Door Care & Finishing

Because maintenance is absolutely required for exterior finishes, the cost of a finish schedule must include maintenance costs to be realistic. You don’t need a film finish and if you eliminate the film, you potentially reduce the maintenance. If you like the natural color of the wood that you want to protect, and you don’t want to alter its appearance, try a clear finish. You can improve your odds against fungus by using a hardwood that has a high resistance to decay; such as a dense or oily wood that soaks in water much slower than other woods. This is simply a choice made by the end user who either prefers the gray weathered look (or doesn’t mind it), and accepts this as the most maintenance-free method of a wood with high resistance to decay.

But woodworkers should know how to plan their joinery, panels, and components to allow for fluctuations with climate changes so as to minimize problems with their projects. Surface Finish: Although our products are sanded to a minimum of 80 grit, however, small dents may be visible. Each piece was sanded with 100 grit sandpaper following the natural grain of the wood.

Either way, finishing the railing is critical, because unprotected wood left to the elements gets ugly fast. Avoid belt sanders, which are easy to use improperly, resulting in uneven surfaces and excess wood removal. Polyurethane varnish ranks tops in moisture and chemical resistance, but repairing deep scratches requires stripping the old finish. Easy to apply and fast drying, UltraClear Exterior allows for several coats to be applied in one day.

Just as for painting, the surface preparation work is important, even for a totally transparent water repellent that seems to just flow into the wood without a problem. This product is the one that keeps coming up. It was everything that they said; covers well, and is very forgiving-if you drip and then stain over it a little later, you don’t still see the drip. Both species are easy to work with, hold fasteners well, and are sufficiently strong for most outdoor furniture applications. A solvent-borne finish system is recommended for interior doors and may be a lacquer-based system.


The more opaque the colourant, the more the pigment protects the natural wood colour from the UV rays of the sun – and some products, even some totally transparent water repellents, have UV filters added as well – all to slow down the natural graying process. Select products with care, come to terms with the maintenance chores they require, then avoid the nasty surprises that catch a lot of Canadians off guard when it comes to outdoor wood.

The most common chemical used is chromated copper arsenate, meaning that the wood can leach copper and arsenic, which is why it is no longer legal to use pressure treated lumber to construct docks in direct contact with lake or river water. The particular hue of the finish derives from synthetic iron oxide pigments added to the formulation. The UV absorber system in UltraClear Exterior will impart a subtle transparent brown tint.

Also, for optimal flow out and penetration into the wood fibers, make sure the epoxy you use doesn’t contain any thickeners. Mildewed/neglected wood – Use Benjamin Moore RESTORE Wood Restorer (316) to remove dead wood fibers and for cleaning. An oil finish is a good choice for furniture that won’t see a lot of abuse; bedroom furniture or antiques that are used for display rather than daily use are good candidates. They tend to impart a satiny sheen that isn’t too glossy, replicating a natural” wood look. Liquid oil-based stains penetrate into the wood without raising the wood grain.

If you select this option for your gate, the wood will have a well-sanded, smooth surface that is ready to accept the finish of your choice. Tiny particles are allowing pigments, which in older formulas sat on the wood’s surface, to penetrate more deeply into the wood. An automotive finish will fail faster due to the movement of wood being about ten to twenty times greater than that of metal/plastic. They’re usually oil-based and allow excellent color control because of the thickness of the stain.

I have a flat packed used shed made from T&G pine, all has been stained previously which is where my dilemma is as when I read preservatives they often refer to smooth or rough finished wood and un treated, my shed is smooth but treated. Do not use dark colored stains or paint on doors exposed to sunlight, as some expansion and contraction of door parts may occur.

If the sealer cannot soak into the wood and glue onto the surface fibres of the wood then the bond will be weak, and this is the bond that holds the varnish to the wood. Twenty-two years ago I painted six pine test boards with a range of exterior wood finishing products, in the hope that these products would provide an effective, translucent outdoor-tough wood finish. The standard for refinishing wood floors today is 3 coats of oil-based polyurethane.