outdoor benches

I have some outdoor benches that have been stained with stain from lowes. Can I put a water sealer on them or what should I use to preserve the wood? Thanks for any reply
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herb white;3120134 Wrote:

There are several options depending on what you want to do and what you want the benches to look like.
1. If the benches are made with pressure treated wood, you could apply a sealer like the kind people use on their wooden decks every year. That will protect the wood from both absorbing rain water at it's end grain and greying from exposure to UV light. I know very little about deck sealers but I understand you have to apply them every year. Also, from my time on these DIY Q&A forums, I've heard a lot of good things about Cabot deck sealers.
2. If you just want to protect the wood, then you can paint the benches with an exterior paint, ideally an exterior alkyd if you can still buy alkyd paint in your area. If alkyd isn't available, then instead of a exterior latex, I would use a latex "Porch & Floor" paint. The seats of a bench or the top of the picnic table are working surfaces that need a harder and more durable paint to provide good service. Latex floor paints get their additional hardness from the fact that they crosslink very densely in the month or two after the paint dries. However, since porches and floors are often made of wood, latex floor paints still cure soft enough to expand and contract with wood outdoors as it's moisture content changes from season to season.
3. If these benches have been stained with a wood stain, and you want to keep that woodgrain look, you can top coat with a "Spar" varnish, also called "Marine Varnish". Spar varnishes were originally used on the masts of ships which were exposed to the Sun and weather continuously and needed a protective coating to prevent the wood from weathering. You can buy Spar varnish anywhere, but you should be able to get a good recommendation on which ones work best from your local marina since people still use this stuff on wooden boats. If you can still buy "oil based" Spar varnish in your area, it will use a phenolic resin instead of the alkyd and urethane modified alkyds used by interior oil based clear coats, and phenolic resins are inherently much more resistant to UV light from the Sun. If you can only get water based Spar varnish, then the stuff you buy will use transparent pigments to protect the underlying wood from the Sun. These are tiny particles of metal oxide that are transparent to visible light but opaque to UV light, and it's that opacity that protects the underlying wood from deterioration due to exposure to the Sun. So, in both the case of "oil based" or water based Spar varnish, you get more protection from the Sun by putting on more coats.
--
nestork

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On Wed, 11 Sep 2013 08:51:25 -0700 (PDT), herb white

Basically 3 choices.
1. Leave it bare and let it weather. 2. Film covers (varnish, paint, etc.) 3. Oils (tung, linseed, etc.0
There's a lot of stuff on the web, and no need to repeat it all. Google "finishing outdoor benches" I've got a couple of the benches I think you're talking about. One was about 50 bucks, the other bigger one about 100 bucks. Both have painted cast iron sides and stained wood slats, lightly varnished. The cheap one has a slatted back, the more expensive one has a curved wood back with a cast iron insert. Chinese of course. Don't know what wood it is. They are both in the weather, full sun, in northern Illinois. I didn't add any finish. The cheap one lasted about 10 years before becoming unusable due to wood rot. The wood weathered nicely after the finish basically disappeared. Cast iron is in excellent shape, so I can easily cut some slats if I ever get around to it. The more expensive one is about 6 years old and still usable, but the seat sags. That wood just turned dark, and it's pretty ugly. Again the cast iron is in excellent shape. Bottom line with these is can keep them "pretty" if you want, or just replace the wood when it's too weathered if you want. Haven't looked close lately, but as I recall from putting them together they're basically tied together with rods and common stove bolts. The rods can be cheaply replaced with allthread if they're rusted. So it's up to you. If I ever rebuild either one of mine I'll probably stain and spar varnish them if I want to maintain them with recoats. Easy enough to do every few years. Or I'll use cedar or cypress and forget about maintenance and just let them weather.
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On 9/11/2013 12:50 PM, Vic Smith wrote:

I like the oil. Penofin has UV blockers too.
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On Wednesday, September 11, 2013 11:51:25 AM UTC-4, herb white wrote:

Thanks guys for the replies. Before I found this site I thought that I knew everything. Now I realize that I don`t know much of anything. Thanks again
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herb white;3120199 Wrote: >

> that I don`t know much of anything.

It gets worse with age.
It's the youngest people who have the greatest confidence that their way of thinking is the only right way to think. As you get older, that all changes.
--
nestork


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There are typically three levels of "knowing" related to just about everything we deal with.
1 - There are the things that we know that we know. That's all good.
2 - There are the things that we know that we don't know. That's not bad. As long as we know that we don't know them, we can probably come to know them with a bit of research.
3 - There are the things that we don't know that we don't know. Those are the things that usually get us in trouble.
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DerbyDad03;3120270 Wrote: >

> bad.

> know

> are

So, when the President of a country that has the spying ability to monitor every telephone call and e-mail sent or received by everyone in the USA and spy satellites in space that can tell what the number is on a golf ball on the ground says "We KNOW he has weapons of mass destruction", what catagory of "knowing" would that fall into?
--
nestork


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'Oren[_2_ Wrote: > ;3120329']On Wed, 11 Sep 2013 23:22:01 +0200, nestork

Yes, the one that has an aide carry the football for him.
I was thinking that "We KNOW he has weapons of mass destruction" would fall into the "don't now what you know" category.
--
nestork


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The things that can really get us in trouble are the things we know that we know that just aren't true.
-- Doug
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