The cetol and varnish on our cap rail had seen better days. Due to a few weekends in a row of exceptionally sunny weather, we decided to tackle this project.
The first step was to strip the old varnish and/or cetol that was previously applied. We didn’t know what it was, but a heat-gun was able to soften it, and a scraper was able to lift it off:
With two people, one person holding the heat gun and another scraping, one side of the cap rail could be stripped in about two hours. Another 30 minutes of sanding, and the rail was clear. You can see that the previous application was done fairly sloppily, as there were drips and bleeds:
A few minutes with the shopvac cleared the side decks:
We use Cetol natural. We truly don’t mind the look, but the ease of application is really why we use it:
But to really make it look nice, you need a couple coats of Cetol clear over the top. You don’t need to sand between coats, and it gives a glossy “wet” look, and continues to protect the wood: