Best Wood Exterior Door Finish

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Moved into the house 11 years ago. Back exterior doors looked to be part of a fairly new remodel. They are solid wood, framing a large glass panels, with what appears to be a simple poly top coat that has been beaten by sun and rain and almost completely gone near the bottom. Yes, I've neglected. Something about a shoemaker's sons. :-)
I want something that will last the longest and withstand the sun and rain. I'm toying around with an epoxy product similar to this... <http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2004140/9248/Mirror-Coat-112-Quart-Kit.aspx http://xrl.us/bijwr4
I've seen several applications of this and similar products and they seem to be like virtually dipping the object in plastic. The stuff seems to be impervious to anything, including sun and water. I wouldn't mind spending a hundred bucks on this stuff it it's going to protect like I think it will.
Has anyone used it in an exterior application?
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On 2/25/2011 12:00 AM, -MIKE- wrote:

Check the instructions on it if you can get them. I use a lot of this stuff for bars, tabletops, etc. and most of them say not for exterior use. The stuff tends to yellow with age when used outside and I don't know what else it may do.
I have a few projects that I did for outdoors and they are ok, but that was West Marine stuff and it is for outdoor use.
Just saying it can be done, but make sure you use the right stuff.
--
Robert Allison
New Braunfels, TX
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-MIKE- wrote:

Two things might influence your choice: The color of the wood and whether it is exposed to direct sunlight. If the wood is fairly dark and in the shade, you can't go wrong with multiple coats of spar varnish.
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snipped-for-privacy@mikedrumsDOT.com says...

Epoxy has no more innate immunity to UV than any other coating--the manufacturer says specifically that it will yellow in exterior exposure which implies that it doesn't have the heavy dose of UV barrier that a coating intended for exterior use would have.
Take a look at <http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/show_product.do?pid 9 &familyName=AwlBrite+Clear+Gloss+Base>, which is specifically intended for exterior use under harsh conditions.
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On 2/25/11 7:39 AM, J. Clarke wrote:

Thank you for actually reading my post and replying with relevant, helpful info. :-)
--

-MIKE-

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I noticed this part from that link: "Ten coats are recommended."
Now don't skimp and try to squeak by with only eight or nine coats. ;)
R
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-MIKE- wrote:

I've never used it but I wouldn't touch it with a 10' pole (for your potential use).
If it *is* epoxy - as opposed to polyester - then it will deteriorate rapidly from UV unless protected. The best protection is paint. If it is polyester, that isn't great either for what you want. I once did all the bright work on a 42' sailboat with polyester resin thinned with styrene; brushed on several coats, wet sanded smooth, polished with rubbing compound, looked great. Two years later I sanded (and sanded...and sanded...and sanded) it all off and went back to varnish.
There is NO clear coat that will last as long as paint. If you want the wood to show, use oil or a NON-poly varnish with UV filter. Both will need periodic maintenance, oil is the easiest, just wipe on, varnish will need sanding first.
--

dadiOH
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On 2/25/11 8:59 AM, dadiOH wrote:

Thanks. I guess the general consensus is, "sorry, you're outta luck."
I don't think I want to paint... the wood still looks too nice.
--

-MIKE-

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I have not heard of any finish, except paint, that lasts much more than a few years when direct sun light is involved. It will probably be a constant problem that you will have to deal with every few years.
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Its been my experience that most epoxy resins are not UV resistant including marine grade epoxy. I had a discussion once with a fellow at a gun show who claimed he had an epoxy resin with a good UV inhibitor when I queried him about some carbon fiber transport luggage he was using. He said they made their own carry luggage as a counterpoint to the carbon fiber bolt on fixtures (stocks, grips, etc) they made for various more popular firearms. He declined my invitation to set one of his bags in my backyard for a summer to see how it held up to the Arizona sun.
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My understanding and experience is that any clear finish on wood has a relatively short exterior life span. UV rays (direct or reflected) degrade the wood surface through the finish, and the finish has nothing to cling to. Additives for UV resistance may slow the damage but it still occurs. If you can see the wood, the light is breaking down the surface. Personally, if it is outside, I feel wood should be painted. Life is too short to spend it refinishing doors every few years.
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On 2/28/11 5:21 PM, Larry Kraus wrote:

FWIW, I've never seen a painted house that didn't need repainted every 5 or so years.
--

-MIKE-

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snipped-for-privacy@mikedrumsDOT.com says...

If it's painted fresh on new wood with good materials the paint should last a long time. When, as is typically done, the old paint is given a lick and a promise and then the new stuff is put on top of it, the old continues to deteriorate.
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-MIKE- wrote:

I just had mine painted last summer. The old paint was mostly good but had faded. It had been there 15 years.
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dadiOH
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On 3/1/11 6:50 AM, dadiOH wrote:

Hmmmm.... maybe I'll paint.
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-MIKE-

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Mike - you seem pretty opened minded, and a pretty sincere craftsman. This is my opinion, so take it for what it is worth.
I had a contract with a company here in town, and probably removed and replaced about 250 doors for them before we got tired of each other. But finishing is something I have done for years, doors included before my contract with the door supplier I hooked up with, and I can tell you what I have observed.
Poor finishing, clear, semi transparent or anything else, yields just that; a poor finish. Paint, ditto.
90% of finishing is in the prep, not in the application. Nor in my opinion is it in the finishing material. Most quality finishes you buy these days are quite good, and people mistakenly blame crappy results on a product instead of themselves. In a pinch, I have used Minwax OIL (no water based ANYTHING except paint for me!) with excellent results. Same with other brands that make others here spit with disgust when their names are mentioned.
Clear finishes will not protect wood (tip of hat to you, Mike!) as well as paint. Mike refers to a system of finishing where the top coat of urethane is an integral component of the paint job. Today's auto paints are formulated and need that top coat. Auto finishes are not abrasive resistant as most oil based wood finishes, nor are they as easily applied by the average guy, but for their purpose they are excellent. (Remember, you can't put on auto urethane with a foam brush!)
NOTHING protects wood as well as a completely opaque finish. UV modified clear finishes with all manner of voodoo in them are great for a few years, but don't last as well as an alkyd finish. I have refinished a few hundred doors, and and found that to be true.
The old oil based stuff used to last for years, but has been replaced by latex. Most people are just too lazy to put on oil, and are afraid of its application. If you have the type of doors I am envisioning, you can brush or spray alkyd on them easily. With a 2 hour layout time, not too much to worry about with brush strokes if you brush, and today's alkyds spray very easily.
You know I will give my usual opinion; if the current surface is damage, strip the wood, clean it and sand it before application of anything.
If you spray, prime first with BIN. I use that on doors and cabinets as it is ready to coat in an hour with paint. Three coats of alkyd will last for years. Sherwin Williams makes some great stuff, as does Benjamin Moore.
FWIW, I have never seen any type of epoxy resin finish hold up in EXTERIOR use. Interior, fine. But on an exterior application, the theory among my finishing buddies is that the wood and resin move at different temperatures, and at different amounts. It seems to work OK in the shade, but not in direct sunlight. But remember, if just a small percent of the light gets through (UV resistant, not UV impermeable!) the clear coat, the problem starts with degrading the wood.
I like clear finishes, though. My solution from time to time where the bottom of the door is the only thing facing direct sunlight is to clear coat the door with UV resistant finish, then cover the bottom of the door with a big brass or nickel kick plate to cover previous damage and to help protect from future. It isn't a fix, but it stops the cracking and hides the discoloration of the damaged wood. It also covers any repairs I might need to make to save the door.
As always, just my 0.02.
Robert
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On 3/1/11 1:50 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Thank you. My above comment was sincere, not sarcastic.

I hate painting, but people always ask me about it because I'm "that guy" who always does everything. I tell them all the time that the paint is the cheapest part of painting, and the painting is the easiest part. So I know where you're coming from.

This? http://www.rustoleum.com/CBGProduct.asp?pid !6
Thanks for such a thought out and well presented reply. Great info.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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Absolutely true. The paint is nothing, nor is any finish that you apply if you prep right.
The last kitchen I did, I refinished all the cabinets in the kitchen, as well as the island. It took me almost two weeks of prep, and the client was getting very impatient.
However, they were astonished that I got one coat of primer (BIN) on everything in one day, as well as one coat of finish. I put two more coats on everything the next day and was easily finished in 8 hours. That is cabinets >>inside and out<<, 24 or so doors, and I think 12 drawers, a wall mounted display rack, and an island with bead board sprayed white to match the cabinets.
Most folks don't understand that the application (good or bad!) is the quickest part of the project.
The super hot finishes like I use take a lot of practice, but most of the finishes out there today yield very good results by just following the instructions.

That's the juice! Since it is a pigmented shellac, don't plan on brushing it unless you are comfortable brushing shellac.
That stuff sprays like a dream; on a 65 degree day, you won't need to thin, mix in thinner (anhydrous alcohol) or do anything else but stir it and put it in your paint cup. I would suggest a 1.4mm tip if you are spraying, as I have had great results in my guns with that size.
BIN can be a strangely high build finish, too. I have used it as an "almost" pore filler, and built up 2-3 heavy coats on oak, and it will partially fill the tubules. It will certainly close them off, so you can paint without the all the pin holes. Real oak retains that woodgrain texture and looks like that plastic trim we used to buy that had the woodgrain cast into it.
Clients like it as they can still see some of their woodgrain so it doesn't look like particle board or colored melamine.
As far as coatings go, I have used this stuff before, but am a fan of Coronado (a regional manufacturer) products. However, most of my painting buddies use this with >>great<< results out of their spray setup. They also claim it brushes very well, too.
http://preview.tinyurl.com/4jpzeqa
Sherwin Williams makes an equivalent, and it is quite good as well.

Anytime, just glad to help. I enjoy reading a few of the posters that frequent here, and you are certainly one of them.
Robert
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--------------------------------- Robert, you need to establish a yacht finishes div.
10 years, a two part LP spray job waaas about $1K/ft.
Today, it's at least $1,500/ft and that's only for the above the waterline surfaces.
SFWIW, decent high build primer is about $100/gal and decent 2 part LP is about $200/gal.
BTW, AwlGrip (Marine finishes) will have product for exterior doors, but you are still going to redo every 5 years or so.
Lew
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OPPS!
That should read $100/ft and $150/ft, Not $1K/ft and $1500/ft.
Too quick on the send key.
Lew --------------------------------
wrote:

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