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Old 07-14-2012, 04:55 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Home Port: San Jose, CA
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Default Citristrip

I have drop boards made of cheap teak plywood. They really look good, but you can NEVER EVER sand off the varnish or the very thin teak veneer is just dead.

The boat came with two pair. The first I tried to sand and learned my lesson. I recovered by painting them white which works well enough.

The second I just started working on. I tried citristrip and a scraper to remove the varnish. This has worked amazingly well.

What I learned:

1) It takes two or three tries. I coated it thickly, left for a couple hours, scraped. Reapply. Finished cleaning with a scrubby from my kitchen.

2) When finished, I did a lot better when I thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed with mineral spirits to really get it all off well. When I cleaned three times with a clean scrubby I did best. Very light fine sanding when done.

I probably should have asked first, but does anyone else have experience, advice, or recommendations for refinishing veneer? There is more to do in the next couple years. I am NOT great at varnish, nor do I ever wish to be. I want to be able to protect my wood and do an adequate job with the least effort and with the longest durability.

PS: Yes, I'm a guy, so I washed the scrubby and put it back in my kitchen.

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Old 07-14-2012, 05:01 PM   #2
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Home Port: Bundarra, NSW
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Hi Coyote,

Years ago I used to rent really old places that needed work and do some renovations to keep the landlord happy, and less inclined to increase the rent. I found that striping paint and varnish was easy using a flat-blade scraper and a propane burner. The throw-away variety with a wide burner nozzle worked fine.

If you have mains power available then an electric heat gun also does the trick.

This is a lot less costly and messy, and probably better for your health, than using chemicals.


"The cure for anything is salt water... sweat, tears, or the sea" -- Isak Dinesen

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Old 07-14-2012, 07:11 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
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one of the benefits of DIY boat rebuild in a yard is that you get to see what everyone else is doing, too. One of the projects a professional woodworker had there was dealing with a couple problems with interior woodwork (veneer) from a Swan. In one case something had been painted. He actually re-veneered the doors rather than deal with getting the paint off and having it look as good as the others in the boat. In another case, with damaged veneer, he rebuilt the panel. His statement was along the lines of modern veneers are very, very thin and it is easier to re-veneer than to make it look good any other way.
"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

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