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Thread: Best Outdoor finish for white oak?

  1. #1

    Best Outdoor finish for white oak?

    Ive made a rocking chair for my wife for outdoor use. Its made of white oak using epoxy glue. It will be stained with Minwax Golden Oak. It will see rain, temperatures from 40F to 90F and will generally be in the shade. The seat is wood slats.

    Id like to spray on a finish .....several coats.

    What would you recommend for outdoor use? What about those oil based polyurethanes that have UV inhibitors? It would be nice not to have to refinish it every 2 or 3 years.

    Any thoughts appreciated

  2. #2
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    i imagine there is no such finishing product that will last more the 2-3 years. typically you would get 1-2 yrs on horizontal and 2-3 on vertical surfaces. i use marine wood finishes for my outdoor projects. so far i like waterlox marine finish the best. so far its been the easiest to re-coat.

  3. #3
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    Stay with the marine finishes as recommended. Although I hope you realize white oak will just about last long enough for you to want to build the piece again. It takes weather very well.
    Dewey

    "Everything is better with Inlay or Marquetry!"


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Dewey Torres View Post
    Stay with the marine finishes as recommended. Although I hope you realize white oak will just about last long enough for you to want to build the piece again. It takes weather very well.
    yes. Thats why i chose it. BUt i was hoping not to have to refinish it too often. Ive seen Spar varnish with UV inhibitors at the hardware store. Thats probably the best choice then you think?

  5. #5
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    Yep... anything marine will last longer. It will last longer than you think. You have a good choice there with the spar finish.
    Dewey

    "Everything is better with Inlay or Marquetry!"


  6. #6
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    Two things...that Minwax stain may not be a good choice for outdoor use...and there are "marine" finishes and there are "Marine Finishes". Anything you find at the 'borg is not going to last. "Marine" in that case is a marketing term. Real marine finishes are very expensive. And in the end, they also need to be redone every few years anyway. And you don't want polyurethanes for outdoor use...they break down really fast in UV, even if they supposedly have "inhibitors".

    Consider using a non-film, penetrating finish, such as Pentofin or Sikkins on your project. White oak is naturally resilient in weather. You don't need a film finish and if you eliminate the film, you potentially reduce the maintenance. Products like this can take care of coloration and when you do recoat they will help mask the (wonderful) gray that wood turns naturally from oxidation and UV...a process you cannot stop.
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  7. #7
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    Spar varnish at the hardware store, unless you live in a yachting town, isn't likely to be the stuff. Marine spar varnish is sold at boating supply stores, and is made by either Epifanes, Interlux (Schooner) or Pettit (Captain's) A quart will cost close to $30. The other stuff from the borg or from hardware stores may cost half as much, but it will be more expensive over time, since it will last less than half as long. And when the directions say to apply six coats, it means six coats.

    But, unless mostly shade MEANS mostly shade, expect to add a refresher coat of varnish every other year at least (you do this at the first signs of dulling of the gloss).

    Personally, I'd leave it unfinished and let it gently whether to an attractive grey. Hose it down every spring and you're good to go.

  8. #8
    I haven't personally used this but you may be able to use Watco Teak Oil but I'm not sure. Teak is good out in weather so I'm sure the oil may help. just a guess. Good luck though.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarrod McGehee View Post
    I haven't personally used this but you may be able to use Watco Teak Oil but I'm not sure. Teak is good out in weather so I'm sure the oil may help. just a guess. Good luck though.
    Marketing strikes again. Teak oil contains nothing that is derived from teak wood. It's marketed as a finish for teak, and even then has no particular properties of benefit for out door use. In marine applications, where there is a lot of teak, a commitment to using teak oil on the exterior teak means about once a MONTH renewing. Shaded oil would last longer but still require frequent renewal.

  10. #10
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    Do not use any "big box" spar urethanes or other poly varnishes. Polyurethane rapidly deteriorates from exposure to the UV in sunlight. Consumer polys do not have enough UV inhibitor to protect the finish for more than three months to a year.

    Go to a marine supplied and get a true marine exterior finish. Look for brands like Wolsey, Pettit, Interlux and, best of all, Epifanes. They are not cheap but will last 3-5 years. When they begin to get dull, sand with 320 paper and apply a couple of more coats.

    Keep in mind that no finish lasts forever out doors. It's always best to either move furniture under protection or to get good covers.
    Last edited by Howard Acheson; 03-11-2009 at 10:49 AM.
    Howie.........

  11. #11
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    Do not use any "big box" spar urethanes or other poly varnishes. Polyurethane is rapidly deteriorates from exposure to the UV in sunlight. Consumer polys do not have enough UV inhibitor to protect the finish for more than three months to a year.

    Go to a marine supplied and get a true marine exterior finish. Look for brands like Wolsey, Pettit, Interlux and, best of all, Epifanes. They are not cheap but will last 3-5 years. When they begin to get dull, sand with 320 paper and apply a couple of more coats.

    Keep in mind that no finish lasts forever out doors. It's always best to either move furniture under protection or to get good covers.
    Howie.........

  12. #12
    Price is not an issue. Id rather spend more to re-finish less often. Ill check out some marine supply places. There are plenty nearby. thanks for the tips.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post

    Consider using a non-film, penetrating finish, such as Pentofin or Sikkins on your project. White oak is naturally resilient in weather. You don't need a film finish and if you eliminate the film, you potentially reduce the maintenance. Products like this can take care of coloration and when you do recoat they will help mask the (wonderful) gray that wood turns naturally from oxidation and UV...a process you cannot stop.
    In research, I found out that pure Tung Oil is incredible out doors. You have to allow the wood take take as much as it needs untill no more oil penetrates. It take a week or so to dry depending on temps. It stays in the wood forever as it goes deep into the pores. There are many packaged oil finishes with additives to the oil to help prevent mold or moss from growing, some to speed the dry time. All those additives are pretty toxic. Not good for the dog to chew on, or for kids. I am becoming a big fan of Tung Oil.

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