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Old 04-09-2012, 07:15 PM   #1
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Refinishing - Interior vs exterior

Just bought a californian. Exteior rails had just been varnished. What should I use for long term wear and best results for the rest of the EXTERIOR wood, ie: doors, hatches and window trim? Oil? Varnish?... if Varnish, gloss? semi?

Same question for interior, Oil, varnish
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:16 PM   #2
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Well, don't use oil on the outside of the boat. It weathers off fast and you have to keep applying it. And when you do, it attracts and holds dirt and your wood will eventually darken severely.

Everyone has their favorite exterior bright finish. Some like traditional varnish and have great success with it. We used varnish for a couple of years and then my wife discovered Bristol and we have not used anything else for the plast ten or eleven years. But Bristol can be a bit tricky to apply--- most of the people who have poor luck with it have not mastered the application techniques.

Some people swear by Cetol. I don't care for the look of it but that's a subjective thing.

And there are plenty of other finishes out there--- Honey Teak, Epiphanes (sp?), the list goes on. Finishes are like anchors--- whatever a particular person has chosen to use becomes the best product on the planet and all others are inferior regardless of what anyone else says.

What works best will also depend on your climate. So I think the best thing to do is talk to people in your immediate area who have boats with a bright finish you like the look of and find out what they use.

Interior finishes are the same thing. Lots of choices. Oil can work better inside as it's not sujected to the weather. We prefer a satin, water-based polyurethane but satin varnishes and two-part satin products like Bristol work, too. If you want a shiny interior finish then use the same stuff you choose to use on the exterior.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:29 PM   #3
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We use Cetol on mahalo. Am told it wears better with less recoating but I haven't had the boat long enough to say if that is true or not. I am totally happy with the color but Marin is right, the color is not the same as a traditional varnish. More orange, but just a bit.

Lot of wood on the California, the less maintenance the better unless you love the process.....which would mean some kind of mental illness.....

Had a 42LRC until the ex demanded her half. They are great boats.
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:50 AM   #4
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We settled on Bristol after trying oil, the natural look, and a couple of spar varnishes. It's catalyzed so it's a hard finish, and the short re-coat time of around an hour means you can get a lot of coats on in a day or two.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:35 AM   #5
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Inside a boat that gets used , the paint and varnish should be flat .

If shiny varnish is used rub it with rotten stone ,(or a fine bronze wool) and wax it.

The flashes of reflected light off the water is upsetting to many , barfing guests is never much fun, esp in a slip..
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:26 AM   #6
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Stick with the rotten stone or use satin finish. If you wax the surface you will never be able to re-coat.

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Old 04-10-2012, 04:34 PM   #7
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What ever you use make sure its for exterior. Many of the satin finish are interior.

I have tried them all! I use Interlux Goldspar one part Polyurethane which holds up a well as the Interlux Brightside one part Polyurethane paint, whihc I also use. The trick is applying at 4 to 6 coats which require sanding between coats. I have tried the Bristol but itís to thin, runny and does not give that deep shine that varnish does. The concern with some, I believe Bristol, may not be compatible with the old finish, which mean you might have to strip to bear wood. 75+% of my varnishing each year is lightly sand and applying new coats. I would try Bristol, polyurethane and/or Cetol on a small area and see what you like.

Also make sure the wood is bone bone dry. If you varnish over wood that has moisture it will blister as the moisture tries to escape. The only thing that might stick to wood with moisture is oil/sealers but they do not last very long.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Fill View Post
I have tried the Bristol but itís to thin, runny and does not give that deep shine that varnish does. The concern with some, I believe Bristol, may not be compatible with the old
Not trying to change anyone's preference here, but the big advantage to us with Bristol is it is far more UV resistant than any varnish we tried before switching. The shine may not be as "deep," but it's more than satisfactory to us. But the ability of Bristol to hold up long after regular varnish would have failed without more frequent re-coats is one thing that sold us.

Bristol can be put over most other finishes like varnish IF the varnish is completely cured and is in good shape. You don't want to be applying Bristol over a cracking or peeling varnish surface. And Bristol cannot be put on over any kind of an oil finish. Period. If the wood has had oil on it, all traces of the oil much be removed. As opposed to varnish which can be applied to wood that was previously oiled.

Bristol is indeed very thin--- it has the consistency of diesel fuel--- and this causes a number of first time users to give up on it. Applied correctly it will not run or sag. But the tendency of people who are used to varnishes and paints is to try to put Bristol on too thick per coat, and then there very definitely will be runs and sags. Lots of thin coats is the trick to Bristol, as opposed to fewer heavy coats that one can get away with with traditional varnishes.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam View Post
Just bought a californian. Exteior rails had just been varnished. What should I use for long term wear and best results for the rest of the EXTERIOR wood, ie: doors, hatches and window trim? Oil? Varnish?... if Varnish, gloss? semi?

Same question for interior, Oil, varnish
Do you know what the previous owner used? Do you like the look of the varnish? Unless you want to strip down and start all over again, it would probably be easier to stick with the same product.

My PO used Epifanes varnish and I like the glossy look. Since the boat is kept in a covered slip, it lasts several years before needing a scotchbrite and surface coat. I keep fire hose on the aft rail to protect it from fishing weights and UV damage. It looks a bit funky, but works great!
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:54 PM   #10
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I use Epifanes varnish. It is very durable, dries fairly quickly compared to some of the other brands and I like the gloss look. If you apply in several thin coats it will not have the plastic look. It is also very durable. We walk on it every day when entering/exiting the boat.
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:57 PM   #11
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Walks the docks.

Ask the guy that has the look you want what he uses.

Use that.

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Old 04-16-2012, 07:54 PM   #12
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teakseal

I used teak seal, scraped all the varnish off ... cleaned it and then applied teak seal, Teakseal
It contains no oil, you just apply it with a cloth ... so easy ... but you have to do it every month or 2 ... but it goes quickly ... juts wipe it on ....
It gives you a matt bare timer look.... but still protected .... maybe not your choice, but we like it and we get a lot of compliments .....
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