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Apprentice Member
welderwoodworker
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎01-09-2011
0

Finish for an outdoor bench

I have a cedar bench with engraving on it that sits outside. What is the best clear finish I can put on it to protect the bench from the weather?

Honored Advisor
stick48668
Posts: 10,076
Registered: ‎01-15-2010
0

Re: Finish for an outdoor bench

oil base clear paint base...



this would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
if only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Honored Advisor
amateur60
Posts: 1,556
Registered: ‎10-24-2009
0

Re: Finish for an outdoor bench

Cedar will turn an attractive grey color--dark brown if red cedar silver grey if white cedar.  No clear finish will totally protect wood that is in full time sun.  If you must preserve original color, have a Sunbrella cover made which can be removed for use.

Honored Advisor
Steve Mickley
Posts: 1,567
Registered: ‎10-21-2009
0

Let’s back-up just a bit …

Robert;

 

… before we start applying any finish.  In your post you say that the bench is made from Cedar.  Depending on the species of cedar, any suitible finish you select may encounter adhesion problems if applied directly to the wood.  Eastern Red Cedar (actually a juniper), for example, contains natural oils that will often prevent oil-based finishes from properly curing.  Similar problems can also occur with Northern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis).  This problem can be eliminated by first applying a coat of shellac (preferable de-waxed).  The shellac will also improve the overall moisture resistance of the finish; shellac is an excellent barrier against the passage of water-vapor.

 

Either which way the exterior oil-based paint base previously mentioned in your earlier post will do an excellent job in your application with this caveat; as Amateur60 suggested, sunlight (UV) is the killer.  As well as the exterior oil-based paint base does, full exposure to the elements coupled with full sunlight will ultimately destroy any finish.  Therefore, in addition to the paint base finish I suggest a shaded location and indoor storage over the winter months…

 

Steve 

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Frequent Contributor
skelly742
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎02-11-2013
0

Re: Finish for an outdoor bench

I use marine varnish to protect stuff outdoors. Stores that sell stuff for sailboats usually carry it. Has a UV blocker that helps it last longer. Never tried it on cedar though. Dont know if it will stick.
Frequent Contributor
skelly742
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎02-11-2013
0

Re: Finish for an outdoor bench

I should also add that marine varnish is relatively expensive though. Was $35 per quart last time I bought it and needed a special thinner.
Contributor
avaross15
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎02-03-2013
0

Re: Finish for an outdoor bench

 I would apply a transparent stain to the bench to protect it from the outdoor elements. I found a really great product made by Storm System that is easy to apply and I'm very pleased with the end result!

 

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