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Refacing old Cabinets

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Section - When we bought our boat she had all original cabinets that were showing their age. ...
   
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  1. #1
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    Roger's Avatar
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    Home Port : Maple Ridge, BC, Canada
    Boat's Name : Sweet "P" II
    1979 Tollycraft 30 Sedan
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    Default Refacing old Cabinets

    When we bought our boat she had all original cabinets that were showing their age. The propane system was not in use and did not appear to be safe. We decided against using propane on the Sweet P II and planned to remove the old
    propane range and replace it with a microwave and alcohol cook top.

    First up, I removed the old propane range and all of the gas plumbing that ran up to the flybridge tank storage locker. We cleaned and prepped the inside of the cabinets throughout the boat and repainted them all with a brush and roller. I refaced the front of the galley cabinets with 1/4" teak plywood that I cut into strips and prefinished all faces and edges with four coats clear catalyzed finish. I layed the strips with 24 gauge pins and panel adhesive to simulate a traditional hardwood cabinet.

    I closed in the area on the front that the range used to occupy with plywood backing and faced it off with the same 1/4" teak plywood.

    The old laminate was peeled off the counter top. The laminate front edge was removed and a teak edge was glued in it's place. Plywood was added to fill the gap left by the old range to accommodate the alcohol cook top.

    I used Bondo to even the seams and joints and also to repair the damage I did to the plywood while removing the old laminate.

    New plastic laminate counter top installed.
    All of the pinholes were filled, edges touched up and viola.
    We are thrilled with the new look of our old galley!


    We added a drawer to get better use from the space below the stove.
    Before After

    We removed all the doors and drawers throughout the boat.
    Gave them a good sanding and sprayed six or so coats of Catalyzed Finish.
    They came back brilliantly and the new oil rubbed bronze hardware sets them off quite nicely!

  2. #2
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    TimG's Avatar
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    Home Port : Olive Branch, MS
    Boat's Name : "WooHoo"
    1986 Cruisers Elegante 297
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    All I can say is wow! That looks great you must have a woodworking background and now I know the person I will be asking questions for any woodworking projects that I tackle. A few question: Where did you get the teak? What is catalyzed finish? Is it a name brand or?

    That just looks amazing!
    ~ on the hook ~

  3. #3
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    Boat's Name : Sweet "P" II
    1979 Tollycraft 30 Sedan
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimG View Post
    All I can say is wow! That looks great you must have a woodworking background and now I know the person I will be asking questions for any woodworking projects that I tackle. A few question: Where did you get the teak? What is catalyzed finish? Is it a name brand or?

    That just looks amazing!
    Thanks for the kind words Tim.
    My carpentry skills are pretty average. I do own a wood finishing shop which probably helps to make things a little easier though.
    The plywood is readily available up here. A good cabinet industry supplier should carry it. I bought mine from a local home improvement type store called Windsor Plywood. Make sure you use a plywood core product and not a fibreboard core product to avoid any moisture caused swelling issues.

    The finish I used is a "ML Campbell" product called "Duravar". It is a self sealing, post catalyzed, amino-alkyd product. It's simply a nice looking hard finish with good moisture resistance properties. Lot's of manufactures make these. It's less about the product and more about the application. Everything needs to be thoroughly and evenly sanded before applying the first coat, 150 - 180 grit is good. I sprayed mine with conventional spray equipment. I have also achieved good results with small airless sprayers as well. Let dry and sand between all coats. I think the doors shown above received five or six coats.

    This is a departure from the method of using oil finishes with steel wool and rags, which our boat had previous to us. Each type of finish has it's merits. The oil finishes are more user friendly. They eliminate sanding dust, don't have overspray, and are less toxic. They touch up easily and repairs blend well. They have an attractive "glow" and leave a scent that fades over time. Unfortunately though, you have to re-oil frequently (every couple or few years or so) to maintain the finish, which also unfortunately, is nice, but not quite as nice as the look of a hard coating type finish.

    A hard coating type finish is more time consuming to apply initially. It does kick up a lot of dust and overspray (all manageable). It does not touch up as easily (but do'able) but it will last for years and years with almost no maintenance. As with anything there is a compromise that is unique for everyone.

  4. #4
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    I need to practice with my conventional sprayer a bit, I never thought of applying that with a sprayer I have always used a brush and never quite been satisfied.
    ~ on the hook ~

  5. #5
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    25thmustang's Avatar
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    Boat's Name : Sun Day Driver
    1984 Silverton 34C
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    I must say, that is a very nice transformation. I love the look you got with the plywood and coating. It looks very smooth! Is this catalyst just a clear finish or does it give a "color" to the wood. Every day I learn a new and different way to refinish a boats teak or mahogony.

    Very nice!
    '84 Silverton 34' T/270s.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 25thmustang View Post
    I must say, that is a very nice transformation. I love the look you got with the plywood and coating. It looks very smooth! Is this catalyst just a clear finish or does it give a "color" to the wood. Every day I learn a new and different way to refinish a boats teak or mahogony.

    Very nice!
    Thanks, the finish is quite smooth. It's the same sort of finish you would see on high end commercial or residential millwork with the whole five or six coats thing. The catalyst is just a curing agent that the product I used requires to harden. It does not add any colour. Teak is such a beautiful wood with just clear anyway. A two component product makes for a harder finish than you would get from a single component type varnish or urethane. On the down side, the finish I used is not suitable for outside. Roger

  7. #7
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    Roger in the future if you have the time I would love for you to post a how to article showing how to finish the teak with that. I have tried on several occasions to get a good finish but it ends up "just okay" and then I end up having to do it over after a short while. One of my problems is my limited knowledge on the different coatings available and how to apply them properly, I guess you could say the "process". I need a "refinish your woodwork for Dummies!"
    ~ on the hook ~

  8. #8
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    Good information Roger. I worked in a custom high end millwork company a few years back, and do agree, the finish you have looks like a lot of the stuff we sent out to high end clients.

    Do you have teak on the exterior of your boat? What is your method for redoing, or keeping it clean?
    '84 Silverton 34' T/270s.

  9. #9
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    Roger's Avatar
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    Home Port : Maple Ridge, BC, Canada
    Boat's Name : Sweet "P" II
    1979 Tollycraft 30 Sedan
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    Quote Originally Posted by 25thmustang View Post
    Good information Roger. I worked in a custom high end millwork company a few years back, and do agree, the finish you have looks like a lot of the stuff we sent out to high end clients.

    Do you have teak on the exterior of your boat? What is your method for redoing, or keeping it clean?
    Thanks again. The outside of our boat has very little wood. The door to the cabin is teak and has a marine spar varnish that was finished before we bought the boat and still looks pretty good. When it is time for refinishing I will probably take the door and frame off and take it to the paint shop to strip and sand off all of the existing finish and use an exterior rated two component urethane then re-install it. Did I mention that two component stuff is more toxic and should only be used with great ventilation like a paintshop has? Again, you can also get great results spraying Spar Varnish in a suitably prepared garage or carport. The door should end up with the same sort of look as the interior stuff with a similar process. I only plan on using a hard type finish because our door is under the cover of an awning, we store the boat in a boatshed, in fresh water so it is pretty ideal conditions for the finish to last. If the door was exposed to constant elements the finish would fail for sure. In that situation I would use a penetrating oil product and re-coat often (easy to do with a brush or rag). The only other wood I have is a two step boarding ladder and flag pole that both are currently unfinished and look like crap. Oh well. I will one day clean those up with a good cleaning, sanding, and a penetrating oil product. But not today.

  10. #10
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    Do they make anything that will last more than 1-2 yrs when exposed to the elements? I used Cetol natural on the exterior teak on my boat and it looked great but I found out after the fact that I should have applied more coats.
    ~ on the hook ~

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