for outside funiture

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by jeffswildwood posted 08-07-2013 03:47 PM 846 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jeffswildwood's profile


3190 posts in 1977 days

08-07-2013 03:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi all, I have a question about sealant for outside furniture. I have a job to restore 2 benches and a chair. Both are log style without bark. Owner wants them sanded, stained lightly, (maybe cherry) and sealed. All are kept under a roof on a porch. Can I get away with Polyurethane or should I upgrade to something like marine resin. I have never used marine resin before, is it difficult to apply? Drying time? They have all aged and have a wonderful natural look. Really want to try to talk them into just sealing without the stain.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

3 replies so far

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3159 days

#1 posted 08-07-2013 03:58 PM

A myth or two should be debunked.

First, a sealer, or any finish, doesn’t stop wood movement due to humidity changes. As a vapor, this form of moisture still interacts with the wood itself because finishes, while somewhat water resistant, are not true vapor barriers (humidity is a vapor)...they are all permeable to a large extent.

The problem with regular poly is that it cures extremely rigid, so when there is expansion due to wood movement, it will crack. This is a big problem outdoors where the furniture doesn’t have the luxury of air conditioned interiors. Therefore, using a clear finish that has some flexibility to it, like a spar varnish, is a better bet. Plus, the spar varnish will have UV inhibitors to prevent changes in color due to sun exposure. A marine spar (resin) finish IS exactly what you need. Application of it is no more difficult than regular poly.

Regardless, any outdoor finish will not be maintenance free. The work will need occasional refinishing.

It helps to keep outdoor furnishings away from liquid moisture sources…this is the key to longevity, especially when dealing with woods with very little natural ability to prevent rot, like cherry. For the best results, woods like teak, white oak, cedar, redwood, and cypress are solid choices for outdoor furniture.

-- jay,

View lumberdog's profile


245 posts in 3267 days

#2 posted 08-07-2013 04:10 PM

Have you considered a spar varnish ?

-- Lumberdog.. Morley, Michigan

View firefighterontheside's profile


18204 posts in 1857 days

#3 posted 08-07-2013 07:42 PM

I used a spar varnish on my adirondack chairs the first time and it all peeled off fter time. Second finish was a deck sealant. It added color but hasnt peeled a bit and has lasted longer. I woukd recommend something like that with a very light color.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics