Varnish over oiled teak? - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  

Quick Menu
Boat Reviews  
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Marine Electronics
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here

Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
 Not a Member? 
Old 08-10-2012
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Alameda, CA
Posts: 15
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Doc_V is on a distinguished road
Varnish over oiled teak?

Hello all,

I'm currently working on a 78 Newport 30, the boat has sat since 2008 with no work, but the previous owner was pretty meticulous and it's in pretty good condition. However, all the wood topside, which I'm assuming is teak, appears to have been oiled because there are no traces of varnish. The grain is clearly not smooth anymore and the new owner [a friend] wants to varnish it. Are there any incompatibility issues with applying new varnish over the old oiled wood? If so, any recommendations on what to do to insure a good result would be greatly appreciated.



Last edited by Doc_V; 08-11-2012 at 05:57 AM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 08-10-2012
CalebD's Avatar
Tartan 27' owner
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 4,551
Thanks: 4
Thanked 87 Times in 80 Posts
Rep Power: 7
CalebD will become famous soon enough
Re: Varnish over oiled teak?

Welcome Doc_V to Sailnut.

I always use teak oil prior to using a finish like varnish or Cetol. The oil makes the wood look great. Teak oil is also largely made up of Linseed oil which is one of the main components of most primitive varnishes. There should be no incompatibility between teak oil and varnish.
I stopped using varnish as it is too labor intensive and have switched to Cetol Natural Teak which holds up better. I find that even after oiling the teak and applying Cetol on top I have no problems with the finish coming up.
Of course, I like to let the teak oil seep in for about a week or two before I apply the more durable finish like Cetol. If I am in a hurry and can't wait I wipe the oiled teak down with Acetone on a rag and then start applying the finish coat. Wiping the wood down with Acetone prior to applying any finish is a good idea no matter how long the oil has had to seep in.
A caveat: teak oil will not make wood that has gone gray/silver with age look good unless it has been lightly sanded such that the wood is a more blond color. I have used a razor blade to take down the higher ridges followed by a light sanding with #220 grit sand paper and find that it is sufficient enough to allow the teak oil to soak in and create a nice ruddy (dark red) hue in the teak.
You might be amazed at how good your wood can look with a little prep work and some teak oil applied to it.
"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen

Everybody has one:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 08-11-2012
RichH's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,841
Thanks: 9
Thanked 75 Times in 68 Posts
Rep Power: 15
RichH will become famous soon enough
Re: Varnish over oiled teak?

Oil and oil based varnishes are compatible. So depends on what type of varnish was used - oil based or urethane, etc. based.
However, an oil finish unless specifically 'loaded' with UV stabilizers will ultimately oxidize and darken to 'black'. Oil finishes arent good surface treatments of exterior teak for this reason.
Better to strip the oil either chemically with TriSodiumPhosphate - TSP or sand it down to flat-grained.
There are too many modern finishes that far exceed the service life of 'varnish'; and, constantly sanding, etc. the surface to constantly re-varnish 'wears out' the wood - faster than letting it go grey and 'eroded'.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 08-12-2012
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Alameda, CA
Posts: 15
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Doc_V is on a distinguished road
Re: Varnish over oiled teak?

Thanks for the info. I've been doing some additional digging around based on the Cetol recommendation, and it sounds like that's the way to go...
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 08-14-2012
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 54
Thanks: 11
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 3
juggleandhope is on a distinguished road
Re: Varnish over oiled teak?

is RichH's post the consensus - that our good options for exterior teak are;
a. let it go grey or
b. use a modern "finish" like cetol?

or is calebd's point that one should oil and then do cetol better?

since i'm new to this and have someone who would be willing to help with freshening up the exterior teak i'd like to know consensus best practice (or at least the 2-3 dominant perspectives). i'm in brooklyn and don't need to fight the tropical sun.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Teak Varnish Removal? frjeff Gear & Maintenance 12 05-05-2012 08:10 AM
teak varnish? LakePirate85 Gear & Maintenance 2 02-23-2012 06:09 PM
Teak varnish? saurav16 Gear & Maintenance 8 09-14-2007 11:04 AM
varnishing oiled teak? lhooks Gear & Maintenance 8 02-22-2006 08:40 AM
Teak - Oil and Varnish Stormer Gear & Maintenance 3 02-11-2003 08:48 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:51 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) LLC 2000-2012

The store is owned and operated by a company independent of the forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.