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Old 02-10-2003
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Teak - Oil and Varnish

My interior has a lot of teak which has been maintained with oil. Over the years, the wood has darkened (as I understand it is prone to do when oiled). Would like to try to brighten things up. With darkened oiled teak, is it possible to remove the old oil and get down to bare teak without sanding (e.g., using some sort of remover? Is the wood permanently darkened?
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Old 02-10-2003
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Teak - Oil and Varnish

Stormer,
Some of the darkening is caused simply by "dirt" collecting in the oil over the years. If it is possible for you to take a mild solution of soap and water and first wash the teak, you may be surprised how much it lightens up. Then for future oilings try mineral oil. This does not collect as much dust and dirt because it "sinks" into the wood faster. Good luck and hope this helps.

bobbi
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Old 02-11-2003
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Teak - Oil and Varnish

me thinks that the "darkening" could be micro-organisms that feed on the oil.
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Old 02-11-2003
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Teak - Oil and Varnish

It''s a lot of work to do the job right, but here''s how I did mine.
Use TSP to clean the teak. This is Tri sodium Phosphate, not the product sold as "TSP". The TSP will bring the oil out of the wood with a little scrubing with a medium bristle brush. Scrub across the wood grain or at a 45 degree angle to avoid scrubbing out the softer wood found in the grain. Wipe off the gunk and rinse the wood with water and let dry.

If you want it lighten it more, use Oxalic Acid solution. Apply it and let sit for 10 to 20 minutes then rinse with a solution of Borax to neutalize the acid. This should lighten the teak to a nice golden brown.

To apply the solutions sparingly, I used a small sponge dipped in the solution (wear gloves!) If you don''t squeeze the sponge too hard you can control the amount of liquid actually being applied to the wood. It''s a good idea to have plastic sheeting below the work area and maybe some old towels to soak up the liquid and gunk.

The oil darkens because it oxidizes with age. As mentioned earlier, some oil may be better than others. Personally, I like varnish, as it is a permanent finish that makes your boat look like a yacht! Lots of work, but if you take pride in your boat, it is very rewarding to go the extra mile.
As I recall, I used about 1/4 cup of TSP to a gallon of water. two or three tablespoons of oxalic acid to a quart. If you aren''t getting results add a little more. If things are happening pretty fast add a little water.

Hope this helps!

Fairwinds,

Jim
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