Varnishing advice please!

longjohnsilver

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I have lots of teak which generally lives under a flybridge cover, 90% of which is in perfect varnished condition. BUT there are smallish areas where the varnish has been damaged by sun/water/chipping and has peeled away.
My question is do I have to strip all the wood or can I just re-touch the damaged areas. If so I know that I'd have to strip and feather back to the good varnished areas, but would this then look odd, is it possible to do this without leaving a distinct line between old and new?
I'm told by an expert in wooden boats that Epifanes is the dogs goolies, unfortunately he's not around to ask for the advice I need to do the job.
Any advice welcome, thanks.
 

CharlesSwallow

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I have lots of teak which generally lives under a flybridge cover, 90% of which is in perfect varnished condition. BUT there are smallish areas where the varnish has been damaged by sun/water/chipping and has peeled away.
My question is do I have to strip all the wood or can I just re-touch the damaged areas. If so I know that I'd have to strip and feather back to the good varnished areas, but would this then look odd, is it possible to do this without leaving a distinct line between old and new?
I'm told by an expert in wooden boats that Epifanes is the dogs goolies, unfortunately he's not around to ask for the advice I need to do the job.
Any advice welcome, thanks.

Any teak exposed to the atmosphere for even a day will start to discolour and if you just overcoat, it will stand out. Therefore the "easy" way of cutting back will need to be done well and you will be lucky if you end up with better than a patchy result. Worth a try though.

Best varnish for teak is a Tung Oil based product but if ordinary varnish has been used previously, they aren't compatible and wrinkling will occur at the overlaps. You need to know what was used originally.

Chas
 

Seajet

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Which I think translates as to what I would have said, " sorry but strip / sand back to base and start again ".

Beware if using stripper, some can discolour wood; I was attacked for mentioining this a while ago, but as far as I know Nitromors - if not, google 'wood safe stripper' or similar - used to do a stripper which did not discolour wood; but any such stuff should be left on for the minimum time possible.

The safety precautions are not just lip-service, I was once asked by an apprenticeship instructor to strip some paint from a bit of his custom racing motorcycle - there was no breather in the tin lid, and when I pryed it open I was given a faceful of industrial stripper, which spoilt my day and nearly my life's eyesight...Funnily enough I now ALWAYS FACE AWAY when SLOWLY opening a tin of stripper !

So cover for eyes, face and arms required, and don't breathe in the fumes either !

Another caution, this time for the material; if one repeatedly strips and scrapes off wood over a period of years, it's surprising how even very substantial things like cockpit seats can become thin; i and other owners of my boat type have decided, partly due to this increasing thinness, and partly as varnished seats are slippery to walk on, to let the seats just weather grey.

Re-chargeable sanders, the 'mouse' type jobs are ideal for small and intricate areas, are a boon but have far more sandpaper of all grades than you think you'll need.

For teak, it is said one must use special varnish to cope with the oily nature of the wood, but I have lately found that thinned 'normal' varnish copes well, many thin layers giving a better finish than a few thick ones.

I have tried Deks Olye 1 - basically a souped-up teak oil 'saturator' and D2 'varnish top coat' give lovely results, but not that long lasting; it is said that the D2 finish differs from varnish in that it can be topped up with a direct coat, but I have not found that.

In short, you're in for a fair bit of work, quite often, if you wish to keep up that honey-glow look, but within certain limits as above the satisfaction makes it worthwhile.
 
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xtiffer

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My advice would be to look for natural barriers such
as scarf joints and strip that area.
Epifanes is what I ( as a pro varnisher ) use from choice.
First coat 25% varnish second coat 50% and then subsequent coats with enough thinner to keep your edge wet.
Only use Epifanes Brush Thinner not WS.
Use 3M Fine Line tape to mask glue lines.
There will, at first, probably be a slight colour variation but this
will soon become less obvious.
Cheers,
Chris
 

pcatterall

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Try your idea to do the chips first. You will need to build up a few coats to match the old stuff and then ( if it looks reasonable) possibly clean all and overcoat all which may make it all more uniform. Well worth doing one spot as a test.
 

longjohnsilver

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Thanks guys, as there's a lot of awkward bits I might just try patching to start with on the basis that there won't be a great time loss if it doesn't work. I realise that to do the job properly then I need to get back to bare wood but for the whole area that's a lot of work. :mad:
 

Tom Price

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Teak etcet

Sorry, I recommend a complete change of mindset:
strip back to bare wood by whatever means (plenty of technical advice above but scraping is too destructive) and go for an oil application. It won't look as good but lasts and is easily renewed.
I use Sekens inside and out,on teak and mahogany, a silky, durable 'varnish' which and can be touched in whatever the weather.
Apply 7 coats of gloss if you must - then sell the boat!
 
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