Doing an exterior board and batten door and have question about finish

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Forum topic by JDJ posted 08-20-2012 07:46 PM 1638 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 2575 days

08-20-2012 07:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’m building a batten door for a shed because it seems like the cheap, sturdy option. I will be using tongue and groove boards. I’m planning on using marine varnish and was wondering if I should apply it to the entire board before assembly (specifically the joint area) or if I should assemble everything then apply varnish.

3 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4213 days

#1 posted 08-20-2012 07:49 PM

My thought would be “no” because it would interfere with glue absorption. Assemble, then finish.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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14 posts in 2575 days

#2 posted 08-20-2012 07:50 PM

Everything I’ve read said not to use any glue on batten doors because they need to expand and contract. That makes me concerned that a bunch of the marine varnish in the joints would cause a similar problem.

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 2470 days

#3 posted 08-21-2012 02:13 AM

JDJ, without seeing your plan or knowing much about your tongue and groove board I would offer these questions and thoughts. How tight is the tongue and groove fit? My two piece tongue and groove set has spacers that can be added or removed to vary the fit tightness I believe. Wood expansion and contraction is caused by the moisture content in the wood, at least this is what I believe to know. Rot is also caused by moisture getting on and in wood and combined with drying issues. So my personal opinion would be to apply the marine varnish to the entire board prior to assembly provided that the T&G joint had enough clearance to allow reasonable free movement. You would have the protection from the elements with the added bonus of reducing the change in moisture content of the door itself.

I’ve been wrong before, LOL, might be now also. Just my thoughts…

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