I made a bunch red oak window trim (stools, headers & all that). I
just have a couple of aprons to make and finishing is upon me. I tried
some shellac on a scrap as well as some water-based varathane. It goes
without saying that the shellac looks much better. But I'm concerned
about durability and, especially, the effect of condensation on the
For those of you who think I'm talking shit, "stool" is the technical
term for the piece of trim that goes on top of a window sill.
What would you do? Any specific experiences you've had? or other
Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address
Shellac is a No-No in the direct exposure of the sun. Mix with that, a
little condensation? No-no-no-no. Spar varnish, there are many brands
that carry a poly blend that they will label as Spar varnish. I've used
this on boat hulls when I knew the boat would be removed from the water
daily. Shellac will not perform like this. Shellac will crack, give up,
flake off and die. Go look at an old house with shellac window trim or
an old tool handle like a handsaw handle or a plane tote. My boat
finish is over 2 years old now. There are some funky spots but it's
mostly wear and damage from use that your average window trim will
Tom in KY, where the river banks are mud and rocks, driftwood and
submerged steel. And I seem to find it all. Then I proceed to track it
all over the top of my boat.
I'll second the spar varnish idea. I did all of the trim in my daughters
room 7 years ago. the trim is the original (100+year old) gereic white
softwood (spruce, pine, whatever). I liked the idea of the warm color of
garnet lac, but ended up using spar varnish because of the expected sun and
it still looks great.
Ayup. Long-oil varnish with UV inhibitors is best, second would be a
linseed-based Danish oil of some sort. The linseed will amber and mellow
things out, while giving a flexible film. Easily fixed compared to spar.
I've done miles of red oak trim and doors with a coat of Sealcoat and
two coats of Waterlox Original, Pratt & Lambert, or my favorite, Sherwin
Williams fast dry oil based varnish.
All of it, including some very wide window sill shelves are doing well.
The Sealcoat adds a touch of golden color that's very nice.
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