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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Remove Varnish from Teak Caulk
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Thread: Remove Varnish from Teak Caulk Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-09-2014 04:50 PM
christian.hess
Re: Remove Varnish from Teak Caulk

its what I was told from old timers when I restored my old h28...

they call them deck brushes for something! jajaja

there are different kinds for sure some better than others

we had a very thick yet short and relatively pliable brush and every day I would go at it, especially at anchor...id shower at the same time

after our big trip I belt sanded and caulked the decks and it looked REALLY GOOD

the trick also to prevent getting the grooves is also to fine sand them every so often so that you expose sealed wood under...the finer the better since the wood will be less porous if that makes any sense

once you see grey very grooved wood it means you have to take off a lot more for the wood to survive longer
05-09-2014 04:46 PM
Minnewaska
Re: Remove Varnish from Teak Caulk

Quote:
Originally Posted by christian.hess View Post
straight saltwater daily and brush AGAINST the grain...never with...its that the destroys the teak quite quickly
This is the correct method. However, I've often wondered if the grain direction dates back pre-scotchpad days. It makes sense that individual bristles would be an issue. It would seem the rounded loops would not get too far into the grain either way. Nevertheless, I stick with cross grain where possible.
05-09-2014 12:06 PM
christian.hess
Re: Remove Varnish from Teak Caulk

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Sounds great! To clean the bare teak, get a scotch pad and rub it down weekly. Never, ever use a brush, whose bristles will get down inside the grain and remove the softer parts, causing premature wear. Teak loves straight salt water, so if you use that before you wash the decks, all the better.

I have also found a general cleaning product called, TufEnuf, to do a great job on teak. No need to buy fancy teak cleaners and this product can be used to clean anything. If you spray it on dry teak, let it sit for a few minutes and scrub with a scotch pad and rinse thoroughly, it comes out looking nearly new. However, I only do it once per year, as I don't like being too harsh to the bare wood.
straight saltwater daily and brush AGAINST the grain...never with...its that the destroys the teak quite quickly
05-09-2014 09:33 AM
JimsCAL
Re: Remove Varnish from Teak Caulk

Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFL View Post
On a third note. I varnished the other pieces with interlux Schooner. Only 5 coats so far but it is very dark compared to the bare teak. I'm thinking of stripping it back down and going with a clear varnish.

Anyone with thoughts on clear? I'll start on other thread on that I guess, I'll post some pictures then too.
Thanks for the update.

I just finished a similar project. Stripped the teak toerails and other teak trim (used Citristrip, heatgun for the tough spots, then sanding) and then Cetol in natural teak. Not sure yet if I'll put Cetol gloss on top yet. The previous coating was Epifanes Rapidclear, put on by the previous owner. Definitely a lighter look. Depends on what you like. I'm happy with the look of the Cetol natural teak - nice medium dark color very similar to amber varnish.
05-09-2014 07:52 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Remove Varnish from Teak Caulk

Sounds great! To clean the bare teak, get a scotch pad and rub it down weekly. Never, ever use a brush, whose bristles will get down inside the grain and remove the softer parts, causing premature wear. Teak loves straight salt water, so if you use that before you wash the decks, all the better.

I have also found a general cleaning product called, TufEnuf, to do a great job on teak. No need to buy fancy teak cleaners and this product can be used to clean anything. If you spray it on dry teak, let it sit for a few minutes and scrub with a scotch pad and rinse thoroughly, it comes out looking nearly new. However, I only do it once per year, as I don't like being too harsh to the bare wood.
05-08-2014 11:53 PM
GMFL
Re: Remove Varnish from Teak Caulk

Ok. It's been a few months but I thought I'd give my results.

I just ended up masking off the teak, sanded lightly with 220 and wiping it down with acetone. Worked perfectly. The acetone brightened the caulk up to a bright black too.

While I was trying to heat the varnish in the caulk it was just making the caulk soft as well making things harder for myself. Makes sense looking back

On another note. This thread took a turn on my original question to whether I should re-varnish the area. It was strongly suggested that I don't. Although stubborn then, after rethinking, I've had second thoughts. I'm not going to....for now. It does look really good bare, if I can keep it clean. I'll see.

On a third note. I varnished the other pieces with interlux Schooner. Only 5 coats so far but it is very dark compared to the bare teak. I'm thinking of stripping it back down and going with a clear varnish.

Anyone with thoughts on clear? I'll start on other thread on that I guess, I'll post some pictures then too.

Thanks, again, for everyone's input.
02-26-2014 11:58 AM
miatapaul
Re: Remove Varnish from Teak Caulk

Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFL View Post
Curious, why would you suggest that? All common sense (and practice) would suggest otherwise.
The other advantage of doing it this way is that since you are loosing the anti slip properties of the teak by varnishing it, if you re caulk afterwords you will at least have some anti slip properties from the caulk. While you say no one is going to step on it or they will get thrown off the boat, you don't want that happening accidentally. Not to mention it would look much better as the caulk won't have the varnish and will have it's natural finish.

Looking at the surface I would not let it go grey, but I don't think I would be varnishing it either as it looks like it would be subject to too much wear if you actually sail the boat, as people do step on the combings, and drop winch handles and what not. So I would use something easier to touch up, like Cetol with clear gloss over it. It would be less slippery than a standard gloss varnish as well and easy to repair. Since I don't like redoing varnish every so often and prefer to spend the time sailing, I would take the easy route out and use a modern sealer.

And if you don't know what the previous owner used on it, then I would not be so confidant that the new varnish will stick to the caulk so well. He might have used a product no longer made, or something different than what you have available.
02-26-2014 11:15 AM
RichH
Re: Remove Varnish from Teak Caulk

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Back to removal of the remnants from the caulk, have you considered a 2 part acid teak cleaner? I'm not sure if it will remove the varnish bits, but you many want a good cleaning of the teak before you reseal anyway. Maybe worth a shot.

Suggestion for trial #1
Water is the ultimate destroyer of any topside coating, even Awlgrip and LPU urethanes.
• cover a small area with a thick layer of paper toweling
• cover the toweling with plastic sheeting and SEAL the edges of the plastic with tape, etc.
• open a small area of the 'sealing' and add WATER plus a few drops of dishwashing detergent, re-seal.
• allow to SOAK for several days/weeks, re-wet as needed. Soak time is important.
• remove the covering, etc. and scrub the caulk lines.


Suggestion #2 for a trial in a small area:
A. obtain trisodiumphosphate-TSP crystals .... from a paint hardware store BUT be sure that is REAL TSP and not 'substitute' TSP.
B. Mix up the TSP with hot water and so that the mixture has EXCESS crystals in the bottom of the 'bucket'.
C. Apply the TSP solution to the surface and immediately cover with a sheet of plastic film. Allow to soak for several hours under the sheet. You may have to intermittently re-wet the TSP/teak.
D. Scrub (only) the varnished caulk lines with a moderately soft brush, dont scrub the teak.

The TSP is highly caustic and most times will loosen / break the adhesion of paint/varnish on wood if there is sufficient 'soak time'. However, the TSP will also extract the tannins in the UV affected surface layer of the teak ... and produce a diarrhea-like brown 'slurry' as it dissolves the 'dead' sun destroyed teak surface layer; but, will leave the 'unaffected' teak undissolved.
To restore the natural 'hue' of the teak once extracted with TSP: rinse several times to remove the 'goo' (dissolved 'dead' teak), rinse again, let the surface thoroughly dry out, then 'bleach' the teak with oxalic acid (paint/hardware stuff - crystals in pint containers ... mix as you did with TSP)

Obviously, TSP and Oxalic are 'chemicals' so you may not be able to obtain such in states that have totalitarian environmental statutes vs. 'consumer usage' of even simple 'chemicals'. You can get these online if you absolutely need to.
• TSP should NEVER be mixed with oxalic acid .... you MUST thoroughly rinse between each chemical application.
• Wear protection: goggles, gloves, plastic apron, etc. Oxalic acid quickly absorbs through your skin and reforms as sharp crystals in your kidneys ... you MUST wear 'protection' to keep it off your skin.
02-26-2014 05:48 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Remove Varnish from Teak Caulk

Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFL View Post
What would make you think the varnish would crack?......

.....You could make an argument that the varnish won't adhere to the caulk...
You are right, fresh real varnish (is that what you're using?) is flexible and will endure the different adhesion and expansion rates for a bit.

However, it just has to give up the ghost on the caulk before the wood.

Not that you're inclined, but I agree not to dig out the caulking after you varnish. It would leave an edge to the varnish on each side of the caulk that would allow water beneath. I also suspect the varnish wouldn't cut away neatly either.

Back to removal of the remnants from the caulk, have you considered a 2 part acid teak cleaner? I'm not sure if it will remove the varnish bits, but you many want a good cleaning of the teak before you reseal anyway. Maybe worth a shot.
02-25-2014 10:51 PM
GMFL
Re: Remove Varnish from Teak Caulk

Quote:
Originally Posted by Classic30 View Post
It's fairly simple really: Firstly, if you varnish right over the whole thing, the varnish will crack along the edges of the caulking as the timber moves allowing moisture to get under it.

All common sense (and practice) would suggest you leave the timber un-varnished...
What would make you think the varnish would crack? Teak hardly moves, healthy varnish is flexible, so is caulk. The caulk would have to rely on the varnish to provide a secure joint. Teak caulk is formulated to adhere to teak, not varnish. I could go on....

You could make an argument that the varnish won't adhere to the caulk. However, if that was the case, I wouldn't have started this thread.

Common sense would suggest that my boat had no exterior wood. I'm passed that though.
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