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Old 09-21-2017, 10:51 AM   #1
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swim step refinishing

I've been slowly re-doing the exterior teak on my Marine Trader 38 with Epifanes, and now that I'm on the hard, it's time to attack the swim step. I'm about ready to strip it down to bare wood. After that, would it be better to leave it bare wood (maybe a little less slippery) or do the 7 coats of Epifanes?

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Old 09-21-2017, 10:55 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. sbg. MY "vote" is to strip it and leave it natural. Best non-skid there is IMO. As to the two steps on the transom itself...Sure, do the 7 coats but put LOTS of sand/grit in the next to last couple of coats
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Old 09-21-2017, 11:20 AM   #3
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I would leave it unfinished . It would be difficult for me to get the varnish to flow like I wanted it to on the swim step. Too much stopping and starting with the brush . I've never tried to spray varnish but that might be an option.
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Old 09-21-2017, 11:23 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
Greetings,
Mr. sbg. MY "vote" is to strip it and leave it natural. Best non-skid there is IMO. As to the two steps on the transom itself...Sure, do the 7 coats but put LOTS of sand/grit in the next to last couple of coats
Sounds good to me. What kind of maintenance, if any, should I plan on doing with the natural wood?
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:30 PM   #5
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I used Bristol Finish on ours. Slippery for sure, did not use grit in top coat. Issue was after 1-2 years, the expansion and contraction of the wood split all the finish at the seems of the teak (the whole platform every 1" essentially. Became unsightly. Ended up finishing it the same as decks (grip paint etc.)
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:11 PM   #6
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I did my teak swim platform a few years ago and used Cetol. I think it came out very nice.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:00 PM   #7
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Natural wood - dish soap and a soft brush across the grain, regularly. You cannot clean the bottom of it but do the tops often. Don't brush with the grain, it will wreck the wood.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:57 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Xsbank View Post
Natural wood - dish soap and a soft brush across the grain, regularly. You cannot clean the bottom of it but do the tops often. Don't brush with the grain, it will wreck the wood.
Wouldn't dishsoap scrub any natural oils from the teak?
Surely saltwater alone would be better.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:33 PM   #9
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We're going bare on our new Mahogany swim platform, and all other exterior Teak and Ipe.
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:44 PM   #10
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Another strong vote for unfinished. Better non-slip and cost free.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:16 PM   #11
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Big time leave it natural! Put your maintenance time into more important projects
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:22 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by clynn View Post
I did my teak swim platform a few years ago and used Cetol. I think it came out very nice.


I also love the cetol the water beads off of the wood like a ducks back. No need to remove just keep adding coats as needed. Lightly sand between coats . I love it and the way it looks
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Old 10-09-2017, 06:50 PM   #13
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Cetol is good and so is varnish. The new clear Cetol looks like varnish and is as easy to apply as Cetol. The best of both worlds! Have your cake and eat it too!

The first time I refinished the swim platform was about 15 years ago. I planed it down to wood, sanded it smooth and put about 10 coats of Cetol. It looked magnificent! We were based on a mooring at that time and climbing up out of a wet dinghy on to a glossy and wet swim platform sure made us hold on tight. We never went in the drink but I would not do it again. Never trusted it with wet bare feet either.

This time when I refinished it I left heavy sanding marks in the wood and threw in some traction producing glass beading. Doesn't look as "Bristol" but I'm no longer concerned about slipping off it.
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