1959 Chris Craft Sportsman Time to Stain

Today’s bleaching update follows yesterday’s by a bit over 24 hours. We kept the ’59 Chris-Craft 17-foot Sportsman bathed in bleach from a bit after noon through midnight yesterday.

Even though the surface feels dry to the touch, our moisture meter pegged well above 30 percent everywhere on the decks and covering boards. The wood must gas off much more moisture before we can stain it. As it does, the color becomes more and more uniform.

The bleaching process raises grain while it bleeds the tannin out of the fibers, leaving thousands of little feathers, which must be removed to achieve a uniform color when stain is applied.

The challenge is removing the feathers without cutting through the very, very thin layer of bleached mahogany. Sandpaper, even a very fine grit, is just too aggressive, so we reach for coarse Circa 1850 scuff (Scotch Brite) pads from Jamestown Distributors.

A light scuffing, being sure to only do so with the grain, quickly releases the feathers, and subsequently vacuuming using a bristle tool removes them sufficiently. (You might use a tack cloth, but only if you purchase those that are devoid of wax or oil. Depositing either on the surface guarantees seeing a blotch form because the stain cannot penetrate the deposit. But for now we will wait until our moisture meter reads no higher than 15%.

Then the blonde elements will be stained with Sandusky Paint Company Chris Craft Corina Blonde Filler Stain, followed by a mixture of brown and red mahogany Interlux Interstain.

Be sure to allow several days for the stain to cure, lest your application of CPES pulls the stain and kills color uniformity in the process.