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FNG question: Finishes. Where to even start???

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Forum topic by tjUSMC8807 posted 119 days ago 632 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tjUSMC8807

5 posts in 120 days


119 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: finishes outdoor finish beginner

Good evening all. Just joined yesterday and have a broad question. Purchased some sweet looking rough cut blackjack oak and maple, courtesy of gfadvm thank you sir, and am wanting to make a simple outdoor bench for a friend of mine’s that I served with wedding. I attached a picture of a basic design I’d like to follow and if possible I’d like to also like to engrave the bride’s and groom’s name/wedding date on the seat. Since it will be almost exclusively an outdoor or patio bench what can I do to make sure it lasts? Essentially, what’s the best finish and method to apply it from start to finish? Any and all advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much!

-- Conan, what is best in life? A table. I would settle for being able to make a nice smooth, level table. And maybe some chairs or a bench.


12 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

13377 posts in 943 days


#1 posted 119 days ago

Outdoor spar urethane would be my choice. Make sure they know to keep it cared for. No finish lasts forever outside.

Welcome to Lumberjocks, you’re off to a good start

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Purrmaster's profile

Purrmaster

774 posts in 698 days


#2 posted 119 days ago

Monte is right. Also, please don’t use an indoor finish like Minwax polyurethane. A indoor finish is likely to crack when outside.

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tjUSMC8807

5 posts in 120 days


#3 posted 118 days ago

Thank you all very much!! If I could impose a bit more, I’ve researched a little bit this morning and found that some suggest, for beginners, that diluting your spar urethane 20%-50% may help avoid bubbles and brush marks. Would you concur? Also do you recommend a particular favorite product? Do you prefer wiping over brushing? Gentlemen, I apologize for the shotgun blast of questions you can tell me to pound sand any time I promise it won’t hurt my feelings. As always thank you very much!

-- Conan, what is best in life? A table. I would settle for being able to make a nice smooth, level table. And maybe some chairs or a bench.

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

13377 posts in 943 days


#4 posted 118 days ago

How it’s applied tends to be personal choice. You usually can thin oil based products with denatured alcohol. I think the thinner it ix the less streaks you will get.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Finisherman's profile

Finisherman

190 posts in 454 days


#5 posted 118 days ago

Monte:

Do you mean denatured alcohol or VM&P naphtha? I’ve never seen alcohol recommended as a thinner for oil based products. I’ve always been told that alcohol is a solvent for shellac and certain dyes. Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1655 posts in 1098 days


#6 posted 118 days ago

I think I’d dilute it with mineral spirits; just remember the thinner it is, the more coats for a build. Be sure to pass on anything that has urethane resins in it. True marine spar varnishes are formulated with UV inhibitors and generally alkyd resins. Urethane doesn’t play well with UV.

-- I long for the days when Coke was a cola, and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard)

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Purrmaster

774 posts in 698 days


#7 posted 118 days ago

I’d thin it with the solvent it uses. WHich is probably mineral spirits. You probably could thin it with naphtha, but I wouldn’t use denatured alcohol.

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

1180 posts in 1789 days


#8 posted 118 days ago

I agree about the mineral spirits thinning. Alcohol is typically used only to thin shellac and similar finishes, never heard of it used with oil-based things before.

-- Allen, Colorado

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10604 posts in 1295 days


#9 posted 118 days ago

tj, The Spar will not protect any wood from the sun. Nor will any other finish. If this bench is to be outdoors, I would predict problems as oak is open grained and not the best choice for outdoor furniture.

When you come over, I will show you an example of an oak chair with Spar that has been exposed to sun but no rain. And it ain’t pretty!

And I really don’t mean to rain on your parade!

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

View mikeevens45's profile

mikeevens45

68 posts in 181 days


#10 posted 118 days ago

marine spar varnish would be the best protection available..i got about 2-3 years on Adirondack chairs made of yellow pine from barn wood..ANY product will break down over time…I live in Buffalo NY area so 50% sun and 40% over 65 degrees is the climate…but also 0 degrees and snow and ice. but just scuff and reapply when you notice degradation

mike

-- as technology progresses, wood workers seem to regress...all my power tools and my favorite is a chisel and a hand plane

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1155 posts in 1464 days


#11 posted 118 days ago

You might want to look at a product called One Time Wood Protector which is a penetrating finish that cures with exposure to sunlight. They provide a seven year guarantee. I haven’t used it but plan to try it on my next outdoor project.

+1 on the warnings about using spar varnish or polyurethane.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View tjUSMC8807's profile

tjUSMC8807

5 posts in 120 days


#12 posted 117 days ago

AWESOME! Thanks everyone! I really like hearing what those with experience do so y’all have been a great help! Just got some new toys yesterday, after some practice on scrap pieces the previous tenant at our place was polite enough to leave strewn across the property I’ll put up some pictures. Thanks again!

-- Conan, what is best in life? A table. I would settle for being able to make a nice smooth, level table. And maybe some chairs or a bench.

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