Interior woodwork refinishing tips (what worked for me)

Interior woodwork refinishing tips (what worked for me)

Paul
Paul

November 3rd, 2005, 11:05 pm #1

Interior wood refinishing.

Many of the early Chris Craft Commanders have rich mahogany interiors, and this is a carry-over from the days of wood boats and super-detailed wood interiors. These early Commanders beginning in 1964 have the “bullet-proof” fiberglass hulls, but they also have the same fine wood interiors of the older boats.

In many cases the cabinets and bunk framing is solid mahogany (too), and not just the visible trim. My 1966 38-foot Commander has full length interior solid mahogany paneling and trim. It’s been refinished carefully and it’s just stunning. Today, in order to get the same quality of interior, I think you would have to spend upwards of $200,000 to find the same thing, on a smaller (new) boat.

What disturbs me is the fact that some of these beautiful dark wood interiors were painted over with white paint, to “upgrade them” or to get a lighter feel in the interior. God only knows what possessed the person who cracked the can of paint for that event.

I recognized the quality of the interior wood and joiner-work, but didn’t like the horrible finish that someone had overcoated at some point in the boats long past. I thought about taking it down to bare wood, but chose another path instead, which produced stunning results.

The finish had sawdust in the varnish. A previous owner did a horrible job of smearing varnish everywhere. At first it looked presentable, but upon second look, ahhhhhrrrgggg, it was poor. I took off all the hardware, and gently block sanded everything down with the grain. I used a 280 grit sandpaper for this, and did so very gently. Any suggestion of using an electric sander for this would stop this conversation right now. It would be a great way to ruin good woodwork.

I found the layer upon layer of the old varnish to be quite brittle, and pretty easy to sand. I took it down just “almost” to the wood. In some areas where I went through the varnish layer, I touched up with stain gently, and overcoated it with protective varnish. There was no reason to go into the wood at this point. That would have require all new staining, and ten times the work. At this point, there were STILL lots of hills and valleys in the wood. The grain is open and porous, and it was evident it would take some additional build coats to make things look as good as I wanted. Therefore I added a coat or two of varnish, for the specific purposes of filling the voids, and with the intention of block sanding everything back off. The process eventually provides a nice flat surface.

Teak is the same, it’s quite open and it takes some work, sometimes with a specialty filler, to get the really top quality finish we see on some yachts.

Once I had a build coat or two, I began wiping the finish down with “wipe on polyurethane” from Minwax. It may sound terrible, but the quality of the finish I ended up with is very good. I lost track on how many coats I put on, and then gently sanded back. The beauty of this stuff is, you can go on board, wipe down the entire cabin, take your stain rags with you and toss them in the dumpster, and the poly dries without a trace of a brush stroke. You can get it in a satin or a gloss, and you can mix them if you want. I used the satin with a hint of a gloss, and the results are just spectacular (better than ANY Chris Craft that came from the factory).

The wipe on furniture grade Minwax is very thin, it’s intended for furniture, and it only builds a very fine coat. Between each coat you must sand out any imperfections you pick up (bits of sawdust), and using a fine 800-grit sandpaper cuts this down quickly and won’t hurt the bulk of the top coat you just applied. Therefore, you must put on many coats, but it’s so easy to do.

Here are some photos of what my interior wood looks like, I think the results speak well for themselves.






On the exterior I used full strength premium varnish, with a lot of sanding (by HAND) in order to obtain a helm station that is worthy of the Chris Craft name.





The side boards on each side of the mahogany trimmed helm station were white from the factory, and I replaced them with ribbon sliced Phillippine mahogany plywood, carefully sourced out of New England, stained to match. Everything was sanded and refinished at the same time. You can see in the photo of the young gal with the iced tea, it is an improvement.


Here’s a photo of the refinished helm station. The lower side board it actually stained perfectly to match, but in this light, and due to the grain running horizontal, it looks darker. In reality, the entire helm looks original.

Regards, Paul
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Bill Adams
Bill Adams

November 4th, 2005, 4:31 pm #2

I saw reference to this thread on another forum, and it's some interesting info. I am planning on redoing a teak interior, not on a Chris Craft, but the wood is still wood and needs attention. Your tips are extremely useful, and I appreciate having this informatiion available.

As I proceed with my project, may I post photos and any questions here (my boat is a Uniflite).

thank you,
Bill
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Joined: August 25th, 2005, 5:45 am

November 5th, 2005, 9:40 pm #3

Interior wood refinishing.

Many of the early Chris Craft Commanders have rich mahogany interiors, and this is a carry-over from the days of wood boats and super-detailed wood interiors. These early Commanders beginning in 1964 have the “bullet-proof” fiberglass hulls, but they also have the same fine wood interiors of the older boats.

In many cases the cabinets and bunk framing is solid mahogany (too), and not just the visible trim. My 1966 38-foot Commander has full length interior solid mahogany paneling and trim. It’s been refinished carefully and it’s just stunning. Today, in order to get the same quality of interior, I think you would have to spend upwards of $200,000 to find the same thing, on a smaller (new) boat.

What disturbs me is the fact that some of these beautiful dark wood interiors were painted over with white paint, to “upgrade them” or to get a lighter feel in the interior. God only knows what possessed the person who cracked the can of paint for that event.

I recognized the quality of the interior wood and joiner-work, but didn’t like the horrible finish that someone had overcoated at some point in the boats long past. I thought about taking it down to bare wood, but chose another path instead, which produced stunning results.

The finish had sawdust in the varnish. A previous owner did a horrible job of smearing varnish everywhere. At first it looked presentable, but upon second look, ahhhhhrrrgggg, it was poor. I took off all the hardware, and gently block sanded everything down with the grain. I used a 280 grit sandpaper for this, and did so very gently. Any suggestion of using an electric sander for this would stop this conversation right now. It would be a great way to ruin good woodwork.

I found the layer upon layer of the old varnish to be quite brittle, and pretty easy to sand. I took it down just “almost” to the wood. In some areas where I went through the varnish layer, I touched up with stain gently, and overcoated it with protective varnish. There was no reason to go into the wood at this point. That would have require all new staining, and ten times the work. At this point, there were STILL lots of hills and valleys in the wood. The grain is open and porous, and it was evident it would take some additional build coats to make things look as good as I wanted. Therefore I added a coat or two of varnish, for the specific purposes of filling the voids, and with the intention of block sanding everything back off. The process eventually provides a nice flat surface.

Teak is the same, it’s quite open and it takes some work, sometimes with a specialty filler, to get the really top quality finish we see on some yachts.

Once I had a build coat or two, I began wiping the finish down with “wipe on polyurethane” from Minwax. It may sound terrible, but the quality of the finish I ended up with is very good. I lost track on how many coats I put on, and then gently sanded back. The beauty of this stuff is, you can go on board, wipe down the entire cabin, take your stain rags with you and toss them in the dumpster, and the poly dries without a trace of a brush stroke. You can get it in a satin or a gloss, and you can mix them if you want. I used the satin with a hint of a gloss, and the results are just spectacular (better than ANY Chris Craft that came from the factory).

The wipe on furniture grade Minwax is very thin, it’s intended for furniture, and it only builds a very fine coat. Between each coat you must sand out any imperfections you pick up (bits of sawdust), and using a fine 800-grit sandpaper cuts this down quickly and won’t hurt the bulk of the top coat you just applied. Therefore, you must put on many coats, but it’s so easy to do.

Here are some photos of what my interior wood looks like, I think the results speak well for themselves.






On the exterior I used full strength premium varnish, with a lot of sanding (by HAND) in order to obtain a helm station that is worthy of the Chris Craft name.





The side boards on each side of the mahogany trimmed helm station were white from the factory, and I replaced them with ribbon sliced Phillippine mahogany plywood, carefully sourced out of New England, stained to match. Everything was sanded and refinished at the same time. You can see in the photo of the young gal with the iced tea, it is an improvement.


Here’s a photo of the refinished helm station. The lower side board it actually stained perfectly to match, but in this light, and due to the grain running horizontal, it looks darker. In reality, the entire helm looks original.

Regards, Paul
Great info Paul -- your interior wood sure does look beautiful.

I noticed on PBS's "The Yankee Craftsman" that Norm Abrams uses a multi-step system for finishing mahogany that uses an oil-based stain, then a filler (on new wood) to fill the pores, then another type of stain, and then multiple coats of wipe-on polyurthane like you did to your interior. For an applicator he rolls up a piece of cotton rag and wraps that with some cheesecloth. I haven't tried the wipe-on poly yet, but plan to before long.

Our interior is far from perfect, but it does have a lot of nice mahogony that will benefit from multiple coats of poly.

We have recently mounted all our cabinet doors -- they and all the drawers were piled in the vee-berth when we got the boat. The previous owner had skinned all the drawer fronts, and both sides of all the cabinet doors, with laminate.

I mentioned in a previous thread he also did that to the bathroom door. We pulled off the laminate on the bathroom door, but not without damage to the veneer. I Dutch-patched the veneer on the outside of the door, and reskinned the inside with a mahogony door skin. The door is not perfect, but I think will be satisfactory.

We are going to hold off trying to strip the cabinet doors and drawer fronts -- too much work plus I am sure we would do a lot of damage to the underlying surfaces after our experience with the bathroom door. So for now we have varnished mahogany cabinet framing and wall paneling, with cabinet doors and drawers done in a buff colored laminate.

I will post a picture when I get a chance to take one. While I sure wish the previous owner had not "modernized" the interior with laminate, the interior does look 1000% better with the drawers and cabinet doors back in place.

Best wishes, Curt....
---
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P
P

November 6th, 2005, 12:11 am #4

Hi Curt,

Good hearing from ya! I'm a big believer in filler stain, by the way, as it's the traditional way to finish a mahogany speedboat that has been taken down to bare wood. The stain is a semi-paste in consistancy, and you rub it in perpendicular to the grain, and then try to wipe it off the surface of the wood with burlap. That helps a lot in getting that glass smooth finish.

I saw a mahogany dining room table that was finished with a white filler (no stain). The white filler just went into the hair like segments of the open grain, and it came off looking like a mink coat. Just stunning. I wouldn't recommend a custom application like that on a boat, as its extremely difficult and wouldn't be in keeping with the marine expectations.

Nothing quite as beautiful as a piece of wood finished "Bristol Fashion" eh?

Regards,
Paul

1966 38' Commander Express
Original 427 power (still warm)



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Commander35
Commander35

November 6th, 2005, 1:11 am #5

Great info Paul -- your interior wood sure does look beautiful.

I noticed on PBS's "The Yankee Craftsman" that Norm Abrams uses a multi-step system for finishing mahogany that uses an oil-based stain, then a filler (on new wood) to fill the pores, then another type of stain, and then multiple coats of wipe-on polyurthane like you did to your interior. For an applicator he rolls up a piece of cotton rag and wraps that with some cheesecloth. I haven't tried the wipe-on poly yet, but plan to before long.

Our interior is far from perfect, but it does have a lot of nice mahogony that will benefit from multiple coats of poly.

We have recently mounted all our cabinet doors -- they and all the drawers were piled in the vee-berth when we got the boat. The previous owner had skinned all the drawer fronts, and both sides of all the cabinet doors, with laminate.

I mentioned in a previous thread he also did that to the bathroom door. We pulled off the laminate on the bathroom door, but not without damage to the veneer. I Dutch-patched the veneer on the outside of the door, and reskinned the inside with a mahogony door skin. The door is not perfect, but I think will be satisfactory.

We are going to hold off trying to strip the cabinet doors and drawer fronts -- too much work plus I am sure we would do a lot of damage to the underlying surfaces after our experience with the bathroom door. So for now we have varnished mahogany cabinet framing and wall paneling, with cabinet doors and drawers done in a buff colored laminate.

I will post a picture when I get a chance to take one. While I sure wish the previous owner had not "modernized" the interior with laminate, the interior does look 1000% better with the drawers and cabinet doors back in place.

Best wishes, Curt....
---
Paul is right, if you don't have to go to bare wood, save yourself the hassle, as it's going to be twice the work with no gaurantee of it looking any better. Most wood interiors have not gotten much UV and unless they're really scratched up, there is no need to go down to bare wood.

Charlie
Commander35
Cape Vincent, NY
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Paul
Paul

February 28th, 2006, 9:02 pm #6

Interior wood refinishing.

Many of the early Chris Craft Commanders have rich mahogany interiors, and this is a carry-over from the days of wood boats and super-detailed wood interiors. These early Commanders beginning in 1964 have the “bullet-proof” fiberglass hulls, but they also have the same fine wood interiors of the older boats.

In many cases the cabinets and bunk framing is solid mahogany (too), and not just the visible trim. My 1966 38-foot Commander has full length interior solid mahogany paneling and trim. It’s been refinished carefully and it’s just stunning. Today, in order to get the same quality of interior, I think you would have to spend upwards of $200,000 to find the same thing, on a smaller (new) boat.

What disturbs me is the fact that some of these beautiful dark wood interiors were painted over with white paint, to “upgrade them” or to get a lighter feel in the interior. God only knows what possessed the person who cracked the can of paint for that event.

I recognized the quality of the interior wood and joiner-work, but didn’t like the horrible finish that someone had overcoated at some point in the boats long past. I thought about taking it down to bare wood, but chose another path instead, which produced stunning results.

The finish had sawdust in the varnish. A previous owner did a horrible job of smearing varnish everywhere. At first it looked presentable, but upon second look, ahhhhhrrrgggg, it was poor. I took off all the hardware, and gently block sanded everything down with the grain. I used a 280 grit sandpaper for this, and did so very gently. Any suggestion of using an electric sander for this would stop this conversation right now. It would be a great way to ruin good woodwork.

I found the layer upon layer of the old varnish to be quite brittle, and pretty easy to sand. I took it down just “almost” to the wood. In some areas where I went through the varnish layer, I touched up with stain gently, and overcoated it with protective varnish. There was no reason to go into the wood at this point. That would have require all new staining, and ten times the work. At this point, there were STILL lots of hills and valleys in the wood. The grain is open and porous, and it was evident it would take some additional build coats to make things look as good as I wanted. Therefore I added a coat or two of varnish, for the specific purposes of filling the voids, and with the intention of block sanding everything back off. The process eventually provides a nice flat surface.

Teak is the same, it’s quite open and it takes some work, sometimes with a specialty filler, to get the really top quality finish we see on some yachts.

Once I had a build coat or two, I began wiping the finish down with “wipe on polyurethane” from Minwax. It may sound terrible, but the quality of the finish I ended up with is very good. I lost track on how many coats I put on, and then gently sanded back. The beauty of this stuff is, you can go on board, wipe down the entire cabin, take your stain rags with you and toss them in the dumpster, and the poly dries without a trace of a brush stroke. You can get it in a satin or a gloss, and you can mix them if you want. I used the satin with a hint of a gloss, and the results are just spectacular (better than ANY Chris Craft that came from the factory).

The wipe on furniture grade Minwax is very thin, it’s intended for furniture, and it only builds a very fine coat. Between each coat you must sand out any imperfections you pick up (bits of sawdust), and using a fine 800-grit sandpaper cuts this down quickly and won’t hurt the bulk of the top coat you just applied. Therefore, you must put on many coats, but it’s so easy to do.

Here are some photos of what my interior wood looks like, I think the results speak well for themselves.






On the exterior I used full strength premium varnish, with a lot of sanding (by HAND) in order to obtain a helm station that is worthy of the Chris Craft name.





The side boards on each side of the mahogany trimmed helm station were white from the factory, and I replaced them with ribbon sliced Phillippine mahogany plywood, carefully sourced out of New England, stained to match. Everything was sanded and refinished at the same time. You can see in the photo of the young gal with the iced tea, it is an improvement.


Here’s a photo of the refinished helm station. The lower side board it actually stained perfectly to match, but in this light, and due to the grain running horizontal, it looks darker. In reality, the entire helm looks original.

Regards, Paul
<a href="http://www.minwax.com/products/protecti ... -on.cfm</a" target="_new">http://www.minwax.com/products/protecti ... -on.cfm</a>





In Fine Woodworking's test of wipe-on finishes, Minwax Wipe-On Poly was chosen as best overall choice as well as best value among a field of 17 wipe-on finishes.







Edit comment: "For interior woodwork only"........this product has no UV filter capability. It works great inside, but would be highly suspect for exterior use.

regards, Paul
Last edited by FEfinaticP on February 28th, 2006, 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Paul
Paul

July 13th, 2007, 9:58 pm #7

Interior wood refinishing.

Many of the early Chris Craft Commanders have rich mahogany interiors, and this is a carry-over from the days of wood boats and super-detailed wood interiors. These early Commanders beginning in 1964 have the “bullet-proof” fiberglass hulls, but they also have the same fine wood interiors of the older boats.

In many cases the cabinets and bunk framing is solid mahogany (too), and not just the visible trim. My 1966 38-foot Commander has full length interior solid mahogany paneling and trim. It’s been refinished carefully and it’s just stunning. Today, in order to get the same quality of interior, I think you would have to spend upwards of $200,000 to find the same thing, on a smaller (new) boat.

What disturbs me is the fact that some of these beautiful dark wood interiors were painted over with white paint, to “upgrade them” or to get a lighter feel in the interior. God only knows what possessed the person who cracked the can of paint for that event.

I recognized the quality of the interior wood and joiner-work, but didn’t like the horrible finish that someone had overcoated at some point in the boats long past. I thought about taking it down to bare wood, but chose another path instead, which produced stunning results.

The finish had sawdust in the varnish. A previous owner did a horrible job of smearing varnish everywhere. At first it looked presentable, but upon second look, ahhhhhrrrgggg, it was poor. I took off all the hardware, and gently block sanded everything down with the grain. I used a 280 grit sandpaper for this, and did so very gently. Any suggestion of using an electric sander for this would stop this conversation right now. It would be a great way to ruin good woodwork.

I found the layer upon layer of the old varnish to be quite brittle, and pretty easy to sand. I took it down just “almost” to the wood. In some areas where I went through the varnish layer, I touched up with stain gently, and overcoated it with protective varnish. There was no reason to go into the wood at this point. That would have require all new staining, and ten times the work. At this point, there were STILL lots of hills and valleys in the wood. The grain is open and porous, and it was evident it would take some additional build coats to make things look as good as I wanted. Therefore I added a coat or two of varnish, for the specific purposes of filling the voids, and with the intention of block sanding everything back off. The process eventually provides a nice flat surface.

Teak is the same, it’s quite open and it takes some work, sometimes with a specialty filler, to get the really top quality finish we see on some yachts.

Once I had a build coat or two, I began wiping the finish down with “wipe on polyurethane” from Minwax. It may sound terrible, but the quality of the finish I ended up with is very good. I lost track on how many coats I put on, and then gently sanded back. The beauty of this stuff is, you can go on board, wipe down the entire cabin, take your stain rags with you and toss them in the dumpster, and the poly dries without a trace of a brush stroke. You can get it in a satin or a gloss, and you can mix them if you want. I used the satin with a hint of a gloss, and the results are just spectacular (better than ANY Chris Craft that came from the factory).

The wipe on furniture grade Minwax is very thin, it’s intended for furniture, and it only builds a very fine coat. Between each coat you must sand out any imperfections you pick up (bits of sawdust), and using a fine 800-grit sandpaper cuts this down quickly and won’t hurt the bulk of the top coat you just applied. Therefore, you must put on many coats, but it’s so easy to do.

Here are some photos of what my interior wood looks like, I think the results speak well for themselves.






On the exterior I used full strength premium varnish, with a lot of sanding (by HAND) in order to obtain a helm station that is worthy of the Chris Craft name.





The side boards on each side of the mahogany trimmed helm station were white from the factory, and I replaced them with ribbon sliced Phillippine mahogany plywood, carefully sourced out of New England, stained to match. Everything was sanded and refinished at the same time. You can see in the photo of the young gal with the iced tea, it is an improvement.


Here’s a photo of the refinished helm station. The lower side board it actually stained perfectly to match, but in this light, and due to the grain running horizontal, it looks darker. In reality, the entire helm looks original.

Regards, Paul
The mere thought of painting a mahogany interior is enough to cause me to post a caution against it! People are being conditioned these days with the "make-over" residential TV series, which feature radical changes to please the owners. While this is sometimes appropriate in an apartment or house where painting the drywall is more logical, doing this inside a wood paneled Chris Craft is a big exclamatory "no". It not only ruins the resale value of the boat for anyone who likes wood (which probably excludes most yachting fans), it potentially causes weeks upon weeks of refinishing work for a subsequent owner.



Many of the early 38 and other models came with fine mahogany solid wood construction and mahogany veneer plywood. These are quality boats that should be respected and maintained for what they are. Some of more expensive models maintained the wood interiors through the years while some of the other models fell to the trend of the day, lowered the cost and used lighter interiors. Some of these light interiors are very nice, indeed, but I would NEVER paint a solid wood interior. There is a trend today for wood interiors on the very expensive yachts of all kinds.

Our Commanders are not heirloom blue-blood collectables like Ditchburn, or Minettes, but they are high quality and the woodwork is very expensive to replicate these days. The lowest cost I've seen lately in high-end commercial architecture for anigre or cherry veneer on particle board, is $53 per square foot, and this is just flatwork, no joinery, just glued to the wall. That's the equivalent of $1700 for a sheet of 4x8, without any trim work. Once you add hardwood edges, etc., the price skyrockets. I recently received a price of $12,000 to add veneer clad particle board to six entry soffits, 4 soffits were in front of six foot doors, and two were in front of single leaf doors, and the total square footage was less than 100. This is the price people are (apparently) paying in 2007 for quality woodwork in the commercial market these days. I rejected the bid, by the way, because I was so offended by the price. This was an add-on change order added to a complete wood lobby, and it was a case of obvious gouging. We selected another option and moved on. We'll probably not use that subcontractor again, or perhaps we'll ask for another estimator. Our old Chris Crafts have a better grade of lumber and workmanship than you can easily find today, and if you can find it, the cost will be sky high.

Even the plywood was made up of layers of real mahogany, with a high grade mahogany veneer on the outside. The quality was so high they had to find a new way of identifying it, and it was called "Chris Craft Grade". All that fancy wood veneer wall finish you see in the new office buildings these days, is on particle board. Even though many of the Commander models are now old, and the price of these old boats has dropped accordingly, I still hate to see quallity workmanship abused by inappropriate refinishing of any kind. I dare say any solid wood interior would enhance the resale of the boat greatly, at least in my book.

We're the custodians of our boats during our so-called ownership, and some will suffer and others will benefit from our ownership, and fromeach owner along the line. A subsequent owner will have to deal with the sins of the previous owner (like some of us did), and I dare say some of owners along the way will be restoring some of that painted woodwork.

I know a guy who painted all of his (Hatteras) exterior teak handrail brightwork with white polyurethane. It was the only brightwork on the exterior of the boat. He liked it because he thought it was easier to maintain. He sold the boat, and the next guy paid someone to strip it and restore the brightwork.

I knew a very well respected doctor who got tired of dealing with the brightwork finish on his beautiful Chris Craft utility. He didn't have the physical strength to do the sanding himself, didn't apparently want to pay someone else to do it, and much to our horror, one day the boat showed up painted white. He passed away (may he rest in peace), the boat is still painted, sadly on both accounts.

Painting is quick, it's easier than refinishing brightwork, and it can give "instant gratification". It can also do a lot of damage in a short time that may take someone weeks to restore. I would ask anyone who is contemplating cracking the proverbial can of paint on a classic Chris Craft of any model to think twice about it (and then not do so). There are other ways to brighten a cabin by using mini blinds that bounce light onto the ceiling, using light colored counter tops, lighter fabric, light colored flooring, and with upgrade lighting schemes as well.

When finishing interior woodwork, I prefer a satin finish to the high gloss. The high gloss just reflects direct like a mirror, any flaw will show up, and it's distracting to see the reflections. The satin finish will provide a diffused reflection that still shows off the quality of the wood.

Here are a couple of examples of how some light colored fabric and mini blinds can be used to lighten up one of those georgeous Chris Craft wood interiors! The mini blinds are really very functional, they provide good privacy, they can be used to deflect light up onto the ceiling, get rid of glare, and they can be fully pulled up out of the way if desired. From the outside of the boat, they also offer a very clean look. Something to consider!







Here is another example of one of those beautiful wood interiors that should never see paint.








Here are some images from Chris Wade's 38 Sport Fisherman !








Wood is a beautiful thing, even on a fiberglass boat.



Regards,

Paul

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Tom Slayton
Tom Slayton

July 14th, 2007, 11:36 am #8



I like the scheme a lot, just curious what boat is it from.

Tom
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Roy
Roy

July 14th, 2007, 4:45 pm #9

Nice big upper cabin.

Roy
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Dave Mehl
Dave Mehl

July 14th, 2007, 4:59 pm #10

Paul is right, if you don't have to go to bare wood, save yourself the hassle, as it's going to be twice the work with no gaurantee of it looking any better. Most wood interiors have not gotten much UV and unless they're really scratched up, there is no need to go down to bare wood.

Charlie
Commander35
Cape Vincent, NY
The interior veneer is beautiful but it is thin. It will not withstand an electric sander. Interior work must be done like a cabinet maker if you want it to look like a cabinet maker did it. Simple as that.

If you treat it like a carpenter, it will look like a carpenter did the work. This means taking your time, lots of time. More time than you ever dreamed it would take. The final finish will speak for itself.

A word of caution, what will work in the well protected cabin of a 38 may not work in a cabin that gets a lot of sunlight. The furniture finish Paul noted will work very well in a 38 but I would not recommend it in an exposed helm because it does not have a uv rating. You can still do a nice job with a premium satin varnish like Epifanes, by dry brushing a light coat with a bit of a thinner to make it flash over.

Dave
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