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Hello,

I am dealing with the exterior trim on a 1991 Catalina. Looks like original finish (Cetol?) has failed, and there is 20-30% which is now silvered (oxidized?).

I started with the companionway boards. After scraping and sanding (80 grit orbital), I've got dark streaks is some sections (see picture). Is this natural? Should I instead be using oxalic acid or similar product to resture the teak color?

Finishing will probably be spar varnish - but I am not raising that question yet.

Jonathan
 

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The discoloration isn't natural and by the glint off the lower board in your snap, it would appear that there is still elements of the earlier finish embedded in the grain of the wood. More scraping/sanding is indicated. Once you've finished that, use a two part teak cleaner to clean and "bleach" (with the second part "brightener") the wood. That will most likely restore the natural coloring. If not, however, you can use an oxalic acid solution on the more heavily discolored areas although you'll need to repeat the two part cleaner treatment afterward.

Once you've finished I suggest you not use "spar varnish" to refinish the wood. It doesn't last very long and weather's poorly. A better alternative is a Cetol treatment: Two coats of "Natural Teak" followed by three coats of "Gloss" to seal the wood and provide a good UV shield. Thereafter, at roughly 6 month intervals, a quick wash-down/rub with a 3M "Scrubby" Pad and a further coat of Gloss will keep the boards looking good. BTDT...

FWIW..
 

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When spec’ing my boat eliminated all external teak except companion way doors. Those we left bare and allowed to weather on the outside. Inside of doors is 8 coats of epifanes but outside just bare wood. Not even oiled. On occasion will wash with water/vinegar/a few drops of Joy. Otherwise no maintenance. Best decision ever.
You can go sailing or pull varnish or write big checks. You decide.
 

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To get better adhesion with Cetol, thin the first coat so it can penetrate the fibers. Then apply multiple top coats, sanding in between. Do the same method with Epifanes. I personally like Cetal as it is very UV resistant and it applies a little thicker so it takes fewer coats to achieve a smooth finish. From the looks of your photo, you are probably into twenty coats of Epifanes, but once you're done, it will look like a million bucks. Another trick, I wet sand with 200 - 400 grit sand paper, using plenty of water to get that smooth finish. Leave the spar varnish on the store shelf, and if you already bought it, your patio furniture or garden gate.
 

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When spec’ing my boat eliminated all external teak except companion way doors. Those we left bare and allowed to weather on the outside. Inside of doors is 8 coats of epifanes but outside just bare wood. Not even oiled. On occasion will wash with water/vinegar/a few drops of Joy. Otherwise no maintenance. Best decision ever.
You can go sailing or pull varnish or write big checks. You decide.
Do you have a picture of what that ended up looking like? How weathered did it get?
 
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