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Old 18-01-2021, 01:27   #16
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Re: Is this the difference between Cetol and varnish?

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Originally Posted by Eder View Post
The thing is what type of finish are you looking for...if an amber orange peel is cool then ya Cetal is your huckleberry.


If you want a Steinway piano look then a conventional varnish like Petit Captains is the one.


If you go over 2 years in the Tropics without doing the brightwork then you don't care or have cataracts from not wearing your sunglasses.
I think you'll find Cetol has gone away from the "orange look"
Cetol—An Alternative to Varnish

https://www.sailmagazine.com/diy/cet...ive-to-varnish
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Old 18-01-2021, 08:36   #17
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Re: Is this the difference between Cetol and varnish?

I've used a lot of Cetol over the years. I would say that the finish isn't as shiny as varnish, but is more pliable and durable. I like the orange effect, but if you get too many layers on or put down too thick of layers, it can get muddy looking. Cetol is very easy to apply.
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Old 18-01-2021, 08:45   #18
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Re: Is this the difference between Cetol and varnish?

To get a smooth finish you have to start with enough coats of the clear to equal the depth of the grain. Otherwise you will sand down to the grain before the surface is smooth. Then, once you have a smooth surface, go to higher grit to remove sanding marks. This forms the base. Now apply 2 coats, sand with fine and then apply last coat. Always brush wet edge (dry into wet). Use a fine varnish brush on the last coats. JMHO
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Old 18-01-2021, 08:52   #19
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Re: Is this the difference between Cetol and varnish?

It's about protecting the wood. Everything else is secondary.

Most European sailors don't understand the first sentence while many American yachties consider the second one blasphemy.
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Old 18-01-2021, 09:01   #20
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Re: Is this the difference between Cetol and varnish?

It is a heavier bodied coating, thin it out.
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Old 18-01-2021, 09:08   #21
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Re: Is this the difference between Cetol and varnish?

Cetol dries softer than varnish. Used it for years on a log cabin and was very pleased with it. It advertises that it is micro porous, allowing moisture to escape without causing the coating to peel. I never had any issues with peeling using it. Tried it on wood surfaces on my sailboat. My experience was that it was too soft for use on wear surfaces, deck ect. It would probably do very well on Wall surfaces. Again, it did not lift or peel but abraded quite easily. There is also Cetol formulated for interior surfaces in a clear finish.
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Old 18-01-2021, 09:13   #22
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Re: Is this the difference between Cetol and varnish?

Cetol dries softer than varnish. Used it for years on a log cabin and was very pleased with it. It advertises that it is micro porous, allowing moisture to escape without causing the coating to peel. I never had any issues with peeling using it. Tried it on wood surfaces on my sailboat. My experience was that it was too soft for use on wear surfaces, deck ect. It would probably do very well on Wall surfaces. Again, it did not lift or peel but abraded quite easily. There is also Cetol formulated for interior surfaces in a clear finish. That said, I have also used Sikkens Cetol Deck finish. This may be more suitable for boat decking as it is much more durable.
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Old 18-01-2021, 09:13   #23
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Re: Is this the difference between Cetol and varnish?

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Thank you, Woodland Hills! I was about to post that very question (ie. whether or not a random oscillating sander would work) :-)
Cetol doesn't need sanding between coats, up to 4 weeks.
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Old 18-01-2021, 09:55   #24
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Re: Is this the difference between Cetol and varnish?

First off 'varnish' comes in several flavors. For boats only go with a spar or alkyd version and avoid any polyurethane lacquer or plastic 'varnishes'. Adding more solvent (thinner) will not help it dry faster, the purpose of solvent is to suspend the resins until the solvent dissipates leaving behind the resins, adding more only helps with penetration.



On a boat for surface prep I wouldn't go above 120 grit, while that is too rough for an interior piece, mechanical adhesion and penetration are key to longevity for outdoor woodwork. Rough surface, thinned coats followed by full flow. I do not sand between the first 4 coats and they go on 'hot' while the underlying coat is still tacky. The surface will be rough to the touch but sanding between the subsequent coats (220) will remove this. Going to a finer grit runs the risk of loss of mechanical adhesion between overlying layers, this is not a grand piano, it is a boat (inside work is a different story).



As for the difference between cetol and varnish is that as long as there is surface bonding with varnish it can be touched up or unbonded spots removed and re-done. Cetol will never truly bond to the surface and will have to be fully removed at some point although touch ups are possible for a limited time. The biggest concern with this is it creates a water proof layer over the wood and can trap water/moisture under the cetol and rot the wood underneath.
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Old 18-01-2021, 10:18   #25
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Re: Is this the difference between Cetol and varnish?

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Sanding between coats, whether using Cetol or varnish, will give you the smooth finish you desire. You can sand that gloss and add additional coats, sanding will flatten the surface.
Crocus cloth between coats not sand paper. Callahan's' chilled varnish if it is still made but I've been told putting most varnishes in a bucket of ice works.
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Old 18-01-2021, 11:05   #26
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Re: Is this the difference between Cetol and varnish?

I use varnish for interior and Cetol for exterior—Natural Teak then Gloss. Contrary to the Cetol application instructions, I lightly sand between coats—just a light scuffing, almost.
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Old 18-01-2021, 11:28   #27
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Re: Is this the difference between Cetol and varnish?

If you live in a cold northern place which gets two days a year of sun shine Cetal is probably ok. But if you live south of 35N the easy way is really the hard way. Seal the bare wood with epoxy, varnish it four to six coats for UV, wet sand after three coats, do a maintenance coat every six months, strip to bare wood every 3-4 years and start over.
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Old 18-01-2021, 11:49   #28
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Re: Is this the difference between Cetol and varnish?

The short of it. Varnish is prettier all round but Cetol lasts longer. Decide which is more important. I have used Cetol for many years in a lot of ways and combos. On my old boat that I got with dried out teak I tried all the products people recommended without much success ( longevity). Cetol by itself work pretty good and here in Florida I got about 18 months of good esthetics. Can stretch out to two years with a little more sanding when recovered.

I finally settled on stripping yo bare wood and applying two epoxy “sealer” and leveling coats. Sanded and then two to 3 coats of Cetol. It’s fine for 18 months only light sanding of Cetol before reapplying. Normally I do not sand between coats and can apply 2 to 3 coats per day.
Inside the boat I use varnish or mostly polyurethane.
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Old 18-01-2021, 13:12   #29
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Re: Is this the difference between Cetol and varnish?

I sanded my propeller clean and brush painted it with two coats of Cetol as it works exactly like that supper expensive «*speed prop*» stuff.
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Old 18-01-2021, 13:55   #30
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Re: Is this the difference between Cetol and varnish?

First thing, throw out those foam brushes. I believe the last can of Cetol I bought stated not to apply with foam brush.

I use Cetol on toe rails because varnish will not hold up on those square corners it has. My wheel, cockpit table are both done in Cetol but can rails and hatches are varnished.

FYI, varnish is easy to remove to refinish when needed. Cetol is hell to get off
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