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Hey everyone. I know the merits of Cetol (or lack thereof, depending on your point of view) have been discussed to death here on Sailnet, so that's NOT my question, I promise.

Our new-to-us boat already has Cetol on exterior teak, and we're planning to stick with it. I think it's Cetol Natural, though it could be Light. We'll figure it out.

Anyway, here's my question. We need to reapply the Cetol, which does not appear to have the gloss over it, just the base coats. Some areas are worn down to the wood, but most of it's OK.

What do I need to do to prep the wood to reapply the same color Cetol? I don't want to remove what's there, just clean and prep the bare spots and of course the non-bare spots and reapply. Can I do that?

Sorry if this particular question has been covered, but I couldn't find it. Most Cetol threads are about whether to use it or not. We're already using it, so we're going to continue.

Any help is definitely appreciated!
-J
 

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Since you are gonna use it anyways, and you already know it looks like crap, why does it matter how you prep it? Crap is crap. Sorry I couldn't resist. Ya sand with fine grit, vacuum all the dust, mask, and re-apply, new and crappy. VARNISH RULES! hahahaha
 

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well I like Cetol, at least the natural teak stuff. I agree that the other can look too orange. But the natural teak looks quite nice.

Anyhow, like Capnblu said, do a fine sanding, like with 320 grit paper. Use a sanding block. Be sure to concentrate on wherever its loose, and on the transition to where it is not loose. Be sure to suck up every last bit of dust because it will get into the wet cetol. So will bugs, but there is not much you can do about that.

Then wipe it down with special thinner ###, (I forget the number - YachtPaint.com will tell you), let it dry and apply the Cetol. You will see a different color where it is down to bare wood, but even if you sanded all the Cetol off, you would still see that difference if the wood has been exposed a while.

Do several coats, allowing at least 24 hours between coat but not too much longer. You don't need to sand between coats, the brush marks you see when it is wet will vanish when it is dry. But, use a descent brush, at least for the last coat and the gloss. Wipe with the thinner between each coat. This helps improve the chemical bond for the following coats (although not for the very first one over the existing Cetol).

If you put the gloss over it, use at least 2 coats.

I just did wood that had Cetol marine. It looked horrific. Aside from the normal Cetol marine orange look, it was peeling and cracked. This wood lives in direct sun whenever its daytime. I used 60 grit to sand the Cetol off, and it came off easily. Then 120 then like 220 or something. Then 4 coats of Cetol natural teak then 2 to 3 coats of gloss. Now it looks really nice.

I agree that the Cetol Marine and Cetol Light don't look super at all, but I like the natural teak.

Good luck!
 

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My view is that once you have it worn down to SOME bare wood patches...you have waited too long and need to take it down to bare wood or you will have patches that look considerably different from one another.

If you decide to go the patch sand route anyway...use heavier grit to get to clear, un stained wood...then go to 200 grit to smooth. Use a tack cloth to remove the residual dust after you've vacuumed. Reapply base coat.
If you want to do the rest of the Cetol...use a scotch brite pad to rough it up and then wipe down and add another coat of light/natural before applying your gloss coats to everything.
 

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Do what Cam said, even overlapping the sanding onto the existing cetrol, that will hide the patch look if any. Provided your base colors match you will be able to blend right in, then I would scotch bright and one coat everything or gloss it ( 2coats ) if that's your taste
 

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My view is that once you have it worn down to SOME bare wood patches...you have waited too long and need to take it down to bare wood or you will have patches that look considerably different from one another.
I concur with Cam's advice. Cetol is durable stuff but can be tough to patch without it looking like patchwork because of the amount of solids/UV barrier in it.

If this is going to be a band aid until you can do a full strip just sand but do hit the bare wood spots with Acetone right before applying the Cetol this will remove any surface teak oils and give a better bond.

With patch work don't kill yourself to make it look good just wait till you can do it right. Going over patches of Cetol with the gloss only magnifies the imperfections and discolored spots so I would hold off on this for now.

If you really want to get picky you can blend a patch using an artists brush and much patience but it's still not easy to blend Cetol especially the orangy original flavor.
 

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Blending it in is doable, but ya gotta look at it like bodywork or drywall taping, you need to feather your sanding beyond the effected area so there's no hard break points, just a gradual transition, then after he brings it back and it's cured take a scotch pad or even one of those 400grit sponge strips to it all, and then one coat everything.

As far as the gloss, that would depend on the outcome and/or his taste


I did one boat complete and working on our second boat with Cetrol Marine, I kinda get the impression the orange tint really depends on the teak, We have so much teak with differing grain patterns and they all take the color differently.............but it all looks great
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the input, everyone. I appreciate the tips on how to feather in patchwork, if we go that route, as well as info about the limitations of that method.

According to the boat yard records from the previous owner, the current Cetol is "Natural". It's definitely not the original dark brown-ish stuff, but I'm not really certain how to tell between Natural and Light without comparing (I know Light is more orange, but I'm not comparing, just looking at one example). I'm assuming for now that the records are correct though, and that we have Natural on already (we'll verify before buying tons of it). We'd prefer to use Natural anyway.

The teak was in the same condition it is now when we bought the boat, and since it was 350 miles away, we decided that redoing the teak was not necessary to get her home (over things like bottom paint). However, now that she is home, we want to make sure the wood is protected.

None of the Cetol is peeling, just wearing away in some high-traffic spots. There's no gloss on it to deal with.

I suppose we'd consider completely stripping and starting over. IF we decided to go that route, I have a question:

What would be the best way? Do we just sand it off, or do we use heat or chemical? I'd like to avoid sanding away a lot of wood, so that's why I ask.

Optionally, we might try to just do the patchwork for this summer so the wood's protected and then strip it completely and start over this winter. Either way, it would be helpful to know how best to remove the Cetol basecoat now, or later.

Thanks!
-J
 

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Regarding complete refinishing down to bare wood...the answer is scrape and then light sanding with 100 grit and a finish sanding with 220 grit. Just completed my boat, companionway, toerail, hand rail, eyebrows and coamings to bare wood. Applied three coats of Cetol stain and two coats of Cetol gloss. Total time was approximately 100 hours.

Good luck...MGM
 

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High traffic areas? Is it on the deck or anywhere you walk or stand? If so, you should know that Cetol gets very slippery. You can get an additive for it to make it less so but for something you walk on you may want to consider something else.

Also, if you do use it, a quart goes a long way and it's readily available. So start with a quart.

When I removed mine I started with Innerstrip, which worked, but I found sanding to be much quicker and more effective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey mgmhead...thanks for the info. I bet Rhythm is looking good (no comments necessary from the Cetol haters). :)

What did you use for scraping? Plastic paint scaper? Something else? Did you apply heat first?

Thanks!
-J
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
High traffic areas? Is it on the deck or anywhere you walk or stand? If so, you should know that Cetol gets very slippery. You can get an additive for it to make it less so but for something you walk on you may want to consider something else.

Also, if you do use it, a quart goes a long way and it's readily available. So start with a quart.
Sorry, I should have been more clear. No teak decks. By "traffic" I just meant places where there can be rubbing plus lots of UV exposure like tops of handrails, etc. No decks. There's teak on top of the cockpit coamings, but we don't walk on it, we step over it.

Thanks for the tip on just a quart--we'll definitely start small and see how it goes.
-J
 

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No teak decks. By "traffic" I just meant places where there can be rubbing plus lots of UV exposure like tops of handrails, etc. No decks.
I figured but I just wanted to comment just in case, or for anyone else reading down the road...

Removing it is pretty easy but of course it's drudge work, at least for me. On the plus side, you should only have to do it once!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I figured but I just wanted to comment just in case, or for anyone else reading down the road...

Removing it is pretty easy but of course it's drudge work, at least for me. On the plus side, you should only have to do it once!
Yeah, it's a little frustrating, because this Cetol was just put on in spring of 2008, and the boat was up north and covered for 5 months over winter. So that means it was already worn off by fall, which means that they did not put enough coats on, in my opinion.

Anyway, we will not be going that route. Once we get this done, we'll put several coats on. The only thing we haven't decided is, once we get a good looking basecoat, whether to use gloss or not We like the way gloss looks, but I am wondering if no gloss would mean easier maintenance. I've heard of the gloss peeling up, etc. Not sure.
 

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Unless you enjoy sanding and varnishing instead of sailing, go with Marine Cetol. It's heavy UV absorbers give it impressive durability (years, if properly maintained) in direct sun.

The Cetol and Light and other flavors are not as heavily loaded with UV block and thus have demonstrably less durability.

Sand down to the wood, and put on 4-5 coats of Marine Cetol. The protection is good for a year or two before it needs a re-coat (which is pretty painless). The trick is to fix any scrapes, gouges, etc. as soon as they occur, or you will have to sand down to bare wood again.

I agree that Marine Cetol is not as pretty as spar varnish, but then I prefer to be sailing.

Best Regards,


e

.::.
 

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What would be the best way? Do we just sand it off, or do we use heat or chemical? I'd like to avoid sanding away a lot of wood, so that's why I ask.

-J
I use Citrus Strip ( and it works really well for biodegradable ) and a cool interchangable blade scrapper, this peels the old stuff right up, then 80grit (sometimes 60 if needed ) then a 120 or 150 to finish, I think cetrol mentions a finish with 120

Also cetrol isn't really slick until you put the gloss to it, so gloss wisely if you do
 

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As for as gloss and maint, people have told me it makes it easier. I'm told that all i need to do after 2 or 3 coatrs of gloss is a very fine sanding and then more gloss each year. We'll see in 10 months.
 

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As for as gloss and maint, people have told me it makes it easier.
Yeah it does, I've got 2 coats of clear on everything I've done to date with the exception of the horizontal surfaces in the cockpit, those have 3 coats of base only, all the vertical surfaces have a additional 2 coats of clear.

Right now I'm working on the caprail and bulwark which will get the full treatment
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yeah it does, I've got 2 coats of clear on everything I've done to date with the exception of the horizontal surfaces in the cockpit, those have 3 coats of base only, all the vertical surfaces have a additional 2 coats of clear.

Right now I'm working on the caprail and bulwark which will get the full treatment
Thanks, maybe we'll try the gloss then. I do get the idea, that you recoat the clear without ever getting into the basecoat. I think it looks nice too.

First of course, we'll need to get the base layers back in order.
 

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We're in the middle of redoing our handrails, rubrails, etc. The instructions say to try to finish all 5 coats (3 natural and 2 gloss) within 2 weeks. Ours will take longer due to weather issues and only being able to work on weekends. Do we need to take any additional steps like sanding between coats if it takes longer?
 
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