help me finish my bench...

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Forum topic by Mark posted 02-20-2010 05:16 PM 1137 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mark's profile


1801 posts in 2696 days

02-20-2010 05:16 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question cedar sanding finishing

Okay folks.. I have built a muskoka chair duo “bench” and I made it all out of cedar…last year

Now its all grey and weathered from last summers sun and I want to sand it out fresh again. But my question is….how do I want to finish it? I have two options or your helpful ideas:

1) just coat it with BLO
2) Stain it and finish it with outdoor poly

any ideas?

-- M.K.

11 replies so far

View bigike's profile


4048 posts in 2711 days

#1 posted 02-20-2010 05:19 PM

#2 if it’s gonna stay outdoors

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Mark's profile


1801 posts in 2696 days

#2 posted 02-20-2010 05:20 PM



-- M.K.

View Mark's profile


1801 posts in 2696 days

#3 posted 02-20-2010 08:18 PM

thx bigike….anyothers?

-- M.K.

View CanadianWoodChuck's profile


402 posts in 3336 days

#4 posted 02-20-2010 09:14 PM

It doesn’t matter what you use BLO won’t give you any protection and anything other than paint will turn grey. If you are looking for an outdoor varnish that will last longer, check out epiphanes. (very expensive) but it will last longer than anything else.

-- Wood Chuck (Bruce)

View Mark's profile


1801 posts in 2696 days

#5 posted 02-20-2010 10:26 PM

thx bruce…i’ll check it out

-- M.K.

View studie's profile


618 posts in 2569 days

#6 posted 02-21-2010 07:54 AM


-- $tudie

View Moffett77's profile


32 posts in 2450 days

#7 posted 02-21-2010 08:13 AM

Sikkens leaves a very plastic finish, I have never been a big fan but it does hold up well. Epiphanes Varnish is very good, as stated above, I have used it on wooden boat projects for years. If you are looking for something really durable and has good UV protection you can also try the M.L. Campbell Euro line of Catalyzed Varnishes. These are very much like auto finishes but they are specifically designed for use on wood. Hope this helps

-- Moffett, Sacramento CA

View Mark's profile


1801 posts in 2696 days

#8 posted 02-21-2010 05:56 PM

thanx alot! i’ll check em out….i’m ACTUALLY cleaning out my garage right now lol…i have nice spring weather where i am right now. Then i’m back sanding my bench by this afternoon…thx again guys!

-- M.K.

View wookie's profile


154 posts in 2506 days

#9 posted 02-21-2010 07:47 PM

Why is it spring up north and snow and cold down yonder? lol cabin fever. Mark, when you’re finished with your garage could lend a guy a hand with his? lol Nice info on ext. finishes!

-- Wookie=Wood Rookie

View Mark's profile


1801 posts in 2696 days

#10 posted 02-21-2010 11:02 PM

depends what you mean by lend a hand? if you mean dominate someone elses garage and take up their space then ya no problem! cleaning a garage will cost a bbq and entertainment…lol

-- M.K.

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 3210 days

#11 posted 02-23-2010 05:54 AM

Use a deck finish, and plan on redoing it every few years. Any varnish will start to peel and will be a pain to refinish (that is especially true about any “poly”, which is very susceptible to UV damage). Even spar varnishes which are a long oil varnish, has to be scraped and reapplied every 2 or 3 years. Same goes for Marine “teak oil” finishes. Fine for smooth round boat masts, but sucks for furniture.

Use an outdoor oil finish with UV protectorants, and plan on redoing it every year or two. The only thing in a finish that protects the wood against UV in sunlight is the pigment. In a solid colored coating, the pigment absorbs the UV damage to protect the wood underneath, It goes away in time, but lasts longer than a clear finish. A semi-solid coating has less pigment, but delays the inevitable longer. If you want the cedar look, you can’t paint it.

You don’t have to sand what you have (cedar): bleach will do it just as well, followed by a low-pressure power wash. After it dries, (about 3 days) re-treat it with outdoor oil. My experience here in NC (about on the 35th parallel) with high summer humidity is that cheap old Thompson’s water seal lasts about 6 months; General finishes outdoor oil lasts a year, but mildews badly, and Cabots semi-solid is going on about 1 1/2 years and doing okay (notice that it is semi-solid, so you have a color stain). Further north, the better it lasts. Further south, the faster it degrades.


-- Go

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