Bleaching Antique and Classic Boat Decks
A.) After stripping, sand the entire boat with 60 grit, followed by 80 grit, maybe as high as 100 grit.
B.) Now that the wood is ready for bleaching, tape off the area to be bleached.
C.) I prefer to do the bleaching and sealing before the dark stain is applied. Any splatters of the darker stain can be easily removed with paint thinner.
I use a two-part bleach after the last sanding.
The wood grain is clean and the dark areas are quite visible. At this time the grain is open to allow the bleach to penetrate deeper.
D.) Carefully mix the 2 parts and apply with a chip brush.
E.) After the area dries, gently sand with 120grit to remove the residue that oxidizes on the surface. Be sure to wear a mask when sanding after bleaching. More often than not, several applications of the bleach are necessary.
For those that want the rich amber color like Chris Craft’s often have, we then use Corina Blonde filler stain.
F.) After the stain dries overnight, we then seal the area with Interlux Interprime #1026.
G.) Now LIGHTLY sand with 320 grit and apply 1 coat of varnish.
H.) At this time we remove the tape and reverse the tape and stain procedure for the darker surrounding color. This way, any splatters of the darker stain is easily wiped off.
I.) After the other wood is stained, sealed, and 1 coat of varnish applied, now is the time I like to fill the deck seams.
J.) For blond decks like the Chris Craft Continental, fill the seams with
white Sikaflex 291 LOT.
As the varnish is applied, the Sikaflex turns amber in color and blends into the surrounding blond wood.
K.) After all varnish is applied the seams can be striped.