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TOPIC: Oil or varnish?

Oil or varnish? 11 Nov 2017 12:48 #95652

2 part polyurethane varnish lasts the longest but only on wood with no joints or movement, as mentioned above. Also it looks a bit like plastic coated wood, which is what it is. Worth undercoating with a 2 part epoxy sealer/rot treatment like Lignu.

le Tonkinois is great for wood with joints - it is a very flexible varnish , like a cross between and oil and varnish.

Oils don't last as long but can be topped up, Ronseal 'ultimate protection' Hardwood Garden Furniture Oil is good and reasonably priced. Some teak oils last hardly any time at all.

The microporous wood stains do last extremely well but the drawback is they look like paint after a few coats. I haven't found one that is completely clear. Again the Ronseal version lasts well, 5 years or more in my experience on hardwood chairs.

Ironically one part 'yacht' varnish seems to be the worst option.

David

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Oil or varnish? 08 Nov 2017 08:53 #95612

I use oil on all exterior wood. It's much easier to apply and can be done each year easily. There is only one product Sikkens is very good.
The only tricky application is to watch for streaking.

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Kendra Erin 20m Luxmotor Replica Dutch Barge

Oil or varnish? 06 Nov 2017 13:09 #95606

Both products were called TGL originally. Now the satin finish is TGL and the gloss finish is TGX (though you may find old stock gloss with a TGL label). All are said to be microporous.
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Oil or varnish? 04 Nov 2017 14:26 #95589

The one point I am not sure of is whether the new TGX clear is also a microporous coating. The TGL specs. clearly state that TGL (tinted) is microporous, as is the recommended base coat, but I have not found anything as yet to say that the TGX Clear is.

Balliol.
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Oil or varnish? 04 Nov 2017 13:58 #95588

Bob,

Hope you are well!

TGL Gloss Plus 077 (pine tint) is, so far as I know, the gloss equivalent of the past satin variants. It gives a good gloss finish, perhaps not the full glass like finish of a good yacht varnish with 9 coats on a Freebody launch, but that impression may only be because I have not put enough coats on or enough elbow grease in! Three coats is ample for a good finish in the barge world and was perfect for my new oak doors and windows at home.

I can't speak for the clear version: I have not bought any as yet, but when it comes to overcoating the wheel house in particular I will use the clear to avoid any further colouration build-up. I am guessing that the "Clear" is a similar product without some of the UV protection afforded by the tint, but John may know better. The wheelhouse had I three coats of 077 some four years ago and has not been touched since, but might get a flat back and a coat of Clear once I have finished docking next year. On three coats over teak I do not find the colouration oppressive however, and it is certainly lasting well. It definitely looks better than it ever did with teak oil, sadolins, deks olje and the like.................

Balliol.
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Oil or varnish? 04 Nov 2017 13:19 #95587

I have used Sikkens Cetol Filter 7 originally then Filter 7 Plus when they changed some years ago. But, that is only available in satin and coloured. The lightest being pine. I confess to not knowing the relative merits of TGL or TGX versus Filter 7 Plus. Enlightenment would be gratefully received. I would very much prefer to get a clear one.

Cheers,

Bob
MS La Chouette

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Bob Marsland
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Oil or varnish? 04 Nov 2017 10:47 #95586

Sikkens TGL/TGX clear gloss (000) is available on line from a number of companies in NL, not in Belgium though unfortunately. A quick net search will find them. The Cetol HLS undercoat/ primer recommended for bare wood is available from Screwfix ( in light oak which is OK as long as you put a thinnish coat.), at a much reduced price compared with NL/Belgium. I used pine (007) for the topcoat until I found the clear, but more than a couple of coats of it, gives a rather synthetic /unnatural look.
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Oil or varnish? 04 Nov 2017 08:51 #95585

Stephen, you will find a lot of discussion on this under the heading of perhaps "wheelhouse preservation."

In my opinion the problem with the epoxy and polyurethane route is that both these products are very impermeable. They work well if every surface of the wood is coated and sealed, meaning not just what you see but also the bits within joints, and in the case of a mast perhaps the areas of any cross trees, pivots and other fittings. Fine therefore if used from new and everything is coated, but more difficult where there are joints and fittings. If there is anywhere where water can penetrate then it will. It then spreads beneath the epoxy / polyurethane coating and becomes trapped, discolouring the wood and lifting / blistering the coating because the impermeability of the coating will not allow moisture to escape. Heat and sun will be as big an enemy here as winter weather!

Modern and traditional one-pot varnishes, as for one pot paints, are vapour permeable to an extent and allow the moisture a chance to escape.

At the other extreme microporous finishes, such as fence care products, are indeed "porous" and allow the timber to breathe. However, as has been said they tend to be "cheap" products so lack durability and other qualities.

As has been said before I have tried the lot on external wood, from oils to epoxies, and by far the best to date has been Sikkens Cetol TGL Gloss Plus 077. This is microporous, but has a fine gloss finish more like varnish. It is also very easy to apply in generous coats, hence less coats than traditional varnish. I have used it on my teak wheelhouse, Iroko skylights, and on oak window and door frames at home with great success to date (some five years + I guess now). The downside until recently is that the "clearest" version was a pine finish, which gives hardwoods a faint yellowish tinge. Stained finishes do allow greater UV protection. I gather that a clear finish is now available however. My barge neighbour John Wilson ("Johanna") could tell us more. The other problem with this product is that for some reason it is not available in all markets, It is certainly available in Belgium, but not in the UK for example. However I think John told me that there is a supplier (perhaps in NL) who will ship.

The proof of the pudding as with so many things is time, but certainly so far I can highly recommend this product, which John put me on to..

Balliol.
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Oil or varnish? 04 Nov 2017 07:32 #95584

Hi Stephen

Best wood preservation outdoors is achieved at great effort. Look at wooden boat forums for hints.
If appearance and shine important two part clear epoxy base coats and polyurethane on top (often quoted 3 of each). Many of the systems start with some sort of clear single pack sealer, thinner to try and penetrate the fibres a little but also to fill all the holes. The polyurethane layers on top are to protect the epoxy layers from UV, their achilles heal.
Took me a week for a steering wheel although individual coats were quick and easy. I used small batches and chucked cheapie brushes and the waxed coffee papercups used as the epoxy/polyurethane receptacle. Prep was a doddle though using an electric heat gun as I did not mind the occasional over enthusiastic scorch mark (gives it character I say!).
If shine not critical then simple outdoor stain and annual refresh would be easy but ongoing.
I am not good at programmed maintenance so went maximum durability path but mine was a small job and I can take it off and bring it inside in winter.
I suspect the WAF of a mast in the salon would be greater than the pfaff of refreshing annually.

regards
Chris

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Oil or varnish? 03 Nov 2017 11:52 #95575

I agree with Richard* about using an outdoor stain as it's much quicker and easier to refresh. Some people just use garden furniture restorer / stain which is relatively cheap, rather than paying the price of a 'boat' product.

Pete

*apart from his last sentence, of course!

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Pete Milne, Quo Vadis, Europe

Oil or varnish? 03 Nov 2017 10:38 #95574

Its probably not a very hard hardwood if that makes sense, hardwoods tend to be heavy and often short grained, i.e. they snap, also expensive as well. I would be tempted to use some sort of stain, Sikkens do good stuff but it will go dull. Anything is better than sanding wood down and re varnishing. I think this is a subject where 10 people will have 10 different opinions.
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Oil or varnish? 03 Nov 2017 08:47 #95573

  • Stephen McHale
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So, I just spent two days stripping many layers of dark varnish off our mast to discover quite nice hard wood (not sure what) underneath. Now I'm getting conflicting advice from the sages of Roanne on whether to revarnish or use oil. I'm leaning toward oil for easier maintenance, but then there are so many varieties. Or should I varnish and then restrip it annually? Decisions, decisions! Thoughts?

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