Redwood Adirondack chairs

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Forum topic by Dave Carlisle posted 10-16-2015 08:03 PM 784 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dave Carlisle

69 posts in 2352 days

10-16-2015 08:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am considering building some adirondacks out of redwood. I’ll bet they will be gorgeous. But I am concerned about the clear topcoat. I know they will start weathering immediately outside without any kind of sealer. But I have read lots of conflicting remarks on-line about how redwood doesn’t do well with poly, oil or clear finishes. Has anyone worked with redwood and can recommend a clear topcoat?? Thanks!!

-- Woodworking Principal

6 replies so far

View RogerM's profile


799 posts in 2596 days

#1 posted 10-16-2015 09:43 PM

Splinters can be a real issue with redwood left out in the elements. The only finish that I might consider would be boiled linseed oil.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 2840 days

#2 posted 10-16-2015 10:38 PM

No matter what you use, over time UV will attack it and the coloration of the chairs. Pick something that has a UV inhibitor and is easy to refinish at some point. In other words, do not use a film forming product.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View nick_name's profile


17 posts in 1162 days

#3 posted 10-17-2015 04:07 PM

My go-to finish for exterior projects is Epifanes. The recommended protocol is 6-8 coats but keep in mind that this is a marine finish and the environment dictates 6-8 coats. I’ve done mohogany and white oak gates and furniture with 3-4 coats and after years of 24/7 exposure not had any need to refinish. I like their matte product quite a bit, usually go with 3 coats of the gloss and the 4th matte.

The elements you need to protect against for any exterior project are UV and expansion as a result of changing humidity conditions. Any finish that does not provide UV protection will fail immediately, and hard film finishes will eventually crack and fail. Epifanes is not inexpensive but in my view the added cost upfront pays dividends over time as a result of not having to refinish your work.

View Hermit's profile


210 posts in 1522 days

#4 posted 10-17-2015 05:34 PM

By far in my opinion is
It’s as good as it says it is. It’s all I use for redwood.

-- I'm like the farmer's duck. If it don't rain, I'll walk.

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 2840 days

#5 posted 10-17-2015 08:17 PM


I have used penofin blue label and had a problem with mold forming on the surface of the wood of the outdoor furniture once they were treated with it.


Which particular Epifanes product did you use? From their web site they all appear to be a varnish or poly film forming product.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View KellyB's profile


77 posts in 1379 days

#6 posted 10-17-2015 09:38 PM

Having grown up in the Adirondacks, I can tell you there are no redwoods anywhere inside the Blue Line….

Epifanes is a really fine product, but you might also consider Cetol. Three coats required, and maintenance is light sanding and recoat. Been using it for years on the boat which has too much teak brightwork (something I will fix in my next life, next boat).

Manufactured by Sikkens, who seem to be entering the lumberyard and big box markets with similar products with different names.

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