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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! I am new to the forum, and fairly new (and self-taught/trial by error) to DIY building and crafty things. So here's my dilemma:

I am building a coffee table for my patio and want it to be fairly waterproof in case of rain, sprinklers, cold drinks on a hot day, etc. The table top alternates wood strips (each about 4 inches wide) with strips of ceramic and stone tiles. The piece is ready to be finished- the wood has been sanded and stained, and the tiles are grouted in. I'm just not sure how to finish or seal the whole table.

Will a high gloss polyurethane varnish or shellac do the all-over trick? Or do I need to apply varnish/shellac to the wood strips, and separately seal the grout and tile? OR, can I use a typical sealer on the grout, and then varnish the whole thing?

Ideally I'd prefer a very thick, shiny, and uniform finish- imagine a nice bar top in a classy establishment where the wood just glows under a super protective coating.

Thanks for your input!
 

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You don't want to use polyurethane or shellac for exterior work. You should use a spar varnish for an exterior table, preferably a marine grade spar varnish. Just mask off the tile so you don't get the finish on the tile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the welcome and the responses, and sorry for the delay!! I've been out of town the past two weekends for ultimate frisbee tournaments. :)

So, when I got back yesterday I snagged a can of clear, high-gloss spar varnish from the hardware store and slapped 'er on this morning. She's drying in the garage right now and then we'll see if it needs a second coat or not.

Here are photos!
1) Dirty pallet getting sanded down
2) Stained with tiles in and grout drying
3) Legs attached and varnish drying!

Thanks again for your input! I think she's gonna be a beaut. :)
 

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You know I've seen many people make projects out of old pallets before and I shake my head every time until now. That looks good.
 
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