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Old 12-04-2002
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bristol coating instead of varnish

Last year (spring 2001) I scraped off the many layers of Cetol on my exterior teak and applied the recommended 6 coats of Bristol Finish. After about 3 months, it started lifting up at the hard edges of the toe rail -- the 90 degree bend where the top and sides meet. I called the outfit for advice, and talked to the owner. He said it won''t stick to hard bends like that, and that I had to round off the edges if I expected the BF to stick. I wasn''t happy because the literature said nothing about that, and the stuff costs $50 a quart.

So this spring I rounded off the edges as he advised using a random orbital sander (just a tad - not too much) and gave it all another 6 coats of BF. It is holding up very well, although there are a couple of spots where I need to do some more sanding to round it off more.

All told, I am pleased with the final result but wish the literature covered this hard edge issue. BF is a hard, tough finish that looks terrific. My hatch boards look terrific and this was their second full season with the original 6 coats. And I think the toe rails will be fine with the edge rounded off some. When I touch up the couple of spots that need it, I''ll put another 3 coats or so on the toe rails just to be safe, and because I should have enough BF left to do that. May as well use it up on the assumption that it should last another 3-4 years here on the Chesapeake, and I''ll buy new down the road.

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