Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 16-02-2013, 13:47   #1
Registered User
 
Safari38LH's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Marion, Ma
Boat: Little Harbor 38
Posts: 259
Varnishing Below

I have a Little Harbor 38 and would like to refinish the interior. I would like to get everything back down to bare wood first to get rid of the orange aging. What is the best way to strip off all of the old varnish on the bulkheads which are wood laminate? Chemical? Heat gun?
__________________

__________________
Safari38LH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2013, 14:06   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Wherever the wind takes me
Boat: Bristol 41.1
Posts: 809
Re: Varnishing below

Removing the existing finish would be a monumental, and potentially disastrous proposition. And is almost certainly not necessary.

Depending on the age of your boat, as well as the materials selected by the builder, you may find that the teak veneer is little more than paper thin. This material can take only minor sanding - 220 or 320 grit - to remove the sheen and prepare the surface for the new finish, not major sanding.

Experiment with a small section using just a scuffing and your choice of varnish. I think that you will be pleased with the results.

Also, though slight, all varnishes impart some color to the surface, some more than others. My sense is that the traditional varnishes (that being non-polyurethane) have a more pleasing amber color.

If what you are dealing with is sun bleaching of the surfaces, that is a different issue and I would suggest reading "The Art of Brightwork" or some other manual for guidance as this will become more involved.
__________________

__________________
redsky49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2013, 14:06   #3
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
Re: Varnishing Below

I would be careful with a wood laminate and a heat gun. I have used stripper on solid teak and that worked out well except for the extremely nasty mess it creates. The safest although most labor intensive might be sanding.

Definitely experiment.
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2013, 14:25   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: 5 Mile River
Boat: Bristol 41.1 Keep on Dancin'
Posts: 536
Re: Varnishing Below

I refinished the interior cabin side on our Bristol when I installed new ports. Did it early spring when using two work lights on stands would get the temps up to the comfortable level. I used a heat gun to strip the varnish. Like any other tool, you need to develop the feel for it. Worked great, and where there was discoloration, Oxolic acid did a nice job of bleaching. Being an older boat, I think the veneer is thicker than more recent boats. Any stripping I do is with a heat gun, unless it is something that is either solid, or is metal that I can soak. When I do chemically strip something, I use Zip_Strip, or what ever has the worst chemicals available. They do work the best, but I wouldn't use them down below for health reasons.
__________________
keepondancin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2013, 15:03   #5
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
Re: Varnishing Below

Bleaches are an alkalai. Acids are what returns wood to its original brown color. You don't want to bleach wood unless you want it to look oxidized and grey.
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2013, 15:28   #6
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: north carolina
Boat: command yachtsdouglas32
Posts: 3,113
Re: Varnishing Below

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
I would be careful with a wood laminate and a heat gun. I have used stripper on solid teak and that worked out well except for the extremely nasty mess it creates. The safest although most labor intensive might be sanding.

Definitely experiment.
Was reading something .somewhere on CF about the adverse affects of some woods ,said that messing with teak could cause your "scrotum to swell" ...I am not making this up! Becareful if you have one of these..All others, have at it..
__________________
tropicalescape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2013, 09:37   #7
Registered User
 
S/V Alchemy's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto
Boat: Custom 41' Steel Pilothouse Cutter
Posts: 4,576
Re: Varnishing Below

I would suggest that in the absence of a very precise form of OCD, you will never gain the satisfaction you seek from the dozens of hours this task will take to do properly.

And once you start on a patch, you are more or less committed.

I'm guessing somebody put Cetol on the interior for some reason?

If not, try Starbrite Teak Cleaner, followed by Brightener, followed by oil rubbed in once a season. I personally like to use a little orange oil atop that, but that's primarily for the scent.

Life's too short already. Don't let teak fussing cut into your sailing.
__________________
Can't sleep? Read www.alchemy2009.blogspot.com for fast relief. Can't read? Avoid www.volumesofsalt.blogspot.com, because it's just personal reviews of sea books.
S/V Alchemy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2013, 11:25   #8
Registered User
 
Safari38LH's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Marion, Ma
Boat: Little Harbor 38
Posts: 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by redsky49 View Post
Removing the existing finish would be a monumental, and potentially disastrous proposition. And is almost certainly not necessary.

Depending on the age of your boat, as well as the materials selected by the builder, you may find that the teak veneer is little more than paper thin. This material can take only minor sanding - 220 or 320 grit - to remove the sheen and prepare the surface for the new finish, not major sanding.

Experiment with a small section using just a scuffing and your choice of varnish. I think that you will be pleased with the results.

Also, though slight, all varnishes impart some color to the surface, some more than others. My sense is that the traditional varnishes (that being non-polyurethane) have a more pleasing amber color.

If what you are dealing with is sun bleaching of the surfaces, that is a different issue and I would suggest reading "The Art of Brightwork" or some other manual for guidance as this will become more involved.
Red sky, the boat was built in 1982 so my feeling is that the varnish has aged and changed color. I say this because the areas that are behind molding are much whiter than the exposed areas which are orangish. Will lightly sanding be enough to restore the original color back?
__________________
Safari38LH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2013, 11:30   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC
Boat: Alberg 30
Posts: 344
Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
I would be careful with a wood laminate and a heat gun. I have used stripper on solid teak and that worked out well except for the extremely nasty mess it creates. The safest although most labor intensive might be sanding.

Definitely experiment.
+1.

Random orbital sander and patience helps.

I didn't get a perfect result, but I learned a lot, and people mention how nice the interior looks. Cost 60$ in varnish, and a weeks labour.
__________________
jgbrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2013, 11:37   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,359
Re: Varnishing Below

The problem with stripping is, unless you get it all, (and some coloration will be ebedded in the grain deeper than other places) you will end up with blotchy places, darker and lighter. If it just needs refinishing I would avoid stripping unless you already have bare spots.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-02-2013, 16:03   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Wherever the wind takes me
Boat: Bristol 41.1
Posts: 809
Re: Varnishing Below

Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari38LH View Post
Red sky, the boat was built in 1982 so my feeling is that the varnish has aged and changed color. I say this because the areas that are behind molding are much whiter than the exposed areas which are orangish. Will lightly sanding be enough to restore the original color back?
For several years I had a custom furniture finishing and repair business. One of the things I saw occasionally in repair and/or refinish jobs was that finishes did indeed darken over time.

In trying to match a repair, the first thing I would do was to clean the old finish of dirt, wax and polish, etc. Many times this was a pretty remarkable change of color. Only then would I attempt to match a finish. You can't try to match dirt!

My guess is that you have one of the Taiwanese boats - correct? I am not sure what they used for the factory finish, but it was likely prior to the ployurethane finishes. First I would determine what you have existing on the teak. Original finish? Multiple coats of different products?

The good thing in your boat is that you likely have thicker veneers that will stand up to some abuse. Older boats have some advantages!

That being the case, I wouldn't hesitate to experiment, starting with the easiest approach first. Simply scuff gently (220 grit) with the grain and apply a slightly thinned (10%) varnish, pressing firmly into the wood with the brush. Later coats you can try "flowing" the varnish but start with a somewhat stiff bristle brush.

Always wipe the surface with mineral spirits, tack rag, etc. Never varnish in high humidity or with fans running.... You get the picture.

If you don't like the result, sand it off.

Regarding heat guns, I would never personally use one indoors, and would certainly practice a bit before using one on the exterior teak. I have a Milwaukee heat gun the has worked well. You need over 1000 degrees (I think mine is 1200?) for it to be efficient.

The aging/bleaching of the surfaces can be a bear where you have pictures, etc. This requires some advanced techniques, depending on the particular circumstance, and I am reluctant to stick my neck out over this.

Good luck with your project
__________________
redsky49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2013, 11:51   #12
Registered User
 
Safari38LH's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Marion, Ma
Boat: Little Harbor 38
Posts: 259
Thanks to everyone who participated in this thread and sorry for the long delay in response but wanted to try something and see how it came out.

I pulled the top of the chart table into my shop to experiment. Using Citri Strip (which is a paint/varnish remover) three times left me with a perfectly clean surface. I then bleached the surface a few times with Oxalic acid to brighten it. After a light sanding it looked great. Next seven coats ZSpar Flagship and then two coats ZSpar Captains satin just on the flat surface, not on the retaining rail, and its done. It looks great and I am sold on using the stripper, much easier than scraping and it did not damage the laminate or its glue.

Next year I will do this to large area in the boat all at once using a wet vac to keep the mess under control. Yes it is messy, but so much faster than scrapping.
__________________
Safari38LH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2013, 15:50   #13
Marine Service Provider
 
Azul's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Beaufort, NC
Boat: 1968 Cal 34, 1984 Catalina 22, 1987 Sanibel 18, 1968 Tanzer 16, 1989 BW Outrage 19, BW SS 15
Posts: 525
Images: 2
Re: Varnishing Below

I have a 1968 Cal 34 and decided I wanted the interior mahogany veneer to look perfect instead of just "ok." Sanding was an incredible chore, and I found that a heat gun was incredibly easier, and safer once I got the hang of it, safer because it removes less material and doesn't round off edges. The heat gun produces 1200 degrees, you can hold it pretty close to the varnish while holding a putty knife in position to scrape- when the varnish softens you scrape a nice 6 inch strip off. Don't heat up the knife too much or you will leave a little burn mark that needs to be sanded off and if you aren't careful you can put a large superficial burn on the wood which again sands off easily. Watch out for corners, easy to burn the wood there. After the heat gun, sand with a 1/4 sheet power sander (easy to put swirls in the wood with an orbital) or by hand with 100/180/220 as needed.

Varnishing will double the total job over using oil. You can always try oil then change over to varnish if desired, there is oil in varnish anyway. Epiphanes seems to be the preferred varnish by many. On two different samples of scrap veneer from two different boats I experimented with an orbital sander with 60 grit, it took a fair amount of effort to go through the veneer which surprised me.
__________________
Azul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2013, 16:50   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Lake Michigan
Posts: 86
Re: Varnishing Below

I've found a Speed Heater from EcoStrip works great for removing old paint from windows and trim in a house. Haven't had occasion to use it on a boat yet, but its really a great tool for the job. Historic Home restorers swear by them. Apparently it doesn't raise the grain like some chemical methods can.
__________________

__________________
Max Sail is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Spot of Varnishing Required Pete7 Construction, Maintenance & Refit 1 27-10-2012 06:13



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 21:45.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.