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Can you mix teak oil varnish?


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August 22, 2007 12:25PM


Aside from its much-admired appearance, varnish offers genuine protection for the wood. Wood coated with varnish will not dry out and split, will not absorb moisture and rot, is unaffected by dirt and pollution, and will be untouched, thus unstained, by oily or greasy spills. The absence of pigment in varnish means it does not shield the underlying surface from the sun. Ultraviolet radiation penetrates the coating and carbonizes the oils in the wood, causing the wood to darken beneath the varnish. To minimize this effect, varnish makers add ultraviolet inhibitors-sun screens-to their products. For exterior brightwork, select a quality spar varnish (not urethane varnish) heavily fortified with UV inhibitors. As always, get local recommendations from other boatowners before selecting a specific varnish. Teak doesn't hold varnish as well as other woods due to its oil content, but a long-lasting coating is possible with the right technique. Books have been written about applying varnish. You may not get that perfect, mirror-like finish on your first try, but as long as the wood is ivory smooth, the weather is warm and dry, and you don't "worry" the varnish with too many brush strokes, you should get admirable results. Plan on applying at least six coats.