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Wood protection for Pacific NW area..oil vs. varnish?

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Forum topic by Newwithwood posted 06-24-2012 01:28 AM 4181 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Newwithwood

4 posts in 1628 days


06-24-2012 01:28 AM

Topic tags/keywords: wood protection acacia wood water protection oil finishes moisture protection question

So, I am wood novice. I just bought an “outdoor” (not so much) furniture set from Cost Plus that is made from acacia wood and looks to have an oil finish. I live in Portland where moisture and rain are issues. I plan on buying a cover for our furniture, but would also like to add an additional layer of protection. Any advice and will I need to sand the surface first? I have read about oil finishes and products like Watco Danish finish, and making your own mixture of oil and varnishes, but don’t know the best way to proceed. Also, I have read that I should make sure the bottom of the furniture is protected to prevent rot through the legs. Ideas for that? Any advice is much appreciated!


10 replies so far

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MonteCristo

2098 posts in 1653 days


#1 posted 06-26-2012 03:14 AM

Make sure your outdoor furniture does not have direct contact with Mother Earth. Even concrete blocks are better than soil. I use a semi-transparent oil stain on my Western Red Cedar outdoor stuff because, unlike varnish, it won’t flake and be a nightmare to refinish. Also, I store my outdoor benches etc. over the winter as leaving them out is a sure fire way to shorten their lifespan. Covering them in sito is not as good but is better than doing nothing.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

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Dan Lyke

1510 posts in 3589 days


#2 posted 06-26-2012 01:36 PM

The wooden boat folks turned me on to Penofin oil. It’s good stuff because when the finish fades, you break it out and put another layer on, and you don’t have to re-sand. I’ve been using it on various outdoor Ipe and Massaranduba, and am very happy with it.

Don’t worry about sanding it, at least not until you have a layer on it every month or two for three or so applications, that’ll let the oil get down in the pores. And what MC said about making sure that they’re on something hard that drains, like concrete or rock.

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

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dbhost

5605 posts in 2696 days


#3 posted 06-26-2012 01:50 PM

Not sure about the Penofin thing, I have had it recommended to me by several other folks, but I have traditionally used Spar Varnish, or Spar Urethane (Minwax Helmsman brand usually) for marine, or outdoor projects.

I’ve lived south of you in Corvallis during my teens, yes you get rain, but nothing like we do on the Gulf Coast… You get it constant, We get wet / dry / wet / dry and all the while hot cycles that beat the tar out of outdoor wood. The Spar finishes flex along with the piece, which helps to maintain the finish…

The Penofin finishes I understand are a penetrating oil type finish, which would have the advantage that scratches in the finish don’t cause a problem… I just haven’t tried it yet…

What was said above about keeping wood out of contact with the ground is spot on. Unless you want to watch the stuff rot out from under you, make sure you have it up on at the very least a concrete block patio or something similar… Wood and soil contact are great ways to watch the decomposition process.

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3942 posts in 1958 days


#4 posted 06-26-2012 02:35 PM

If you’re looking for a film finish, I would suggested untinted paint. This is usually recommended for it’s UV protection, but it is still exterior oil paint with it’s moisture/mildew/whatever protection. It’s a good bit cheaper than some of the other stuff as well. You can read the details here, but it looks very much like a varnish once it’s applied.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Newwithwood

4 posts in 1628 days


#5 posted 06-28-2012 02:27 PM

Thanks everyone. Fred, I like the idea of untainted paint (and read over the article you recommended) but will it maintain the color of the wood? Will the wood fade to silver over time and would I have to sand off the paint to apply new oil?

The furniture will be on a wood deck for the summer. We hope to bring it in over winter. What about a finish to protect the legs? I have read about applying epoxy (surprisingly) to the leg bottoms and, when I went to the store, they recommended Preserva wood oil and sealer. Thoughts on that?

Thanks again for any advice!

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Fred Hargis

3942 posts in 1958 days


#6 posted 06-28-2012 02:57 PM

I’ve used on quite a few things, and the UV protection has always worked well. That’s whats keeps the wood from fading. The oldest things I have finished this was are probably about 10 years old, and there has been no sign of fading/silvering. The paint will have to be renewed eventually, but it will be a long time compared to anything else you light use. As for the legs, I have no idea with zero experience involving acacia wood. If I had to guess I think the paint will protect the bottom of the legs just as well, but it may be more likely to suffer damage if you slide the chair across the deck. I should mention, you may get an argument from folks when you try to buy it. When I bought my first gallon at Lowes, Sally Stockgirl said they couldn’t sell it untinted. This was in the days when Lowes had the mixing area gated off. I walked aaway and a few minutes later snuck into the “pen”, grabbed a can of Olympic and dashed to the register. Nowadays, they took the gates down, so it a little easier. But I’ve heard from others that even buying it at a paint store like SW can sometimes lead to a debate.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Newwithwood

4 posts in 1628 days


#7 posted 07-06-2012 03:19 AM

Hi Fred,

So, having trouble finding the right product. Sherwin-Williams thought I was crazy. Said untinted exterior paint would still dry white.

Went to Lowes. The guy pointed me to interior/exterior oil paint. Olympic #5. He had heard of this idea. BUT, he said there is no UV protection. He said the pigment has the UV protection.

Any advice or a specific paint name?

Thanks,
Michelle

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shipwright

7172 posts in 2262 days


#8 posted 07-06-2012 05:15 AM

All I use any more is Sikkens Cetol. It is just the only thing that lasts without constant upkeep. I’ve used it for years on high use boats and I just wouldn’t consider anything else any more. The only drawback and to me it isn’t a problem is that there is some pigment in it but that’s it’s secret. for appearance check out my boat “Friendship

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

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Newwithwood

4 posts in 1628 days


#9 posted 07-06-2012 05:37 AM

Beautiful boat Paul. Thanks for the info!
Michelle

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3942 posts in 1958 days


#10 posted 07-06-2012 12:45 PM

Both the folks you talked to do not know their subject matter. The SW #4 (as well as the Olympic #5) both have the UV protection (less sure about mildewcide, but I’ll bet they can add it if needed) and both will dry with a varnish like appearance. If you want to test see if you can buy a quart can of the SW (I don’t think Lowes carries quarts of the Olympic) and try it out, then talk it back to SW and show them. You could also get the #4 at other paint stores like Benjamin Moore or whatever is around your area. I think I warned about the reactions earlier….stepping outside the box is never easy. As I mentioned I personally used the Olympic product and can vouch for it’s usefulness.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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