Refinishing Projects #3: Joye's Porch Bench - Redux

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Blog entry by Mark Wilson posted 05-08-2016 01:53 AM 798 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Display Case 11092015 - A Thirty-Minute Journey Part 3 of Refinishing Projects series no next part

- OR – What I did upon giving up on Spar urethane.
I refinished this bench, about two-years ago. I slathered it with Spar Varnish. The bench sits on the front porch, facing the afternoon sun, and, consequently the finish utterly failed, in little more than a year. It looked really good. But the sun beat the snot out of it.
This time, with Joye’s consent, I simply sanded it down to its birthday suit, and soaked it with Boiled Linseed Oil, let it dry a good long time, and put it back together, and took it back to where it lives. Joye was very happy with the way it looks. So was I.

In the above Montage, the first photo should be the fourth.

She asked me how much I wanted for it. (I, frankly, didn’t want anything for it, but, Homey Joye don’t play that way.) So I gave her a number, whereupon she muttered something about that being “way too much,” walked into the other room, and came back, and handed me twice as much. (She was having an “ironic day.” She does that, sometimes. I’ll call her on the phone, and ask how she is, and she’ll reply, “I’m having a wonderful day,” wherein, by “wonderful,” she means exactly the opposite. It was one of those kind of days.
Many thanks to Fatman51, John, for all the help.

-- Mark

16 comments so far

View lew's profile


11264 posts in 3176 days

#1 posted 05-08-2016 02:06 AM

Looks really nice.

I had the same trouble with an south east facing oak entrance door. After a year it looked like it had never been finished. They sold the house so I didn’t have to do it again.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View  woodshaver (Tony)  's profile

woodshaver (Tony)

3938 posts in 2774 days

#2 posted 05-08-2016 02:06 AM

Well done Mark! The sun is a wonderful thing ….most of the time!

-- Tony C UAW, St Augustine FL, My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View doubleDD's profile


5062 posts in 1464 days

#3 posted 05-08-2016 02:44 AM

It looks nice with the BLO. Are you planning to add anything over it. The reason I ask is I have done the same before and in a year or two it ends up looking the same.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View CFrye's profile


8575 posts in 1261 days

#4 posted 05-08-2016 03:17 AM

Nicely done, Mark!

-- God bless, Candy

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2260 posts in 3104 days

#5 posted 05-08-2016 03:50 AM

You have done a great job on the bench Mark.

-- Bob C, Australia. I love sharing as long as it is not my tools

View pottz's profile


769 posts in 405 days

#6 posted 05-08-2016 05:55 AM

nice job buddy you show you have a lot of patience with wood and people of witch i have niether.the thing with a bench thats in the sun is it needs yearly maintenance of oil to keep it looking good or you get what you had to deal with.i suggest moving so you dont have to deal with this again-lol,good luck.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View fatman51's profile


335 posts in 1258 days

#7 posted 05-08-2016 06:06 AM

Looks really good Mark. Your welcome for the suggestions, I hope it works out. I will be interested in learning how long it takes the oak to gray in that climate with just the BLO.

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

View DocSavage45's profile


7656 posts in 2263 days

#8 posted 05-08-2016 06:16 AM


And a happy customer.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1694 posts in 484 days

#9 posted 05-08-2016 06:42 AM

Lew, did they sell the house to someone who took the house away?
Dave, I expect it to darken to a grayish/bluish hue, over time. At least Urethane won’t peel off. It occurs to me that, a couple years ago, I finished my own, afternoon-sun-facing, Oak front door. It seems to be doing well. Of course, it has the semi shade of the screen door. Wait here a minute. I’ll go look at it…Weird, huh? I walk in and out that thing ever day, several times, and nothing ever catches my eye. I just examined it. While it may have lightened, on the outside, compared to the inside, the finish is fine. Freaky. Same sun. Same exposure. You know what? It may have been Varithane, that I used on the door. Around the same time as I did my door, a guy paid me to do his Maple door, with much the same exposure. I know I did the same thing to both, inasmuch as I did mine as a kind of practice, before doing his. I should go look at his. Now I have to go look for the photos I took of both doors, to see what it was I used. I’ll be right back…Just a minute. I’m still looking. I know I took a bajillion pictures…that, evidently, got lost. I even looked in Carbonite. Can’t find them. Dagnabbit! But, yeah. I’m thinking it was Varithane. I remember white rattle cans. So well-documented, those door refinishings were. For future reference. Thanks for waiting. And, I apologize.
Thank you, Candy and Bob.
Larry, I suppose, if it starts to look like it needs it, I can oil it up in the evening, so it can dry overnight, rub it down the next day. That’s no trouble, really. If need be, I suppose I could cover it up to dry longer. I don’t expect it’ll weep a great deal, after the treatment I gave it this time.

-- Mark

View JoeinGa's profile


7370 posts in 1428 days

#10 posted 05-08-2016 12:08 PM

Nice job Mark. Quite a transformation from before to after. Looks good, too bad the sun will eat it up all over again.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16801 posts in 2526 days

#11 posted 05-08-2016 12:19 PM

Nice work , Mark! Great dialog with the customer, too. some times you have to know their game a play along!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1694 posts in 484 days

#12 posted 05-08-2016 09:21 PM

Thanks, Joe. She said that, next time it starts looking bad, she’ll just go buy a new one. I advised her to put that off til the next time she pays me to refinish brings the sum total of what I’d get for doing it again would equal the price of a new one. Or, I could build her a custom bench.
Jim, Joye and I have been friends for a few years. We know each other fairly well. She’s Bonnie’s and Clyde’s Mommy.

-- Mark

View JoeinGa's profile


7370 posts in 1428 days

#13 posted 05-09-2016 01:55 PM

Good think you told us which one YOU are ….. someone mighta got confused looking at that !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Grumpy's profile


21459 posts in 3272 days

#14 posted 05-12-2016 09:08 PM

Looks good Mark.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1694 posts in 484 days

#15 posted 05-12-2016 09:11 PM

Thank you Tony

-- Mark

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