Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Windy Wyoming
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Re: Bulkhead refinishing question
Oh dear ... it was Polyshades? I do loathe that stuff. At least a separate stain & varnish puts the pigment at the surface of the wood, where it lies flat. Polyshades is what you call a toner coating -- it suspends pigment like chaff in the film, so it scatters light in all directions. That's why it's so horribly mud-like. Minwax should be ashamed of that product. It makes many customers sad.
I'd try a gel stripper on one face of one bulkhead. Nice thing about Polyshades is the color IS in the coating. So if you can remove the varnish, you should take most of the color off with it. Follow up with a light brass-brushing parallel to the grain, sand 150 + 180 grit, and try again.
Yeah, wood finishing has a learning curve. Doesn't help that so many manufactureres are so dishonest about their products. (FWIW, we did use Polyshades on our ceiling beams. I wanted a one-and-done process & figured, at 14 feet, who is gonna see em?)
Albin Ballad 30, Fionn