Varnish

captchuck

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pulled off every last piece of teak this winter and sanded it all down clean. I'm using captains varnish and very happy so far. Wanted to see how many coats anyone would suggest?
 

Downeaster

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According to the experts - eight coats on fresh wood. Do yourself a favor and track down a copy of 'Brightwork: The Art of Finishing Wood' by Rebecca Wittman. Now out of print and commanding a small ransom in the used book market but your library's network may be able to track it down for you. Great read.
 

benenglish76

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I think it was gar-wood runabouts that boasted 13 plus coats of varnish...wow...8 coats will surly give you amazing depth. I heard a trick once, after a coat of varnish or finish cures, take a ruler and stand it upright on the part your finishing, if memory stand correct, the more numbers you can read the better. This might of only been for comparing 2 part finishes or gelcoat. Bunch of hogwash probably.
 

captchuck

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Yea i'm 6 coats in and have a second batch of parts still to do as well (@ 80 pieces toatl small and big). My plan was 7, just want to make sure I have enough of a base that I don't need to take it all off again. I want to be able to just touch it up in the future.
 

pjitty

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So with real teak, do you need to remove the natural oil in the wood before you varnish, or just go right over it???

Joe D
 

Blitzen

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CaptChuck,
One thing that I would do that will improve the bond between the wood and varnish is to prepare the bare wood with penetrating epoxy first and keep coating the wood until it stops absorbing, once the wood is saturated with epoxy just wipe off any excess and allow to dry for 24 hours then apply your first coat of varnish full strength. Since the epoxy will take a few days to fully cure your first coat of varnish will bond and cure with the epoxy for a very good hold into the wood and will seal the wood from water absorption.
The other thing is that since you are using Captains varnish you may want to use something like Epifanes varnish for building coats as this varnish is a bit more flexible and will not crack when the wood moves and apply your Captains as finish coats. The Captains Varnish is very hard and you can buff any imperfections out of the surface when hard and dry for a superior shine.
Good luck with your project.
 

pjitty

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I thought with an oil base varnish, the oil from the varnish will bond with the teak oil. When I installed my Teak Deck on my swim platform, I laminated it [3/16"] with epoxy, and had to wipe down the teak with Lacquer Thinner and then scrubed with a stainless wire brush followed with more thinner, It's been 4 years an no problems. I just thought with the varnish you might not have to go thru all that. Anyway, thanks for the info...

Joe D
 

Downeaster

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I thought with an oil base varnish, the oil from the varnish will bond with the teak oil. When I installed my Teak Deck on my swim platform, I laminated it [3/16"] with epoxy, and had to wipe down the teak with Lacquer Thinner and then scrubed with a stainless wire brush followed with more thinner, It's been 4 years an no problems. I just thought with the varnish you might not have to go thru all that. Anyway, thanks for the info...Joe D
You're right. Though it won't hurt, prepping teak for varnish is a waste of time for the reason that you point out - varnish's oil content.

You're also right regards prepping teak to be laminated. Once prepped, my preference is for a two-part polyurethane (I used to buy this from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty decades ago) for mating surfaces run through a jointer. For sloppier joints, I'd use epoxy.

Regards brands of varnish, any by Interlux.
 

jerseysportfisher

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You're right. Though it won't hurt, prepping teak for varnish is a waste of time for the reason that you point out - varnish's oil content.

You're also right regards prepping teak to be laminated. Once prepped, my preference is for a two-part polyurethane (I used to buy this from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty decades ago) for mating surfaces run through a jointer. For sloppier joints, I'd use epoxy.

Regards brands of varnish, any by Interlux.

I have to disagree with the setiment that prep work is a waste of time.

All the detail is in the prep work, with every coating not just wood.

http://www.yachtpaint.com/LiteratureCentre/How%20to%20varnish%20like%20a%20pro.pdf

"Fast, sloppy workmanship may complete a job sooner but the results of poor craftsmanship linger indefinitely."



"For varnishing high oil content woods such as teak, juniper, cedar and spruce, it will be necessary to follow a different procedure. The oily residue can adversely affect varnish adhesion. Excellent results can be achieved by following these steps:
Quick Tips
Varnishing Teak or other high oil content woods
Step 1. Sand entire surface to be varnished with 80-grit sandpaper.
Step 2. Remove sanding residue from wood by wiping with Special Thinner 216 to remove as much surface oil as possible. When sanding varnish it is best to remove sanding residue with Brushing Liquid 333.
Step 3. The first coat should be thinned 15-20% by volume with the recommended thinner in order to get better penetration into the wood and seal it and establish a foundation for subsequent coats of varnish to adhere to.
Step 4. After an overnight dry, sand with 220-grit sandpaper, then wipe clean with Brushing Liquid 333.
Step 5. Apply additional coats of full-bodied varnish until desired finish is obtained, allowing"
 

unclefish

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i know when when we strip the tow rail on my parents boat john always thins the first coat of captains varness then he usually puts on about 8 to 10 coats.
 

Blitzen

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No need to thin any coats of varnish if you use the epoxy first, it really saves a lot of time and will give you the best adhesion.
 

Blitzen

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what happens when water gets under epoxy does it come off in sheets
Water doesn't get under the epoxy because it has saturated into the fibers of the wood and then cures. That is the reason for hot coating the epoxy until it stops absorbing into the wood. Penetrating epoxy is much thinner than you may expect. This system is used on many of the big Florida sport fish boats that have teak toe rails for miles around the bow.
Simths penetrating epoxy first, Awl Spar for building coats and Awl Bright for the finish coats.
I have been varnishing teak for a long time and this by far is the best time saving method which provides excellent results.
 
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unclefish

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Blitzen, how many years have you had that smith cpes on a teak toerail. It sounds good and i watch that little video jamestown dist. had. theres one thing I and my knees don't look forward to every year is putting varness on 100ft of tow rail. 2 years ago we stripped it then We have just been doing about 6 coats a year to maintain it.
 

Blitzen

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The boat was about 10 years old when it left for Florida for good, and in that time the rail was never striped down to the wood, but still required maintenance coats over the years(maintenance coats are like putting sunscreen on at the beach). The key is bond to the subsurface and UV filters. I recall reading once in Hinckley's Yacht Maintenance book that Varnish should be thinned 75% for the first coat, 50% for the second and 25% for the third and then 5% for the finish coats. The reason for the thinning is to have the thinner carry the varnish into the wood for a good bond. The epoxy will soak in just as well and can be done all in one process until the wood is saturated. Then apply the first coat of varnish full strength, allow it to cure with the epoxy for a good chemical bond. Your second coat of varnish will go on and start filling the grain of the wood and your build up will be much faster. Use a high solid varnish for the building coats and it will go even faster.
Most varnish fails when the UV filters in the varnish cannot protect itself any longer and the varnish becomes dry, brittle, hard and separates from the subsurface. Get a good bond, seal the wood well, use a varnish with the highest UV filters, and use good varnishing practices and it will last a long time.
You can do it however you like but this process has worked very well for us over the years and has saved a lot of time with very good results.
 
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