Finish Cedar for Outside?


Building a sand box out of red cedar this weekend. Its there a way to finish it so that it doesn't turn brown and dingy and stays "freshly cut" looking. Exterior poly with UV protection or something.
Any tips out there?
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Helmsman Spar poly will help. It may eventually break down anyway, but that will prolong it.
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Thanks for the suggestion. Picked up some Helmsman Spar Poly at Home depot today.

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Oohh...I'd not use that. Hope I'm in time here...
Spar varnish is simply varnish with a little bit more elasticity to it. That way it can bend in the breeze when used on ships masts etc...
But most people with boats don;t use actually varnish anymore. It's a nice vanish, and it has a look that's extremely hard to duplicate (and "spar poly" has tried, but failed", but bottom line, it's a pain in the butt to maintain. So the boating public has adopted a product called Cetol.
Now there's marine Cetol ($$$$$) and "fence and outdoor project" Cetol (not so much $$$$). I'd hunt it down and use it instead. I think you'll be much happier and you won;t be looking at a peeling sandbox in a couple of years.
Good luck! Rob
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http://www.robswoodworking.com

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Somebody wrote:
>Thanks for the suggestion. Picked up some Helmsman Spar Poly at Home
>depot today.
PLEASE, don't confuse ANYTHING you find at Home Depot or equal as a quality marine finish.
It is nowhere close.
As Rob Stokes suggested, you will not be happy with spar varnish, even the $35/qt stuff which is what decent spar varnish costs.
SFWIW, no matter what you use to try to protect Cedar, you will not be happy unless you want to refinish every couple of years depending on where you live.
Might consider giving au natural some serious consideration.
HTH
Lew
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There are various kinds of oil stain treatments that will help.
google for what's available for ceder _siding_ for possibilities.
I've had real good luck with 'Rez' brand (Pittsburgh Paints) Cedar stain on redwood house siding. It may be too 'opaque' for what you're looking for though.
The nice thing about it is that 're-treatment' -- at 15+ year intervals, in my situation -- is simply wash it clean, let dry, and "wipe on, wipe off". Took a day and a half, for the entire house. one afternoon to wash, and the real work the next day. Most of the time was spent moving the scaffolding <grin>
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You neighborhood cats thank you.
Alternating wet sand and hot sun is going to create a condition that even long-oil varnishes can't cope with. Then there's the joy of trying to recoat something with all that sand around....
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