Paint Or Stain For Outdoors Question ?

Hi,
Built some bird house supports and platforms out of regular common pine board which will be located outdoors. Probably should have used pressure treated, but didn't.
Anyway, what would offer the best outdoors protection:
oil based paint latex based paint
regular stain polyurethane stain
or,... ?
Suggestions as to types and brands would be most appreciated.
Thanks, Bob
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An oil based deck stain would be best, I think. Opaque is better than clear or translucent stain, since it not only protects against moisture but UV as well. It'll have to be reapplied every couple of years or even every year depending on how much weather and abuse it sees. Make sure to coat the end grain of the wood well.
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I agree with louie, hit the end grain and knots twice. Opaque is good but a shade stain provides some protection too. For this type of work I go to the paint store and ask for their return and mistint pile, pay reduced price or sometimes they'll give it for free.-Jitney
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