As you can see from the bottom of this old pic, my companionway steps were looking pretty dingy…

Slat Holders Installed

Slat Holders Installed

I figured that if I was going to start refinishing the interior, I might as well start with the entrance to the interior. I took the steps off, they are just held on with a few screws from the underside, and scrubbed them with a nylon brush and some soap and water, then let them dry for a couple days. Once they had dried I sanded them with 220 grit on the random orbital sander to keep a nice smooth and flat surface.

Companionway Steps After Sanding

Companionway Steps After Sanding

 Once the surface was sanded I fit some 220 grit over a small metal piece that fit inside the tread grooves and sanded them as best I could as well.

Companionway Steps close up of tread

Companionway Steps close up of tread

The end result was some nice looking pieces of wood ready for 4-5 coats of varnish. I used the same Dalys Profin Gloss that I have used everywhere else.  The trick I’ve found to getting a perfect finish with it is to brush on your initial 2-3 coats, sanding between with 400-800 grit, and for the final coat sand with 800-1000 grit (the surface should feel perfectly smooth with a soft silky feel after sanding). Wipe the surface clean, then fold up a paper towel to about a 2 inch square, and using the end of the final fold, dip that into the Profin, and brush it on. The paper towel soaked Profin will not leave any bubbles, and as long as you don’t have it soaked to the point of dripping, it will not apply a thick enough coat to create any runs, even on a vertical surface.

Companionway Steps Varnished and Installed

Companionway Steps Varnished and Installed

 

Companionway Steps Varnished and Installed

Companionway Steps Varnished and Installed

I did this project last spring and after a year of use they are holding up rather well. With all the wear they get I am going to apply a touch up coat this season to fill in some scuff marks from dirt and sand tracked in on peoples shows, but that will only take 5 minutes to do. The cabin sole was refinished with the same Profin as the steps and is a year old in these pictures, and now 2 years old at the time of writing this. It is showing some wear, but not so bad that it cannot easily be fixed in a half an hour of time.

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