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best finish for outside projevts

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Forum topic by Walt M. posted 1160 days ago 1508 views 1 time favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Walt M.

243 posts in 1646 days


1160 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: outdoor projects oak finishing

Iv’e used poly on most everything I do but this project will be outside all year round so not sure if that’s a good idea or Thompsons waterseal? I’ll be using oak not stained.

Thanks Walt


12 replies so far

View Sumdume's profile

Sumdume

67 posts in 1470 days


#1 posted 1159 days ago

Fine Woodworking did an article on outdoor finishes a few years ago. You can find it here.

As I recall, the liked 2 Epithanes products best. One was a marine varnish and the other was a marine epoxy.

I hope this is helpful.

-- Rule # 1 - Don't mix yer blood and sawdust!

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1114 posts in 1696 days


#2 posted 1159 days ago

Forget Thompson watrer sealer, it is crap. Any big box stores exterior finishes will no last even in 3 months.

As what Sumdume said, use Epithanes Marine Varnish or boat industry standard.

http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/search_subCategory.do?categoryName=Varnish&category=36&refine=1&page=GRID

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1473 posts in 2761 days


#3 posted 1159 days ago

The wooden boat folks I know turned me on to Penofin. You have to re-apply regularly for a while (ie: a month or two, and then few months or years), but allegedly eventually it gets to the point where it’s permanent. And re-applying it is easy.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View Walt M.'s profile

Walt M.

243 posts in 1646 days


#4 posted 1158 days ago

Than I try some of that.

View reggiek's profile

reggiek

2240 posts in 1906 days


#5 posted 1158 days ago

Every coating has to be refreshed outside….the difference is the amount of time you can wait before it has to be done. I really like Valspar Spar Varnish….or any maritime varnish….these are made to peal off slowly from the UV and can last up to 3-5 years in a heavy maritime environment (may or may not be longer in your outside environment)....Epoxies are all heat vulnerable…alot of them let go when exposed to directly with the sun – the same will happen to a finish with a poly resin in it….they will last a bit…but not as long as a marine varnish.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1114 posts in 1696 days


#6 posted 1158 days ago

What exactly are you making?

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1687 days


#7 posted 1158 days ago

At this point, you’ve posed a fairly open-ended question. As Steven H asked, it depends on what you’re building, and whether or not you’d consider paint/stain, or are looking for something more clear or natural looking. Several good products mentioned above, at least from what I’ve read in the past about them. You might also consider teak oil. You’ll have to reapply about once a year, but it’s a very simple application.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1473 posts in 2761 days


#8 posted 1158 days ago

So just to elaborate on my “Penofin” answer earlier: Per Jonathan, it’s an oil. And as ReggieK says, everything has to be refinished regularly when it’s outside. The reason to use an oil finish outside is that refinishing is a matter of “wipe it clean, apply the oil, wait a little while, wipe it off”.

My experiences with varnish is that when they degrade you have to do a lot more surface prep, taking off cracked finish, sanding, etc., than you do with oils. I don’t know where the trade-off for how long the finish lasts vs how much time you spend wiping on new oil is, but I hate sanding, and adding another coat of oil is easy.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1114 posts in 1696 days


#9 posted 1157 days ago

Common mistake I see people do it they wait until varnish fail. Dont wait until it cracks. Refinish before it does.
Scuff sand the surface, then apply couple coats.

View Walt M.'s profile

Walt M.

243 posts in 1646 days


#10 posted 1156 days ago

Well I should have said what the project was to begin with sorry, didn’t think about that but it’s only three pieces of oak for a barbecue grill to place plates of food and whatnot. The reason I was using oak was because the other wood they used seen to get broken and left jagged edges that was dangerous around kids. though it seems sacrilege to paint oak for a woodworker it may be the best option since I won’t have access to the wood very often. I thank everyone for the comments as I may be building some picnic tables and benches soon and would need this kind of information to tell the client what I would use for a finish. Not sure what type of wood to use since redwood doesn’t seem to be very widely used these days and teak well you can figure that one out. So you can tell I don’t have much experience with outside projects.

@Steven H I bookmarked your blog good information there thanks

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1687 days


#11 posted 1156 days ago

Ipe (pronounced: “E-Pay”) is another excellent wood to use for outdoor projects, although it isn’t the cheapest thing either. It’s one of the nice alternatives to using teak, at a lower price point.

A few links with ipe facts and ipe lumber:
http://www.woodsthebest.com/ipe_decking/ipe-wood.htm
http://www.advantagelumber.com/ipedecking.htm
http://www.ipedepot.com/ (a division of Advantage Lumber)

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View cut50's profile

cut50

7 posts in 1665 days


#12 posted 1156 days ago

Used on out door stuff I`ve found Australian Timber oil is by far better than Penofin on softwoods. Did my own little test with both, 2 coats of each on Sitka spruce, a year later, the one with ATO still beaded the all day rainfall.

-- FUN IS GOOD Smithers BC

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