Finish on Cedar Benches turned white?!

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Forum topic by medsker posted 09-10-2014 02:13 AM 994 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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124 posts in 2749 days

09-10-2014 02:13 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Ok, so I was putting the third and final coat on some cedar log benches I had made with some outdoor oil based spar urethane. I was nearing the bottom of the can and it was not quite as “liquidy”, but seemed to still be applying well. After it dried however it turned white. I’ve read where that may have to do with moisture possibly? The bigger question is how do I fix this problem? Sand it off and start over or is there an easier way? I was so excited to finish these benches and the first two coats went on great so I’m bummed with what happened… Thanks for the advice.

3 replies so far

View richardwootton's profile


1701 posts in 2153 days

#1 posted 09-10-2014 02:44 AM

I’m not sure, but moisture does sound like the culprit. Or maybe the unused finish being exposed to oxygen for too long? I’m curious to read other responses.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5172 posts in 2691 days

#2 posted 09-10-2014 01:07 PM

Did that happen to be a semi gloss product? It may have been the “flatters” if you didn’t stir (and keep stirred) the product as you used it. These are actually small bits of silica, just thinking if they all wound up in the last coat it might have caused the white appearance. Varnishes typically don’t have a problem with blushing (moisture in the air). I have a long speech about urethanes being outdoors, but that’s a different topic.

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

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6296 posts in 3392 days

#3 posted 09-10-2014 01:23 PM

I think where you went wrong was using the “outdoor oil based spar urethane”.....This stuff is not good for outdoor projects, because of the urethane in it…..What you need to do is sand down the benches (I know that’s a lot of trouble, but necessary) back to bare wood, and get a quart of ” Exterior and Marine Super Spar Varnish”....This product is made exclusively for outdoor use aganist the weather elements, and will hold up in the toughest conditions…...It is purely varnish, and no urethanes….Urethanes are NOT made for outdoor use…..I use it quite often on outdoor projects that I build for a few customers, like birdhouses, feeders, small cedar tables, etc…..I use mainly cedar and red cedar, and it turns the cedar a really nice color, especially the red cedar….Remember, it has to be exterior / marine spar varnish….....Hope this helps, and good luck with the sanding…....

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

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