finishing red oak

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Forum topic by Bob posted 07-08-2009 02:37 AM 1927 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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26 posts in 2748 days

07-08-2009 02:37 AM

I am to the point of this project ( Japaneese Garden Bench ) where i have to decide on a finish. It is made of red oak and it will sit outside. I have some Thompsons outdoor finish and i was thinking of using that…. does anyone have any suggestions… maybe minwax tung oil..or maybe that will not hold up well outdoors. any help would be appreciated.

4 replies so far

View Bureaucrat's profile


18337 posts in 3070 days

#1 posted 07-08-2009 03:16 AM

I would use spar varnish on it. Spar Varnish has some ulta violet inhibitor in it.

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

View a1Jim's profile


115171 posts in 2995 days

#2 posted 07-08-2009 03:20 AM

Garys suggestion is good and don’t forget to give three coats on the feet,because red oak is not a good outdoor wood.

-- Custom furniture

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26 posts in 2748 days

#3 posted 07-08-2009 03:39 AM

is that a clear finish or could i use a light oak stain in it to bring out the grain

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3162 days

#4 posted 07-08-2009 03:56 AM

A better bet for the bottoms of the legs would be to paint the end grain with some polyurethane glue or epoxy, to prevent the wood from drawing up water. Put several coats of PURE tung oil, not tung oil finish.
Then you can coat it with a spar varnish, if you want. I wouldn’t, mainly because someday you’re going to have to scrape all of that flaking finish off. I would just use the tung oil and renew it occasionally. That’s my $0.02.

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