Blotchy Peterborough


Wood Girl #1186
I am racing to finish the exterior of the 1946 Peterborough in time for assembly (leaving this Wednesday.....!) I noticed when I stripped the little remaining original finish off it that it was a remarkably blotchy boat. I stripped, washed down with TSP, Sanded with 80 grit and thoroughly vacuumed and wiped with dry fleecy cloth. I didn't want to stain it so last night I applied one coat of Orange Shellac figuring that it would get it closer to it's original color (it did). It still looked blotchy. Today I sanded it with 150 grit and vacuumed it and wiped it down with a soft cloth. Man, It still looks blotchy. Am I being too picky? Should I give it another coat of orange shellac? Would that help? Should I just accept that along with all the other dents and dings in a well used, well worn boat, this could be part of the bruising and I should just accept it and move on to marine varnish? It's so much work and but, such a nice boat, I really want it to look as good as it can. Advise?
Is it an all wood Peterborough?

I just spent a long time doing one and when it came to finishing the hull I started to sand a bit, and decided not to really grind it, leaving nicks and dings in it, mostly to keep the material. Part of it's demise was a loss of material from someone else's sanding. Although it was just a real wreck anyway. Also I had to use varnish during the construction phase, and for most of it, I didn't have the sense to use some mineral spirits to wipe excess off where I could, so it looks somewhat blotchy. The boat was 90 years old, it's suppose to look like an old boat. It looks wonderful. Send a picture, maybe it is more extreme than I'm thinking.

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Moved forward with no advice

Since no one had anything to suggest, I went inside the architectural woodwork part of my brain and went from boat restoration thinking to wood finishing thinking instead. "What would a finisher tell me?" The answer would probably be "You need to apply a toner coat". (Definition: transparent or semi-transparent pigmented topcoat used to even the color or tone of the wood) Went to the hardware store and got a can of Minwax "Stain and Polyureathane in one step" Natural Cherry, satin sheen. Somewhat dubious but, I can always get it off again.... I applied one coat, very easy to apply. It did even it out more and low and behold almost an identical match to the existing original interior as well ! So after drying, I sanded quickly with 150, then put on the marine varnish. Now that it's all done and sitting in the outdoor warmth, it looks pretty dang good and I would even say to others facing a blotchy exterior problem that this will do the trick. Now I just have to finish the topsides of the gunwales and also put that gleaming restored and honed copper stem band back on. And it's off for a two day sprint to Peterborough. You can all see it there.

How will/does the poly coat work with the marine varnish in protecting the wood from the UV? And/or will the varnish protect the poly so it doesn't fail?

"Minwax "Stain and Polyureathane"

No Uv

UV protectants are additives that slow the process, not stop it. Nothing stops UV from taking it's toll on things. UV protectants are additives that start to break down after about 6 months. This is not my main concern. The canoe will be in sunlight appox 30 hours per year. Not enough to worry me. I am sure, the original owner in 1946 did not consider it and neither am I. The intercoat adhesion between the poly and the marine varnish looks good. Confidence is high. Forward....
What about the pics???

As for the finish, I was thinking about the discussion from the Interlux rep, where he described the different failure modes of the 2 finishes, but with little exposure, your probably right, no concern.

No photos please

Even if the canoe would allow itself to be photographed, I doubt that I'd get them posted. While most of you are speeding along the information superhighway, I am limping along with a three legged mule on a gravel path. You'll have to see her in person at Assembly. Sorry.