Finish for Cypress Screen Door

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Forum topic by Brandon posted 04-05-2012 02:29 PM 1878 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4152 posts in 2916 days

04-05-2012 02:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cyrpess screen door finish

I generally don’t make things that are going to be subject to the elements, except when I’m using pressure treated wood. But now I’m making a screen door out of cypress (that depraved wood) and want to give it the best protection as possible against the elements. Any suggestions?

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

11 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


17307 posts in 2971 days

#1 posted 04-05-2012 02:33 PM

Do you want to keep the color natural or darken it up? Im going to guess that a spar / marine varnish would be the way to go but cypress is naturally rot resistent (to a point). Ive used general finishes dye stain on it with good results.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2916 days

#2 posted 04-05-2012 02:37 PM

Thanks Chris. We chose Cypress because it is rot resistant—but still want to give it the most longevity possible.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Don W's profile

Don W

18685 posts in 2532 days

#3 posted 04-05-2012 03:26 PM

I’ve always had good luck with spar varnish. I had some pine Adirondack chairs that lasted over 20 years sitting outside using it.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5620 posts in 2778 days

#4 posted 04-05-2012 03:28 PM

I have had good luck with polyurethane. Three coats otta do. The only pain about poly is you can’t spray it.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Fuzzy's profile


298 posts in 3953 days

#5 posted 04-05-2012 03:42 PM

PENOFIN … I used it on a pair of Cypress doors I made about 5-6 years ago … looks great.

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2655 days

#6 posted 04-06-2012 03:21 AM

Pintodeluxe, I spray a lot of Spar Urethane using a cheapo Home Depot gun.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View bruc101's profile


1200 posts in 3507 days

#7 posted 04-06-2012 04:03 AM

Our home is built out of Cypress, studs, beams, floor joist, tongue and v groove vaulted ceilings, outside walls and decks, outside doors and window frames, Never had anything put on it and was built in 1974. No rot, no bugs, no mouses. Never had an exterminator in it. About every four or five years I pressure wash the outside and it looks almost like new Cypress all over again.
Some people spray a sealer on their Cypress homes to keep it from turning gray, we just let ours do it’s natural thing. We do live in the mountains and it seems to fit right in with the surroundings.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3889 days

#8 posted 04-09-2012 04:46 AM

Wipe it down with Mineral spirits before, if you put a finish on it. Cypress is rot and bug resistant and will color naturally I tried to use a finish on it and it will not look so good in a year or two. In fact 6 months it may yellow or you may see ALLIGATORING using the wrong finish. Are you using sinker cypress?

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2916 days

#9 posted 04-09-2012 04:54 AM

I’m not sure what sinker cypress is. I didn’t purchase the wood, but my father-in-law (for whom I’m building the door) purchased it. Also, what on earth is alligatoring?

EDIT, just did a google image search for alligatoring wood. Ugly stuff. :-)

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View elitemark's profile


1 post in 2175 days

#10 posted 05-08-2012 10:18 AM

I have wooden screen doors on all my exterior doors, and on some interior ones as well. They work great and will last many years if they are properly primed and painted. Poplar is very easy to paint but one of the least resistant woods in the hardwood family. Yellow pine is ok, but white pine is poor.. Cypress, cedar, fir works really pretty well.

retractable window screens

View WaltLM's profile


1 post in 862 days

#11 posted 12-11-2015 04:41 PM

Some time ago I read an article on the web re: durable finishes for outdoor projects. The recommendation was to use un-pigmented exterior base paint. While it looks milky white in the can and goes on white, it dries clear. You see the wood as with varnish but you get the protection (against UV and water) of paint. I recently replaced all of the pine trim (finished with spar varnish) on my screened porch with cypress. After about 3 years the varnish had broken down and had to be refinished. After 3 more years I had wood rot. It looks great. I put on 2 coats of good quality 4 base, caulked all of the joints and while I couldn’t get a paint store or manufacturer to recommend this, I am hopeful that the warranty will exceed mine. If you do some searches on this topic (using exterior un-pigmented base paint) you will get several other hits.

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