My toe rail currently has a varnished finish with a bunch of chips. I don't really want to sand the whole thing down and re-varnish it. Anyone ever try applying teak oil over the top of partially worn varnish? If so, how did it turn out?
you may want to look into a product called teak guard. I've used it as have some of the other boats onn the dock and I've been real impressed with it. You'll need to sand off the old varnish but it should be the last time you have to sand it. The process is very simple...sand off the old, use the "striper", coat with 3 or 4 thin layers of teak guard. Over time you will need to apply the striper and reapply teak guard but it won't require sanding.
Get a heat gun and a couple of pieces of sheet metal to shield the gel coat and heat the old varnish. Then use a plastic scraper or plastic putty knife to remove the varnish. You'll be suitably amazed at how easily it comes off. You will also avoid a maintenance disaster of biblical proportions.
Oil sucks...Get some course grit sandpaper...maybe 60...sand it down till you get tired of sanding..splash a little mineral spirits to clean the grit...Add a coat of Epephanes varnish..If it's not raining..come back the next day with some 180 grit..lightly sand..and put on another coat...then repeat..afterawhile it turns into fun..come back with some 220 the next day..same drill
The key is how good you want to make it look in your first course sanding..You may get inspired..when you see it turning from a dirty gray to a light brown "nouveau wood.".Don't be afraid of varnishing...it's only a boat and gets messed up quickly... Don't think about it..just do it...lol