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  #1  
Old 02-05-2006
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Varnish Removal Question

The previous owner of our boat used varnish on all the teak. The seats and cockpit floor boards. It was in bad shape in spots and was flaking and pealing. Most of the surface is sound.
My plan is to strip it down to the bare wood, clean it and than recoat it using something other than varnish; perhaps Creatol.
I am currently in the stripping process and I am using chemical strippers. I''m finding that I can get the top layers of old varnish off, but when I get down to the base, the wood still has the old yellowish glow of the old varnish. At this point I tried sanding, but I still have the yellow glow.
My questiom is; will I ever get down to the natural wood or will I always have that last bit of color in the wood?
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Old 02-06-2006
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Varnish Removal Question

Wood''s surface is uneven and that''s one reason you''ll ultimately need to sand. However, I would recommend you buy a high-quality scraper or two (not those Red Devil things) and a 1000/2000 watt heat gun. Using the low setting, melt/strip the varnish. Be careful of the gelcoat. This is IMO far easier, also quicker, and produces the best results you can hope for before sanding in less time. I suffered thru the same experience you are now when we bought our 42'' ketch. Ever since, I''ve found the heat gun the best way to remove the various teak coatings I''ve used.

Good luck; it''s a labor of love.

Jack
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Old 02-06-2006
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Varnish Removal Question

I second Jack''s opinion. I have used a heat gun with great success. You just have to be a bit careful where you aim it and how long you keep it there!

Gerhard
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Old 02-06-2006
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Varnish Removal Question

sailortjk1,
I will also second Jack''s recommendation for using a heat gun and quality scraper over using chemical strippers. It is definitely the best method and how the pros do it.

My Nauticat has a forest of teak, inside and out. After purchasing the boat in ''04, I knew the exterior teak needed to be stripped down to bare wood & recoated. It was a job I initially thought I would do, but after extensive research, decided to hire a professional crew instead. It was the best decision made.

I watched as they skillfully melted many layers of varnish with heat guns and razor-sharp scrapers. The layers curled off in ribbons, down to bare teak, with very little effort. Tough to get at areas required some chemical stripper and a final light sanding using 80-100 grit papers smoothed the surface with enough tooth for the sealer coat. The resulting 18 year old wood looked brand new when they finally finished.

Since I have a very profitable business to run, my rationalization of earning billable hours while they did all the grunt work was a no-brainer. I did the easy and glorifying job of applying the new finish coats and in the process, could detect no discoloration at all, just a natural, light brown teak color.

Steve
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Old 02-06-2006
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Varnish Removal Question

Thanks to everyone for their responses. Sounds like a heat gun will be added to the tool box.
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