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Old 21-01-2010, 10:02   #1
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Refinishing Interior Teak - Hand-Rubbed Poly Good?

I am in the process of refinishing the interior teak on my Bayfield 36. There is a lot of interior wood which has darkened over the years. I have removed all of the cabinet doors and brought them inside to refinish where it is comfortable. I am not certain what finish was used by the manufacturer. It is not glossy so it's not a spar varnish. I think it must be some type of hard finish as it is a bit reluctant to part from the wood. I am using a wood refinisher which is made to loosen up varnishes using steel wool in circular motions. This seems to work as the refinisher does darken and the steel wool gets dirty. I then use a palm sander to sand the rails and styles of the doors as well as the interior panels (it is solid wood, not a vaneer) and a multi-tool with a triangular shaped sanding head in the spots the palm sander won't reach. I use 80 grit sandpaper and plan to go back over the wood with 220 grit for a smoother finish.

My questions are:

1) Is there an easier method to remove the old finish?
2) What is the best finish to use given the following criteria:
a) It must last a long time. I'm not doing this again.
b) The finish should be lighter and brighter than the dark finish that was present when the boat was made (1987).
c) We would like a semi gloss or gloss finish.
3) I have tried applying 1 coat of Minwax's handrubbed gloss polyurethane to see what it looks like. I think I need to do at least 1 more coat to really get a feeling because it isn't very glossy and while the wood looks brighter than before, it isn't appreciably lighter than the old finish. Any ideas?

Thanks for your comments.
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Old 23-01-2010, 02:07   #2
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My interior teak was was easy to remove using a heat gun and scraping.
I worked very small sections, like the size of a mans wallet...I needed to scrape it immediately after heating.
After that a bit of light sanding then varnish was re-applied.
It did lighten up a you said, but not a lot.
I havenít used the PU you tried. It does seem the shinier you get it the brighter it will seem.
Are you trying to just brighten the wood, or is the objective to lighten up the interior?
Have you got any pictures of the interior?
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Old 23-01-2010, 06:19   #3
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You caught me in the middle of refinishing my companionway stairs (Teak). I cannot say what is the best way to remove old finish, however for refinishing I think I am going to go with Cetol's Marine finish. It is a satin finish which is clear. Cetol also has semi-gloss and high gloss finishes available. Good luck on achieveing that finish you are looking for.
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Old 23-01-2010, 07:00   #4
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The members just had a a fairly robust discussion of this very topic. The process of chemically stripping, then steel wool and sandpaper "I feel" is one of the best ways to go. Of course the type of brand stripper you use makes a difference, there are mild environmentally friendly ones, all the way up to commercial products, (The ones that the pro's use). Regarding the color of the wood, if it is truly teak you are dealing with it will generally finish in a warm waulnut tone. If you really want to lightnen the wood prior to finishing a two part teak cleaner will accomplish this. The product I have used is called "Snappy New Teak".
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Old 23-01-2010, 07:13   #5
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The recipe for a professional look.

1. Use a commercial stripper and scraper.
2. 3m pad and sand.
3. Clean with mineral spirits.
4. Vacuum clean the wood. (Place the shop vac outside the boat to prevent dust)
5. Apply 3 coats of West Epoxy with 207 special clear hardener.
6. Sand with 320.
7. Apply 2 or three coats of Epifanes Rubbed Effect Varnish.
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Old 23-01-2010, 08:02   #6
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I varnished the teak in my boat in 1988. I sanded all finishes with 120-220 grit. I used Captain's Varnish and applied several coats and sanded between them. Today, more than 20 years later, I'm in the midst of the refit from hell, but chuckle when I look around the interior of the boat and see that most of the varnish remains in excellent condition. Surfaces that aren't in excellent condition have been scratched by me during the refit and a small water leak caused lifting of the varnish in one location.

There has been some natural darkening of the the finish and some places - behind a mirror, for example - are much lighter having been protected from UV light.

When I finish the heavy lifting, if I have the energy left, I'll sand and varnish again using 2015 Captian's Flagship Varnish, because it has a higher content of UV protection than 1015 Captain's Varnish. Both are glossy. They are alkyd-based products with no polyurethane (which has become a popular ingredient in some varnishes).

Although these varnishes are formulated for exterior use I chose them in lieu of "interior" varnishes. I believe that hatches, windows and doors allow for lots of UV exposure, to say nothing of wet foulies, galley cleaning agents, food and beverage spills, shower and head moisture, etc., which all conspire to wear the finish. I also put lots of elbow grease into the original project, because I never wanted to redo the job. All things considered, I believe I met that goal.

Good luck on your project!

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Old 23-01-2010, 16:54   #7
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Thank you very much for the responses. So far the old finish is comming off fairly easily and I can only hope that I do as nice of a job as Beersmith has done on his (see teak! Regarding James' question; I am trying to lighten up the teak as well as make it brighter. I agree that glossy finishes appear brighter and lighter so my interior finish will be glossy. I have not made up my mind about the finish yet; about using captain's varnish vs polyurethane. I am concerned that the uv inhibiters in varnish will darken the finish negating the effect I am going for. Regarding the request for interior pictures, I first have to figure out how to upload the pictures I have... I think I have. These pictures are not great but need to do until I take some better ones.

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