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Old 03-15-2013
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Re: Finish for new mahogany

If you would rather spend time on the water than refinishing, forget Cetol and simply varnish it RIGHT the first time.
Or paint it.
I have a buttload of wood on my boat, all of it finished bright, none of it finished with Cetol.
(Can you tell I am not a fan of Cetol, the naugahyde of brightwork finishes?)
if you do a full varnish schedule the first time, you don't have to revarnish every season, or even every two seasons.
or even every 3 seasons.
I am the laziest slackest SOB you ever met, so anything that cuts down on my maintenance workload makes me happy- investing the effort into doing the brightwork right once beats having to do it again annually or semi-annually.
First off, pick up "The brightwork companion" by rebecca wittman. It's a great guide to doing brightwork, and the photography will make a varnish convert out of anybody.

wipe down bare wood with thinner. Lay on 2 coats of varnish thinned 50%. sand the surface to get rid of imperfections and cut the gloss. lay on two more coats thinned 25%. sand. lay on two coats thinned 10%. Sand. lay on a coat thinned 5%. sand. lay on a thin full strength coat.
Nod and accept the compliments which will come your way.
You can usually "hot coat" the thinned coats if you use a quality varnish.
My favourite varnish isn't available in the US, a lot of wooden boat guys swear by, of all things, Behr Spar Varnish from home depot, but i have't tried it so i can't recommend it or swear you off of it. Epifanes is always a good choice. Find one you like and have fun!
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