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Burn from heat gun on teak

- 18 Oct 2017 -
8 posts / 0 new

I am a total beginner, taking on a project to refinish the interior teak of our boat. In my first attempt, a small piece of trim, I got the heat gun too near the wood and it left a darkened area. I am working to sand it out but not sure how deep I should try to go. Is there a product or process that might lighten the wood in addition to sanding?

We are prepared to just live with it, but would like to make it right if I can--just not sure if its possible. Appreciate any thoughts!

United States


- 18 Oct 2017

Probably a two part wood bleach would take the color out. It can be hard to find pre-packaged, but some natural food stores sell 30% hydrogen peroxide (much stronger than pharmacy stuff) as part 1, and hardware stores sell pure lye crystals as drain cleaner for part two.

You mix up some pure lye, brush it on the wood to be bleach, let it dry then brush on the hydrogen peroxide.

And be careful with both chemicals, obviously. Neither lye nor 30% hydrogen peroxides is particularly friendly.

- 19 Oct 2017

If the darkened, scorched areas are carbon products as I suspect they are, I've never heard of a chemical treatment that will successfully lighten them. Mechanical removal (sanding) is the only option I know of.

Two-part wood bleach is powerful stuff and will remove some of the natural color of most darker wood species. In fact, it is typically recommended specifically for creating effects like "blond mahogany". If your teak interior is already sun-bleached or blond, using a two-part wood bleach or Leif's concoction may or may not affect the surrounding color. As always with such treatments, experimentation is recommended.

It's a rare occasion when mine might differ from Leif's advice.

What kind of boat is It? Mine (as a part-owner, can I rightfully call it "mine"?) has both mahogany and teak that each require different levels of attention different intervals! Boat ownership. Is there a more worthy form of slavery?

- 19 Oct 2017

Thank you so much Leif! This is EXACTLY the kind of help I needed. Really appreciate you taking the time to walk me through it!

- 19 Oct 2017

Well, when tktoo says I am wrong, I am probably wrong. I have never tried 2 part bleach on a burn. It will take the color right out of teak though. It will make white teak, so be very careful where you get it. I don't know for certain that it will make white burned teak, though

Mechanical removal would be more reliable.

- 19 Oct 2017

What's the harm in sanding it off? Are boat parts ever veneered? I wouldn't think so.

- 20 Oct 2017


Wooden boats give me the shivering fits. Vintage wooden boats make me damp. I want one. A Trumpy. Oh lord.


Aunt Mark

ps. all of the above is the truth and nothing but the truth. And more.

pss A Trumpy has nothing to do with Cheeto's.

pass. post a snappy of the burn. .. especially where the scorched piece is located. if you can. hi. lucky you!

- 20 Oct 2017

I have sanded as much as I can without taking the wood past even. It is much better--we have decided we can live with it, varnish going on. Sorry no pic--I am not very tech savvy. Thanks for all the help/ideas!

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