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High Cotton 25-12-2007 22:39

My CAPRAIL was painted by the previous owner with WHITE Polyurethane (one part).
I began stripping this paint off but is just too "labor-intensive" and everything is "anchored" onto this rail. It looks very clean being white, but I'd really like to have the "teak look".

I'm looking for suggestions to overcoat this WHITE paint to something that would look like varnished teak without stripping down to bare wood.

Would CETOL adhere to this one part paint? If not, what?
Anyone? Anyone?? Thanks! :smiling:

Southern Star 26-12-2007 07:51

High Cotton, I can't imagine Cetol adhering to polyurethane as it is not polyurethane itself. Further, the finish wouldn't look like teak as it is not completely opaque (and of course, there would be no wood grain).

There used to be some wood-grain type finishes available for interior use over paint. I can't imagine that they would hold up in the marine environment, especially in an area as subject to chafe and wear as the caprail. Actually, I am suprised that the polyurethane is adhering that well since teak, due to the oil content, is notoriously bad for this.

Assuming that the caprail is a relatively flat, horizontol surface, have you tried a combination of a chemical stripper (perhaps overwrapped with plastic) and/or belt sanding?


delmarrey 26-12-2007 08:07

On an old power boat I use to paint the Mahogany cap rail a teak brown color with a Z-spar paint. From the end of the dock it looked just like wood.

Pettit Marine Paints - Browse Catalog

But if it's Teak and your in a hot climite the paint is going to blister no matter what paint you use. Even varnishes have trouble on Teak in hot climites.

Pblais 26-12-2007 08:18


I'm looking for suggestions to overcoat this WHITE paint to something that would look like varnished teak without stripping down to bare wood.
Cetol won't stick to paint (well enough to last). Looking white at least is what it is. A white rail painted to look like teak won't look at all like teak. As it ages it Will end up looking less like teak and more like a terrible paint job. One part poly paint won't last that long in any situation. It's coming off sooner or later taking what ever you put on it with it.

So what have you tried to remove the paint? There are easier ways that work. Imagine removing it after you apply something else on top of it. A round of heat gun and a scraper might be worthwhile before chemical strippers. It's one of those things where a little spilled stripper might make you more problems to fix. I would save that as a last resort.

A tool I use is a triangular blade about 1.5 inches on a side sharpened on all three sides attached to a short handle mounted at a right angle. Triangular scrapers allow you to get into tiny corners and apply a fair amount of force using a sharp tool. The paint comes off! Painters use these for detail moldings they are stripping. If you sharpen the blade you can work it with a heat gun and get real progress. You just control the force you put on the blade. The heat softens the paint. It works faster and easier than a putty knife where your wrist is bent and takes a lot of torture. Once you get it most of the way light sanding can finish the rest.

This really is not an easy job and there isn't a quick way out of this. Anything applied eventually has to come off. Once you get back to wood you can think about how easy the next product will come off.

Moonchaser2304 26-12-2007 12:28

High the Polyurethane so well adhered that a scraper just slides over the top of it? Urethane just should not hold up on teak so at worst case a good scraper (like Paul said) should at least chip it off in fish-scale size flying pieces, or streaks, as long as you don't go against the grain where the wood grain curves to the surface, then you may bring up slivers of teak if you are "really" pushing the scraper too hard so try going both directions from time to time.

If the white IS so welll bonded it wont chip off, and you are bound to cover the white, you'd still have to sand to completely break the glaze on all surfaces and feather out any missing urethane (which can sand the teak lower than the urethane...also not good looking) then you'd have to prime with a very high quality primer (see Sherwinn Williams or someone like Interlux) then apply something like an epoxy paint? (interlux?)

OR...fahgetabout it! and go sailing and let it start removing itself from wear over a year or two

PS: I just went out and looked at my leftover can of Armada and it says to remove all previous coatings down to the bare wood

High Cotton 26-12-2007 14:30

Gents, I appreciate the input.
The painted surface on the caprail looks incredibly smooth and shiney..... this boat has been sailing in the Carribean for 7 years and the last major maintenance was done (according to records) in 2000.... and I can't axe the owner as he's in the "big island in the sky"!
I find it amazing that this paint is sticking to the teak so well, no chips, no peeling, doesn't look like it's even "thinking" of failing.
The reason I'm shying away from completely stripping is because there is a ton of hardware on the caprail, what a nightmare........that's the reason it may be easier just to maintain some sort of new surface.
My brother and I tried a heat gun and this stuff is extremely difficult to remove.....
it currently looks allright painted white, especially since all the remaining teak has a number of coats of Z-SPAR FLAGSHIP VARNISH and looks beautiful...........
I think maybe I'll just go sailing!

oldsalt_1942 26-12-2007 17:16

Personally, and speaking from the perspective of close to 30 years of professionally running and maintaining boats other than my own, I THINK YOU'RE NUTS!!! If someone isn't paying me I don't want to do ANY varnishing. When I bought a 26' sailboat of my own years ago I calculated that it would cost me a couple of working weeks a year to maintain the varnish work on the boat. I don't know about you, but there are lots of things I'd rather do with those two weeks than sanding and varnishing.

On the other hand I also knew that sooner or later I'd be selling the boat and whoever bought it might just want the toe rail and other trim bright rather than painted. I stripped all the wood, laid on four coats of Epifanes and two coats of a nice gray one part poly. When I sold the boat seven years later I had spent about four days total on maintenance of the painted surfaces.

High Cotton 26-12-2007 19:16

I actually enjoy working on my boat... being retired, if it takes two weeks it makes me feel good physically, and knowing my boat looks good means something to me.
But I can understand you NOT wanting to varnish someone elses boat, I wouldn't do it either!
My boat is the ONLY boat in our Sailing Club that has sparkling teak that only a good varnish like Z-SPAR FLAGSHIP can produce. Most members, if they put anything on their teak, use CETOL or HONEY TEAK............ but to me, THERE'S NO COMPARISON !!!
I get regular compliments from members about how beautiful my boat looks (1982), primarily due to the shiny teak...........
so if I don't mind the labor, and everybody that walks down the dock stops to tell me it looks beautiful...................I guess I'm NUTS!....... just a personal preference, I guess.

David M 26-12-2007 21:53

The best thing to do with varnish is to cover it with canvas or to not apply it at all. Varnish looks real nice on other peoples boats.

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