Finishing teak?

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by BHOFM, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. BHOFM
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    BHOFM Senior Member

    I have never worked with teak. I have a lot of salavage
    pieces I am going to use on my boat. It is dark and ugly
    but light sanding really make it look nice.

    I have heard that normal finishes don't do well on teak.

    What is the best thing to put on it to keep it nice? Most
    of my parts are small trim stuff. Dead eyes, cleats and
    I am going to make blocks with it.
     

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  2. Kaptin-Jer
    Joined: Mar 2004
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    Kaptin-Jer Semi-Pro

    You have to decided if you want the teak with a high shine or a satin look. The "brightwork" would be a varnish finish while the satin look would be an oil finish. Each is very different in application techniques. Let us know.
     
  3. BHOFM
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    BHOFM Senior Member

    I have the tiller done and it is oak and I finished it in
    high gloss. I think the rest should be the same?
     

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  4. rfnk
    Joined: Sep 2008
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    rfnk Junior Member

    I recently restored a Folkboat with all teak coaming, cabin sides etc. The advice I was given was to paint it all with a couple of coats of neat epoxy resin then varnish (poly whatever) over that. The advantage of this is that you are sanding back into resin rather than teak each time you re-varnish, and you are also creating a nice smooth base for the varnish. The disadvantage is that any blisters from neglect or impact have to be sanded out and recoated with resin prior to varnishing each time, but this is really not too hard. I'm very happy with the result (and our boat has LOTS (too much) of brightwork.

    Having said that, I'd be reluctant to varnish cleats or any areas that are subject to foot traffic, wear from ropes etc. as the varnish and resin wear off very quickly anyway. Bare teak looks good - varnished cleats look silly - maybe a bit of oil to keep a bit of colour might be wise?
     
  5. firth_andrew007
    Joined: Sep 2008
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    firth_andrew007 Junior Member

    teak finishing

    its really what kind of finish you want at the end of the day 5 coats of vanish sanding with 240grit in between coats very lightly will give you a nice finish to low traffic areas high traffic i would just do i final sand with 120grit and use teak oil and re-apply after 3 months then 6 months then every year should keep it fresh is amazing what a light sand will do to teak usually only the first 1/2 mm is effected by weather or traffic
     
  6. BHOFM
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    BHOFM Senior Member

    Oil and fine steel wool? What kind of oil?
    Low fat?
     
  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The least expensive coating is natural oils. These are typically tung and linseed. Linseeds will darken the teak with age, but tung will not. These oil finishes don't shine very much, but kind of have a dull "glow" when fresh, which quickly wears off in a week or so. They also need to be applied several times a year to keep the coating in good order. It's easy to apply, just wipe a dampened rag over the areas, clean up excess and that's it. Do this every other month and you'll look great all year long.

    The harder finishes such as varnish, shellac and polyurethane last a lot longer then natural oils, but they cost a lot more and are more difficult to apply. You can have a mirror like finish with some brands, but applying these, let alone keeping up with them is a career in itself.

    All clear finishes on wood are difficult to live with. The varnishes are hard to apply well, but last a couple of years in most places. The oils are easy to apply, but you're doing it all the time.

    Epoxy coating doesn't help any of the the up keep issues and it means your epoxy base coats also have to be applied with care or it'll show through the finish coats.

    The choice is a personal one for most of us. The polyurethanes offer fast drying time, no sanding between coats on some brands, but there's hell to pay if you get damage to the coating. Varnishes are easily repaired if you get at it soon enough, but take a long time to dry between coats, which permits every bug in the area to come over and go swimming in your fresh handy work. The oils don't shine and are very easy to keep up with, but you do it so often.

    Never use steel wool on a boat. It will quickly shed some of it's wool and these bits of steel will get into everything and rust. You'll never pick up all these little buggers and rust stains from hell is the return you'll get.

    Pick your poison.
     
  8. BHOFM
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    BHOFM Senior Member

    OK! I have it figured out:

    If you want beauty, you have to pay!

    If you want a little less beauty, you have to pay!

    Teak is the "wife" of the wood groups!

    High maintenance!

    I am going to see what oils are at the store.

    What kind of rags should I use? Unbleached Egypten
    cotton harvested by a virgin by the light of a full moon.
    Spun by a holy man. woven by a high princesses?

    Or is there something a little cheaper?:p :p :p
     
  9. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Naaaa, I just use old underwear man . . .
     
  10. BHOFM
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    BHOFM Senior Member

    I got some Watco teak oil at Lowes. It looks good. Just
    wipe on, wait, wipe off. Nice soft look.

    BUT,, I got a rash when I put my underwear back on??
     
  11. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Let the oil soaked underwear dry first, before putting them back on . . .
     
  12. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    this is my table built of old flloor joists, 17 coats boiled oil , let soak in over night each coat, thin first 50/50 turps, can put scolding plates on it, no,marks, cheap, use linseed if you cant find boiled rubbed it in with old sack, then finished bees wax
     

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  13. BHOFM
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    BHOFM Senior Member

    Nice, I made my study furniture from the cheapest lumber
    I could find and stained it with linseed oil and tea, heated
    for an hour or so.

    Ten coats or so.

    [​IMG]

    The truth; I used one of my wifes old make up brushes to apply the teak
    oil, sable, soft. An old T-shirt to rub it off.
     
  14. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member

    I have been using the Epiphanes 'Woodfinish' products and getting good service. The product allows 72 hours of re-coat time with out sanding so I usually go five coats or so sand out- then repeat till I have the coats I need. The Epiphanes products are a good compromise of flex/hardness so they wear well and don't tent to chip in service. Good color and can be patched fine during the season if needed. I finish with Epiphanes high gloss for the last few coats. This is a full out varnish.

    edit- varnish on blocks is not for the faint of heart, maybe soak the shells in something... par should know the traditional approach. I have a few on my boat and they go gray as I don't have the patience to keep them in good form with varnish.
     

  15. Kaptin-Jer
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    Kaptin-Jer Semi-Pro

    Which ever method you use , oil or varnish, it is a multi level repetition of application, and sanding. For the exterior bright-work I have found that the inexpensive Minwax varnish that you can buy at Walmart works great. It will flow on in hot sunlight, you can apply and sand 2 coats in a day, and the finish will last almost as long as the expensive stuff. I feel that if you are going to re-coat in 6 months with the expensive stuff, use the cheaper varnish and re-coat in 5 months.
     

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