Friday, September 23, 2016

K2R and Teak Stain Removal

Even though I mentioned K2R in a previous post, I thought it deserved a post of its own. I can't emphasize how nasty the diesel stain on our teak and holly floor was before I started this project. This photo doesn't do it justice.

The wood was dark, the white holly strips black. After sanding, it was marginally better, but the stain was still one of those where you could ignore how good the rest of the floor looked just because that stain looked so bad. The diesel had been soaking the wood for at least 10 or 15 years. We're not sure exactly how long since it was at least two owners previous to us that the tank leaked.  After researching how to remove oil based stains on teak I happened on a forum about K2R. I remember my parents using it to remove stains from dry-cleaned clothes when I was little, but teak? It was worth a try, since the alternative was pulling up that section of plywood and replacing it. I'm not sure even that would have worked because the sub-floor marine plywood base under the teak and holly plywood was also soaked and might have seeped into the new plywood.

As I mentioned in the previous post, it takes multiple applications to remove diesel from soaked wood. You apply, it lifts what can be reached, you let it sit and the fuel from the underlayment seeps up into the teak and holly, you apply again. I've now used two and a half cans over a week's time, and it's pretty close to being done seeping. You can do one application every 30 minutes or so by the time you apply, let dry, sweep it up, rinse it off, let it dry. It takes a lot for a marine product to impress me, but color me impressed...and not stained. Now I can hardly wait to get the finish on!

Looking forward to aft
Looking aft to forward


Robert Salnick said...

Wow! What a transformation! The teak and holly look new.

K2R is a mixture of perchloroethylene (aka tetrachloroethylene, dry cleaning fluid) and a white absorbant power (activated alumina?) The solvent soaks into the surface leaving the powder behind. Then evaporation of solvent at the surface draws the solvent back out of the depths of the surface, bringing with it what ever it dissolved. Finally, at the surface, the absorbant powder retains the non-volatile portion of the transport.

And it did a wonderful job. Do you have any way of knowing how deep into the sole the cleaning effect went?

s/v Eolian
Anacortes, WA

Ken Reeves said...

Hello, We are faced with a similar project to refinish our plywood floor in our saloon. I have been considering a penetrating epoxy as a primer and sealer prior to coating with a varnish. This area can get a fair amount of moisture around the kitchen area, windows and our dogs water. I am curious if you considered an epoxy and what your thoughts might be.

s/v Moon River

Deb said...

@Robert - thanks for the explanation of how it works. I was wondering. The diesel leak had to have been significant, although I don't have any details since it was at least two owners prior to us. I have done probably a dozen applications at this point, almost three full cans. It is still seeping from the underlayment a little, but it's almost done seeping. We have 3/4" plywood under 1/2" teak and holly plywood and it's my guess that both layers were completely soaked.

Deb said...

@Ken - I never considered epoxy at all. I did a lot of research on the coating because my primary restriction was drying time. Since we're living on the boat during the project, I had to have something that we could use quickly. This polyurethane is the stuff they use to coat bowling alleys so it's incredibly hard. It also dries in three hours in ideal conditions so I can do two coats in one day. Since I'm doing seven coats on each section and I can only do one section at a time so we still have some place to walk, quick cure time was imperative. I did thin the first coat 10% so it would penetrate. I'm not sure how clear the epoxy would be and my guess is that you would lose the visibility of the grain. Maybe get a good tray for the dog bowl?