Apprentice Member
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎06-25-2010

refinishing a toboggin

My father in law wants to refinish his old 6 person toboggin. He asked me what to use as a finish and I suggested lacquer.  Any input would be helpful.



Honored Advisor
Posts: 12,549
Registered: ‎10-23-2009

Re: refinishing a toboggan

If it is what I think it is, lacquer wont last too long.

Due to ice scratches, boots, etc.


Few coats of shellac ought to do.

Besides, it would be easy to re-do when need arise.



"Why worry about things you can't control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you."
Honored Advisor
Posts: 1,567
Registered: ‎10-21-2009

Having just bashed polyoneverythane …



… in another thread I will now suggest that it is probably your best choice in this application.  Your father-in-law’s toboggan is the epitome of an extreme abrasion application and is a perfect fit for poly.  Make sure that all of the previous finish is completely remove using a chemical stripper.  Do not sand off the previous finish.  Next, following Tony’s suggestion, apply a single coat of shellac mixed in a two-pound cut.  The best choice would be shellac mixed fresh from flakes.  Failing that you can use Zinsser SealCoat®, but make sure that the product is less than one-year-old as defined by the date code on the can.


Follow the shellac with three coats of a quality polyurethane varnish.  My first choice would be Waterlox Urethane Varnish.  It is made from soya (soybean) oil instead of the typical linseed oil.  It is also a higher quality product than the typical low cost (OK, cheap) poly found in your local hardware store or big box.


Finally, suggest to your father-in-law that when the toboggan is not in use it should be wiped dry and put away in a conditioned environment.  It doesn’t have to be in the living room but it should be stored so that it will stay dry and relatively free from wide swings in temperature and humidity.


Lacquer, by the way, would be a very poor choice due to its notoriously poor resistance to abrasion and moisture...





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