Re: Minwax ClearShield or Helmsman Spar for Exterior door?

While they are both fine products, I would recommend LATEX paint over either product. The front door catches too much of everything including UV rays. Latex paint is about the only thing that will last for any period of time.
If the latex is too much to handle,
then the spar varnish is your varnish of choice for exterior.
(I did the stain and varnish thing 15 years ago... It now has a lovely color of latex covering the earlier mistake.)
Mark wrote:

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Not the exact help you're looking for - but I finished up an outdoor redwood bench some time ago. Put 3 coats of ClearShield over the wood - not over stain. I am impressed how well it's held up under the intense sun up here. ClearShield gets a thumbs-up vote, for protection, from me.
It did impart a "tint/tinge" to the wood - I'd strongly suggest you buy a small can and see if your stain maintains the lovely hue you desire!
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Mark, You have two 'basic' choices . . . depending if you want 'regular maintenance or 'low maintenance' as your end result.
Almost any 'clear' finish will need regular & periodic inspections & maintenance. It's easy to keep it looking good, but any failures in the finish MUST be 'caught' in time or it's a rapid down-hill slide. 'Stain - Epoxy - 2 to 6 coats of a UV additive Varnish' is what I consider a 'typical' Long Term & Easy Maintenance clear finish.
For a very forgiving, almost 'Zero Maintenance job . . . 2 to 3 coats of a good Latex.
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop {I just finished a 'temporary' main hatch from 3/8ths 'SuperPly' and 2 coats of ClearShield. The boat is on a mooring in the 'middle' of the Delaware River. Drop me a note around November, and I'll send you a photo of what it looks like after several months.}
PS: ClearSheild seems to be a 'short-oil' product . . . gets hard. SPAR varnishes are 'long oil' products . . . they NEVER really get 'hard'.

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I know that painting is the 'easy way out' but I just can't get myself to cover this beautiful clear oak with paint. I've priced 8/4 clear oak before and it just doesn't seem right to cover it like I would poplar. But ask me again in a year when it's time to recoat it.
{I just finished a 'temporary' main hatch from 3/8ths 'SuperPly' and 2 coats

Let me see if I got this right, Ron. Short oil is fine on something like a stable plywood hatch like yours. But long oil is best for my solid oak front door which is more likely to expand and contract with heat and humidity.
I will bug you this fall for that photo.
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Mark, I quite agree, about the beauty of 'clear finished' wood. Even when it is something as 'plan Jane' as Philippine Mahogany or the 'SuperPly' plywood.
For the 'Epoxy - Varnish' technique it may take one or two weeks {allowing for up to a week of 'cure' for the epoxy, and 24-hours between varnish coats} for the job to be completed. However, maintenance then becomes a simple matter of a light sanding and application of a slightly diluted coat of varnish {WHEN, depends on YOUR environmental conditions & amount of exposure}
Your almost correct about 'short oil' vs. 'long oil'. In the case of the hatch, it's not so much that it's stable, but that it will be 'handled'; taken off, folded, stowed, moved, etc. On a hot day, 'spar' could get soft enough to take fingerprints, allow 'tearing', stick to something, etc. That is also why I cringe when people talk about using 'Spar' for benches, or objects that will be sat upon during summer months. If you think having bare thighs 'stick' to a 'leatherette' seat in a bathing suit feels stupid . . .
It is also a 'test' of the ClearShield . . . MinWax claims UV protection, and Home Depot is a lot closer than a run to 'downtown Philly' if I need a quart - or don't want to use some of my 'Marine stock' for a 'Yard & Garden' project.
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop
SNIP

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