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Old 12-09-2005, 09:32   #1
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Teak Finishing Questions...

Hi Everyone. Sorry for asking so many questions, but this is part of what makes this board great. People ask lots of questions and there are a lot of great answers.

Here goes:

Our Gulfstar has a decent amount of teak, but not so much as say a Hans Christian or something. We are not pleased with the galley's appearance, having teak molding around the counter, and other small teak strips along a bright white plastic laminate that serves as the faces of the cabinetry.

The contrast is great, and the coloring is not... bright white, along side the orangey teak color, but mostly bright white plastic. Looks cheap.

We need to re-do this interior to look more interesting, since we need to attract urban charter customers (in NY and FL... they like style).

Our initial plan was to sand down the teak and re-finish with just a gloss coat of polyurethane... so it would have the color of natural, freshly sanded teak. This didn't work. The teak, upon absorbing the polyurethane, reverted back to the traditional color.

Does anyone know how to finish teak so it comes out the natural, tan color it has when you sand it, but so that it has a very high gloss to protect it?

If not... any ideas on how to make a boat feel less "plasticy" on the interior?

Thanks,
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Old 12-09-2005, 15:16   #2
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You could apply a stain first. But more important apply a layer of sanding sealer before the finish coat and sand lightly to make it smooth. After that the varnsih could be satin or gloss as you like with two or more coats lightly saneded between. Sanding sealer it clearly required as a first coat before any finish for interior wood. Exterior is a whole other deal.

Poly is fine at home but I don't think it does well with moisture and if the dampness penetrates it will turn black and be a real PITA to remove. Poly does not come off easily even with the most potent strippers.

Personally, traditonal seems the better route to the most universally accepted finish. It should look like a boat not your living room - especially for a charter. Plastic does not look that great I agree but i don't see how the teak trim detracts further. Perhaps it's the plastic that is the problem not the teak. You might look into pre made teak louvered doors.
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Old 12-09-2005, 17:55   #3
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Thank you

Paul,

Thank you very much for this response. I am a woodworking illiterate, unfortunately... so this is more helpful that you can imagine. I had never heard of a "sanding sealer" before this post. So the sanding sealer would keep my varnish from deeply penetrating the wood, and affecting the color/tone?

Also, didn't realize poly was not suitable for marine interiors... thank you again for pointing that out. I think a previous owner did use poly, since the test piece I did is the exact same color as the rest of the interior teak. Also, the existing teak has the black marks you mention here, as water damage. I think this might be under a layer of poly already. I will most certainly be trying to get rid of those marks.

Question: Some of the black marks are clearly water damage, by their shape. Others appear as very small strips going with the grain of the wood. Is this normal for teak, or is this just another form of the water damage affecting just one part of the grain?

I think what looks bad with the plastic/teak trim is actually the plastic, as you point out. I came to that realization today actually. I wasn't sure what was off, but it was a lack of fine looking teak cabinetry. Would it be wise to re-face with a teak laminate? That is what I was leaning toward.

Last Question: When you mention the possibility of applying a stain prior to sealing the interior teak, do you mean to lighten it up? Again, after looking at it all day, I am leaning toward traditional now, so I hope to have as much of the natural teak and natural teak color showing through.

Thanks again... really. This was an incredibly insightful post.




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Pblais once whispered in the wind:
You could apply a stain first. But more important apply a layer of sanding sealer before the finish coat and sand lightly to make it smooth. After that the varnsih could be satin or gloss as you like with two or more coats lightly saneded between. Sanding sealer it clearly required as a first coat before any finish for interior wood. Exterior is a whole other deal.

Poly is fine at home but I don't think it does well with moisture and if the dampness penetrates it will turn black and be a real PITA to remove. Poly does not come off easily even with the most potent strippers.

Personally, traditonal seems the better route to the most universally accepted finish. It should look like a boat not your living room - especially for a charter. Plastic does not look that great I agree but i don't see how the teak trim detracts further. Perhaps it's the plastic that is the problem not the teak. You might look into pre made teak louvered doors.
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Old 12-09-2005, 18:52   #4
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white panels with wood trim is called herreshoff style. many quality boats were trimmed out this way. it saved money, but also made the interior much lighter so it felt larger. initially, it would have been painted plywood, but formica is easy to maintain and i would keep it. formica is not plastic, it is compressed paper with paint surface. if there is too much white, add trim in new areas, or on one bulkhead or replace narrow pieces with wider to give a heavier feel to the trim, but don't go backwards. this style is not presumed "cheap".
the black staining should be considered part of the charm of a proven and much travelled vessel - besides, if you start messing around with bleach to try and remove, you will never get the color even. you could use a teak cleaner on the bare wood, but sanding should eliminate the need. sand to a reasonable point to remove what you can of stains, and leave the rest and seal and VARNISH - no poly. there are lots of choices, some specifically made to remain light in color. some folks like gloss, some satin. regardless, build up coats are gloss with last coat satin. satin is gloss with a deglosser added - not as DURABLE so build coats with gloss and if too shiny, last coat satin.... and may god have mercy on your soul. by the way - wood dust is VERY combustable so vent and older varnish is loaded with lead, so mask please. capt. lar
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Old 12-09-2005, 19:17   #5
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The sanding sealer will make the varnish look even. It minimizes absorption so the finish is uniform. Wood is not uniform by it's nature some parts absorb more than others. It also seals the wood, but it is not itself a protective finish. It also allows you to lightly sand it and then have a smoother surface so your varnish will be very smooth and even.

I used it in my old house that had 100 year old oak trim. I removed old black varnich and sealed it then sanded in between then poly satin finish 2 coats. The sanding sealer really made the poly go on very nice and even. I would bet the black you see is from moisture trapped under the poly. You may need to sand it off as the laminate might be damaged with any chemical treatment unless very careful. You need to be carefull not to scratch the laminate. It will look worse if you damage it no matter how nice the wood turn out.

Either Gloss or satin finish is traditional. Mine is all gloss oak panels and teak trim and teak louvered doors. The original owner did 9 coats of varnish. 16 years later it still looks new. I've got pictures in the photo gallery.

You could apply a stain to darken the teak before the sanding sealer. Bleaching and restaining I just don't think this is anything for an amature to deal with. At best it may look fake and the real beuty of teak I think is in as natural a finish as possible. You might invest in some teak strips and do your own testing at home. Then work up a magic formula and procedure to make it possible to do on board.

I would try a few tests. Examine and see if you could remove the teak trim as it would be easier to strip down sand and then reattach. You can buy teak battens that work for trim for not a huge amount of money if you wanted to replace some teak.

Refacing may be a good option but the real trick is bonding the veneer to the old cabinets. You would probably have to take a heavy sander to them then use an expoxy cement to lay down the veneer. This would really require removing the teak trim. It's a tedious job and requires taking everything apart that you can. It would be a lot of work and you wouldn't afford to hire it done.

Maybe just a whole rethinking of the big picture would be easier and cheaper. Examine all the sufaces and decide are they dirty scratched or otherwise damaged? Could the repair or replacement of some pieces bring the total look back (at least as best as it is). Then look to the things you can change easily.

Formica can be repainted with one part epoxy paint. It would not really require all of to be done. Cushion fabric that needs replacemnt can add new color / pattern / texture to the look of the place. In the end you want a nice look so long as you can be realistic with the work required and the expense.

You could easily invest enough money and labor to have it look so good you wouldn't want to allow strangers on the boat! I think people appreciate a nice look but they expect it to be clean and look well kept.
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Old 12-09-2005, 20:21   #6
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i went on yachtworld and checked all the listing of gulfstar hirsch 45's. nothing wrong with that look. plenty of wood. i still like this boat alot. one boat changed the galley formica to a tan color (check out the photos) bringing it closer to the color of the wood. does look better. one trick is to remove trim (you can refinish) and have someone glue and router a new piece of formica over existing. i would say do it, but it is tricky if you don't do it often cause you only get one shot at dropping the formica in place - contact cement can be cruel. plenty of counter guys in the yellow pages. nice looking boat below. must be bigger troubles on your "to do" list. capt. lar
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Old 13-09-2005, 06:15   #7
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Sean,
As you have probably noticed, everyone seems to have a different idea as to how to treat teak ... well ... here's my 2 cents worth ... not to say that others are not right .. just what I do with it.
First of all, whenever possible, I remove old varnish with a scraper rather than sanding it off. This is much easier & faster .. although there is a caveat ... the tool comes with it's own learning curve .. one wrong stroke & you can leave a nice gouge! Buy one, learn how to sharpen it, then practice with it first ... once you get the feel for using it, you'll love it.
Next ... cleaning the old wood, I always use a 2 part "cleaner / brightner" type product. I'm currently using "Snappy Teak Nu" although there are many other brands that are probably as good. The cleaner is oxalic acid and really makes the grey go away quickly. There is of course a downside to this as well, it also strips off any soft fibers, leaving the wood in rougher (though cleaner) shape than before. Others don't like this, but I just see it as a "pre-sanding" step. Since you are working with interior wood, the "cleaner" step may be unesesary. The "brightener" is actually a wood bleach and can really work some wonders. Those black spots you see? They may disappear completely! For a few bucks and a few minutes time, it would certainly give it a try.
As for "epoxy paint" ... as far as I know, there really is no such thing. Take a good look at the label and you will find that it is actually a polyurethane. Even "Easypoxy" ... see the "E" and the "poxy"? Would make you think it's epoxy wouldn't it? Right below that, it tells you that it's a one part polyurethane. A nice product, in spite of the misleading name.
Hope this helps.
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Old 13-09-2005, 07:44   #8
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While we're talking about YachtWorld...

This is the exact boat we have, with identical counter tops, etc...

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi..._id=11384&url=

We didn't like the liberal use of white... I don't know why, but it looks old and cheap to me. I heard those of you that said it is far from it, but still... doesn't sit right with me.

I am most definitely replacing the white sliding doors with black plexiglass ones throughout the boat.

Also, there are other things on the work list, but this is cosmetic work is extremely important, as we need to book this thing to pay for it. It's got to make you say "wow" when you see pictures, or come aboard in order to capture our charter audience.

Anyway, thanks again for the tips on the interior teak. I have some pieces left over from other projects, and will try out the methods suggested on those strips.
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Old 13-09-2005, 08:39   #9
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beauty is in the eye.... i think she looks great. i have owned many power boats with black plexi - i would not do it. one easy way to change would be to reface the sliding doors with either another surface laminate color, or a solid wood louvre or corian type product. newer boats went to basket weave - cheaper than louvre. all these options would improve ventilation as well. i would go shopping on line for replacement doors. find something a little larger and mill down to fit. i know you are near boston so i could hook you up with a cabinet guy that also boats on the cape, but custom work is $. smart idea to focus on the doors, since they can be swapped out without much work. capt. lar
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Old 14-09-2005, 05:41   #10
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Hmm.... good idea!

Good ideas, Lar!

I think wood would step things up a notch in both a modern and timeless way. I'll post later on (with pictures) showing how things come out.

Thanks for the input, everyone.


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capt lar once whispered in the wind:
beauty is in the eye.... i think she looks great. i have owned many power boats with black plexi - i would not do it. one easy way to change would be to reface the sliding doors with either another surface laminate color, or a solid wood louvre or corian type product. newer boats went to basket weave - cheaper than louvre. all these options would improve ventilation as well. i would go shopping on line for replacement doors. find something a little larger and mill down to fit. i know you are near boston so i could hook you up with a cabinet guy that also boats on the cape, but custom work is $. smart idea to focus on the doors, since they can be swapped out without much work. capt. lar
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Old 15-09-2005, 00:02   #11
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I'm not sure what you mean by "reverting back to it's traditional color", I assume you mean the rather dark look of varnish. Of the various things that I have tried, I find that all oil based finishes seem to do that. On interior teak, I prefer using just Watco oil - it comes in various colors and "natural". just using oil means you'll have to wipe it down with more oil 2-3 times a year, but oile gives it a nice warm feel that no other finish does. I wanted my floor to retain the light look of just-sanded teak, so I used one of the realtively new water-based polyurethane finishes, and it didn't change the color at all.
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Old 15-09-2005, 13:31   #12
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sabre is a high quality boat that has used oil finish instead of varnish (to save money). its personal taste, but nothing comes close to varnish. oil also leaves the wood open to absorbing dirt. varnish seals.
as others have mentioned, when we have a problem with urethanes, moisture is usually the cause. on a boat, moisture should be assumed although i have read many posts on this site where owners boast about how "dry" their boat is. i assume this means a.c. or dehumidifier plugged in at a dock.
on shore, no high quality hardwood floor finisher will use water base. it is lighter, but it will not hold up or protect for long. perhaps on a relatively small cabin sole, this need to refinish more often is not a big deal. the same goes for paint on shore - latex as a sacrificial top coat is fine, but primer is still oil. latex (water) does not bond to the wood as well. this is one of those situations where the epa is forcing change for valid environmental reasons, but the replacement products are not yet up to the task. they are, however, definitely improving.
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Old 03-06-2008, 12:40   #13
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Forget the hi gloss- Its then a "House of mirrors"!Use Interluxe 60 for a rubbed effect dull glow which ia also very easy to repair /maintain
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