Outdoor Furniture


I have a cypress porch swing that has been unfinished up to this point. I want to finish it with a clear protective finish, but it has started to mildew on one end. What is a safe way to remove the mildew without doing damage to the wood? I have cleaned mildew from my house with bleach in a garden sprayer, but I don't know if that would be a good idea on raw wood. I'm also interested in suggestions for clear finishes. I have been thinking about using a coat of Minwax ployshades followed by two coats of spar urethane. Any other ideas? I'd like to go with a sort of honey-pine color.
Thanks,
Charlie
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Charlie Mraz wrote:

It (the bleach) will work fine, just be sure to rinse and dry <thoroughly>. If there's some aging or staining, you may want to try some oxalic acid to renew original color before finishing as well. Follow directions carefully.
That'll work as a finish...I've used a lot of the Minwax wipe-on finish over the years but have no direct experience w/ their varnishes. For such an appliation be sure the varnish has UV inhibitors (as any decent "spar" varnish will, of course).
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The clorox water is what you need to clean it up.
I would NOT use polyshades since that it a indoor poly.
Cypress does fine with nothing but if you "insist" on a finish, look at the MANY deck finishes available at the home centers. They come in MANY colors and most can be tinted to whatever you like.
Any oil based stain would be superior to anything else.
Watco also offers a "outdoor finish" that is quite good but must be reapplied every year or two. This is true of almost any finish outdoors other than latex paint, which is another good option.

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I agree with using an oil based finish. Some woods like cedar, and if I am not mistaken, cypress would be similar to cedar, contain natural oils in them that can cause urathane finishes to peel away. There are several good oil finishes that have UV protection in them, which is all you really need for cypress since it will hold up just fine on it's own to the elements. Sikens (sp?) and cabot both make high quality products. Also try Penofin.
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