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Old 04-28-2012, 09:21 AM   #1
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Should I put polyurethine or varnish on exterior shutters?


I have wood shutters on the front of the house that are made of cypress wood. They are 3 years old and were stained with an exterior stain before they were hung.

Fast forward 3 years, and the shutters are faded BAD and I have had to sand them back down and restain them.

Two questions...Will polurethane or varnish them to help protect the stain? Shouldn't the stain have lasted longer than it did?

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Old 04-28-2012, 09:36 AM   #2
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Should I put polyurethine or varnish on exterior shutters?


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Originally Posted by bassadict69 View Post
I have wood shutters on the front of the house that are made of cypress wood. They are 3 years old and were stained with an exterior stain before they were hung.

Fast forward 3 years, and the shutters are faded BAD and I have had to sand them back down and restain them.

Two questions...Will polurethane or varnish them to help protect the stain? Shouldn't the stain have lasted longer than it did?
Hiya Bassadict...

No, in your case, neither poly, nor varnish, will protect the finish on your shutters from fading...At this stage, it'd be best if you did all your necessary surface prep (clean, sand, prime if necessary) then finish with an acrylic house paint. Acrylic house paints will hold their color and sheen far longer than stain (especially if that stain was an oil). Poly, or varnish, could actually accelerate the problem. Good luck.

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Last edited by ric knows paint; 04-28-2012 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:53 AM   #3
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Should I put polyurethine or varnish on exterior shutters?


I guess I will just have to redo them every few years... Prime and paint is out of the question! Thanks for saving me the trouble of applying something that will not help!
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:19 AM   #4
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Should I put polyurethine or varnish on exterior shutters?


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Originally Posted by bassadict69 View Post
I guess I will just have to redo them every few years... Prime and paint is out of the question! Thanks for saving me the trouble of applying something that will not help!
I don't understand...the surface prep is the same whether you stain or paint. The application is the same between stain and paint. If it's necessary to apply a coat of primer, for all intents and purposes it's no different than applying a first coat of paint or stain - so why is this system out of the question?

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Old 04-28-2012, 10:23 AM   #5
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Should I put polyurethine or varnish on exterior shutters?


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I don't understand...the surface prep is the same whether you stain or paint. The application is the same between stain and paint. If it's necessary to apply a coat of primer, for all intents and purposes it's no different than applying a first coat of paint or stain - so why is this system out of the question?
Painting is out of the question...we are going for the more natural wood look for our shutters and also the cypress porch posts which are all at the front of the house.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:25 AM   #6
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Should I put polyurethine or varnish on exterior shutters?


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Painting is out of the question...we are going for the more natural wood look for our shutters and also the cypress porch posts which are all at the front of the house.
Is the stain on the shutters a semi-transparent?
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:34 AM   #7
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Should I put polyurethine or varnish on exterior shutters?


Yes, it is a semi transparent oil based stain we got from a local paint store, it is supposedly sun and UV protected
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:36 AM   #8
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Should I put polyurethine or varnish on exterior shutters?




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Old 04-28-2012, 10:42 AM   #9
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Should I put polyurethine or varnish on exterior shutters?


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Yes, it is a semi transparent oil based stain we got from a local paint store, it is supposedly sun and UV protected
ah - sorry, I just assumed it was a solid stain. Unfortunately, semi's don't really hold up that well to UV rays and 3 years may be about as long as you can expect. It's interesting though, UV inhibitors are expensive when added to the manufacture of an exterior coating...The industry estimates that a product with the maximum amount of UV inhibitors will lengthen the lifespan of a coating by about 10% - if a traditional ST stain lasts about 3 years, then the more expensive UV version will last about 3.5 months longer.

While there may be some ST stains that may outperform others, the most harmful element to any coating is UV light, and unfortunately the best UV blockers are those that are opaque.

Best of luck - great pics. I don't know about your area, but there are some manufacturers that make a ST Acrylic stain - Acrylics are more colorfast than are oils, but they're still semi-transparent. If you consider an acrylic, test a board first to see if it'll even provide the type of appearance you want. Sometimes they appear a little streaked.

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Old 04-28-2012, 12:15 PM   #10
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Should I put polyurethine or varnish on exterior shutters?


Concider using Tung oil.
http://www.waterlox.com/project-help...or&id=75#faq75
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:22 PM   #11
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Should I put polyurethine or varnish on exterior shutters?


You have some great overhangs protecting your home. I would think that even a Semi-transparent stain would hold up longer than three years with that kind of protection. It doesn't appear that the shutters are getting lots of sun exposure.

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