Outdoor Living In Luxurious Exterior Spaces

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 29 models in wood stains to see which ones perform best. Just keep in mind this finish will require more frequent attention in the future. Do not apply in sunlight or at a temperature below 10 °C. The wood must be completely dry, clean and sanded with a 80 grit sandpaper. Enduradeck is flexible and breathable and is a great choice to consider when coating exterior wood decks and flooring when a solid hide stain is desired.

Many brands of spar varnish also contain UV inhibitors to protect the wood from sunlight. And as you’ve witnessed on this door, UV light, summertime heat and moisture take their toll on a varnished exterior door. If you desire a shiny satin finished look, or more a furniture finish, consider Sikkens Dek Finish The deck must have good ventilation, and be at least two feet off the ground. Using a wood like mahogany is fine, but the wood itself is the primary protection you have against deterioration and decay.

Most semitransparent stains are oil-based, and they penetrate the surface of the wood. The wood shows almost no weathering after 3 Texas summers, and the soap and water cleanup saves me lots time, too! Can’t say that about any other exterior finish I have tried, seen, or read about. To see how well each wood stain we tested protects, we coated sections of a deck with various wood stains. I used 4 gallons of Sikken Cetol SRD on a new PT pine deck that had weathered for 4 months. Manufacturers have also developed water-repellent preservatives specifically for exterior finishes. It is an oil based product that penetrates deep into the wood and protects well.

I do prefer 4″ because it is less likely to cup (all wood has the potential to cup, just as all wood expands and contracts – it is organic, after all). I have adhered to the Owatrol system (Seasonite/Netrol/Textrol) since the wood was new and treated it annually. Although I did not have an unexposed reference sample the finish was still shiny after 12 months. This one had the best water-resistance of any of the wood sealer types we tried.

Sunshield Wood Oil, a high quality water reducible penetrating coating, provides a beautiful enhanced appearance and outstanding protection for all exterior wood surfaces. Avoid it. Automobile finishes will last well outside, but may not flex sufficiently to deal with outdoor expansion/contraction of wood. Also, it sounds like we should consider sanding as well to get us back to the original beautiful finish.

When sprayed inside, odor is minimal (my shop is in our house but my wife has never even chased me outside to try to finish a project). Latex-based (water borne) stains are also available, but they do not penetrate the wood surface as do the oil-based stains. Extractive bleeding and mildew can discolor either bare wood or finished surfaces. The following discussion explains reasons we should consider sanding wood for best results with any stain or finish when wood has been allowed to weather in the elements, or if a previously applied coating has failed.

Best used over a build-up of Epifanes Clear Gloss Varnish, Epifanes Woodfinish Gloss or well cured Epifanes Polyurethane Clear Gloss. Textrol enhances the natural beauty of the wood whilst providing a mildew-resistant finish with exceptional and long-lasting protection from the effects of moisture, weathering and UV rays. With their extra pigmentation, Cabot Semi-Solid Deck & Siding Stains are extremely durable and help protect wood against the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. Latex-based paints and stains are water borne, and oil or alkyd paints are solvent borne.

Fwiw: from the above (and side banner ad), i’ve learned in the past 15mins to: (a) make a rack to dry the wood. Be sure surface is free of all dirt, mildew stains, loose wood fibers and other foreign matter. For areas where slippery-when-wet coatings won’t do, Cetol Natural (without gloss overcoat) or our top-pick teak oil, Star brite’s Tropical Teak Sealer (classic teak) should be considered. It’s a good idea to let the cleaner chemically agitate the surface for a few minutes (don’t let it dry), because some waterborne stains are tough to remove. Trust me, if someone gave this product a bad review it would have to be because they didn’t apply it properly.

But the finish you like best may not be the best one for your project, depending on its style and use. Like a lot of hobby woodworkers, time in the shop is one of those things in life that you just can’t put a price tag on. With a wife and young children at home, the wood shop always ends up getting pushed to the end of my list. Automotive clear coats may have the durability for outdoor furniture but I wonder how flexible these coatings are.


On those wood surfaces best suited for painting, one coat of a good house paint over a properly applied primer (a conventional two-coat paint system) should last 4 to 5 years, but two coats can last up to 10 years. Exterior marine varnishes generally need to be sanded and recoated every 24-36 months or more often in full-sun applications. For a uniform appearance without leaving the results to chance, it is best treat the wood with a WRP or bleaching agent. Consumer Reports’ wood stain reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust.

You will have seen what I used the Osmo for in the video – it is very impressive and I would not hesitate to recommend it. They are oil finish specialists and so one must expect them to get it right. Our aim was to pick a representative from each type of exterior finish rather than several marine varnishes or several spar varnishes etc. There’s a real difference in Armstrong’s Clear,” Clark says, because it meets all VOC regulations yet remains thin and easy to apply.” This is a wood treatment product made up of heavy- and light-bodied conditioning oils that combine with a solvent substitute to deeply penetrate into the wood.

The first couple of coats I apply are Pettit’s Captain’s Varnish, an exceptionally hard, high-gloss finish that can be brushed on or sprayed. The common wood preservatives are creosote, penta-chlorophenol in oil, and the newer water-borne salt treatments-all of which are restricted-use pesticides. The uniform weathered look can last for a number of years, but the oil and pigments in the original finish protect the wood for only two or three years.

Benjamin Moore Arborcoat is the top-reviewed wood stain in one independent test. This premium, solid color stain has a low sheen finish that will complement any décor. Cabot Problem-Solver Primer has superior resistance to extractive bleeding and moisture problems and facilitates the application of a quality finish coat within just a few hours. Ten different bed wood finishing methods are being evaluated, and three oak boards have been finished by each method for a total of 30 boards being tested. Many offer protection equivalent to oil-based varnish (though the finish looks slightly different).

But in fact Cetol is similar to regular varnish: its formulation includes various processed oils and alkyd resin. At this point, based on this article and the comments I think I may try the Sikkens products. We were told when it was installed that sikkens was the only way to go. We have found it almost impossible each year to get out the dirt and mildew as we have a heavy tree canopy and I expect too much sikkens. New wood surfaces have a hard shiny surface known as mill glaze which prevents maximum penetration and bonding of any finish.

We tried their gloss finish and didn’t see a big difference between it and the satin Acrylacq finish. When my items arrived, I saw that the wicker had a smooth finish and didn’t at that point want to send my items back. The best choice for a natural look is to use clear sign overcoat, on top of semi-transparent sign lettering enamel. From furniture to floors, trust Minwax® products that beautify and protect wood.

We will conduct another test beginning about February 2005, using the coating systems that performed the best and adding other promising finish systems. I was surprised that the wood absorbed yet dissipated the wet making this chair the drier choice with just a little sun. When the wood starts moving, the film forming coatings don’t flex, and once they crack, it is the beginning of the end. After two years of testing, we’ve come to accept that perhaps there’s no Holy Grail of exterior wood finishes.

I’m leaving my outside ipe chairs without a finish as I don’t want to sand and re-coat everything every year (I’d rather build some new items!), but for a rail cap the visual impact of a nice finish is well worth the 3 hours annualy to keep it up! They’re generally a concoction of linseed and tung oils mixed with UV stabilizers that protect the wood by keeping moisture out and minimizing sun damage. Pigmented stains last a lot better than dye-based stains, and are preferred for outdoor use.

Hotter, drier air temperatures will condition the wood quickly, but wet weather will prolong the process. Adding extra coats to achieve a darker color is a bad idea with deck stains because they can form a film-like coat over the surface of the board. Solid stains, sometimes called opaque stains, hide the wood grain the most but are the most durable and last the longest.

To determine if a water-repellent preservative has lost its effectiveness, splash a small quantity of water against the wood surface. Sunshield D.S.F. is a high quality, semi-transparent, water reducible stain which provides a beautiful and natural appearance to all varieties of wood. When fully exposed, the finish wears off but doesn’t crack or split like a poly. Using a higher grit can compromise the adhesion of the first, most critical coat, which bonds between wood and finish and forms the foundation for subsequent coats.

This soaks the UV resistant material into the wood where it can help stop Old Sol (the sun) from damaging the wood fibers. The Durastain 1-Gallon Semi-Transparent Water-Based Chestnut Brown Exterior Wood Stain is suitable for use on wood decks, fences, siding and more and provides a richly pigmented, semi-transparent matte finish in chestnut brown. I loved the way the product soaked into the wood and water beaded up almost immediately on the finish.