I have a door from my kitchen to the deck. It had been an ordinary wood
with a clear finish. It opened outwards. When it rained I would leave the
door open. For years the finish was fine. Then I upgraded to a mahogany
door. Whatever finish the fellow put on blistered on the outside in a year.
And I haven't left this door open in the rain at all.
So what is the most lasting finish? Thinking like a boater I would think
that spar varnish would be good. But that was years ago. So what should I
Don <www.donwiss.com> (e-mail link at home page bottom).
I would not recommend spar varnish. Everywhere I've used it or seen
it used, it turned yellow and peeled off within months.
I don't even really know what a 'spar' is, but I guess when you're
floating around in the ocean you pass the time by stripping and
On 24 Apr 2007 09:52:28 -0700, The Reverend Natural Light
:I would not recommend spar varnish. Everywhere I've used it or seen
:it used, it turned yellow and peeled off within months.
:I don't even really know what a 'spar' is, but I guess when you're
:floating around in the ocean you pass the time by stripping and
I used to work quite a bit on boats, new and used. It was the late
1970's, so I don't know if things have changed, but spar varnish was
superceded as the longest lasting clear wood finishing by polyurethane
varnish. Remove the old finish, sand well, sand fine, remove dust, apply
a minimum of 2 coats (absolute minimum is 2, 3 or more preferred) of the
finish following the instructions.
:> I have a door from my kitchen to the deck. It had been an ordinary wood:> with a clear finish. It opened outwards. When it rained I would leave the:> door open. For years the finish was fine. Then I upgraded to a mahogany:> door. Whatever finish the fellow put on blistered on the outside in a year.:> And I haven't left this door open in the rain at all.
:> So what is the most lasting finish? Thinking like a boater I would think:> that spar varnish would be good. But that was years ago. So what should I:> use?
:> Don <www.donwiss.com> (e-mail link at home page bottom).
I didn't see the original post, but if you want to coat exterior lumber,
my recommendation is "Sikkens". It's a two part affair, and subsequent
coats use only part 2 which is essentially a UV protector. It is not
cheap, but for most homes, labor costs exceed product costs and you
benefit by going longer between re-coats. I used it here over clear
DO NOT USE SIKKINS!!! It is pure shit. Unless it's recoated every couple
of years it peels.
Expensive as hell. Expensive top quality paint is half the price and
lasts many years.
The reason it's a 2 coat process is because it is shit. When it first
came out there was no UV coat. Seeing as it peeled they came up with a UV
coat. Imagine that. Make a product that costs 2x and because it's shit
they sell you another product fo fix their fuck up. Sikkins is a joke.
I personally stripped a large house that had that crap on it. Began
peeling in a few years. Recoated it. In a few yrs peeling again. Rep came
out and says UV is doing that and we have a UV topcoat now. Actually
tried to convince me to buy it. Told him to pack it.
Stripped my house, primed and painted with top quality paint. What a
chore. But I wasn't doing it every 3 years afterwards.
Another neighbor took his siding off and reversed it rough side out his
was peeling so bad.
Builder who originally put it on my house (and other houses of the era)
now refuses to put it on any house he builds. Does not want houses that
look like shit from the curb attached to his name.
Sorry you have had such a bad experience with Sikkens. I've been using
it here on an 8000 sq. ft. home and my results have been excellent. I
find I have to recoat the south side every 3 years, the east and west
sides every 6 years and I've never had to recoat the north side (over 8
years now). I started about 15 years ago. My latest recoat of the
south side was 2 years ago. No evidence at all of peeling.
Yes, it is. It cost me over $40/gallon 2 years ago, but the labor is
considerably more. It is not paint - it should not be compared to
paint; it should be compared to transparent stains or varnish. It has
proven (to me by actual testing going back 20 years) superior to Olympic
which was the best brand I tried prior to testing.
It has always been a 2 step process. The original stuff that I bought
consisted of something they called Cetol which was designed to penetrate
the wood and yet breathe. The second and third coats were called Cetol
23 which were designed primarily as UV protection.
No question that paint requires less maintenance. That's less
maintenance than ANY stain or varnish. It all depends upon what you want
Well, mine is vertical t & g siding. The good side is smooth; the
reverse side is rough. It is blind nailed with stainless steel hog
nails through the groove and it would be almost impossible to remove it
without destroying it. For what I paid for it, there is no way I'm
going to paint it.
The original coating I had was less than satisfactory. The company,
however, gave me the new stuff for free. Since then, I've had extremely
good luck with it.
Maybe that's it. My house was too small. Just what was the purpose of
mentioning outrageous sf of your home anyway?
Like you said, it all depends upon what you want to see and what you are
willing to pay for it. Just me personally. Anything that costs that much
I don't want to do maintenance every 3 yrs and I rarely hire anybody to
Never used Olympic so you're the personal expert on this one.
Cetol rings a bell. It still peeled. The marketing at the time was
recoating was only necessary like every 5 yrs or so if I recall some 2
decades ago. The marketing was also hyping up it was used in
Sweeden/Norway or something. What the hell was so special about
Sweeden/Norway I have no idea. I mean we get nasty winters of up to 30
Glad it worked out for you. People around here at the time, in various
areas with various builders, took the pooper poking.
Simply to indicate that the product was used over large areas. My home
is hardly a McMansion and, since I built most of it myself, doesn't
represent a large amount of money. What was the purpose of your using
the obscenity quoted above (and used with others sprinkled liberally
throughout your post)?
I think the reason they mention Sweden and Norway is because the
climates in both of those countries tends to be extreme. They get
winters in excess of -30 Fahrenheit. For that matter, so do we here in
Colebrook, NH. I've seen -46 degrees F.
My experience differs from yours, that's all.
Guess it's just the way I yak in certain arenas on certain subjects. Still
mild compared to much of the crap on TV these days and that damn hip-hop.
Used to be the word "sucks" in media meant fines/jailtime.
Not directed at you personally. Sorry you took it that way.
Yep. Your experience is more current so maybe more representative of the
current product. OP will probably give it more weight in the final
Go to a real paint store with this question. I use Sherwin Williams
but you should use whoever seems knowledgable in your area. Look for
experience behind the counter. Avoid the Big Box when buying paint.
You need a very high quality exterior rated varnish or polyeruathane
for something in the sun all the time. It won't be cheap but you
won't need much.
I have the same problem that you have in that I have garage doors,
east facing, and a main door, south facing. Each year I have to renew
the varnish. I use the Minwax ClearShield stuff you get at home depot.
It is about $US 10 for a small can.
It works O.K. but I would love to know of a clear varnish that will
last longer than 1 year. The ClearShield I use shows cracks in the
wood after a year ....
The only way I have found to do this is to use a storm door. On the
back of the house (north facing) I have a glass storm door over the
wood door. This wood door never needs any fixing. Looks the same as
ever. I guess that glass just cuts down all the UV.
Warmest regards, Mike.
Northern exposure never sees any sun and therefore never sees direct
exposure to ultra-violet. My experience years ago with boats leads me
to conclude that there is no varnish which will last more than a year.
That's why I use Sikkens, but Mr. Bundy thinks differently.
I think you shouldn't consider varnish at all. A good coating of
varnish requires the wood be properly constituted, and if it is oily
(your replacement mahogany door may very well have been oily) or wet,
you will not get a lasting surface. Further, every varnish I have seen
in many years requires multiple coats (at least two, often as many as
eight), and it sounds like most of the posters here are trying to get by
with a single coat. Incidentally, spar varnish is designed for use on
the spars of a sailboat (such as the mast), where there is not a lot of
traffic. It is softer, and will not last in places where there is a lot
of traffic. I used spar varnish on my exterior doors with very good
results, but that was with multiple coats. I used it because I had some
already that I had used on a boat. UV is no longer a problem, as modern
varnishes include UV protection, but one should check the label to be sure.
I think you would do better with a stain that includes UV protection.
They are easy to apply and I have never seen one peel, however, they do
require re coating periodically.
Any clear exterior finish should be viewed as temporary, and renewed
periodically. Paint is longer lasting, but even the best paint will
eventually require replacement.
Don Wiss wrote:
I won't deny that some of the older varnishes did yellow, but modern
ones do not, unless they are designed to.
Your technique appears to be somewhat lacking. You clearly forgot to
sand between coats, and pouring thick coats of varnish is a recipe for
failure. One can easily understand why so many applications succeed,
while your's fails. But I still think varnish is not an appropriate
external finish for a home, other than those few locations, such as a
door, where it can be properly applied and maintained.
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