Refinishing Interior Wood

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by Abinoone, Sep 12, 2015.

  1. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 974
    Likes: 186, Points: 43, Legacy Rep: 512
    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    Abinoone, I'm an amateur/hobby restorer who did a 73 Silverton sedan. I have a fair amount of Philippine Mahogany interior trim and plywood panels in the interior of this boat. The boat was restored with all new woods so I didn't have the potential compatibility issues.

    I used Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane on my trim and bright wood. I used HPDL (think Formica or Wilsonart) in interior ply (cabinets/berths) and painted my ply that was the interior surface of an outside part (back cabin walls, companionway doors, etc..) with Interlux Perfection.

    The Minwax (6 coats) has been on there for 3 or 4 years. Inside parts look as good as the day they were installed. I added a few pieces of exterior bright trim and am not so pleased with the Helmsman there. So inside OK, outside no good. I'm in New York so UV is similar to you.

    We're all different but I wanted a white interior and some bright finished trim. Makes the boat feel bigger. Also the HPDL is a snap to clean. Softscrub w/bleach makes short work of any dirt.

    Note to PAR: You keep up on this more than I do. Are the LPU's like Perfection really going to be regulated out of the market? I hadn't seen anything on that but I'll have to look. Eventually I want to paint the outside of the boat, maybe I should buy some soon. It doesn't seem to go bad.
  2. Abinoone
    Joined: Sep 2015
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Buffalo, NY

    Abinoone New Member

    Thank you everyone for your thoughts and suggestions! My Bristol is 1975. I'm the third owner and am not sure of the interior has ever been refinished although I suspect that it has because the finish is not in horrible condition - just could use a refresh.

    I refinished one small sliding panel with Minwax Helmsman Satin, just to see what it would look like. It actually turned out pretty good although of course it would need many more coats before being "done". PAR's advice seems right to me - use good quality marine one part ployethurane rather than Minwax, to achieve better aesthetics and a longer lasting finish, so I'm tentatively planning to shop West Marine tomorrow for a good quality product. I like an amber hue and satin finish on my wood - anyone have a suggestion on what one-part polyeurethane would achieve this result? I'm an amateur refinisher so need a product that would be fairly easy to apply with a foam or natural bristle brush. Also, should I start the with a thinned 25% solution for the first coat, then 50% for the next coat, 75% for the third, and 100% for the fourth, etc or simply use straight polyeurethane out of the can from the get go?

    Thanks again for your advice!
  3. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 9,590
    Likes: 812, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Follow whatever instructions are on the can re thinning. You should be able to get a satin finish in most products, but if they only have gloss or matt/low sheen, you can mix them to get the desired gloss level.
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 479, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    West Marine is the most costly way to acquire finishing products. Buy online and save a bunch over full retail.

    You need only thin to permit a good "flow" rate, no more. Since the wood has already received coatings, previously, you shouldn't thin it much, as it's not going to penetrate much (the real reason the first coats are typically thinned). You might also consider the reusable hand sprayers


    For small projects you can get much faster and more consistent results. It will take some practice to get the feel for these puppies, but once you do, you'll look like a pro.

  5. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
    Posts: 1,270
    Likes: 25, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 271
    Location: Hampshire UK

    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Like PAR says, you just need the right 'flow'. Generally on already filled surfaces, with a one pack poly I tend to thin around 5% because I know the product and it will brush (or roller) very flat and not run even on vertical faces. Most of the alkyds are similar but each brand may prefer a very small addition of 'thinner' to get the correct 'flow'. Just done half a dozen rudder blades (clear one pack varnish) all hung vertical, no runs perfect flat finish, and with a brush. Rollers work well too, I prefer to chop my mini rollers to about 50mm (2") length, especially useful on very curved surfaces, just depends how big the total area is and how flat. The shorter length gives a more even pressure and coating in my experience, but go with what works for you, bit less waste at the end too when you bung the roller...

    Most of the 2Ks' I've used only require the thinner(s) on the first couple of coats on new work to get it to saturate and fill the grain. They (2K varnishes) seem to be a bit easier to get to flow, in fact if they get difficult the product is curing in the pot!.

    We have low VOC varnishes now in Europe and I suspect all the marine paint manufacturers have had to change their products. I'm not completely sure the new products are quite as good but time will tell. The first can of one of these 'New Formula' products I used mid job on one boat caused some wrinkling when I overcoated....even though it had plenty of drying time, but way inside the overcoat time. Funny how the base thinners for the product had changed from cellulose thinners based to white spirit based....;)
Similar Threads
  1. sdowney717
  2. chaney0243
  3. ancient kayaker
  4. theoldwizard1
  5. Mike70
  6. tropicalbuilder
  7. DennisRB
  8. chumleywon
  9. aesciarrino1
  10. purvisgs
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.