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Old 09-01-2007, 05:59   #1
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teak question

the teak on my boat is almost 20 years old and was not varnished but it was oiled. I am in the process of cleaning it up a bit with the intention of eventually varnishing it. my question: does teak turn darker with age? i have taken a cloth with acetone and wiped it over the wood .. picking up the old oil and dirt .. then i sand the surface with 180 or 220 grit paper. it looks much better but some of the wood remains quite dark and not the golden color that i expected.
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:14   #2
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Teak looks good when it's weathered and doesnt deteriorate and is no maintenance.

Varnished teak will require maintenance.

If it has been oiled i'd be thinking it wont like varnish much, could be wrong.

Surely there is an acid based cleaner for it.

Dave
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:54   #3
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Gonesail:

Teak varies tremendously in color. Some will be darker, some will be lighter. Could you drop a few pictures in this thread so I can understand the exact shades you are talking about?

Last year, I removed all of the old, nasty varnish from my teak which was also 20 yrs old and very dark looking. Once I stripped the varnish, the teak gleamed like new. I then oiled mine (with oil that is colorless) to let the teak's natural color show through. Here are a couple photos. Notice the widely varying colors of my teak. The teak on the bulkhead with the doors is a golden color, while the other teak is not. In my case, it's from 20 years of sunshine bleaching out the more "golden" colored teak. The darker stuff is the natural color in my case.

Also, a more striking example would be to note the handle and framework around the companionway in the galley photo. See what a very different and "golden" color it is compared to the rest of the galley's teak. Again, this is due to sunlight bleaching it. All teak on this boat was stripped of the old varnish, sanded smooth and then oiled.

Teak is also a very coarse and grainy wood. There are various spots that are almost black and others that are very dark brown. You won't be able to sand these away, as they are part of the wood. Embrace the natural character of the wood and don't expect an even looking (modern, plasticy) feeling. It is a very diverse wood. I say this from experience. We tried to make it look "modern" and failed. It was a big mistake. We had to go back and re-finish the traditional way for it to look right.
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Old 09-01-2007, 14:16   #4
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Teak

Teak is a natually oily timber. The oily property of the timber is one of the reasons it is so well suited to use on boats etc, as it is the feature that aids in its resistance to the elements.

Sika Products make a range of products specifically for teak decking that include a cleaner and oil. Both are compatible with their deck caulking.

I have teak decking in my cockpit, and find that a light sand and re-oil brings the colour back to the timber. Some people however like the silver grey colour of the weathered boards.

Good luck

Steve
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Old 09-01-2007, 14:34   #5
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thanks for the replies. i have purchased some teak brightener solution to try out. so far the light sanding has been done on solid boards .. easy enough .. but I know to be careful with plywood veneer (or you will sand thru the teak layer).

maybe i can post some pictures but really it looks to be the color of the teak in Sean's pictures. kind of a reddish brown in some areas and I was hoping that I could return it to more of a lighter gold color. anyway i will find out more tonight.

regards,
Alan
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Old 09-01-2007, 14:56   #6
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Alan, if it looks like mine, that's what natural teak looks like. In those pictures, it is teak sanded to bare wood, then coated with clear oil (no pigments at all). I think you'll find that it won't "return" to a lighter gold color since it never was. It was a leap for my imagination too.

I thought it would be lighter, but it just wasn't. The wood will fool you just after sanding (that is the lightest it can be without serious bleaching). Anything you add to it will darken it from the color it was when bare, except paints/stains that put a coat over and hide the teak's natural color. I struggled with this like crazy trying to turn my teak lighter. In the end, the teak won.

Here is another photo where you can see the color of the teak after I bleached it and added a pigmented stain to try and lighten it. It worked, but it just wasn't right. We went natural after this and sanded a 2nd time. OUCH!
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Old 20-09-2007, 08:09   #7
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I am here with the same issue as Alan. I have tried a couple of things with the teak onboard, but am still experimenting. When you decide you don't like the finished product, do you wipe it down with anything before going at it with the sander again? Wouldn't the oil gum up the grit pretty quickly?

Not to get off topic, but how about dark, clean teak. Has anyone tried Amazon's Blend 55?
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Old 20-09-2007, 09:03   #8
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The PO scuffed and beat up my teak walls pretty bad in areas. I am going to follow the example of Mr.Herrshoff (SP). Paint the walls white or off white with teak trim. It should lighten up the cabin and be easier to maintain.
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