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Old 10-27-2015, 11:03 AM   #1
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Cetol vs Other Varnishes?

I need to redo my teak cap rail and taff rail. Someone told me to use Cetol. The Cetol can says that after proper prep of the wood, you only apply three coats, 24 hours apart, and no sanding between coats. That sounds like a lot less work than other varnishes where you put on 5 or 6 coats and sand between.

Any comments from Cetol users? How long can I expect those 3 coats to last in the Great Lakes, where the boat is hauled and covered for the winter?
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:08 PM   #2
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I just finished doing my covered aft deck floor in Cetol. The lack of sanding between coats attracted me as well, but I believe it also said if you wanted a mirror finish (I forget exact wording) you could sand lightly if desired. This suggests to me that possibly a sanding before final coat for critical brightwork such as a cap rail may be needed to get a "varnish" like finish. I was only doing a deck so didn't matter.

One problem I had was it didn't seem to fully dry/cure in 24hrs but I applied the next coats anyway. After I was done, it took 3 days to cure well enough to put furniture on but still felt soft and easy to damage. I;m not at the boat so I don't know if it finally hardened or not. I will be really, really angry if it didn't, it was a big job. I have no idea why this occurred. I also got millions of air bubbles but this may be because i possibly over brushed it putting it on. I applied it trying to brush it into the grain/pores rather than slow even strokes as when varnishing.

The Cetol that I removed lasted approx 10 years with touchups in Florida but it was under the aft deck roof minimizing water and sun damage, and much of it was covered with a rug. I expect on the Great Lakes with our pathetically short season but being exposed outdoors you might get half this time. Just a guess as to longevity but Cetol says only an annual maintenance coat is needed to renew the finish. I can confirm that finish repairs or touchups are largely invisible if done soon enough.

Note they request a 2 rag wipe using 216 thinner, many have used cheaper thinner to clean apparently without problems but I'd take this with a grain of salt. If the finish fails and it might, Interlux will have an out.
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rive View Post
I need to redo my teak cap rail and taff rail. Someone told me to use Cetol. The Cetol can says that after proper prep of the wood, you only apply three coats, 24 hours apart, and no sanding between coats. That sounds like a lot less work than other varnishes where you put on 5 or 6 coats and sand between.

Any comments from Cetol users? How long can I expect those 3 coats to last in the Great Lakes, where the boat is hauled and covered for the winter?
I use 6 coats here in FL. I scuff sand with Scotch Brite pads after the first 3 coats. In warm dry weather I've put as many as 3 coats on in one day.

If I'm doing a gloss job I put 3-4 coats of base on then 2-3 of gloss.

And in order for a Cetol job to look it's best and last the longest the wood needs to be just as clean and smooth as if you are going to use varnish. Anything else is a waste of time.
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:33 PM   #4
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Cetol is almost a religion in Alaska. Gallons piled high in the hardware store. I've never found out what the stuff is so I still don't use it. Has a rather industrial look about it.

We went back to McColsky's Spar Varnish. It's a soft high oil coating that flexes well on a boat. In the past they called it "Boat Coat". It scuffs fairly easily but I like the flexability. Easy to touch up too.
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:46 PM   #5
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Cetol is almost a religion in Alaska. Gallons piled high in the hardware store. I've never found out what the stuff is so I still don't use it. Has a rather industrial look about it.
Cetol was/is originally a fence/exterior wood coating.
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:47 PM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I have been testing Cetol on a piece of teak in my workshop. So far I am very happy with how it is turning out. Cheers.

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Old 10-27-2015, 06:18 PM   #7
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I'm sanding the Cetol off my cap rails etc at present. Good news is that it comes off pretty easily. I had previously used heat gun and scraper to remove countless layers of old varnish. I then sanded lightly before applying 3-5 coats of Cetol in various areas. There were some spots lifting after a year which I thought might have been abrasion damage during shipping back to Australia. I touched up some of them. Now its 3 years on and I find the tight radius sections of the cap rails in particular are lifting a lot. The flat areas are generally OK. I did not scuff/annual recoat because of the amount of abrasion/spot damage - full sanding was really needed. The sanding is quite quick. I doubt I'll use Cetol again, I dont believe the durability is there. Plus the colour is barely tolerable. However, my bow rails have held up better than other rails so I will spot treat those with the remaining Cetol I have. They are a pain to prep, so I want to see how alternatives last before taking them back to bare wood.

I intend using AwlWood next, once I find a local supplier. http://www.awlgrip.com/products/varn...wlwood-ma.aspx
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Old 10-27-2015, 06:48 PM   #8
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I use Cetol Gloss on teak name boards, and a grid cover at the bow. I find it better than other varnishes available here, easy to use, and from the feel and cleanability on the fingers, it is oil rich.
But unless you get to it early, you have to remove it all before recoating. So on the cap rails I use Deks Olje 1 and 2. After 5 years I have not had to go back to bare wood for the annual refinish. It never looks as good as varnish but it`s much less work, and it looks ok, on my older boat.
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Old 10-27-2015, 07:09 PM   #9
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Cetal and Cetal Gloss is the way to go unless your into doing hard labor (varnish).
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Old 10-27-2015, 07:38 PM   #10
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Epifanes Wood Finish folks. No sanding, no Cetol tinge, long lasting to all sorts of abuse. Have tried both, absolutely no comparison IMO. Also comes in matte:

https://www.epifanes.com/page/wood-finish-gloss
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Old 10-27-2015, 08:12 PM   #11
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I used Cetol on a new teak caprail I replaced on my old sailboat . I used the color that had some orange pigment in it . It looked good for about a year then it started flaking off . I only put on two coats . When I replaced all the teak on William I went with Epifanes . We put on six coats thinning less and less each coat and sanding between coats . It still needs more coats but so far we are happy with results . But this is new teak and we are under cover .
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Old 10-27-2015, 08:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rive View Post
I need to redo my teak cap rail and taff rail. Someone told me to use Cetol. The Cetol can says that after proper prep of the wood, you only apply three coats, 24 hours apart, and no sanding between coats. That sounds like a lot less work than other varnishes where you put on 5 or 6 coats and sand between.

Any comments from Cetol users? How long can I expect those 3 coats to last in the Great Lakes, where the boat is hauled and covered for the winter?
WE love Cetol, the trick is to put it on thin! We do the first coat of Cetol marine and then two coats of Cetol natural, last years and easy to touch up. We have a lot of teak, even use it on the decks...two coats on the king planks and one coat on the rest of the decks, looks great and lasts years, but we have a boathouse as well. After the three coats do maintenance with Cetol on a rag and pretend you are oiling.......
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Old 10-27-2015, 09:20 PM   #13
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WE love Cetol, the trick is to put it on thin! We do the first coat of Cetol marine and then two coats of Cetol natural, last years and easy to touch up. We have a lot of teak, even use it on the decks...two coats on the king planks and one coat on the rest of the decks, looks great and lasts years, but we have a boathouse as well. After the three coats do maintenance with Cetol on a rag and pretend you are oiling.......
Very nice Mike . It looks great .
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Old 10-27-2015, 11:09 PM   #14
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Yeah...I'm just doing my first Cetol job now after some major mods to my veranda area, and I have to concur with Kangaroo. I've applied two coats of Cetol Natural Teak so far and after 72 hours, the finish "seems" to be a bit softer than the varnish I'm familiar with. I'll probably put another two coats on this week and then Cetol Gloss. Like Kangaroo, I did not use 216 to wipe down with, but I did use the scuffing pad they recommend and we'll just have to wait and see. Two air bubbles so far, likely from heat before I covered. I guess I ought to pick up the 216 just in case. Hope it works out.
Great looking woodwork, Mike!
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Old 10-27-2015, 11:47 PM   #15
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I've been using Cetol for a few years now and would never go back to regular varnish. Cetol is easier to apply and very forgiving. I prefer the natural teak version as it doesn't have that orange tint of regular Cetol. It does take a bit of time to fully cure so don't be surprised if it's still soft even after a few days. That's the reason why you don't have to sand between coats. Most people that complain about Cetol say they apply 2 coats and it flakes after 1 year. Duh. Any exterior finish needs 5-6 coats. And if you want the job to really last you apply a new coat once a year.
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