What would you do to this monkey? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-28-2018, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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What would you do to this monkey?

This is a monkey pod (Acacia), apparently made in Hawaii, with nice deep grains. I do not know the finish composition, however, it's peeling after water sat on it.

I plan to use this outdoors (mix of sun and shade).

I will strip this down to barewood, then top with man o' war oil spar varnish.

Notice it's very yellow. Now, I prefer a slight reddish/brown color.

Would you stain or Dye under spar varnish?
Is General Finish WB "Dye Stain" product good to use?
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Last edited by sanvito; 04-28-2018 at 01:50 AM.
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-28-2018, 05:42 AM
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Personally I'd keep it natural and just build coats of varnish on it. Beautiful piece of wood.

Having said that, if you use a stain or dye, make sure its exterior rated. The general finishes lists it as interior only. There is no UV protection in the dye so it will tend to bleach out in the sun. If you build lots of varnish coats over it, that will give it some UV protection and slow the bleaching process down but it will still lose its color.
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-28-2018, 07:20 AM
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Please don't stain it, the wood is so beautiful.

Don in Murfreesboro, TN.
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-28-2018, 07:57 AM
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You can achieve a reddish brown color with an exterior stain however the color red is very prone to fading. Then the spar varnish has a slight yellow cast to it that will yellow the more it ages so to keep the reddish color you may have to refinish it again in five years or so. It would help a lot if you could cover it when not in use.
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-28-2018, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by J_L View Post
There is no UV protection in the dye so it will tend to bleach out in the sun. If you build lots of varnish coats over it, that will give it some UV protection and slow the bleaching process down but it will still lose its color.
I now plan to add curtains to my pergola which gives it 90% shade. With the UV rays minimized, I just need to worry about temperature/moisture fluctuations.

That wood may appear blotchy with a mix of brown and yellow. I prefer a reddish DYE to maintain consistency and to pop out the grain more. Then top off with Spar?
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-28-2018, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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You can achieve a reddish brown color with an exterior stain however the color red is very prone to fading. Then the spar varnish has a slight yellow cast to it that will yellow the more it ages so to keep the reddish color you may have to refinish it again in five years or so. It would help a lot if you could cover it when not in use.
Ok, so I'm learning the stain world is even as complex as the poly world, with confusing product labels and claims. Good god!

I was leaning towards the GF WB Dye Stain, as it's website claims it's compatible with topcoat oil varnish. This dye claims to retain the translucence of grains, whereas traditional stains tend to hide it. Yeah, I'm falling for the marketing jumbo.

If I get it to last even 2 years, I will be happy. And sanding it down to start over is not too hard.

Or should I just dewax shellac it to get that reddish hue? I know you mentioned that shellac is too soft under spar.........but again I may get bored after 2 years, like I do with my iPhone, and refinish it anyway.
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-28-2018, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by sanvito View Post
Ok, so I'm learning the stain world is even as complex as the poly world, with confusing product labels and claims. Good god!

I was leaning towards the GF WB Dye Stain, as it's website claims it's compatible with topcoat oil varnish. This dye claims to retain the translucence of grains, whereas traditional stains tend to hide it. Yeah, I'm falling for the marketing jumbo.

If I get it to last even 2 years, I will be happy. And sanding it down to start over is not too hard.

Or should I just dewax shellac it to get that reddish hue? I know you mentioned that shellac is too soft under spar.........but again I may get bored after 2 years, like I do with my iPhone, and refinish it anyway.
Finishing is complex because there is so many products for different applications. There is finishes formulated for interior use and some for exterior use and then there is water based finishes for the folks in some parts of California. You just need to learn the application the product is intended for. It's like dewax shellac, it's an interior finish so you shouldn't use it for an exterior projects. What you need to understand is wood expands and contracts. For interior use the wood only expands and contracts a little being in a climate controlled environment. Therefore the finish can be more hard and brittle since the wood movement is minimal. For exterior use where the temperature and humidity levels are much more severe the wood expands and contracts a lot more. For that use the finish needs to be softer and more elastic so the finish can expand and contract with the wood. This is what a spar varnish is good for. A spar was originally developed in the days of tall ships where the wood movement and the masts of the ships bending back and forth a lot they had a lot of trouble keeping a finish on them. The spar was made more flexible to deal with the movement.

A dye stain would be compatible with any finish you might use however they are not very colorfast. Sunlight will tend to fade a dye stain much more than any other stain. You would be better off using a fence and deck stain. It would be more colorfast. Now you have to be careful which one you use. Some fence and deck stains made today never really dry. They are more like coating the wood with motor oil. This wouldn't be good if you planned to put a spar varnish over the top. You would have to be sure you used one that would dry completely. I don't do enough fences to really recommend one. The last fence I did I used Ready Seal and it's one that doesn't dry. A few years ago I did a fence with Behr oil based fence stain and it did dry. I think they may have discontinued it for the water based stain, I don't know, maybe just my local HD.
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