Tartan 27' owner
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Re: Help! Refinishing Interior Teak
For cabin bright work you should really be able to use a wide range of finishes, including varnish, oils and even polys. The cabin bright work does not have to stand up to the scourge of constant sun and moisture like your outside wood does.
Asking what brand of varnish is best is like asking what flavor ice cream people like. Out of 20 people you are likely to have 20 + answers.
I'll give you an example: I have used Interlux Schooner varnish. I like the way it smells and it looks nice. I have seen some woodwork done in Epiphanes and it also looks superb. The folks at the Wooden Boat Forum all seem to swear by a French varnish called Le Tonkinoise. I'd recommend all three having only tried one.
Part of your decision should be about what kind of finish you want in your cabin. If you want a matte finish then an oil may be the way to go, if you want a semi-gloss finish then only certain varnishes will give you this. There are quite a few high-gloss finishes you could use.
Ease of maintenance should be another consideration. Oil finishes will require the most maintenance usually. Varnishes should last a good long time in your cabin without much maintenance.
Ease of application or use should be yet another. Oils are easy to apply. Varnish is also pretty easy to use. Urathane finishes like Bristol Finish can be a bear to work with and smell horrible.
"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen
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