Friday, October 7, 2016

Floor Refinishing Progress Report

Yesterday I finished the main salon area of the floor so I have completed the small section in front of the V-berth, the small section in front of the head door, and the main salon between the two settees as well as all the hatchboards. I still have the two sections between the galley and the nav station as well as the two sections in the aft cabin. The ones between the galley and the nav station will take twice the time because I have to lift the companionway stairs out while the finish cures. This means only one coat per day and at seven coats, that means twice as long. I'm incredibly happy with the results so far but I do have several comments to make about the Circa 1850 polyurethane finish that I'm using from Jamestown Distributors.  In no order, here they are:
  • The finish is incredibly hard once it cures. I had some that had overlapped another section and when I sanded it, it just laughed at me. This is an excellent finish for salon floors.
  • The finish is not the easiest to put on. They say you can use a lambswool applicator, a lint-free cloth, or a bristle brush. For ease of cleaning, I bought a really good, top-of-the-line natural bristle brush. The problem is that it is very difficult to apply evenly. I chose the satin finish because I hate gloss finish on a floor since it eventually scuffs down to satin anyway. I think satin is easier to keep looking clean. While they tell you in the instructions to thin only the first coat with mineral spirits 10%, I found that I had to thin every coat to get it to flow without leaving brush marks. You have to measure carefully because the more thinner you use, the flatter it appears when it's dry.
  • When it comes to you, the flattening agent is one giant gelatenous glob in the bottom of the can. You can't shake it because it will introduce air bubbles that will then apply to your work, so you have to stir it. It takes at least 30 minutes to incorporate all of the flattening agent by stirring, a feat made more difficult by the fact that they fill the can to the absolute top of the rim. I appreciate getting full cans, but it's impossible to stir without spilling.
  • The published dry time for recoat is 3 hours at ideal conditions. We are currently running an air conditioner which keeps the inside of the boat right around 70° and 60% humidity, very near their perfect conditions, but I found that it was really closer to 5 hours before I could sand the finish without clumping the sand paper.
  • The price on this stuff is incredibly reasonable for the quality, and Jamestown Distributors is a real pleasure to deal with. Shipping was quick and the product was well-packaged.

Here are before and after photos of the section of floor that was soaked with diesel fuel. The after photo is complete with seven coats of Circa 1850.

One thing I will say - I'm very happy that I started with the least visible section and worked toward the most visible. In the beginning I was hesitant to sand very deeply, worried that I would sand through the veneer. As I worked, I was able to learn just how deeply I could sand so it began to look better. Also, my skill level improved immensely as I progressed, so if you visit Kintala, please don't look too closely at the V-berth section, OK?


Mike M. said...

I think it looks very good! Great work and documentation on something that seems so tedious.


S/V Via Bella said...

Beautiful work, Deb!

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

Looks amazing!!!