Can someone suggest a durable finish for wooden doors in a tropical
The doors of our house in Costa Rica cannot keep a finish for more than few
months. The original owner said they "mahogany" and originally "varnished"
(I quote because I am not 100% sure she was correct). When the varnish
refused to stay they sanded it off an put on an oil based stain. They were
newly oiled last October and by June much of the oil was gone. I might or
might not find out what they are using.
There are a total of 29 custom made exterior doors (really. The house was
built to be completed opened up - possible in a climate where many of the
restaurants don't have walls.) Replacing that many doors would be
The thing that eats finishes is UV...the sun. If something gets sun through
much of the day you will be lucky to get six months from a clear finish.
I had a sailboat in Hawaii for many years. The main mast carried a yard...a
horizontal spar. Varnish on the top of the yard would be gone in six
months; the bottom of the yard was good for a couple of years.
If you want a shiny finish about the best you can do is an alkyd varnish -
not spar - with an UV inhibitor. If you don't want shiny, tung or plain old
boiled linseed oil will work for a few months. In either case, they will
have to be maintained; in the case of oil, another coat applied at regular
intervals; in the case of varnish, sanding lightly and recoating at the
*first* signs of deterioration (dulling). Fortunately, you live somewhere
where laborers are plantiful and inexpensive.
If you want a finish that will last longer without maintenance, paint - not
stain - will.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.