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Old 09-10-2012, 02:43 PM   #1
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Another Stain Recommendation


I have a home with exposed Cypress Beams, Columns, Headers (see attached) facing directly East. The wear is brutal. My current method is only lasting something like 6 months. I've been using Minwax Stain with Spar Helmsman Urethane. What is a recommended product where I could actually get a couple years out of it??? I heard of TWP, but when I called them, they said their product is more for "raw" wood. It would be a major p.i.t.a. to strip to perfectly "bare" wood. I heard of ICI Latex Varnish but can't seem to find any in my area... although I did just recently start looking.

Am I barking up the wrong tree with ICI latex varnish? Should I be trying something else? Maybe Minwax stain with some sort of Marine urethane?

Is there anything that will give me close to 2 years @ 1000 degree temps 200% humidity and direct sunlight 24 hours a day?
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:31 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Godzirra View Post
I have a home with exposed Cypress Beams, Columns, Headers (see attached) facing directly East. The wear is brutal. My current method is only lasting something like 6 months. I've been using Minwax Stain with Spar Helmsman Urethane. What is a recommended product where I could actually get a couple years out of it??? I heard of TWP, but when I called them, they said their product is more for "raw" wood. It would be a major p.i.t.a. to strip to perfectly "bare" wood. I heard of ICI Latex Varnish but can't seem to find any in my area... although I did just recently start looking.

Am I barking up the wrong tree with ICI latex varnish? Should I be trying something else? Maybe Minwax stain with some sort of Marine urethane?

Is there anything that will give me close to 2 years @ 1000 degree temps 200% humidity and direct sunlight 24 hours a day?
There are few things that look richer, or more luxurious, than freshly varnished exterior wood with the sun shining on it...There are few things that look worse than that same exterior varnished wood about 6 months later. The reason for that is varnish don't do so well on the trim of a house - but I'm guessin' you've already figured that out...So don't make the mistake of trying a different type of varnish (latex, oil, exterior, spar, poly with UV inhibitors, asphalt, lacquer, shellac, etc. etc.) with the expectation of different results. You're gonna be disappointed.

At this point, the varnish on the boards that face east (and probably south) will come off pretty easily by scraping or sanding. The boards that face west and north, probably not so easy. You've got a couple of choices here...

If you want a toner or semi-transparent, you're pretty much gonna have to remove all of the varnish - that which comes off easy and that which doesn't. That's what they're talking about when they say their products are for raw wood...and MOST semi-transparents need to penetrate, thus the necessity of removing what's on there now (I say MOST 'cause there a few latex semi's that are more surface coatings, and I s'pose they could work over a tightly adhering varnish, but without removing the varnish the boards will look the same as they do now, only stained).

Another option is to put a solid cover stain on the boards. You'll still need to remove the loose, poorly adhering varnish, but not so necessary the tightly adhering varnish (those areas should be primed though). Personally, I'd recommend going this route for the sheer sake of maintenance...Solid covers are gonna look better and last longer than semi-transparents. If you do, I'd prime those varnished areas with a product similar to Zinsser's Peel Stop - then apply 2 coats of acrylic SC stain.

If you decide to go with a semi or toner, understand that given the exposure you've described, 2 years may be about the limit you can expect before having to re-apply - over the course of time and multiple applications, you will start to see a build up of ST stain that'll ultimately need to be removed to maintain a fresh appearance.

Good luck - let us know what you decide, but whatever you do, don't do the varnish thing again (it won't work).

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Old 09-11-2012, 11:37 AM   #3
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Thank You for the response...

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Originally Posted by ric knows paint View Post
Another option is to put a solid cover stain on the boards. You'll still need to remove the loose, poorly adhering varnish, but not so necessary the tightly adhering varnish (those areas should be primed though). Personally, I'd recommend going this route for the sheer sake of maintenance...Solid covers are gonna look better and last longer than semi-transparents. If you do, I'd prime those varnished areas with a product similar to Zinsser's Peel Stop - then apply 2 coats of acrylic SC stain.
Lets say I go this route. Would it be wise to stain the light areas first (newly sanded) with my leftover previous stain to try and match existing (non-faded) color of areas that havn't faded/peeled... so that the color is more uniform BEFORE applying Peel Stop and finish coats of SC stain???? For instance the sides of the beams facing east are pretty much light/raw after sanding... and the back side is "ALMOST" as good as it was the last time I finished it a couple years ago. It's quite a difference. Just wondering if the difference needs to be much less before applying SC Stain???

Last edited by Godzirra; 09-11-2012 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Godzirra View Post
Thank You for the response...



Lets say I go this route. Would it be wise to stain the light areas first (newly sanded) with my leftover previous stain to try and match existing (non-faded) color of areas that havn't faded/peeled... so that the color is more uniform BEFORE applying Peel Stop and finish coats of SC stain???? For instance the sides of the beams facing east are pretty much light/raw after sanding... and the back side is "ALMOST" as good as it was the last time I finished it a couple years ago. It's quite a difference. Just wondering if the difference needs to be much less before applying SC Stain???
What you're seeing on the backside is what i was describing for the west and north side of the beams...Sunlight is what's causing the problem - clear finishes really don't perform well in steady direct sunlight. But, if you go the route of a solid cover stain, it wouldn't be necessary to re-stain the eastern exposure (with your previous stain). A solid cover is going to cover just like a paint does - so anything beneath is going to be hidden anyway.

It would be a good idea to prime, though. The primer I mentioned earlier (Zinsser Peel Stop) is great for priming areas that have peeled in the past, but is really difficult to get all the previous coating off...It also helps in the adhesion of subsequent coats (solid cover stain, if that's what you decide to go with). There are other primers that would work well too...talk to your local independent paint dealer for his/her recommendation on specific brands or products. Good luck.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:48 AM   #5
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I think your best bet is to find a quality solid stain that can hold up to the wear and tear. Solid finishes provide a paint-like appearance and have the maximum level of HEAVY UV protection.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:26 AM   #6
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Another Stain Recommendation


Ever seen a fancy older yacht with tons of exposted bright work? (that's what they call exposed wood work on boats)
Or on a restored classic boat.
Most use Bristal Finish. It's a high build, fast drying finish that has 10 times the UV protection of Helmsman.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:24 AM   #7
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I recently had to treat my exterior with wood stain, and ended up choosing a oil-based primer from Storm System. They have a bunch of categories that are geared for all different types of durability, so you might be able to find the perfect stain for your house. Best of luck!

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