Sticky Interior Wood - HELP?

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Allie, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Allie
    Joined: Nov 2017
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Altadena, CA

    Allie New Member

    I am restoring a 1976 Islander 28 and the inside wood is sort of sticky. I have no idea what is on the wood. Here is what I do know, it is a little sticky and the finish leaves marks (light brownish yellow) on anything that rubs against it. There are drip marks in some places. I have sprayed a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water on the wood and that sort of starts to remove it after I scrub, the wood is then several shades lighter but I am having a hard time with consistent removal. Does anyone know how to get this stuff off so I can make the boat pretty again? Also any recommendations for interior finishes?

    Thank you!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 473, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome to the forum.

    Well material removal, is dependent on what you're trying to take off, so a more accurate idea of what it is will help. It might simply be a thick coating of furniture wax, but could also be spilled Coca Cola. It also depends on what you're trying to do, just remove the coating, so it can be refinished or wholesale surface prep, which removes varnish, stain, etc.

    Usually it's best to "sneak up on it", first with mild soap and water, dry and see what you get. Next a harsher soap, then you'd move to chemicals, possibly in combinations (be careful, you can make a big, possibly toxic mess). I'd first start with white vinegar, to dissolve any organics, like furniture wax or spilled soda. Next would be mineral spirits, which will leave an oily residue, but is easily removed or left to evaporate. The nice thing about mineral spirits is it's low evaporation rate and it's friendly to most finishes, particularly varnishes and polyurethanes. If you move up into some of the more harsh chemicals, like toluene and acetone, you will affect the finish and underlying stain, plus you might have over coating issues when the time comes, unless you're just going to paint.

    Lastly, don't "scrub" but wipe the surface with a well soaked soft cloth rag. Scrubbing will leave marks that you'll have to address later, if the finish is to remain "bright". On the other hand, scrub away if you're just going to paint. Let the chemicals do the work, your elbows will like you better.
     
  3. Allie
    Joined: Nov 2017
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Altadena, CA

    Allie New Member

    Thank you, I am positive there is not varnish on the wood. I have taken it (in places) to bare teak with the method I described. I think it is either some sort of oil (probably tung or linseed, as I found that in the dock box) or possibly shellac (based on its response to rubbing alcohol). My goal is to bring it down to bare wood, it doesn't appear to be stained, and then give it some sort of oil or protective coating that will keep it safe. I am prepared to re-oil as necessary. My husband suggested polyurethane... but I was thinking teak or lemon oil....???
     
  4. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 5,403
    Likes: 197, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 2489
    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    I have seen shellac behave the way you describe. I would wipe it down with an alcohol type solvent to clean it and reseal it with a more modern coating like polyurethane varnish. My folks had a shellacked rocking chair when I was a kid and my arms always stuck to it when I sat down to cool off after playing.
     
    fallguy likes this.
  5. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 5,403
    Likes: 197, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 2489
    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    But you could stay with the oil if you prefer.
     
  6. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 5,403
    Likes: 197, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 2489
    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Wood Butcher

  7. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 8,130
    Likes: 393, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    If it is some kind of finish that hasn't "gone off" properly for whatever reason ( very old oil of some kind, that won't air dry for some mysterious reason), you need the appropriate solvent for that finish, and as mentioned start with the most gentle solvents, even plain water. Try that which is less noxious first, strong solvents in a confined space are a health hazard. I'd try sugar soap solution to see if it has any effect.
     
  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 473, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    To test if it's shellac, pour a small amount of denatured alcohol on an inconspicuous area and let it sit for 10 minutes. After dry, if it's sticky it's shellac. If it is, soak a rag and really wet out the area(s) and letting it soak in good, then wipe it off. A soaked, soft scouring pad, rubbed with the grain will remove a yellowish slurry, eventually producing a fairly clean surface. This is where you can let it dry and take sandpaper to it.

    If it's a bad batch of non-cured goo of some sort, you'll use similar techniques, just different chemicals, which is why it's important to figure out what it is. In 1978, it would be odd to have seen shellac used, but you never know.

    Linseed and tung oil will react more favorably to mineral spirits or turpentine and it's the same deal, rub with the grain, until the cloth isn't producing any more residue. To some degree, these three finishes will leave some color and oil in the wood's pores and only fine sanding will remove it, along with actual wood surface too.

    To refinish, you have several choices. Oil finishes are the least durable and offer very limited UV protection, particularly on teak. Vegetable and fruit oils tend to go rancid in time and UV exposure, so avoid them. This species will darken (raw teak) at the mere mentioning of sunlight. Varnishes are much better in this regard and are also pretty easy to repair when the time comes (it always does with bright work). The polyurethanes are more durable than the varnishes and also more glossy, plus usually easier to apply, but hell to pay, if you let repairs and touch ups get away from you and repairs are necessary. In most cases, the polys need to have all of the previous finish removed, before a new coat can be applied, if maintenance to the previous coating wasn't kept after.
     
  9. owene
    Joined: Aug 2009
    Posts: 20
    Likes: 0, Points: 1, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Nelson, NZ

    owene Mr Owen Charles

    Wouldn't be Iroko by any chance? That looks pretty much like teak but effuses oils for many years. That is why the test piece I burried in wet soil back in 2003 still looks like a babies bum - not a mark on it nor any suggestion of fungal attack.
     
  10. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
    Posts: 2,257
    Likes: 149, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1082
    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    I second Murphys Oil Soap. This doesn't have to turn in to an epic project unless you want it to. Drying oils such as tung oil do get sticky, Particularly around the galley area. My boat has teak and teak ply interior. It has spent much of it's life in the tropics, and some just out of the tropics. It has been in the water since about 1980. I wipe the interior with Murphy's once per year and follow with more tung oil. The galley and hatch need done twice per year. When I prop the bow hatch open a lot, there is a bulkhead that needs wiped down as well. That's all there is to it. You'll go through a few rags the first couple times, then things will start to get better. I can do the entire interior of my 38'er with a couple 25 cent washclothes now.

    Those teak panel edges look to be the same as I have. They will probably be the worst to de-goo. They might take five or six goes at one-month intervals, but they come around in the end.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018

  11. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 473, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Murphy's oil soap is a very old school cleaner, basically potassium and a vegetable or fruit oil base. I don't use this on wood very often, preferring to dissolve the oils with harsher chemical scrubbings. This can be problematic, as you can easily scrub out softer growth rings, leaving the harder rings standing proud. This is a common problem if teak is roughly scrubbed with a stiff brush, but if softly scrubbed with a soft brush, not as much a problem.
     
    hoytedow and fallguy like this.
Loading...
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.