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leogallant 10-03-2012 05:38 PM

Help! Refinishing Interior Teak
Hi all you teak refinishing experts!

I'm wondering what will be the best type of finish for teak cabinets below decks. I'm refinishing them in my shop then reinstalling in my boat. Cabinet boxes, frames, doors, drawer fronts, etc...

Varnish, and what type, or something else?

Not sure I want to just oil it, but its an option too...


Gladrags1 10-03-2012 07:21 PM

Help! Refinishing Interior Teak
4 Attachment(s)
I used Dalys Seafin as a topcoat on my boats teak. Glossy but not too much plus a hard finish. Test it on inconspicuous spot as I applied it over previously refinished teak and new teak plywood to see if you like it.


CalebD 10-03-2012 10:00 PM

Re: Help! Refinishing Interior Teak
For cabin bright work you should really be able to use a wide range of finishes, including varnish, oils and even polys. The cabin bright work does not have to stand up to the scourge of constant sun and moisture like your outside wood does.
Asking what brand of varnish is best is like asking what flavor ice cream people like. Out of 20 people you are likely to have 20 + answers.

I'll give you an example: I have used Interlux Schooner varnish. I like the way it smells and it looks nice. I have seen some woodwork done in Epiphanes and it also looks superb. The folks at the Wooden Boat Forum all seem to swear by a French varnish called Le Tonkinoise. I'd recommend all three having only tried one.

Part of your decision should be about what kind of finish you want in your cabin. If you want a matte finish then an oil may be the way to go, if you want a semi-gloss finish then only certain varnishes will give you this. There are quite a few high-gloss finishes you could use.

Ease of maintenance should be another consideration. Oil finishes will require the most maintenance usually. Varnishes should last a good long time in your cabin without much maintenance.

Ease of application or use should be yet another. Oils are easy to apply. Varnish is also pretty easy to use. Urathane finishes like Bristol Finish can be a bear to work with and smell horrible.

dacap06 10-03-2012 10:27 PM

Re: Help! Refinishing Interior Teak
I like tung oil. It is easy to apply and doesn't bubble. The more coats you put on, the shinier it is.

SloopJonB 10-03-2012 11:00 PM

Re: Help! Refinishing Interior Teak
Since you're doing it at home, I'd recommend REAL hand rubbed varnish. I did mine at home the following way - first coats of thinned gloss varnish then 3 or 4 coats of full strength, block sanding between the last couple with 220. After achieving a good matte 220 finish I went to 400 wet then 600 wet after which I rubbed it out with fine, hand applied automotive rubbing compound.

Lots of work but it came out gorgeous - a soft gloss, much nicer than the "rubbed effect" varnish but much softer than full gloss.

I regard those "rubbed effect" finishes the same way George Carlin did about chocolate food & drink advertizing.

"What does 'rich, chocolatey flavour mean?' - 'no f**king chocolate'". :D

PorFin 10-03-2012 11:04 PM

Re: Help! Refinishing Interior Teak

I've been very happy with poly for interior teak. It's nowhere near as demanding to apply well as varnish, and it holds up very well to the bumps and abrasions that typically occur in the cabin.

I used Minwax Helmsman (built the base coats with gloss, then finished with semigloss on most surfaces.) The Helmsman's got a little more body to it so it tends to buld a little faster than Minwax's vanilla poly. There's a little UV protection in the Helmsman as well, but that's not really a major concern below.

leogallant 10-04-2012 08:38 AM

Help! Refinishing Interior Teak
Thanks everyone! Gave me lots to think about! :-)

remetau 10-04-2012 09:08 AM

Re: Help! Refinishing Interior Teak
We chose Minwax Wipe-On Poly. It provides a very nice finish and you can't get any easier than wiping a finish on.

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