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Old Hatch Cover Vanity Counter??

Posted by martinca (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 27, 12 at 16:21

Many years ago my husband swam out and " rescued" a hatch cover from a ship wrecked Japanese vessel. This was almost 40 years ago, and no idea how old the ship was. It's 20", deep by 6 ft. Long, making it an almost perfect fit to replace a bathroom counter, now tile.
My first question applies to all old wood, I suppose :
how to sand it smooth and retain the patina. This one, of course , has way more than patina going on, as you might expect.
Next, For a Bathroom counter with sink, would you finish in poly or boat varnish (?) or tung oil?
Lastly, for those who like thinking creatively, if the fit's not perfect, how do you feel about the addition of a tile or marble backsplash for filler?
My first visit to this forum. TIA if those In the know won't mind taking the time to help. II love re- purposing, especially things with history.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Old Hatch Cover Vanity Counter??

Welcome.

First of all, sanding removes material---meaning patina. So, to retain the patina, do not sand.

Now, I have a feeling the surface of the wood is a bit rough and sanding is kind of necessary. That means an option is to remove all the patina and sand to bare wood. The chances the wood is teak is fairly high and teak is a beautiful wood when finished.

You may find you like the teak color better. To find out, sand on the underside. However, sanding an area that large will be very labor intensive. Finding a shop/woodworker with a large belt sander(20"+ wide) and paying to have the surface sanded would be better.

As for a finish, none of the ones you mentioned would be my choice. Plain oil based varnish would be my choice. Because it cures hard---providing better than average protection--- is much more easily repaired if chipped or damaged, and is impervious to alcohols/etc. in health/beauty products.

Once you find the true color of the wood, there will be a lot of options for the color/type of backsplash---which would be a very good idea.


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RE: Old Hatch Cover Vanity Counter??

Thank you so much mr( ms.?) Mac! I never thought about the difficulty of sanding it, but it's so old and rough I imagine it will be a bear.
Would the oil varnish seal well enough ? I'm thinking about the circle around the drop in sink. Yuk to have gunk collect in that hard to get to area....even tho, as a guest bath, it won't be heavily used. Also, you mean an oil varnish will be impervious to water markings?


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RE: Old Hatch Cover Vanity Counter??

Thank you so much mr( ms.?) Mac! I never thought about the difficulty of sanding it, but it's so old and rough I imagine it will be a bear.
Would the oil varnish seal well enough ? I'm thinking about the circle around the drop in sink. Yuk to have gunk collect in that hard to get to area....even tho, as a guest bath, it won't be heavily used. Also, you mean an oil varnish will be impervious to water markings?


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RE: Old Hatch Cover Vanity Counter??

I m a former handyman---Mr. Mac.

Oil based varnish will cure and be a very good water/moisture barrier.

When I install a drop in sink, I make sure there is an unbroken ring of the appropriate sealant to prevent any water from getting between the sink and counter.

Another way to prevent any future problems is to coat all the surfaces of the countertop with at least two coats of varnish.

There are several finishes that could be used for your top---oil based varnish is the best because it is tough, long lasting, resists water, does not chip, is not affected by any health/beauty product ingredients, and can be easily repaired. Polyurethane is as tough, but is prone to chipping and cannot be easily spot repaired. It also looks plastic---mainly because it is partially plastic.

It is one of the finishes that requires the most work----stinks when curing, takes 12 to 24 hours for each coat to cure, cleanup is messy, and it adds an amber tone to the wood over which it is applied.


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