Catalina Interior Refinish / Nice Product - SailNet Community
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Catalina Interior Refinish / Nice Product

Product Review:

I'm currently in the process of refinishing some of the interior teak in my 1996 Catalina 28MKII. Of course, "teak" in a Catalina interior means paper thin veneers on plywood, and simple, solid teak strips, corners, and rails. And, no stain. While not impressive when compared to high-end varnished interiors, a Catalina interior is extremely easy to refinish and maintain.

As I'm on the final coat of the panel I'm currently refinishing, I entered it into my maintenance log. That's when I discovered that the last three panels I did were five years ago. Time flies.

As I looked closely at the panels I'd done previously to evaluate how the finish was holding up, I saw no signs of degradation. One of the panels was at the companionway where it's exposed to sun and occasional spray. The others were in the v-berth area, where they're subject to UV and some spray whenever the forward hatch is open. Which I suppose is why the original finish failed here, first.

The product I used was Rust-o-Leum, semi-gloss water based polyurethane. Between five years ago and now, it's been rebranded as Varathane, with Rust-o-Leum in finer print on the label.

Twelve bucks a quart at the big box store. Water based, and applies nicely with a foam brush, and the foam brushes easily rinse out for re-use. It's milky white in the can, and goes on milky and begins to turn clear in a few minutes. Very thin, and self levels reasonably well. NO SANDING BETWEEN COATS, provided you apply subsequent coats within the 2 to 24 hour window. Four coats are recommended.

The caveats:
You're not going to like this stuff on your finely finished Hinckley. However, I was able to easily replicate the appearance of the original finish on my 1996 Catalina. It would be a considerable upgrade to the thick lumpy finish they used on my previous boat, a 2007 Catalina 309.

It comes in finishes from matte to gloss, and I chose the semi-gloss which replicates the original finish.

Application is very easy compared to varnish (of course, what isn't?). Dip the foam brush about 1/8" into the can, and start brushing. Brush with the grain, and you can brush in both directions. If you notice you missed a spot, you can go back within a minute or so, and if you finish an area and notice some dripping, you can smooth it over within a few minutes. Very forgiving.

I had waited for my original finish to fail before refinishing. From a few feet away, it looked okay, but looking at it closely and running a palm over it, I could tell it had minutely blistered and checked. Failed. I sanded with 320, and did NOT attempt to remove all the old finish, as the veneers are paper thin. So, the new finish went over what was partially old finish. The new finish, based on five years, doesn't appear to have suffered from going over the failed finish.

I'm going to pick up the pace, though, and refinish the rest of the panels in my interior before they show signs of failure.
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Re: Catalina Interior Refinish / Nice Product

Basically the same product is sold by Minwax as Polycrylic. I've used it quite a bit. Has its pluses and minuses. Pluses are the ease of cleanup, low odor and quick drying. However doesn't give quite as nice a finish as oil based poly, and it's not nearly as hard and durable.

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Re: Catalina Interior Refinish / Nice Product

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimsCAL View Post
Basically the same product is sold by Minwax as Polycrylic. I've used it quite a bit. Has its pluses and minuses. Pluses are the ease of cleanup, low odor and quick drying. However doesn't give quite as nice a finish as oil based poly, and it's not nearly as hard and durable.
Minwax requires sanding between coats, while Varathane doesn't. Big difference.

I put four coats on the grab handle at the main companionway, and five years later it shows no wear. That's enough durability for me.

I'm just going by my experience with the actual product.
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