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Old 26-07-2015, 23:53   #1
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To coat or not to coat

Hi All. I am in the process of purchasing my "big" boat, a Binks Farr 51 Cruiser.

It has a magnificent Huon Pine interior that I want to freshen up. Huon Pine, is a very slow growing and quite rare timber from Tasmania that fetches some stiff prices. It is ideal for boat building due to being virtually rot proof with a high oil content similar to teak. Unlike teak, however, it is a wood with plenty of character with a curvy grain containing lots of coloration and features.

It looks like it hasn't been cared for much over the years with plenty of areas where the varnish has scratched off exposing the wood and I would like to restore it. The manual that came with the boat mentions Estapol single pot Polyurethane satin as a suitable product for repairing scuffs, but I have to admit, I am more partial to high gloss finishes.

I believe the process would be to remove the existing varnish with a heat gun and then do a sand/coat/repeat over and over with a 2 pack varnish until the shine is to my liking. But am I going to regret this? What kind of upkeep do those high gloss finishes require?

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Old 27-07-2015, 00:53   #2
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Re: To coat or not to coat

Epiphanies says to put 4 coats of gloss varnish on before finish coats of satin finish. They seem to think the gloss is more robust than satin finish. Your big issue is going to be getting the old varnish off though you may not need to do that if you can blend in satin varnish to the old warn areas. If you can, you might get by with as little as two coats of the gloss over the existing finish.

If you go the removal route be sure that the Huon Pine is not just a thin veneer that you can accidentally sand through. Sure is a pretty wood.
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Old 27-07-2015, 01:02   #3
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Re: To coat or not to coat

Just got a call from the Wattyl (the Estapol manufacturer) tech support.

Said best way to deal with this if to lightly sand the scuffs and scratches to feather out the edges. The one cost of the satin followed by 3 coats of the gloss. He said that will give a very nice finish.

I asked what it would take to get a "piano" gloss finish, and he said for that, I would need to sand back to bare wood and the coat with their 2 pack gloss product instead...

Now I guess I just have to see how motivated I really am.
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Old 27-07-2015, 03:21   #4
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Re: To coat or not to coat

Quote:
Originally Posted by pwillems View Post
Just got a call from the Wattyl (the Estapol manufacturer) tech support.

Said best way to deal with this if to lightly sand the scuffs and scratches to feather out the edges. The one cost of the satin followed by 3 coats of the gloss. He said that will give a very nice finish.

I asked what it would take to get a "piano" gloss finish, and he said for that, I would need to sand back to bare wood and the coat with their 2 pack gloss product instead...

Now I guess I just have to see how motivated I really am.
Personally I think you'd be mad to go for "piano" gloss. It would scratch up in minutes and drive you crazy, but it's even more mad to burn off all that existing varnish for a subtle aesthetic difference… spend your time on something else. I am sure there will be lots. If you are desperate to get it redone, then sail up to SE Asia and get the Thai to do it for you. But if me, I'd leave well alone, after a bit of titivation as per their advice.
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Old 27-07-2015, 03:41   #5
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Re: To coat or not to coat

Hmm... is it solid Huon Pine or a veneer. I haven't seen huon pine used as a veneer but of course that doesn't mean it hasn't .

I also have to say the photo you posted doesn't look like huon pine but that is probably saying more about the photo rather than the timber.

If it solid, you have more options as it is possible to sand it a little - keep the dust, even it is useful as bug deterrent. I would be cautious about sanding a huon pine veneer.

It does take a satin oil finish beautifully, IMO a lot nicer than a high gloss, especially with huon pine.

But do get onto the huon pine experts at The Wooden Boat Centre in Franklin, Tasmania. These guys really know this timber.
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Old 27-07-2015, 09:15   #6
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Re: To coat or not to coat

Is that bubbling in the photo?
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Old 27-07-2015, 09:27   #7
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Re: To coat or not to coat

I would not risk burning the wood with a heat gun.

My inclination would be to lightly sand and coat over the existing finish.
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Old 27-07-2015, 09:42   #8
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Re: To coat or not to coat

Hi, if the manual calls for single component paint, the reason might be that single component was used when the boat was built.
Generally one says single on two component works,but not the other way around.

Still, single component can usually be taken of with paint stripper chemicals quite easily.

Try it in a hidden corner.

You might save a lot of risky sanding doing that.

Good luck!

Do one cabin at a time, it will be a lot of work.
If some areas are to your liking, I recommend not touching them.
Still, keep in mind that, once you start sanding the wood will loose some color which it gained over time due to UV rays.

Definitely wear a proper full blown face mask with the correct filter against chemical fumes and other protective gear.

Good luck,

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Old 27-07-2015, 09:57   #9
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Re: To coat or not to coat

Personally I would avoid trying to remove all that old poly. You could end up with a mess. Is it possible to spot repair and then just recoat?
Bottom line is it depends on how fastidious you are about details and how good a finish person you are. Obviously, some people with good knowledge and technique could strip and get it done nicely.
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Old 27-07-2015, 10:24   #10
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Re: To coat or not to coat

An old trick when sanding veneer is to mark the area to be sanded with a few light lines from an ordinary graphite pencil.

When the pencil lines disappear, STOP SANDING.
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Old 27-07-2015, 12:44   #11
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Re: To coat or not to coat

I use OIL finish for all my furniture and INTERIOR wood. Easy Just Google Oil Finish using Boiled Linseed oil and Turpentine. You NEVER scrape, heat gun etc. Sand a little and recoat with oil again whenever.
My home furniture I have NEVER recoated. Boat stuff OUTSIDE( yes I use it on the small amount of wood I have on the exterior of my steel boat) I recoat yearly and sand on occasion. Just requires a rub down with fresh oil/turp mixture. Easy Peasy!!!!!!! Russ
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Old 27-07-2015, 14:57   #12
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Re: To coat or not to coat

Sand a little once in a while can be a disaster on veneered plywood.
Still if it's solid wood the oil thing can be good.
Unless you ever want to varnish later for whatever reason...
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Old 27-07-2015, 15:49   #13
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Re: To coat or not to coat

I would argue with the man from estapol.
What value is there in putting a gloss over a base coat of satin?
First the chemistry bit - folk talk of oils, 1 pot and 2 pot etc. Essentially, oil needs to go on bare wood. Not wood with most of the varnish removed, but all of the varnish. So it is difficult to consider on the panelling. A lot of prep work, but very easy to maintain afterwards. Yes, you can oil over patchy areas and it looks good for an hour or so, then you see the differences of absorption into the surface.
Most important, 2 pot must also go on bare wood. Not over oil, varnish or 1 pot. It will bubble and lift the base coat under due to the surface grabbing the underlying layer as it dries. Conversely, 1 pot or traditional goes over 2 pot with no problems, provided you sand the gloss to a dull finish first.
Trad varnish will also cover an oil finish.
So to cover an existing 1 pot poly, you can use 1 pot poly or trad varnish. 1 pot is tougher, but needs better(smoother) finish before application.

Gloss shows imperfections better than a satin, also causes glare from sun or globes, so a lot of us prefer satin internally.

Most important of all, Gloss is the UV protection. To all intents and purposes, satin has little UV protection, so will go white and lift when exposed to the sun, as around hatches and window trims etc. Gloss is best for these areas, which is one reason for its use externally, or just accept that these areas need re-treatment regularly.

So it is horses for courses, what exposure, what the base coat is and how much care do you want to take to remove all traces of previous coatings.

Roger
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Old 27-07-2015, 15:52   #14
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Re: To coat or not to coat

HI I have ayoung friend of 24 here in Cape Town and he refurbishes the interiors of Rolls Royces and other top of the line cars specializing in the wood .His work is nationally recognized for the extraordinary quality .I suggest you contact him on sgvmanuel@gmail.com .I am sure he will give you the best advice he can.His name is Shelton Manuel.He went for his first sail on the ocean in Table Bay recently on a 38 ft cat and the main halyard got stuck at the top of the mast.Well lo and behold Shelton was the hero of the day and was hoisted to the top of the mast where he managed to free the offending line.I intend encouraging him further in sailing as he sure has the spunk for it!!!Fist day on the water. I was amazed.I do not like heights at all.
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Old 28-07-2015, 03:37   #15
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Re: To coat or not to coat

Please remember, this timber is Huon Pine and as such, it bears little resemblance to most other timbers. The OP should (like really should) get expert advice from the handful of folk who know the peculiarities of huon pine.

It is relatively soft, very very dense and has a very unique oil, feel and especially smell. I love the smell and for that reason alone, I would not seal it at all. Of course YMMV.

It is one of few timbers that can be succesfully end planned.
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