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Old 12-14-2017, 01:16 PM   #1
ancora's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Water-based varnish on teak.

Tried Pettit Seagold varnish on two sun deck drawers. Sanded down to bare wood and used four coats with no sanding between coats. Varnish leveled easily and dried in a hurry at 70 degrees and 14% humidity. Not much color as you can see. I will have to try over existing varnish on the boat and see what happens. Brush easily cleaned with soap and water.
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Old 12-14-2017, 01:47 PM   #2
Nomad Willy's Avatar
City: Concrete Washington State
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Willy
Vessel Model: Willard Nomad 30'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,891
Tried Systen Three water based varnish on my teak cap rails several years ago. Didn’t seem to be an adhesion problem but the wb varnish is very thin and failed quite soon.
Oil based varnish is thick and has quick build from far fewer coats. And some people put many coats on so thick must be good.


North Western Washington State USA
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Old 12-14-2017, 01:51 PM   #3
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City: Litchfield, Ct/Punta Gorda, Fl
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Atlas Pompano 23
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 5,406
I tried some water based varnish on the interior ash paneling and trim on my Island Packet sailboat some years ago. I wanted to use water based for several reasons:

Little or no solvent smell while applying, drying or thereafter.
Could use artists acrylic white paint to tint it to match the original.
Easy clean up which was important as I was living aboard during the application.

I sanded some areas and used a water based stripper to prep the large panels. In the areas where I sanded- usually solid wood doors and trim I didn't get all of the solvent based varnish off but probably the great majority. I applied two coats of the tinted water based stuff. It covered the mostly sanded doors very well. Not sure how that would work if the varnish were transparent. I would probably strip or sand it all to bare wood in that case.

Was easy to apply and the final product looks terrific. I sold the boat shortly thereafter so I can't report on how well it holds up long term but I suspect not as good as solvent based varnish. OTOH recoating is much easier.

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