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Old 01-21-2011, 07:00 PM   #41
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Painting Over Teak

Our Sea Ranger trawler has teak railings but one of the previous owners painted them white. The exteriors of all the doors are painted white as well. It certainly is easier to deal with paint maintenance than all the varnished teak that we used to have on our Alberg 37 sailboat... but I'm not sure that it is quite as pretty! However, my husband and I are getting lazy as we get older and I don't think we will be stripping the doors or railings!!

-- Edited by Delia Rosa on Friday 21st of January 2011 08:07:00 PM
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:14 PM   #42
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RE: Painting Over Teak

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Delia Rosa wrote:

...I don't think we will be stripping the doors or railings!!

If the previous owner primed and painted over the bare teak, you won't be stripping it even if you want to. Painting bare teak puts paint deep into the grain and the only way to get it out is to sand down all the way through it at which point you will probably have taken off so much wood that it will no longer be within dimensions.* This is why if you want to paint teak that someone else (or you) might want to return to a bright finish in the future, ALWAYS put a sealer coat on the teak first, like varnish, CPES, etc.* This will keep the paint out of the grain and the wood cen be restored to bright without any wood loss.

*
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Old 06-01-2012, 01:45 PM   #43
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I've taken the plunge. Mother Nature isn't getting the old varnish off my brightwork quickly enough so I'm helping it along. I bought one of those $40 Harbor Freight oscillating multi-tools and have started sanding. My interest per day in sanding lasts about as long as one battery charge - which is about the same as one beer. I visit the boat after work a few times a week and have at it. Maybe by the end of the
summer I'll be seeing some real progress.

Refinishing is likely to be either Cetol, I've used it before and was happy with the results, or paint, which seems like the least hassle.
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:07 PM   #44
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Hmmmm.... I don't think sanding is the best way to remove old varnish because you inevitably remove wood, too. We have a rain forest's worth of teak on our 73 GB and when we get around to refinishing a new section of it we follow the advice we've been given by a number of shipwrights in person and on the GB owners forum and use a heat gun and scraper. This bubbles up the old varnish so it can be easily scraped off and no wood is removed at all. After the heat/scraper treatment the wood is ready for a fine finish sanding and then the application of CPES and new finish (which for us is Bristol).

I'm also fortunate in that my wife for whatever reason decided to become a maestro with the heat gun, so she tends to do this part of the job while I do the wood prep, CPES, and finish work.

Using heat to remove old finish takes little effort and wood doesn't go away in the process. And it's a lot quieter.

PS--- If you decide to paint your exterior teak, varnish it first. If you put primer and paint directly on the teak it will soak down into the grain and it becomes impossible to remove it without sanding the wood WAY down. You may not want exterior brightwork anymore but the next owner might. Or you might change your mind. Sealing the wood with something like varnish before you paint will enable the paint to be removed and the wood finished bright again without having to sand a ton of it away to rid of the paint that's down in the grain.

The trim strip along the base of our flying bridge was painted by a previous owner. We eventually want to return this strip to bright-finished teak. But we'll have to have new teak milled for this and new corner pieces carved out because the white paint is too far down into the grain to make the existing trim usable if we sand it down far enough to get rid of all traces of the paint. We've tried, which is how we know.
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:40 PM   #45
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The easiest/quickest is a heat gun to take off 80 to 90% then a orbital sand with 80 to 100 grit. Especially, if there are multiple layer of varnish. Sanding is to slow and romover is to messy. Heat gun and sanding is just right.

I have found that paint over teak last about as long as vanish, except you can not see where the paint has failed. If varnish does not hold, its doubtful paint will do much better. The mistake most make is not thinning the varnish/point enough so it is absorbed in the wood to form a good base. Paint/Vanish out of the can is too thick. The other is the wood still has moisture in it. The Eagle has more bright work than most boats oven wood boats, but itís far better than dirt/yard work.
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:47 PM   #46
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I had my teak rails and bulwark cap refinished this year. I can't do it myself due to bad knees so I paid a refinisher friend to do the job. He used a heat gun and scraper to get the old varnish off and used 3 coats of Cetol Natural Teak satin followed by 2 coats of Cetol Gloss. The finish is not exactly Epifanes but its acceptable.

Like getting anything repaired these days, its the labor that's the killer. I decided on Cetol due to the reduction in labor time. The lack of sanding between coats saves a lot of time ($$$). I hope the annual maintenance coat of gloss is equally easy.

Next year its on to the window frames and doors.
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Old 06-01-2012, 03:02 PM   #47
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Looks like I may be heading back to Harbor Freight for the $32 heat gun. I love HF!
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Old 06-01-2012, 03:27 PM   #48
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Our eye brow and the exterior of the pilot house doors were painted by the previous owner (s). If they hadn't done it, we would have. We still have more than enough exterior teak. The doors haven't been repainted in 5 plus years and the eye brow was done 4 years ago and then we didn't have to strip the paint off. We used Interlux's Brightside one part polyurethane with their primer. We thinned with their 333 brushing thinner and looks like it was sprayed on.
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:25 PM   #49
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I shudder when I hear of people stripping off the varnish and then applying several new coats of varnish or of something else. All that work done over several years, and you waste it by stripping it off! I confess that I once did it myself, years ago, when I had a sailboat with a lot of teak (Seabird 37).

Don't do it.

You can get the same results if you simply fill the holes. Sand them properly and apply the same thickness of varnish as the surrounding area. It may take a few days, but since you are only filling holes, each coat only takes a few minutes. If you use a good varnish, like Epifanes, you don't need to sand between coats, as long as you don't let it cure between coats. Since I got my trawler in 1994, I have only stripped if the holes outnumber the non-holey parts of a single board. In all that time the stripped boards can be counted on one hand, with fingers left over.

Larry H said " The finish is not exactly Epifanes but its acceptable."
That says it all Larry. Go back to Epifanes, as it is clearly that much better than whatever else you have tried. If you take my advice and do no more stripping, your labour cost will be way less, and your satisfaction will be way higher.

Marin: I guess that the boards on your boat that were painted had been allowed to weather, so the grain was opened up and the pain had deep fissures in which to hide. I do agree that even if painting, you should varnish first, but who, in their right mind, would ever paint over teak trim?
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:24 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koliver View Post
...who, in their right mind, would ever paint over teak trim?
That be me. We even painted our name boards.

The way I see it, Hobo still has more than enough teak trim to look good (and I do appreciate the aesthetics) but she came with too much teak for us to keep looking good in the tropics. For us the painting option is less work, still looks good and allows us more play time on the water.
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:37 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koliver View Post
Larry H said " The finish is not exactly Epifanes but its acceptable." That says it all Larry. Go back to Epifanes, as it is clearly that much better than whatever else you have tried. If you take my advice and do no more stripping, your labour cost will be way less, and your satisfaction will be way higher.
Koliver,

My rails were beyond touching up, they needed to be wooded and start over. I have Epifanes on my upper rails and the varnish can did say to sand between coats, and the curing took two days per coat. I never got the 7-10 coats on the rails and I can no longer afford the labor for a good Epifanes finish.

The Cetol only needs 5 coats total, applied every 24 hours, no sanding needed. If a coat is not quite cured, it doesn't matter, the next coat can go on anyway after 24 hours.

Considering that my boat is 34 years old, and is a cruiser (not a marina queen) that we use all summer (instead of doing varnish), Cetol is the right choice for me now. The new Natural Teak color is not the orangey stuff of the past.

Have you used Epifanes varnish without sanding between coats? That is contrary to the directions as I understand them.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:55 PM   #52
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You can get the same results if you simply fill the holes. Sand them properly and apply the same thickness of varnish as the surrounding area.
The downside of that technique is that even under a bright finish in good condition exterior teak will slowly lighten over time. When you sand down the old, failing finish and the wood underneath prior to applying new finish, you sand off the faded upper wood cells and expose the darker cells underneath. So the area you refinish will be darker than the surrounding wood. How much darker depends on how long the whole piece of wood has been sitting since its previous refinishing. But I have seen boats with hand and cap rails with beautiful finish on them but that looked a bit like dalmations with all the spots of darker wood scattered around the lighter wood.

Which is why when we have a section of teak with spots of failing or failed finish we always strip the whole piece with the heat gun/scraper method which does not remove any wood. A finish sand of the whole piece followed by CPES and new finish and the whole section of wood is uniform in color.

Quote:
Marin: I guess that the boards on your boat that were painted had been allowed to weather, so the grain was opened up and the pain had deep fissures in which to hide. I do agree that even if painting, you should varnish first, but who, in their right mind, would ever paint over teak trim?
No, this partricular trim strip was in good shape. But the paint can get down into the grain nevertheless and make it impossible to prep for a bright finish without sanding off a lot of the surface wood.

As to the "who would ever" question, this particular piece of trim is notorious on GBs for being almost impossible to keep a good finish on. It covers the joint between the flying bridge shell and the main cabin shell beneath it. It is also removable with exposed screw heads so as to make the removal of the flying bridge easier. As such, moisture can easiliy get behind it or down under the screw heads and start lifting the finish. Some GB owners elect to let this strip go gray with no finish at all but eventually the exposed wood will start to crevice in the weather. Others struggle with keeping up the bright finish. And others elect to paint the strip on the theory that repainting is faster and easier than periocially redoing a failing bright finish.

But we really like the look of the boat with this strip finished bright. So our plan is to eventually have new wood milled and new corner sections carved and replace the old painted strip with new wood.

But..... since we do not ever anticipate having to remove the flying bridge we will bed the strip in Dolfinite and countersink the screws and put plugs over the screw heads. And we will saturate the strip with CPES before applying the Bristol and attaching the strip to the boat. Based on the behavior of the other sections of wood on the boat we have given this same treatment to we anticipate the finish on this strip will hold up for a long, long time with ony the occasional renewal coat of Bristol applied every few years.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:45 PM   #53
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A heat gun and scraper followed by sanding beats stripper and scraper every time. I wondered if Baltimore Lurker, using a battery powered "Fake Fein", had power readily available.Sure need it for a heat gun.
I`m currently refinishing my teak flybridge stairs with Cetol, removed from the boat and taken home. I could not bring myself to strip all the sound varnish so they look a bit piebald at present,but the exposed "green" teak will fade, soon I hope; it looks heaps better than it did and won`t get so degraded again, you need to get to it when it looks "dry",before it fails. I did strip my name-boards back to "green" teak though, glad I did.
I`ve given up varnishing cappings, settled for Deks Olje, 1 & 2. Not as nice as varnish, but easy to maintain, you don`t strip it every year, it looks just ok, a compromise not everyone will accept, but I`ve better things to do than scrape varnish. BruceK
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:05 PM   #54
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I`ve given up varnishing cappings, settled for Deks Olje, 1 & 2. Not as nice as varnish, but easy to maintain, you don`t strip it every year,
If one uses a good brightwork finish, preps the bare wood properly, and applies refresher coats periodically there should be no need to strip the wood every year. While my work schedule and other projects preclude us from giving the wood on our boat the attention it deserves, we have some pieces on the outside of the boat that were stripped and refinished some twelve years ago and have never needed stripping since. They get a refresher coat every two or three years and they continue to look the same as they did when we first applied the new finish after stripping.

The big problem we've found with bright finish on external teak is not the kind of finish used or even the prep of the wood but how well the wood trim is bedded. The original factory bedding will dry out and allow moisture to get behind the trim and at that point all bets are off. It's just a matter of time before the finish starts lifting on the edges of the piece and then pretty soon the whole area is shot.

The same is true of scarf joints in rails and so on. As the boat works these joints do, too, and eventually the sealant in the joint begins to fail. And that lets moisture in and it will eventually begin to lift the finish around the joint.

We have found that when we have taken the time to remove the teak pieces--- grab rails, for example--- from the cabin tops or cabin sides, properly refinish them, and then rebed them correctly, the integrity of the bright finish is maintained much longer because moisture can no longer work its way under the piece.

Unfortunately there are no shortcuts when it comes to getting a good, lasting finish on exterior wood. Prep, sealing, finish, and bedding must all be done correctly or a premature failure will be the result. I actually enjoy working on the wood on our boat. I refinished gunstocks as a way to earn extra money in college (this was back when gunstocks were made of walnut, not black plastic) and have always enjoyed finishing wood. I'm not much of a wood worker, but refinish work is another story. So I view our boat as a big "gunstock" and I quite like seeing how nice I can get the wood to look. The issue in my case is available time. But we keep at it.........
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:55 AM   #55
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Larry; Yes I have. I had a damaged bit on my stern cap rail that I refinished with 8 coats of Epifanes in 2 days. Wasn't enough to bring it to the thickness of the surrounding wood, but over the next couple of years i have added extra coats there and it is gradually matching in.

Marin: I guess I have a higher tolerance for dalmatians than you. I have several places on my upper rails that have had holes fixed, that I can no longer find. Over the years the "new' wood in the holes fades to the same colour as the rest.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:07 PM   #56
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klover,

What climate zone are you in? Or perhaps the question is what was temperature when you applied those 8 coats?

In the PNW in springtime the varnish just won't dry fast enough to apply 8 coats in 2 days. The varnish underneath would still be soft.
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Old 06-02-2012, 04:53 PM   #57
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When you guys told me to use a heat-gun and not to sand because sanding will take off wood I thought, meh, so what? If you had told me the heat-gun technique is oh, I don't know, 10X FASTER, you would have gotten my attention.
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:35 PM   #58
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Just don't burn the wood and get a dark spot as you will if you leave the heat gun too long in one spot.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:56 PM   #59
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Larry. I had a damaged bit on my stern cap rail that I refinished.... over the next couple of years i have added extra coats there and it is gradually matching in.

Marin: I guess I have a higher tolerance for dalmatians than you. I have several places on my upper rails that have had holes fixed, that I can no longer find.
True, I had a piece scarfed into my cappings 9 months ago,with age and an oil/gloss finish it now blends in. Some teak at the saloon entry faded to a "honey" color I wanted to keep, parts scraped and sanded areas while refinishing are darker,can`t wait for it to blend.
Though teak under varnish seems to lighten with age, pine timber, not commonly used on boats, more for furniture (including a Douglas Fir North American 2 height antique bookcase originally stained mahogany color and stripped back),always darkens with age. Anyone know why? BruceK
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:02 AM   #60
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Larry:

Home base is Vancouver BC. Varnishing is done where I happen to be when the conditions are right. The 8 coats in 2 days was done at the top end of Indian Arm, where the sun doesn't come over the mountains till 10 and goes behind the mountains again by 4 on a summer afternoon.
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