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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I am restoring a roughly 50 year old trailer my great-grandfather-in-law built.


I am using a sheet of 5'x10'x1" baltic birch exterior plywood for the floor, The 2' tall sides will use the same type 1" thick plywood, cut from 4'x8' sheets. Metal trailer frame will be painted gloss black.


I am looking for recommendations on a clear finish for the plywood. I want to maintain the light wood color, gloss or semigloss might be nice. I am located in Southern California, water protection is not as big of a concern as in other areas of the country. We get about 12-15 inches of rain from December-March. UV protection and durability are important, as the trailer will be stored outside. Trailer will be used to haul bikes, canoes, camping gear, occasional yard debris or furniture.


I am a little uncertain on what to finish to use. What do you recommend?
 

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welcome to the forum.
I'm afraid that what you are wanting in the way of looking pretty
does not really coincide with how it will be actually used in real life.
you may have to make a compromise somewhere along the line
to a solid paint that can be easily applied when needed.
or - sanding and varnishing "plywood" on a regular basis.
once the finish is scratched - it opens the wood to up water intrusion.
which in turn welcomes mildew, mold and rot. shortening the lifespan
of the wood. rain and snow may not be a problem, but, UV sunlight is !!
this is utility trailer - not a dining room table.
you may be overthinking it just a little.

.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I know, After fixing the thing up I will use it once and it will look all beat up. I fully expect that the floor will be dirty and scratched before long. I would like to at least have the sides be a clear wood finish. I am willing to consider using a different finish on the floor. Would some kind of black decking paint be better than a clear option? Would it provide better UV protection, traction and durability?


I very easily could be overthinking the whole thing, previously the whole trailer and plywood was painted with a spare can of red paint that grandpa had in the garage, it held up ok for over 20 years.
 

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previously, the whole trailer and plywood was painted with a spare can
of red paint that grandpa had in the garage, it held up ok for over 20 years.
and there is your answer.
just have fun with it.

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