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finishing cedar -- advice needed


tugnut1

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Hey guys,

 

I started making a set of adirondack chairs for the back yard.  I was able to pick up quite a bit of rough cut cedar for this project.  Cedar is supposed to be a really good wood for outdoor projects.  My only questions is how should I finish it.  Almost all of the furniture I build is for indoor use and gets the standard Polyeurothane or oil finish.  I don't know if I should use something like thompsons water seal, spar varnish or something else.

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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no need for spar unless you are 50 ft. from the ocean. but I would just use thompsons  I have done a garden bench with it made from cedar and it looks like new still, 4th season coming up. it is under a tree and is not covered during winter. I would apply it to all pieces prior to assembly then a second coat once put together that way where the wood is over lapped it is sealed .

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If you want it to weather to that natural grey look, no finish is needed at all.
If you do decide to put a finish on it, as long as you use some rated for outdoor use, and uv stable, you should have decent luck. Normally,outdoor projects with a finish on them will require some type of maintenance every 3 to 5 years.
Make sure to use a water proof glue (titebond 2 or 3 work great), and don't finish on the areas that will get glued. It can prevent the glue from bonding.
Use stainless fasteners, galvanized will react with the cedar tannins and acids.

Follow me on Instagram:
"@amanteafinewoodworks"

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15 hours ago, rrmccabe said:

John, I would use sikkens, or sikkens or maybe even sikkens.

 

Any questions :)

 

 

Yes....Question please.

 

I have never heard of Sikkens before.  I just did a quick search and they seem to make all kinds of stuff.  What product would you suggest for outdoor wood?

 

16 hours ago, albert.amantea said:

If you want it to weather to that natural grey look, no finish is needed at all.
If you do decide to put a finish on it, as long as you use some rated for outdoor use, and uv stable, you should have decent luck. Normally,outdoor projects with a finish on them will require some type of maintenance every 3 to 5 years.
Make sure to use a water proof glue (titebond 2 or 3 work great), and don't finish on the areas that will get glued. It can prevent the glue from bonding.
Use stainless fasteners, galvanized will react with the cedar tannins and acids.

Follow me on Instagram:
"@amanteafinewoodworks"
 

 

I should have started this post off by saying, "I want to add a finish to protect and the wood so that I will last as long as possible."  So, the color isn't very important.

 

I also don't want to spend a lot of time refinishing it every few years.

 

I will be using Titebond 3 and stainless steel fasteners for sure.

 

Thanks.

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John,  Look at the Cetol SRD line from Sikkens. They have variations. I think if you add tints it will have better UV protection than without, but even the clear stuff is good.

 

I have had miserable results over the years with outdoor finishes and I love doing the work the first time but I hate redoing (maintenance). As you know I have several family members that have worked for Wood and WoodSmith Magazine over the years and I finally called on the master for advice.  Problem solved.

 

Sikkens.

 

You might consider oils too but its going to need application occasionally.

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