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Need advice for wood sealer.

Jan 20, 2018
4
2014 West Wight Potter 19 19 Graet Sacandaga Lake NY
Hello everyone.
Need advice which wood sealer to use prior to varnish? I'm a little confused after my online resarch and i would like to hear yours (user) opinion. A lot to varnis - renovating Bermuda 40 MKIII. I stripped all varnish to bare wood and now debating if "Total Boat" Penetrating Epoxy or other sealer to use to seal following of with few coats of varnish. Basically I tend to use Penetrating Epoxy ( mix Aft the first batch with acetone for better penetration- absorption) and second coat without solvent). Than light sending and varnish. What's youre opinion from your expierence guys?
Appreciate any input. Fair winds.
Thank you
 

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,660
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
Hello everyone.
Need advice which wood sealer to use prior to varnish? I'm a little confused after my online resarch and i would like to hear yours (user) opinion. A lot to varnis - renovating Bermuda 40 MKIII. I stripped all varnish to bare wood and now debating if "Total Boat" Penetrating Epoxy or other sealer to use to seal following of with few coats of varnish. Basically I tend to use Penetrating Epoxy ( mix Aft the first batch with acetone for better penetration- absorption) and second coat without solvent). Than light sending and varnish. What's youre opinion from your expierence guys?
Appreciate any input. Fair winds.
Thank you
I use Pettit wood sealer for the first 2 or 3 coats when starting from bare wood. It's as thin as water and penetrates deeply. It dries in an hour or two so I can get at least 2 coats per day on working outside.

I also usually use a filler stain on old mahogany that is sun bleached. You can restore the color as well as fill much of the pores in the wood, to speed the varnish build.

Below is a (then) 50+ year old mahogany plank off my 1961 Alden (cockpit well plank). It's been ripped in half. The lower half was 'wooded', then one coat of filler stain (Interlux Chris Craft red), allowed to dry well, followed by 2-3 coats of Petit wood sealer. Once that was well dry, it got the first sanding (120# to flatten the surface)

This was then followed by 2 or 3 coats or spar varnish (sanding between lightly with 220) rolled and tip applied.

I don't use penetrating epoxy so I can't help you there.

Brightwork finish sample 2 coats varnish   (1 of 1).jpg
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,827
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Skip the expense and time with epoxy. Once it starts to crack and peel it will harder than varnish to remove. If any of the varnish coating the epoxy is chipped, the UV will degrade the epoxy which will then fail. Chipped varnish is relatively easy to fix.

In the past I have used Epifanes Wood Finish with the first coat thinned according to the can. This particular finish has been designed to work on oily woods like teak. It can also be recoated without sanding between 24 and 72 hours.

This year I'm using TotalBoat Gleam2 with Total Boat Sealer on a cockpit table, we'll see how it holds up. This has a recoat time of about 3 hours.

The key to any long lasting varnish finish multiple coats. Typically I put on 6 or more coats and the will last 3 to 4 years before needing a couple of maintenance coats.
 
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capta

.
Jun 4, 2009
4,306
Pearson 530 Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
We use Snappy Teak two part to get out all the stains and brighten the teak before finishing. Then, like Tom, we use a clear wood sealer, several coats. Sand between coats if the sealer raises the grain.
Personally, we much prefer Captain's varnish over all others, thinning the first few coats.
dorade box old 2.JPG.JPG

Reflection Finish.JPG
helm seat 1.JPG
 
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Jan 4, 2006
3,904
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
If you're OCD like myself, epoxy and varnish is the only way to go. Watch for all the problems as stated by @dlochner, BUT if you deal with them immediately you can prevent defects. Repairs are actually quite easy with epoxy and varnish and no show.

One thing that is critical is that all wooden items must be 100% hermetically sealed, front, back, edge, left end, right end, whatever. Epoxy does not pass water vapour and if any water vapour enters, it will eventually lift the epoxy. If you can't get a 100% epoxy seal, you must use varnish only. That includes sealant around all screw holes entering the wood.

Here's a couple of items which were removed and done in the workshop:

100_6932R.jpg

100_8022.jpg

The stairs were done with glass cloth in the epoxy for extra wear resistance. The glass completely disappears as both have the same refractive index.

Epoxy is the best, but only if you can guarantee a 100% seal.
 
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Apr 19, 2010
49
S2 9.2C Lincoln, NE
I recently used Total Boat Wood Sealer Varnish Primer on solid teak that had been sanded down to bare wood. Applied 3 coats using an HVLP gun with 1.4 tip, un-thinned. Laid down beautifully with no sanding, less than an hour between coats. Dried with a really hard finish.
 
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