Sealant Stain vs Primer + Paint on Redwood - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-22-2020, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
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Smile Sealant Stain vs Primer + Paint on Redwood

Hello all!

I am working on my Eagle project and have little to no experience in making things with wood. For my project I am making a redwood bench.

I was wondering if it was best to apply Olympic sealant stain naturaltone redwood or just primer + paint on redwood? Different people have recommended me one of these, but i just can't make a decision because of my lack of knowledge in this subject. What are your thoughts? Any brand I should look into
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-22-2020, 08:24 AM
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will the bench be outside or inside ?
photos would help a lot.

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post #3 of 8 Old 09-22-2020, 08:39 AM
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It might help to know where the redwood bench will be used. Will it be in the direct sun with occasional rain and snow? Semi-protected under a patio cover? Indoors?
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-22-2020, 08:45 AM
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You have to be careful using sealants. Most of them contain some kind of paraffin and would prevent you from painting altogether. Use only primer or if you wish you could skip the primer and use a couple extra coats of the paint you are using. Primer is mainly used because it covers the wood easier and sands easier between coats. It does nothing to help adhesion on wood.

Personally, I would select a different wood than redwood. Structurally it's pretty poor. It tends to be brittle and easily broken. If all you are doing is making slats for a metal bench redwood would probably work for that. If you could find some pressure treated pine that was reasonably dry I think that would be a better choice for wood. It would be cheaper too.
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-22-2020, 10:34 AM
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Hello Chessreferee.

Redwood is a great wood to use on outdoor projects because it contains a lot of Tannin. That same Tannin, will make it slightly more difficult to paint than other materials. The easiest approach would be to use an exterior stain on it, assuming that this bench will be outdoors. The problem with the stain is that it will require more "maintenance", in other words, recoating periodically (depending on the level of exposure to the elements and sun, this could be as often as every year to once every 5 years or so). If you want to paint it, you can, but you really need to use a good stain blocking primer to lock in the tannin. Something like Kilz. The oil based product will work better than the water based, but you can use the water based if you prefer....it is much easier to clean up, etc.
If you will keep this indoors, paint would be a great finish, but keep in mind that it will eventually need to be re-painted if it is kept outdoors. If kept outdoors, water will always get into the pores of the wood, or gaps in the paint, and compromise your finish. Then it starts to peel and lift off of the wood. With a stain, it usually just fades and deteriorates as opposed to peeling. Recoating the paint will probably require even more work than the re-staining. (You will probably have to scrape and sand the wood, and spot prime before you re-paint vs light sanding or cleaning prior to recoating with stain.) Most outdoor furniture that you see made of redwood (think picnic benches, adirondack chairs, etc.) are just stained with a good exterior grade stain. The stain doesn't last as long, but the redwood has superior resistance to deteriorating due to the elements because of the Tannin, so the wood isn't affected as much. The stain is a lot less work!


Good luck on the Eagle project!

Brad
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-24-2020, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,
Thanks for all the tips.
To give more background. The bench is situated outside, but has a patio over it. It is attached to metal brackets that are attached to the wall. One more huge thing: the bench is a few inches shy of 30 ft long. I am planning to make the bench by attaching 15 feet lumber to each other and adding a border, the 2 by 4s, that are put vertically down, to it. (the brown bench is what i am striving for.) (The white bench is the one I am trying to replace.
Keeping this in mind, do you guys have any opinions on what kind of paint/ stain i should use? (think of using olympic stain + sealant.) The weather here is pretty good with occasional rains, little to no snow ever.

Also do you have any tips on building it? (I was wondering if the borders are actually needed. I just wanted to add it ,because I need to put some lumber underneath the bench to attach all of them, but it would look weird. So I am just trying to cover it up.)

Thanks for all the help.
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-27-2020, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,
Thanks for all the tips.
To give more background. The bench is situated outside, but has a patio over it. It is attached to metal brackets that are attached to the wall. One more huge thing: the bench is a few inches shy of 30 ft long. I am planning to make the bench by attaching 15 feet lumber to each other and adding a border, the 2 by 4s, that are put vertically down, to it. (the brown bench is what i am striving for.) (The white bench is the one I am trying to replace.
Keeping this in mind, do you guys have any opinions on what kind of paint/ stain i should use? (think of using olympic stain + sealant.) The weather here is pretty good with occasional rains, little to no snow ever.

Also do you have any tips on building it? (I was wondering if the borders are actually needed. I just wanted to add it ,because I need to put some lumber underneath the bench to attach all of them, but it would look weird. So I am just trying to cover it up.)

Thanks for all the help!
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-27-2020, 11:46 PM
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Hi Chessreferee,

I'm not sure whether or not I have good advice on building the bench. To keep it simple, I think that i would just duplicate what they had here, although I would use Torx or square drive screws for joining the outer skirting. Can't tell from the pictures how it is mounted to the supports, but it might be carriage bolts through the top or lag bolts from the bottom. Like I said, I would just mimic what you see here. I don't think there would be much to be gained by re-engineering the whole thing, but someone else here may have a different opinion.

As far as finish goes, I would go with a semi transparent stain, if you want to see the wood (read: grain and variations in color) through the stain, or a solid bodied stain, which will look more like paint. As you can see, the end that is exposed to the elements has taken a beating. Treat it like it is exposed to the elements....because it is.
My tastes usually include being able to see the wood through the finish, so I would start off with a semi transparent stain. If kept up, it will probably look nice for a decade or two....after that, then use the solid bodied stain if there is discoloration to hide. Although that would be MY preference, the solid bodied stain will give you more longevity, and less maintenance. I don't think you are going to go wrong either way. It is your project, your decision. I think almost no matter what you do, just replacing it will be a huge improvement!

Have fun with the project! I hope you enjoy it.

Brad
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