Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Oily Bilge Water Staining"
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Thread: "Oily Bilge Water Staining"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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Oily Bilge Water Staining

Tom and Barb Koehl

I'm restoring a W32 that was neglected for years and at one time the main hatch was left open for an extended time and the bilges filled to 3" above the cabin sole with rainwater mixed with diesel fuel (leaking fuel steel fuel tank). We've scrubbed the bilges and the cabin sole and wiped down the plywood interior panels with Simple Green, but the wood is pretty well impregnated with oil. We intended to paint much of the paneling white and limit the teak to the trim, cabinet & cupboard doors, and drawer faces, but we're sure that paint will not adhere to any oily wood surfaces. Any ideas as to how best to prepare the wood for paint? I really hate to cut out the plywood as it's still sound. My only thoughts were to apply a thin "baseboard" over the stained areas, but we're concerned about the diesel fuel odors.

Tom Crank

Have you tried a two part teak cleaner such as TE KA. It's pretty harsh stuff but since your planning to paint it shouldn't be a problem. You might also try trisodium phosphate. It works really well on greasy wood surfaces.

Tom and Barb Koehl

Tom, Thanks for the suggestions. A customer also suggested "floor dry", the shop oil absorbent - he claims it took a gallon gas spill out of his family room carpet, just took a week. I'll try all three methods on the old bulge cover boards and give a report as to what works best.

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