Cetol over epoxy

I previously applied Cetol and then Cetol gloss on some of my woodwork and was pleased with the ease of application, the appearance (it looks very much like varnish) and how it has stood up to the elements.

I am continuing the never-ending task of restoring the brightwork but have started to first apply epoxy as a base coat to try to minimize water penetration.

I have found that the Cetol applied to an epoxy base does not seem to cure to the same hardness as in the previous applications (without an epoxy base). It also seems to be less scratch resistant.

Does anyone have any experience with Cetol over epoxy? Or does anyone have a possible explanation for my experience?

The problem that you have is the Cetol has nothing to bite into. The epoxy pretty much seals up all of the wood fibers, nooks and crannies and when applying a non epoxy coating over it you get very poor adhesion. I have tried Cetol over epoxy and ran into the same set of issues. Wood is like a sponge and when applying a multi coat finish you need to get the first coat into the wood if you are going to have success getting the following coats to do their job. As far as the hardness goes I have had the same observation and believe it is because the Cetol stays too elastic over the epoxy. Here again it reacts to a foreign surface material as it has been formulated to be put on clean wood. Good luck and keep us posted.

Bob & Lois

BCC Jolie Brise

Hi Bob and Lois

So far, I have re-finished only the boom gallows, tiller and companionway boards with cetol over epoxy. The tiller (which is primarily ash, I believe) seems to have responded just fine with the cetol over epoxy. The boom gallows also seems fine now with the passage of more time (I haven’t looked at the companionway boards as I generally use plexiglass boards). I’m not sure how it will all hold up over time, but so far it looks promising.

Nevertheless, I will not use the epoxy/cetol combination on any future re-finishing projects (and as you can imagine, there are plenty of those!).