stains. A heat gun, carefully used, or "orange stripper" will also work quickly. I have done both techniques and the stripper is much faster and removed some very dark and nasty stains. It did not affect the glues in the laminate on my wood. Just becareful with the sand paper-I have seen many people sand through the veneer. If you start to see a VVVVVVVV pattern--STOP sanding! You went too far.

I agree with most people 150-220 is a good for final coat before varnishing.

Also, I agree with S&S, thinning the first coat or two is important. I prefer this to using a sealer because you will not have a compatibility problem and one less product to purchase.

As far as the UV stain- I hope someone has a solution to post. I stripped, cleaned and revarnished my last boat inorder to remove the stain.

Good luck with all the brightwork projects
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:36   #11
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I used to recommend Ultimate Sole for your floors - but it appears that they have gone out of business.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:42   #12
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I used to recommend Ultimate Sole for your floors - but it appears that they have gone out of business.
supposedly they'll be back- worth contacting these guys to check:

Integrated Marine Systems - 3409 E. Liberty Ave, 2nd Flr - Vermilion, OH - 216-496-8976
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Old 09-02-2010, 15:53   #13
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We are planning to sand all the varnish off the floor and revarnishing. The color of the floors is all just "blah". In the galley they are still two distinct colors of teak and of holly. I'm hoping to get that look in the salon again with a clear satin finish again.

Thanks for you advice!
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Old 09-02-2010, 15:59   #14
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Thanks for all the advice everyone. I'll be going with 220 as the final sand. The varnish I ordered has arrived and I'll start applying some layers this week. I'm excited to see some finished woodwork!!
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Old 09-02-2010, 16:33   #15
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supposedly they'll be back- worth contacting these guys to check:

Integrated Marine Systems - 3409 E. Liberty Ave, 2nd Flr - Vermilion, OH - 216-496-8976
This is GREAT news. We are waiting for our canine crew to pass on before redoing our sole. We'd hoped to use this product, after seeing results on 2 boats - what is wild is that it is so glossy AND non-skid.
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