Varnish, Poly or Epoxy for interior woodworking? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 09-14-2007 Thread Starter
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Varnish, Poly or Epoxy for interior woodworking?

Just curious what folks thought would be the best preservative for interior woodwork...

Chris
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post #2 of 15 Old 09-14-2007
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Teak oil for teak
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post #3 of 15 Old 09-14-2007
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I've used Min-Wax Quick Dry Polyurethane on interior teak. Easy to work with and it looks grreat. Does a good job of protecting the wood, too. Use the gloss level you want. I don't recommend teak oil for anything, but that's just me. It turns dark and I think it's the favorite food of mold and mildew. Varnish would be a second choice. Epoxy is overkill for the interior.

FYI -- I have used Min-Wax Rub-On Poly to touch up the varnish job on my current boat's interior wood. Easy application and it really makes the wood look sharp.

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post #4 of 15 Old 09-14-2007
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The big enemy of exterior teak is the sun. For interior teak, it doesn't really need any protection unless you want to change its look. If you like the way oil looks, use oil, but your will have to renew it ocassionally. Varnish will hold up a long time inside and look good. On recent models of cruising J boats, they have no wood on the outside, but lots of varnished wood on the inside; looks terrific.
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post #5 of 15 Old 09-14-2007
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HARD (bar top type) VARNISH is best for interiors.
its not soft and flexible like spar varnish, can take 'dings' and abrasive wear fairly bombproof vs. water intrusion, etc.
Usually only available from a paint shop with an ancient proprietor who remembers how to make/blend this stuff (from scratch).
Is gloss only, but requires 'hand-rubbing' (like ALL good varnishes do) after curing .... if you want super-GLOSS are hand-rubbed with Rottenstone and water; If semigloss ... rottenstone and oil; if satin, fine pumice and oil.
Should be 'oil-based'. Tung oil base is probably best.

Straight Oil finishes can be made 'glossier' than varnish but require many 'thick' coats and/but will eventually oxidize and turn dark ..... look at the old sailing ships, thats not black paint on them but oil finishes that totally oxidized. Although oil finishes are easy and look good initially .. there will be a day of reakoning when the oil finish will have to be totally stripped, the wood bleached back to 'color' ... and on that day you will take the oath to varnish only in the future. Oil finishes will ultimately degrade to the apparent 'warmth' of a mausoleum or cave.

Synthetic varnish finishes are a royal bitch to repair if damaged ... usually requiring the WHOLE panel or piece to be totally stripped and re-varnished, etc. I have had good results with "McCluskeys - Tung Seal" a mix of tung oil base and 'synthetics ... plus colorizing 'tints' ... can be hand-rubbed to 'brilliance'.

'French Polished' Shellac is the 'brightest/shiney-est/most glossy' but is not water resistant (water rings) and is a bitch to 're-do'. Found on private jets and ultra-expensive mega-yachts.

Cetol, etc. .... for concrete floors, etc. When buying an expensive used boat where someone used cetol on the interior (and exterior) ... would be an instant 'deal breaker'

HAND-RUBBING develops the 'patina' of the surface wood cells under the finish coat and yields a glowing irridescent effect that is 'dazzling' to the eye.

Last edited by RichH; 09-14-2007 at 03:38 PM.
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post #6 of 15 Old 09-14-2007
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Why no cetol

Cetol, etc. .... for concrete floors, etc. When buying an expensive used boat where someone used cetol on the interior (and exterior) ... would be an instant 'deal breaker'

Why would this be a deal breaker?
I use cetol on both interior and exterior, is easy to touch up if needed and looks great.
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post #7 of 15 Old 09-14-2007
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I should have said I use Cetol Marine. If that makes a difference.
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post #8 of 15 Old 09-15-2007
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It depends on what the woodwork is in many cases. Ultimate Sole is often used for cabin soles, but the other interior woodwork requires something different, and what you use is often determined by personal preference.

Oil is simple, but gets fairly dirty. Varnish, properly done is beautiful, but takes a lot of effort to maintain IMHO. Cetol or one of the polyureathane finishes is probably the best combination of apperance and ease of maintenance.

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post #9 of 15 Old 09-16-2007
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IMHO polyureathane is the only way to go. Wash with water to clean and it will look perfect for 20 years.
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post #10 of 15 Old 09-16-2007
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Polyureathane is good for some woodwork, but I wouldn't use it for the cabin sole. Polyureathane is pretty slippery when wet.
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Originally Posted by Rickm505 View Post
IMHO polyureathane is the only way to go. Wash with water to clean and it will look perfect for 20 years.

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a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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