Teak Maintenance Tips - SailNet Community

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Old 06-13-2002
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Teak Maintenance Tips

We have a 1986 Endeavor with lots of interior teak. Now we want to varnish the areas affected by water or age. The wood has a deep tone so I'd like to know the best way to match the existing wood. We lemon-oil the teak twice a year. Does this help in preserving it? Also, is there a product that will take the scratches out of Lexan portlights?

Sue & Larry respond:
To darken new teak to match older existing teak in your boat's interior, you have a several options. First, keep in mind that once varnished, teak appears darker than before varnishing. Always test the back of a piece first for color matching. After the teak is varnished, it will naturally darken with age. If you can’t wait for it to naturally darken and blend in with your existing teak (it could take years), there is a way to accelerate the natural darkening process. By simply laying the already varnished pieces of teak in the sun for a few days, you should see a significant color change. This may sound crazy, but it really does work to darken the wood.

Your final option to achieve the desired tone is to find a stain that matches your woodwork. Frequently old teak has become the color of natural cherry, or even a light mahogany. A little experimentation may be necessary. As for the application of lemon oil; if you are applying it to varnished teak, we’re not sure that it will have any effect other than giving you a temporary shine and removal of dust. Varnished wood just needs wiping down. Often water is all that is needed, or maybe some Fantastic or a little Murphy’s Oil Soap for dirtier spots.

To remove scratches from Lexan surfaces, there’s a product called Micro-mesh that is used in the aircraft industry to remove scratches from acrylic windshields and windows. It does work on polycarbonate materials like Lexan, but it will leave a very light haze. It will remove surface scratches, but not deep crazing.

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