How to stain decks with white stripes?

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by sigurdni, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. sigurdni
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    sigurdni Junior Member

    Im sure there's a neat answer to this but so far I haven't been able to find out after scanning books or web...

    Classic mahogany runabouts often have a classy look with mahogany planks and white stripes/inlays (or whatever they're called). For the boats I've observed this has been 5-6mm mahogany laid on plywood with thickened epoxy (whitener added) for the stripes. The question is, before varnishing or epoxy/urethane-coating the boat, how do you stain the mahogany without messing up the white stripes? I presume all such decks are neatly sanded before staining, creating microscratches in both wood and epoxy. Any spoiled stain on sanded epoxy surfaces is in my experience very tricky to remove.

    What is the trick here? Im quite curious on the best practice...

    The reason I'd like to stain is to obtain a darker coloured mahogany and avoid bleeching.

    Here's a typical example: Dolvik 30

    Sigurd
     
  2. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Very carefully.... I assumed the white stripes are repainted after the wood is stained.
     
  3. sigurdni
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    sigurdni Junior Member

    That is possibly one solution, but sounds unlikely to me if going for the perfect... On the other hand Im no professional craftsman, and who knows what professionals are capable of with a simple brush...?
     
  4. CaptBill
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    CaptBill CaptBill

    You just want to finish sand with a fine enough grit on the epoxy enough to where it is slick enough not to hold the stain. So when you wipe the stain off (apply with stain rag, wipe with clean) your epoxy should be clean. Key is to get the epoxy as smooth as possible. You can also, after the stain has penetrated the wood, use mineral spirits to rub the epoxy clean before the stain dries in any spots missed. Use a rag over a chisel and turn often and wipe any solvent drips up quick.
     
  5. CaptBill
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    CaptBill CaptBill

    Also...

    Don't forget to test! Find the most inconspicuous spot. Having stripes makes this easier in your case.

    Prep is everything here. The actual staining should go very fast so you want to be organized when you get to that stage. Consider that carefully. You cannot stop or hit bottlenecks or you will see overlaps. You have the luxury with the stripes because you can easily break on a stripe. So work sections for safety.
     
  6. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    I would suggest the planking be laid in thickened epoxy (as if thinset cement when tiling) with the grooves between left unfilled (just like with tile).
    The striping is done after all staining/varnishing of the planks. A special mini-roller loaded with white paint is used, or a pin-striping brush with white paint if you have talent. The tools and paint can be ordered from mid-west wooden runabout rebuilding suppliers.
    Originally, the white color was white lead. Now, the sealant between planking is usually a flexible caulk like 3M 5200 (not epoxy). It's applied with a caulking gun and a putty knife after planking has been taped off. It shrinks a bit, dishing in. The tape is removed right away and any caulk is cleaned up with a mild solvent before it cures. This process may eliminate the problem of epoxy yellowing or staining. It works well when the planking is solid wood screwed to beams.
     
  7. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    5200 is not UV resistant and a bad choice for deck caulk. Use Sika or Saba deck seal. Caulk does not shrink and should be sanded after it cures. We do thousands of linear feet of it every year.
     
  8. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    The white paint of the pin-striping covers the 5200, so no UV. Any case, the idea is to use a caulk that will dish in a little after curing. 5200 does that (by shrinking). This allows sanding future varnish coats without touching the white paint in the groove (though the white can be varnished over a couple of times before repainting).
     
  9. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The white isn't wood, it's caulk and it's almost always polysulfide. The usual color choices are black and white, though tan, brown and other colors are some times available, with brown being the most common after white and black. The good stuff is a two part product and it's applied after the planks have been stained and sealed. All this talk about inlays is silly, it's just caulking seams.
     
  10. bulk-head
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    bulk-head Junior Member

    White epoxy seam compound may work on a varnished deck. I have no experience. How to stain, fill with epoxy, then sand flat without distrubing the stained wood ?

    Not sure what Par is talking about... flexible Deck "goo" like coloured caulking is a maintenance nightmare and not the best choice for varnish decks.

    The very fine mahogany runabouts such as built by Boesch in Switzerland use mahogany decks that are spline seamed, inlaid , with white Canadian Maple.

    Locally a runabout refitter lays the mahogany deck .. planks butted together..NO SEAM. then with a skill saw and flexible guide batten, cuts the seam. This produces perfectly even thickness...say 6 or 8mm, that is perfectly "fair" for the white wood splines. The flexible batten saw guide is a timber or ply batten with kerfs cut on one side. It is formed to the intended seam cut, then screwed down....thru an adjacent plank seam to avoid damaging the deck. The coverboards and detailed seams are are done with router jigs and very sharp hand tools.

    I have not been present when the maple splines are cut flush. If I see the guys this week I will ask it there are any tricks, type of stain and what type of glue they use to hold the maple splines down. The last deck I saw was painted in a clear polyurethane varnish. .
     

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  11. bulk-head
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    bulk-head Junior Member

  12. nwaters
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    nwaters Junior Member

    I used a caulk called poly seamseal after I stained the mahogany. Most people paint white after they varnish because the varnish has a amber color. I personally liked the amber color over the white caulk so, I didn't pin stripe.There are lots of articles on the subject and even more opinions, If it is caulk you should be able to remove,stain, then re seal with white Sika.
    http://glen-l.com/deckseams.pdf
     

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  13. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Polyseamseal is for houses I believe. If it works, great, but for another $10 you could have a real marine caulk. I do agree with the method however, rolling the grooves with white striping paint afterwards. The varnish can be the final coat too, since it has uv protection. Of course, you're really going to get an amber color with ten coats of varnish. And pretty soon the white paint has got to go on.
     
  14. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    What do we know Alan, those seems are unstained ash or hickory or holly inlays for all we know. Caulk, paint, naaa, they're inlays, because they wear so well and have such good expansion and contraction qualities, but again what do we know.
     

  15. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Well Paul, I don't have a huge amount of experience with white-striping seams but The process of using white hardwoods between planks seems to be how interior cabin soles are best done. Of course you can do anything you like if you never let up one bit when it comes to maintenance, but I can't imagine it's easy once it's been let go for a while. I like more forgiving methods. I suppose you could lay some fiberglass cloth over everything like you do strippers but there's hell to pay if you don't religiously keep the varnish up.
    Whereas, treating the surface like it's really going to expand and contract, refinishing is a lot more manageable.
     
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