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Old 03-11-2019, 02:45 AM   #1
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How do I avoid an Outdoor log furniture maintenance nightmare


So I have these 3 "log furniture" benches out in the backyard of a house we bought that look like someone threw up all over them. I don't know what the former owner put on them but whatever it is, it looks like yellow discolored plastic that is peeling off in patches all over the benches.

This yard is about a block from the coast, these benches have zero shade, so they get rained on and when they aren't getting buckets of salty rain on them they get blasted by direct sunlight all day.

I went out and with a powered planer and powered belt sander on the coarsest grit I could get ground off all the muck and got down to the bare wood - which appears to be darker colored in a bunch of places and the surface was soft enough to mark with a fingernail, indicating to me that rot has already set in on these - the previous varnish or whatever was on there probably trapped water under it after it started crumbling away. The wood initially looked like silvered weathered wood but when I got that layer off it appears to be red cedar.

I do not want to have to go out there every summer and sand off peeling varnish and then put more on. This is log furniture there's no point in trying to make it look pretty. Nor do I want a particular color. I just want something that will preserve the wood as long as possible without peeling off, yet is not toxic. (people will undoubtedly be putting their hands down on the bench so putting a chemical preservative down is out)

My goal is to have them last as long as possible given the environment. The only thing I really am interested in doing with these is keeping them sanded enough to prevent someone from sitting on them getting a splinter up their ass. Is there a penetrating oil that would be good for this that wouldn't be too expensive?
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Old 03-11-2019, 02:53 AM   #2
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Re: How do I avoid an Outdoor log furniture maintenance nightmare


Solid body deck stain is probably going to be what gives the longest results but a clear toner would satisfy your desire for no color.
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Old 03-11-2019, 03:22 AM   #3
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Re: How do I avoid an Outdoor log furniture maintenance nightmare


Once an old man said to me - " sometimes good things take a little longer ".
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Old 03-11-2019, 03:38 AM   #4
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Re: How do I avoid an Outdoor log furniture maintenance nightmare


Quote:
Originally Posted by SeniorSitizen View Post
Once an old man said to me - " sometimes good things take a little longer ".
Hmm well that is a thought although on hot days here the candles my wife has out on the porch liquefy. I don't think I want someone getting melted candle wax on their clothes during the summer when they sit on a bench.
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:17 AM   #5
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Re: How do I avoid an Outdoor log furniture maintenance nightmare


It sounds like someone used poly or varnish over them. Even spar poly will deteriorate like that when exposed to enough weather. I'd use a toner or translucent stain to get a similar look. I like how Flood's CWF looks. It will also need to be redone every few yrs but it won't need that much prep.
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:44 AM   #6
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Re: How do I avoid an Outdoor log furniture maintenance nightmare


You can dent cedar with a finger nail so you aren't likely looking at rot.
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:11 AM   #7
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Re: How do I avoid an Outdoor log furniture maintenance nightmare


burn it and buy new furniture.
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:58 AM   #8
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Re: How do I avoid an Outdoor log furniture maintenance nightmare


Quote:
Originally Posted by tmittelstaedt View Post
Hmm well that is a thought although on hot days here the candles my wife has out on the porch liquefy. I don't think I want someone getting melted candle wax on their clothes during the summer when they sit on a bench.
You'll never know if paraffin that has penetrated into wood with heat will transfer to clothing until you try it. Experimenting is how I discover new methods.
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:30 AM   #9
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Re: How do I avoid an Outdoor log furniture maintenance nightmare


Some kind of varnish was applied. Penetrating type products work better, last longer with easier maintenance. Sikkens SRD, Arborcoat 326/328, Dalys... etc. I would not recommend any type of silicone or wax product!


Personally I really like just using Daly's ShipNShore on fir furniture. Its penetrates, hardens, water proofs and gives the wood a wet look without forming a film. Doesn't have any UV absorbers but you can stain over this with SRD or whatever you choose..


To Get your stuff back to a stainable state use BM remove @50% dilution + BM brighten and a good stiff bristle brush and a hose. After chemically stripping you can sand a bit more with the belt sander. Make sure you do not sand finer than 80-100 grit.


You can checkout a similar project I did here with an old teak bench that I finished with arborcoat 326
https://www.painttalk.com/f6/teak-be...oration-92723/

Last edited by cocomonkeynuts; 03-11-2019 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:02 PM   #10
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Re: How do I avoid an Outdoor log furniture maintenance nightmare


+ 1 for Flood's CWF-UV.

Sure, it doesn't last long, probably every year or 2 on horizontal surfaces, 2 maybe 4 on vertical surfaces. It wears away pretty evenly. No stripping or any of that nonsense when you're ready for a fresh coat. It doesn't build a surface film that can peel or get scuffed away in high traffic areas. Seals pretty good, water based and easy to apply. Cedar or clear. I prefer the clear, gives a wet look. Apply after a good wash every two years, ftw.
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:46 PM   #11
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Re: How do I avoid an Outdoor log furniture maintenance nightmare


I would go an oil route. You may need to reapply yearly, but it wont peel off.
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Old 03-12-2019, 06:44 PM   #12
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Re: How do I avoid an Outdoor log furniture maintenance nightmare


Quote:
Originally Posted by SeniorSitizen View Post
You'll never know if paraffin that has penetrated into wood with heat will transfer to clothing until you try it. Experimenting is how I discover new methods.
I experiment also but not when I can find someone who has already been down the road first. I only experiment when I ask and find out that nobody has been down the road at all.

Great advice everyone! I think on these I am going to wait until summertime before any further work on them. That will give the wood a
chance to dry out really well and some warm days and nights for the sealer to penetrate into the wood without being washed or frozen out. When I sanded the tops I used 80 grit.
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