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  #1  
Old 09-06-2006
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Help, please with varnish colour...

I recently sanded the weathered teak handrails on our boat back to bare wood and applied four coats of varnish. I think it looks quite good, a nice sandy satin colour; but my wife thinks it's too light and wants more of a red/brown hue to it. I don't want to sand it back to bare wood and apply a stain/varnish. Is there any varnish that is more amber/gold in colour that might darken the handrails if I apply a few coats on top of the existing varnish? I don't want it to go as dark as normal cetol. Any ideas?
Thanks,
Frank.
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Old 09-06-2006
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Hi Frank: You have must have used a "clear" varnish. The fact that it looks so good and light is a tribute to you doing an excellent prep job. However, most varnishes have a natural Amber Color. Some more than others.

Try Petit Captain's Varnish No. 1015. It is definitely has the deepest amber I have seen. I would probably sand with some 150 grit just to reduce what is there and finish with some 400 to buff it out. Then re-coat. It will darken it some but not that much. The problem is you need to darken the wood. But it's worth a shot.
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Old 09-06-2006
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Why not apply a single layer of Cetol? That would give you some of the color, but probably not be as dark as using just Cetol.
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four coats is a good start. I'd go to at least seven for the initial coating. Because almost all spar varnishes have an amber tint, more coats will give a more amber color. Also, wait a year and the sun will take care of the color change for you.
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[quote=Surfesq] You have must have used a "clear" varnish.

Yes, it was a clear varnish. I was anticipating that even though clear, it would still look a bit darker because of the "wet" look, but it actually dried looking only a slight bit darker than the bare wood, though with a satin shine to it. If I get no other replies, I'll try the Captains varnish as you suggest. I am concerned about one coat of cetol, as I think it may look a bit streaky over the varnish--maybe I need to do a test of both.
thanks for your replies.
Frank.
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Absolutely do not use Cetol. You would defeat the whole purpose of using Varnish. Cetol just does not hold up and will peal right off the varnish. Also, as the other poster suggested, you should put on 7 coats the first time around. In the spring sand very lightly with 300 grit and hit it with two coats. Its worth the initial effort and will last for years as long as you maintain it. Good luck.
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That's the problem, in my opinion, with these new poly clearcoats - they do dry absolutely clear and therefore don't give that golden varnished look. Especially the varathanes.
It also seems to be getting more difficult to find a source for traditional "spar" varnish that does give that particular look.
On the flip side I'm sure the durability of the new finishes is better, though outside nothing is forever.
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The wood will darken as it exposed to the sun. The varnish job I did on my companionway boards has darkened very noticeably over the last six weeks. I also used clear varnish. The board that is in the track is several shades lighter.

When I finished I was also disappointed with how light it was, but now it is approaching the color I wanted, very rich. Maybe all you have to do is wait.
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1) Try a couple of coats of one of the Epifanes products. I use Woodfinish gloss and really like the amber color of it.

2) Have your wife apply them.

3) Agree with the comment to leave the Cetol on the shelf at your chandlery.
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Old 09-07-2006
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1. The poly varnish WILL darken if exposed to sunlight...my cockpit table with leaves that fold over is now 2 tone!
2. Cetol is NOT a good idea over varnish...2 coats of Cetol on bare wood + coats of Cetol gloss give a look tht is close to varnish and amber in color and much more durable and easy to touch up with more gloss coat and a scrub pad. Too late for that in your case so I'd go with the Epifanes or just wait for the sun to do its' job!
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