Varnishin Teak Woodwork

johnjfrake

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I have just finished cleaning and applying colour restorer (Starbrite in both cases) to various bits of teak wood work on my folksong 25. Though it looks neat and clean enough I am not entirely happy with the colour which is a little paler than I remember it. Can anyone tell me if in their opinion it is worth applying teak oil to the woodwork to improve the colour and how long would I need to leave it to dry before applying the varnish?

Thanks for any assistance offered.
 

superheat6k

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Have you considered Semco teak sealer, or Starbrite Tropical Teak sealer. These are available in natural or a few other shades. I am in the process of applying Semco to my decks after deep cleaning, and it goes on easily and doesn't lift off like varnish can, just re-apply every six months to maintain the EV and waterproof layer.
 

VicS

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I have just finished cleaning and applying colour restorer (Starbrite in both cases) to various bits of teak wood work on my folksong 25. Though it looks neat and clean enough I am not entirely happy with the colour which is a little paler than I remember it. Can anyone tell me if in their opinion it is worth applying teak oil to the woodwork to improve the colour and how long would I need to leave it to dry before applying the varnish?

Thanks for any assistance offered.

I would use International Woodskin,

http://www.yachtpaint.com/gbr/diy/products/varnishes/woodskin.aspx

After trying various finishes and snakeoils over the years I settled on Sikkens Cetol Marine as the most satisfactory. Woodskin replaces Cetol Marine
 

Tranona

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Another vote for International Woodskin. You can use teak oil, but it does not last if exposed and needs constant refreshing. Not sure conventional varnish will adhere well and it is a lot of work getting a good finish and keeping it good. Woodskin adheres well to teak and as it erodes rather than the film breaking down as in varnish it lasts well and is easy to touch up.
 

sailorman

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Another vote for International Woodskin. You can use teak oil, but it does not last if exposed and needs constant refreshing. Not sure conventional varnish will adhere well and it is a lot of work getting a good finish and keeping it good. Woodskin adheres well to teak and as it erodes rather than the film breaking down as in varnish it lasts well and is easy to touch up.


Agreed, woodskin just works & looks far better than oiled teak
 

ip485

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I have tried various finishes including Woodskin.

A lot depends on the finish you want. Woodskin gives a very good durable finish and definitely darkens the colour considerably. However, I think it results in a rather "flat" finish hiding most of the graining and colour.

Traditional varnishes (with or without a stain applied before) preserves the grain and can look gorgeous. However it isnt very durable.

I am pretty much against oil. It seems to me it just ends up making the teak look very dark and attracts dirt and algae in the end.

Untreated is simple, really simple, and looks pretty good if you like that finish. I find the trick is to treat the wood with PatioMagic every few months - it completely prevents algae etc., and keeps the teak looking really fresh with an occasional light scrub.

However, out of all of these my personal favourite is to bring the teak back to bare wood, stain if you wish, but I prefer the natural colour, and varnish with two pot polyurethane. It produces a superb finish really showing off the grain of the wood, and without stain brings out more of the natural colour, and, most importantly, produces a very attractive and very durable finish. It probably requires the most work, but is well worth it.

Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
 

ashtead

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I have recently used Semco for first time on new teak and found it easy to apply but you need to mask up the non teak parts as it is quite runny The finish looks good and am told just needs occasional recoat
In the past have used Danish ikon oil on boat cockpit table but I think the seemco looks smarter
 

johnjfrake

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Thanks for all the replies. Has anyone out there tried Le Tonkinoise? I have a tine of it and am sorely tempted to just use what I have. the issue is that varnish is a one way street, if you don't like the result then striping is a bit of a pig. I may just try it on the tiller handle which is in pretty good nick anyway and then if good take it out from there to the rubbing strakes, locker lid etc. If I don't then that particular item is probably the easiest to refurbish. Thanks again!
 
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Le Tonk is a very reliable and long lasting varnish if applied correctly, I have just refurbished in and around the cockpit of Naida first time 6 years as it was starting to break down in a few places. Most of my brightwork is Coelan which lasts much longer but is expensive and does not look quite as good. The original Le Tonk was 10 coats and that is probably why it lasted. I apply coat on coat as soon as it is tack dry so in suitable conditions you can get 3-4 coats on in a day, build up as many coats as you need then leave a week and give a light rub down with green Scotchbrite, tack rag off and apply final coat for a great finish. The more thin coats you apply the longer it will last. The main reason varnish breaks down is open joints that allow water ingress so ensure all cracks and holes are filled, prior to varnish, also avoid sharp corners round off with coarse glasspaper. Also where possible remove fittings and varnish underneath.
 

doug748

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The bonus with Woodskin/Cetol is that you can just slap it on like a stain, internally two coats is fine.

I did a fore cabin 5 years ago with minimum preparation and it still looks good. 2 years ago I stripped a main bulkhead, with much more care, and it looks like it will last.

BTW I have been using Woodskin on external hand rails and Cetol Filter 7 on the toe rail. Not a lot of difference to me, maybe the Woodskin just has the slight edge but it is debatable. You get a lot bigger tin for your money with Cetol.
 

johnjfrake

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Once again thanks for the advice. I have a tin of Le Tonk so I will check the woodwork for surface cracks very carefully especially the horizontal surfaces and once satisfied that there are no weak points proceed by adding as many coats as possible.
Regards
 

jwilson

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snipped ....
However, out of all of these my personal favourite is to bring the teak back to bare wood, stain if you wish, but I prefer the natural colour, and varnish with two pot polyurethane. It produces a superb finish really showing off the grain of the wood, and without stain brings out more of the natural colour, and, most importantly, produces a very attractive and very durable finish. It probably requires the most work, but is well worth it.
I assume you are talking about external teak. If internal, two-pack is good as it will last many many years.

However for external teak, it is especially MUCH more work when the day comes (and it will) when some of the two-pack varnish has started to flake and discolour the wood, yet other areas are rock-hard and rock-solid on the wood.

I owned a lot of external varnished teak on a Cheoy Lee for quite a few years, and at least with ordinary yacht varnish it was easy to get off each year or two and start again. I too like varnished wood rather than the various modern plastic 'woodskins'. Gloss for external, rubbed semi-matt for interiors.
 

jwilson

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Bit of heat, scraper and a final quick going over with mid-grade sandpaper. With ordinary vanish it takes a tenth of the time to strip and get ready for recoating compared to two-packs.

The problem with two-packs is that in places it just eventually flakes off, and then nothing except hard work with sandpaper touches the well-adhered parts. But the bare wood areas where it's flaked off are far softer than the stuck-on two-pack, so you end up struggling not to take depth out of the wood on the bare bits whilst getting the rock-hard two-pack off in other areas.
 
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