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Old 05-29-2016, 07:22 PM   #1
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Best way to refinish cabin floors?

Hi all,

I have teak (?) floors inside my 36' Nova Sundeck that have seen better days. I'm hoping to tackle refinishing them sometime within the next few weeks, but I'm curious if there are any special considerations to doing this.

My main hangup is that the floors look like they have some type of waxy top coating on them. When there is moisture on the wood for long enough (like a wet towel), the coating will turn milky white, but clears up when the moisture is removed. Is this just built up teak oil? If so, is the best way to remove it by scraping and using a heat gun before sanding? Or could it be some other type of finish that is specific to interior boat flooring?

Any tips would be very much appreciated. Lots of years of use plus a current liveaboard dog have led to scratched and scuffed up floors. They could look a lot better with a bit of sanding. Thanks!
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Old 05-29-2016, 07:34 PM   #2
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We had that milky look when our dehydrator leaked water on out teak deck. I'm pretty sure it's the wax, and it fades away like you discribed.
I used a Porter Cable belt sander the last time I did a re-finish job. The corners and places the belt won't reach where sanded with a palm sander or by hand with a sanding block. I had some deck hatches that required removal of the lifting handles and trimming down the recessed areas after sanding to get them plum with the deck.
I used spar varnish but I would definitely take a look at using water based polyurethanes.
It's a lot of work but the new look of the deck will reward you.
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Old 05-29-2016, 07:48 PM   #3
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Carpet, your dog will love you. :
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Old 05-29-2016, 07:56 PM   #4
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Sand them bare and recoated with 6 coats of a good grade of one part polyurethane satin floor finish. Oil based not water based.

Cheap, easy to find, easy to use, don't have to sand between every coat, long wearing, waterproof and alcohol resistant.
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Old 05-29-2016, 09:15 PM   #5
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I guarantee you you the veneer is thin...I mean thin. Is the surface gouged or just dull? Do not use a belt sander...way too aggressive and once you screw it up, well, it's screwed. Pull up one of your small inspection sections. Try wiping it down with paint thinner to remove wax, etc. Do the wet rag test. I f white mark results minimal sand LIGHTLY with 220 or 320. Coat with a good semi or satin varnish. Sand lightly and do at least three or more times. If you like this pull another one and sand with a DA sander 220+ grit...lightly. Remember, thin veneer. Sit back and let your buddies admire. Do everything lightly and in moderation.
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Old 05-29-2016, 09:32 PM   #6
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How do you know what kind of floor it is and even if it is a veneer?
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Old 05-29-2016, 09:39 PM   #7
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I have no frickin clue but would prefer to to error on the side of caution rather than create an issue when it could have been avoided. If it is solid wood he is still good. Sand away if you are feeling lucky.
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Old 05-29-2016, 11:09 PM   #8
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I agree with bilge. I wouldn't use a belt sander. His approach is basically how I redo the interior varnish on our boat when we're touching up parts. Btw we use Epifanes. Two or three coats (80/20 varnish/thinner) high gloss and then two coats satin as finish.
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Old 05-30-2016, 12:12 AM   #9
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The likelyhood of the floor being veneer is very small.

Old school varnish sucks on a floor IMO. To soft, not very scuff resistant, not very resistant to the kind of things that can get spilled on it, long dry times between coats in some cases, etc.
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Old 05-30-2016, 06:16 AM   #10
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I agree that regular varnishes aren't the best choice.

I think that's all that was probably there in the first place as it will whiten when wet.

Sure one can start slow and careful, or determine what the floor is and not waste a bunch of time being careful when not required...but sure, make sure first.
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Old 05-30-2016, 06:31 AM   #11
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Bowling alley varnish or Gymnasium varnish is hard , long wearing alcohol resistant., and designed to not be slippery when wet.
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Bowling alley varnish or Gymnasium varnish is hard , long wearing alcohol resistant., and designed to not be slippery when wet.
True. I guess I should clairify that when I say varnish doesn't make for a good floor finish I'm talking about old school marine exterior varnishes. As well as most old school marine interior varnishes.
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:55 AM   #13
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I used a belt sander because the interior deck was teak and holly and Asian built where teak is so plentiful it's used to build shipping pallets. I think the Nova most likely doesn't have veneer decks. For refinishing veneer decks I would install new resilient flooring over the veneer. Question what builder uses interior teak veneer decks ?
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camdunning View Post
Hi all,

I have teak (?) floors inside my 36' Nova Sundeck that have seen better days. I'm hoping to tackle refinishing them sometime within the next few weeks, but I'm curious if there are any special considerations to doing this...
Here's a thread about refinishing interior floors. Rob, m/v Datenight, offers some good advise. He has over 50 years in the floor refinishing business.

Refinishing Salon Hardwood Floors
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:52 AM   #15
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If there are any hatches you should be able to look at the edges and see what you have.
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:09 AM   #16
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When we boat the boat it had old worn carpet, and we where excited surprised to find teak wood flooring. So we sanded, using an orbital sander the only kind we use on the boat, and varnish with gym varnish from Lows with a few throw rugs. However our dog hated the slick varnished floors, and in our high heels we had to be careful. As the cold weather set in we found, we were hoping from one throw rug to another as we added some additional. Finally one cold morning my wife and I were standing on the same throw rug fighting for space. That was when we decided to re carpet the boat which made it quieter, a lot warmer, less slippery, but best of all Bit our dog loved it.
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Old 05-30-2016, 11:26 AM   #17
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Anybody ever try Bona products on a boat?

https://www.bona.com/en-US/United-St...ffic-Antislip/
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Old 05-31-2016, 04:38 AM   #18
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TF comes through again. Thanks all for the advice. I'm pretty sure its not a veneer - there are inspection hatches which seem to indicate that its wood planks. I'll post some pictures tomorrow, when its light out.

My tentative plan is to use a DA sander with 100 or 120 to remove the old finish, and then work up to 220. After that I'm not sure what finish to use, but I'd like to keep the color the same to match the walls, etc.
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Old 05-31-2016, 05:52 AM   #19
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"My tentative plan is to use a DA sander with 100 or 120"

You can get a smoother finish with paint remover and a good quality cabinet scraper.

Less mess . less dust , and no risk to a modern boaty floor.
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