Outdoor White Oak Table Finish?

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Forum topic by Jarmo posted 10-16-2016 10:06 PM 305 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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32 posts in 917 days

10-16-2016 10:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: outdoor

I built sort’ve a dining table for my back patio out of white oak. It’s a covered back patio, so the table won’t get too much direct rain or snow. As of now I have put no finish on it at all. I figured I’d keep it maintenance-free for the most part, with maybe a yearly sanding of the table top, and maybe some flattening if it warps. It’s plain-sawn white oak.

Anyone think I it’s necessary to put a finish on it? I know how outdoor finishes can be, and I don’t want to have to strip a finish in x number of years. Maybe just a tung oil or Danish oil?

I made allowances for movement of the table top and used Titebond III. And put some cleats underneath so hopefully that will keep it semi-flat.

Sorry if the picture is sideways. LJs loves sideways pictures apparently.

5 replies so far

View papadan's profile


1931 posts in 2942 days

#1 posted 10-16-2016 10:56 PM

I would use Thompsons water seal on it to help keep out any moisture and helps with cleanup after dinner

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

View DirtyMike's profile (online now)


588 posts in 475 days

#2 posted 10-17-2016 12:07 AM

try system3 spar urethane after 3 coats of epoxy. Just kidding.

View marc_rosen's profile


106 posts in 2755 days

#3 posted 10-17-2016 02:00 AM

Hey Jarmo,
I just completed a Sapele base to support a granite top for my neighbor and his setting is similar to yours; a concrete back porch under roof with only North- Northeast exposure. He knows I use some Festool items so he bought the Festool outdoor oil for me to finish it. I know that stuff is expensive but it was very easy to apply and left a nice appearance. It’s too early to tell how well it will hold up, though, I would use it again when my next outdoor project occurs
I was debating between Sapele and White oak but my lumber source could not get any thick WO however I was able to get some 12/4 Sapele for the legs. That lumber dealer also told me I should use an oil finish as compared to a film finish for any outdoor exposure. This stuff does not smell as if it has any strong solvent bit it soaks right in to the wood and leaves a nice sheen. Hope this was somewhat helpful. Marc

-- Windsurfing, Woodworking, Weaving, and Woodducks. "Most woodworkers are usually boring holes"

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382 posts in 165 days

#4 posted 10-17-2016 01:52 PM

Elements are not a problem. Oak gets better with time so I would not worry much. However… This is a dining table and grease, ketchup, wines, coffee….. leave unsightly spots that penetrate the wood.

View a1Jim's profile


115614 posts in 3151 days

#5 posted 10-17-2016 02:08 PM

Try teak oil hard clear finishes don’t hold up outdoors.

-- Custom furniture

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