fixing an outdoor bench...

I have a park bench I originally did up in Minwhacks Homelessman Spar Crappythane. It's a cast iron and mystery oak-like Asian hardwood deal. After a year, the poly started to split a bit, and some cracked areas started to get black and cruddy looking. I sanded and re-coated.
A year after that, the finish started to go all to hell, and I decided to just leave it. Now it's about four years later. 78% of the poly has flaked off, and the wood underneath has weathered to a uniform splintery gray.
Now that I have scrapers, I started scraping on it today, and I discovered I can get the wood back to its former un-weathered look pretty easily if I want to. I took the bench completely apart, and I'm trying to make up my mind what to do from here.
I'm considering:
* wire brush the powder coated cast iron bits, then shoot with Rustoleum or equivalent green spray paint; re-coat the wood bits with some quality weather-resistant clear coat like a true boat varnish or epoxy or something
* wire brush the powder coated cast iron bits, then gob on some kind of old fashioned toxic oil based green paint with a brush; paint the wood bits a contrasting color, maybe cream/ecru/almond to preserve the contrast between wood and metal, but provide a finish that wears better and is easier to repair
* ask the Wreck for advice
I still haven't gotten it completely apart. I painted poly into the screw holes, and I can't get two of the brass machine screws back out of it. The back was pre-assembled with stainless steel screws, and half of them were ruined by whatever shot them in there. I'm going to have to hacksaw two of the machine screws, and maybe dremel some slots into these screws to get them back out. Whee.
Getting back down to pretty looking wood and clear coating is tempting, but only if I can actually come up with something sustainable to preserve the color and woodliness of the thing. Otherwise opaque paint is sounding like a plan.
This damn thing weighs 300 pounds, and even the disassembled pieces of it are hard to carry around. I'd like to fix it once and come up with something that's easy to keep up, so I can leave it where it sits until my great grandchildren are out of college or so.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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Oh please stop putting all this energy into this. The wood is probably a very resilient timber e.g. teak.and will look blend in with your garden much better with a weathered look. All the polyblip does is pollute your garden and the environment. My customers buy the furniture i build because it ages to its natural finish. Go and play with your grandchildren. Do you want them to remember you as a frustrated bench repairer.
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Trying to keep the wood smooth and looking like new is going to be a constant job if the bench is kept outside. 3 or 4 years ago I rebuilt 3 of these type benches and used Ipe. With Ipe like any other wood it will fade to a grey color but you will never have to deal with a rough finish or treat it in any way. Outside life expentency untreated is about 50 years.
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That may be the approach I'll need to take for mine. I redid it once, like Silvan, and it lasted a year, and looked so crappy that my wife made me do it again before one of our son's wedding two summers ago. I cheated and used shellac, knowing it would last exactly long enough to get through the wedding.
Ipe, or some other tropical, seems like a plan. I don't think I really want to sand the mystery wood again.
Patriarch
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Though not as rigid or unique as wood, a product like Trex decking will last a long time without maintenance. It can be had in 5 colors or so and is available in 3/4", 5/4, and 2x thickness and several widths. Trex will need supported about every 16" or so to avoid a flimsy seat. --dave

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I like the Rustoleum on the metal. It is truly a good outdoor paint! Paint on the wood is effective, provided you do all the prep work and primer. I use CWF on my outdoor furniture and I sand/recoat every other spring. You will have to do some maintenance whatever finish you choose.
On Wed, 09 Feb 2005 02:13:33 -0500, Silvan

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