Reply by Finisherman

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Posted on Finishing aromatic cedar

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227 posts in 2085 days

#1 posted 05-30-2013 08:37 PM

Is the table going to live indoors, or is it going to be an outdoor picnic table. If the table is going to stay inside, then you can use pretty much any finish you want, from shellac, to varnish, to lacquer to waterborne. If this table is going to be used as a picnic table, then I’d steer away from finishes which for a film, like spar varnishes. These finishes won’t hold up to rain, snow and intense sunlight for very long, in spite of what the label tells you. Trust me. I once had to scrape and sand a layer of peeling spar varnish off of a cedar picnic table. Not a fun project. I think that you’d be best to go with a finish which can be recoated easily like an oil varnish blend, preferably one like Deftoil exterior wood finish. Of course, you could also use a semi-transparent exterior deck stain.

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