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MG MGA - Floor Boards/Seat bottoms

Looking for some advice: As far as floorboards (and for that matter seat bottoms) what is the preservative that I have seen suggested that you "coat" the floorboards with until saturated, then paint with black enamel? thanks, Doug
Doug Schimke

Penta wood preservative is good (or maybe any equivalent). Brush on and let dry. Especially try to fill the edge grain, over and over and over. Do several coats (over several days maybe) until it won't take any more and starts to look a little glossy. Allow to dry, and paint with a couple coats of black enamel. Suggest you caulk the boards into the frame all around to prevent any moisure encroachment. Mine have been in service for 23 years and 230,000 miles, still in excellent condition.
Barney Gaylord

Thanks, Barney. Is there a particular product that you use, or recommend? Doing a search on "penta" explains the chemical, which sounds perfect, but doesn't list a particular product line that contains the preservative. Doug
Doug Schimke

Doug, the ingredient is pentachlorophenol
Art Pearse

I have a can of the stuff in the garage. The brand name is "Sunnyside", available from Ace Hardware or Wal-Mart, maybe Home Depot and other such places. The product name on the can is "Penta Wood Preservative."
Barney Gaylord

Well that's interesting. I just found out that pentachlorophenol has been restricted since 1984, and is no longer available to the general public (although still used in industrial applications for for utility poles, railroad ties, and wharf pilings). They say it extends life of telephone poles from 7 years to 35 years. No wonder my floorboards are still like new after 23 years on the road.

Seems like my can of the stuff has been sitting on the shelf here for at least 25 years. It might be the remains of the gallon I bought to treat my MGA floorboards in 1978. The EPA restricted its use on the basis of it being "possibly carcinogenic to humans" with anecdotal evidence only with normal exposures. See here:

I guess you will have to ask your "helpful hardware man" for a recommendation for a modern wood preservative. For what it's worth, linseed oil does a nice job of sealing wood to keep moisture out.
Barney Gaylord

Its a pain in the butt all these do-good regs. can't get mildewcide for paint either. Or in Ontario - weedkiller! For the boards, you could use copper naphthenate (its called end-cut preservative for pressure treated lumber. Dilute it with varsol about 5X and it will stop microbial rot.
Art Pearse

Waterlox Marine finish is a product that I have used extensively on boat floorboards, and around the house. Never applied it, yet, to my MG floorboards, but very good product...not cheap...but seems extremely durable.

rpb bunch

If you want to get serious about protecting the floorboards from decay, you could saturate the plywood with marine epoxy.
Del Rawlins

I used minwax stain, and 4 or 5 layers of spar varnish (clear gloss) to seal them up good. I accentuated the look of the wood with a light naturally stain that looks really sweet from above, but on the bottom and engine side I may add a layer of black to it will look more original from the engine bay or from below.
Chris Velardi

I would suggest it's all rather pointless. All I have ever done is give them a coat of chassis paint on both sides after fitting and calking in place. After 20 years relatively hard use, they are fine (with the occasional slap of paint when doing the chassis again). No need to be using poisonous or carcinogenic chemicals at all.
dominic clancy

Hi all. I have put several sets of plywood floors in my MG over the last 30 years. They all rotted out! So the last set I made and installed were coated with fiberglass resin, brushed on. To date, 4 years after installation, the floorboards look great, and show no sign of rot. THe floorboards were coated with resin on both sides and all edges, with extra coats of resin being brushed on the edges. Hope this helps, Glenn
Glenn Hedrich

Here's my two pesos: Thompson Water Seal liberally applied and dried in the air followed by equally liberal coating of Rustoleum Black enamel. 19 years and still counting.
David Holmes

I just coated mine with POR 15 that I was doing the frame with. Hard as a rock and is holding up well!
WMR Bill

I mixed a quart of black paint into a gallon of Thompsons water seal. After about 10 coat it look just like the original.
R J Brown

This thread was discussed between 04/09/2009 and 08/09/2009

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