How best to protect Outdoor furniture? (Man O' War Spar Varnish?) - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-25-2018, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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How best to protect Outdoor furniture? (Man O' War Spar Varnish?)

Hello all,
I'm trying to wrap up my outdoor wood projects. I was hoping someone has some suggestions before I make errors with finishes, which I find too complicated. And this may help others.

Can I topcoat the following below, with Man O' War Spar Varnish, for that extra UV and water protection? Any gotchas with a dry climate in Los Angeles?

1. Monkey Pod Acacia coffee table with IPE Oil Stain. Oil Stains tend to fade after a few months.

2. Redwood screen to hide my AC unit - will be in direct 100 degree sun most of the day.

3. Padauk planter with SealCoat shellac, on patio table - mostly shaded.

Last edited by sanvito; 04-25-2018 at 02:01 PM.
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-25-2018, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanvito View Post
Hello all,
I'm trying to wrap up my outdoor wood projects. I was hoping someone has some suggestions before I make errors with finishes, which I find too complicated. And this may help others.

Can I topcoat the following below, with Man O' War Spar Varnish, for that extra UV and water protection? Any gotchas with a dry climate in Los Angeles?

1. Monkey Pod Acacia coffee table with IPE Oil Stain. Oil Stains tend to fade after a few months.

2. Redwood screen to hide my AC unit - will be in direct 100 degree sun most of the day.

3. Padauk planter with SealCoat shellac, on patio table - mostly shaded.
I've never used the Man O' War brand but a spar varnish would be a good finish for UV and water protection. The sun is brutal on any finish. If you could cover the furniture when not in use the finish would last longer.

If the IPE stain is fading that quickly you might try a different stain to begin with. Just be careful some oil finish stains never completely dry. It's almost like coating the wood with motor oil. With a finish like that you couldn't put a spar varnish over the top.

What kind of a screen are you making for your AC? Be sure you don't restrict the air flow around it.

Be careful where you use sealcoat. It's an interior finish. The shellac finish is too brittle to deal with the temperature and humidity of being outdoors even if the sun never sees it. It's the expansion and contraction of the wood the causes problems with exterior finishes.
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-25-2018, 08:24 PM
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I live in Oregon and we get the combination of rain and then intense UV in the Summer. The UV is much harder on finishes than the rain, IMO. I do not believe that there is a finish made that will withstand the elements without redoing every 2 years, if not every year. I have used pretty expensive, high quality marine varnish and the table and benches with that on it, which were in direct sun, looked like crap after 1 year. That was with 4 coats on most of it, 5 coats on the tops.

That said, it is my experience and opinion that a finish which is really easy to reapply and maintain is the way to go for outdoor woodwork. Of those I have tried, there are 2 that I would recommend.

1) http://www.heritagenaturalfinishes.com/

2)https://onetimewood.com/

The Heritage finish, I have seen hold up well on house siding and cedar gates with recoating every two years. The OneTime Wood finish, I applied on a cedar fence 2 years ago and it still looks pretty good. They claim it will go 7 years before it needs recoating, but we'll see. Heritage gives a typical amber coloring to the wood. OneTime does not recommend a 'natural' color, and their selections all have colorants added to them. They claim for better UV protection.
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-26-2018, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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1. Monkey Pod Acacia coffee table with IPE Oil Stain.
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
If the IPE stain is fading that quickly you might try a different stain to begin with. Just be careful some oil finish stains never completely dry. It's almost like coating the wood with motor oil. With a finish like that you couldn't put a spar varnish over the top.
IPE Oil does dry up and looks great on tropical woods. I wonder if I should sand down the table to "thin out" this oil, and apply the marine spar on top of it. Or sand it off completely?


2. Redwood screen to hide my AC unit
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
What kind of a screen are you making for your AC? Be sure you don't restrict the air flow around it.
It does have gaps and distance to not restrict airflow.


3. Padauk planter with SealCoat shellac

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Be careful where you use sealcoat. It's an interior finish. The shellac finish is too brittle to deal with the temperature and humidity of being outdoors even if the sun never sees it. It's the expansion and contraction of the wood the causes problems with exterior finishes.
Ok, good to know.......I will have to rethink Padauk for outside.
THANK YOU!

Last edited by sanvito; 04-26-2018 at 12:42 AM.
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-26-2018, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you, will check it out. I think I will stick with IPE OIL on redwood for now, since I have plenty leftover. I will just have to recoat it each year, which is fine.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-26-2018, 06:36 AM
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If you already have IPE oil on the wood you will have to live with it or strip it completely off. If you try to partially sand it off it will look blotchy. Then you couldn't go over the IPE oil with another stain as the oil as sealed the wood.

You can use Padauk outdoors, just don't use sealcoat on it for that application. Use a finish intended for exterior use.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-26-2018, 08:50 AM
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Another thought about padauk: Besides outdoor water and temperatures, UV light changes the wood color. My marquetry project was actually indoors, but UV light made the padauk appear just like the adjacent pieces of walnut. If that color suits you, it's a good thing (for me it wasn't).
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-27-2018, 10:42 PM
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The bad news is 'Nothing'. In a few years the UV in Huntington Beach destroys almost all finishes. The diesel soot from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles don't help either.
On some Oak chairs and side table with Minwax Spar Varnish (Helmsman) the UV got to them in about 3 years and they were on the North side of the house. SWMBO refused to keep them under the roof of the front porch. Then I painted the furniture with Behr gloss outdoor latex. It will be about 2 years before they need painting again.

The best solution is to go to a paint department that can mix any color. Then buy some 'Outdoor Clear Tint Base'. You'll have to find the old crusty guy that has been working in the paint department since forever for help. When you ask for 'Clear Tint Base' most of the newer employees will give you a blank stare while some of the more experienced will say, "We ain't got none of that."

Rich
In furniture 1/32" is a Grand Canyon
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-28-2018, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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The bad news is 'Nothing'. In a few years the UV in Huntington Beach destroys almost all finishes. The diesel soot from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles don't help either.
Yep, I just added curtains for my patio pergola to reduce LA Sunshine.
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-28-2018, 12:31 PM
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Last year, our shade temperatures swung from +46C down to -30C. (+115F - -20F)
All the rain, snow and hard sunshine to go with it.

Sikkens Cetol is expensive but so is a $15,000,000 log home.
I guess if you can afford the house, you can afford the finish.

It has a very yellow/orange cast to it that I don't like but there's so much of it around here
that it all looks the same.
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