Best Exterior-grade Clearcoating? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 28 Old 01-13-2015, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Best Exterior-grade Clearcoating?

Yea yea yea, this isn't for a speaker, but I know you guys around here have the knowledge, so let me have it I am building two little bars that I want to waterproof and get a decent finish on. They will be in direct sunlight (for a couple hours a day), under my back deck. I have already stained and am just weighing my options right now.... I have a big can of Verathane I want to get rid of, but it isn't the exterior kind. I would love to use it if you guys think it will still be ok.

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post #2 of 28 Old 01-13-2015, 12:54 PM
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check a boat/marine shop wrt to exterior exposure products
my first best guess tho i haven't been painting lately is
Man O' War Marine Spar Varnish

i don't know it it is still made becasue of VOC issues, especially here in CA
but it may have been reformulated
I used quite a bit on boats in Huntington Harbor for select clients
it wont be cheap
the Valspar line comes to mind also
expect multiple thin coats at first and the usual drill for sanding, dusting
followed by 2 full coats

OTOH if you serve only scotch at the bar, you only need "scotchguard"

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post #3 of 28 Old 01-13-2015, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Haha, scotchy scotch scotch, here it goes down, down into my belly....

These bars are actually to surround my new spa, hence the waterproof, and a can imagine a whole smorgasbord of things will be placed on them. Expensive is not an option for this particular build as it will be temporary, needing to be removed if the house is sold or tub is moved. so just looking for something that will protect good enough in the elements, but not take me too far out of pocket

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post #4 of 28 Old 01-13-2015, 01:28 PM
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I second the Man o War and as it seems to be made by Valspar, I would check out the other product lines as well. My use has only been for spills and hosing stuff off, my main concern is the UV here in the Cali sun, not much rain.
http://www.valsparglobal.com/val/resident/manowar.jsp

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post #5 of 28 Old 01-13-2015, 01:31 PM
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if its that temporary,
Thompsons Water Seal line, maybe the exterior deck stuff . . .

.02

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What's wrong with shellac then poly ?
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post #7 of 28 Old 01-13-2015, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asarose247 View Post
if its that temporary,
Thompsons Water Seal line, maybe the exterior deck stuff . . .

.02
or just use what you got

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post #8 of 28 Old 01-13-2015, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
What's wrong with shellac then poly ?
Eh, nothing wrong with it really, but:

Quote:
because it is non-reactive, the finish will always soften or re-wet when exposed to alcohol.

shellac is excellent for sealing wood, knot holes and water driven stains...it is also an excellent primer for plaster and drywall...it has outstanding adhesion to both slick and porous surfaces and may be applied to dusty, chalky surfaces with good results. because shellac is so hard and brittle, it is generally not recommended for exterior use (except for spot priming) or in areas of high moisture or humidity (in high moisture areas the wood will expand and contract at a rate greater than the shellac can - therefore cracking and peeling may occur)...

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post #9 of 28 Old 01-13-2015, 02:11 PM
 
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You go over the shellac with poly bro... Three coats
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post #10 of 28 Old 01-13-2015, 04:42 PM
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Beast didnt we have this convo already? lol

I love shellac but there are always other things you can use. When i worked at Valspar I used to make myself UV paint all the time for my builds. That stuff is ridiculous to work with but is mainly used on bar tables in clubs and I have never had it ruined. Also that was years ago and while I love poly I always had to do about 7 layers or so and let it cure for about 30days before I could really go at it with fine sanders. Then came 2 pack. I tried the HD/Bunnings special and it worked pretty well but not great. Still had some air bubbles. Then I decided to try industrial 2 pac. bababbBAM

That is awesome stuff. I need to get some more for future builds but no air bubbles and easier to work with. No blowtorch needed. Some marine poly's I have used in the past have been ok also.

But lets hope some tags @PassingInterest and let him shed some light on the subject.
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post #11 of 28 Old 01-14-2015, 07:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
You go over the shellac with poly bro... Three coats
I would think the expansion of the wood in highly different temperature environments would still be an issue with shellac, perhaps a single coat wouldn't be too bad, but why not just run poly from start to finish?

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Beast didnt we have this convo already? lol

I love shellac but there are always other things you can use. When i worked at Valspar I used to make myself UV paint all the time for my builds. That stuff is ridiculous to work with but is mainly used on bar tables in clubs and I have never had it ruined. Also that was years ago and while I love poly I always had to do about 7 layers or so and let it cure for about 30days before I could really go at it with fine sanders. Then came 2 pack. I tried the HD/Bunnings special and it worked pretty well but not great. Still had some air bubbles. Then I decided to try industrial 2 pac. bababbBAM

That is awesome stuff. I need to get some more for future builds but no air bubbles and easier to work with. No blowtorch needed. Some marine poly's I have used in the past have been ok also.

But lets hope some tags @PassingInterest and let him shed some light on the subject.
Yes we definitely had this discussion with the Undertaker project, which ended up fantastic. There won't be much sanding on this one, other than in between coats of whatever I end up applying. I don't need, nor want, a mirror finish on this thing. This "bar" is literally a 2x10 and a 2x8 that I am mounting using L brackets on two edges of the spa in between the 6x6 deck supports. The wood was standard lumber from lowes, nothing special, so I am not expecting too much at all.

Blowtorch? Yea, I am definitely not going that in depth with this particular finish. I am sorry guys, I guess I should have labeled this thread: Going Cheap, think my Verathane will work on this? Haha

If the interior Verthane or similar really stands a chance to yellow/cloud over quickly then I absolutely won't use it, but if it will seemingly work at least decent for several years, then I will most likely just go with what I've got. When I finally get rid of this gallon, I will stop asking questions and use the good stuff...

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post #12 of 28 Old 01-14-2015, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
You go over the shellac with poly bro... Three coats
If the shellac is going to crack and peel in an exterior application, three coats of poly won't stop it. It's not like any of these finishes are completely impermeable and will block all absorption of moisture and humidity, temperature and sun, and associated expansion and contraction.

I think the OP would be best served by getting a proper outdoor finish. Marine finishes are apt to be the best, but most expensive.

What about some kind of outdoor furniture cover? That might be a reasonable way to offer extra protection. Hypothetical Amazon search: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...urniture+cover
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I've got a bar I built for my outdoor wedding reception in 2012 with only one or two sprayed on coats of poly and it's in great shape having been through three New England winters... Outside. If you don't expect 10+ years from it, just use poly.

I can post a pic if you want. Even the dance floor I built sitting in scrap pile looks ok on the poly side.
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post #14 of 28 Old 01-14-2015, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhodesj View Post
If the shellac is going to crack and peel in an exterior application, three coats of poly won't stop it. It's not like any of these finishes are completely impermeable and will block all absorption of moisture and humidity, temperature and sun, and associated expansion and contraction.

I think the OP would be best served by getting a proper outdoor finish. Marine finishes are apt to be the best, but most expensive.

What about some kind of outdoor furniture cover? That might be a reasonable way to offer extra protection. Hypothetical Amazon search: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...urniture+cover
Thanks I think you missed the part where this "bar" is just simply two pieces of lowes 2x10 spanning in between deck supports, not a standalone structure by any means I think I will just use some of that spar urethane or other exterior gloss finish stuff and call it. I am popping by lowes to see what they have local here, but I appreciate all the awesome suggestions.

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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
I've got a bar I built for my outdoor wedding reception in 2012 with only one or two sprayed on coats of poly and it's in great shape having been through three New England winters... Outside. If you don't expect 10+ years from it, just use poly.

I can post a pic if you want. Even the dance floor I built sitting in scrap pile looks ok on the poly side.
I think I saw one on the FB. If a few coats of poly can take a few NE winters, that is all I really need for this little project Thanks for the PM too, can;t answer at work, will do later this evening.

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post #15 of 28 Old 01-14-2015, 02:01 PM
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The best affordable exterior grade clear coat may very well be--paint base.

I happened across a web page years ago, where a guy experimented with untinted exterior house paint base as a clear coat for outdoor projects.

I didn't find it just now in a quick web search, so I'll go by memory as best I am able.

The paint-base for the darkest colors is clearest. The number for the darkest will be the highest. So, one brand would be paint-base 5. Another would be paint-base 4, whichever is the highest number for that brand.

The clearest untinted paint-base is not perfectly clear--it will have a slight hue to it--but should be unnoticeable if only a few coats are applied.

I recall that the guy said the pastel bases are not clear at all.

I remember that he used several different polys/varnishes on scrap pieces and one or two got the untinted paint-base and it was surprising how quickly the polys began to develop cracks when left out in his back yard.

As I recall, his reasoning was that outdoor paint-base is made for weathering and has UV protection built in and can flex a little with the wood--it is made for that, after all. And, it lasts longer than most other wood-coating solutions.

I wish I could give credit its proper due, but I don't know who he is.

If anyone finds that site, please post it here. I will add it if I find it.

Meanwhile, who's up for a little experimenting? Use some scrap, first.


Edit: I found this statement and many like it--"Epifanes Clear Gloss Varnish holds up well but also requires yearly attention to stay very nice outdoors."

A lot of people swear by Sikken’s, as well.

Saw a post recommending Bristol. I haven't used it myself. It's claimed to last 4-6 years.

Ready Seal is said to be a good performer on decks.

Last edited by PassingInterest; 01-14-2015 at 02:32 PM.
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post #16 of 28 Old 01-14-2015, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PassingInterest View Post
The best affordable exterior grade clear coat may very well be--paint base.

I happened across a web page years ago, where a guy experimented with untinted exterior house paint base as a clear coat for outdoor projects.

I didn't find it just now in a quick web search, so I'll go by memory as best I am able.

The paint-base for the darkest colors is clearest. The number for the darkest will be the highest. So, one brand would be paint-base 5. Another would be paint-base 4, whichever is the highest number for that brand.

The clearest untinted paint-base is not perfectly clear--it will have a slight hue to it--but should be unnoticeable if only a few coats are applied.

I recall that the guy said the pastel bases are not clear at all.

I remember that he used several different polys/varnishes on scrap pieces and one or two got the untinted paint-base and it was surprising how quickly the polys began to develop cracks when left out in his back yard.

As I recall, his reasoning was that outdoor paint-base is made for weathering and has UV protection built in and can flex a little with the wood--it is made for that, after all. And, it lasts longer than most other wood-coating solutions.

I wish I could give credit its proper due, but I don't know who he is.

If anyone finds that site, please post it here. I will add it if I find it.

Meanwhile, who's up for a little experimenting? Use some scrap, first.


Edit: I found this statement and many like it--"Epifanes Clear Gloss Varnish holds up well but also requires yearly attention to stay very nice outdoors."

A lot of people swear by Sikken’s, as well.

Saw a post recommending Bristol. I haven't used it myself. It's claimed to last 4-6 years.

Ready Seal is said to be a good performer on decks.

That is certainly one method I would not have thought of! Thanks PI! I ended up buying a quart of spar urethane earlier this evening that is supposed to hold up pretty well outside. I originally had the cabot in my hands but another gent in the isle suggested the helmsman so I went with that instead. We shall see how it all shakes out. If it stinks, I will go buy two more decks for $15 and see what else happens. I did a LOT of test panels with different polys and lacquers on the undertaker and while I still love the watco the best so far, I aint going that far on this particular project. That took solid WEEKS to get the finish I wanted with it, and I want these panels up by this weekend at the latest. I will post pics as I go along Thanks to all for the suggestions. Onward!!!!

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Pics brandon !
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post #18 of 28 Old 01-14-2015, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Pics brandon !
Well, here are the panels sanded and stained. Getting ready for the first coat in a second once the garage warms up to over 50 F so I can adhere to the 4 hour setting this stuff calls for. I want to get a sand at 220 and another coat in before I call it this evening.



I'm hoping I am good at polishing a turd because these boards needed some love to start with for sure....
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post #19 of 28 Old 01-14-2015, 03:50 PM
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Sikkens produces a high quality exterior finish.

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post #20 of 28 Old 01-14-2015, 05:24 PM
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Looks like you've already made your choice but this bar top epoxy says it's water proof and UV resistant so you can use it outside. bartopdiy.com
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post #21 of 28 Old 01-14-2015, 07:21 PM
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Looks like you've already made your choice but this bar top epoxy says it's water proof and UV resistant so you can use it outside. bartopdiy.com
If only stained Cetol Marine should do it (3 coats) for a clear, you could use one thick coat of polyester (marine)
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post #22 of 28 Old 01-14-2015, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks like you've already made your choice but this bar top epoxy says it's water proof and UV resistant so you can use it outside. bartopdiy.com
WHOA! Yea, they had some similar 2 part epoxy at Lowes that I was almost walking out the door with, but turned back after it said it could yellow over time.... My guess is it still would have looked incredible for many years. I want to get a kit to play with at some point, but their stock pics looked just like some on that page. Super sweet, THICK clearcoating is always fun!

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post #23 of 28 Old 01-15-2015, 06:44 AM
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WHOA! Yea, they had some similar 2 part epoxy at Lowes that I was almost walking out the door with, but turned back after it said it could yellow over time.... My guess is it still would have looked incredible for many years. I want to get a kit to play with at some point, but their stock pics looked just like some on that page. Super sweet, THICK clearcoating is always fun!
Normally epoxy won't handle the UV exposure but they must add some additive. Wooden boat builders have been using epoxy for a while now so it makes sense.

Yeah, I'm toying with the idea of adding a bar so I was looking at this stuff a little while ago. I'm pretty sure I saw a youtube video build of the very last example on the page. Very cool stuff. I don't think it's that hard to do. Actually Erich H did a subwoofer build using the stuff.
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I use Helmsman on my front entry door at home and it looks great as long as I apply a fresh coat once a year--it gets a lot of hot Texas sun. I actually saw a water-borne version of Helmsman in a Sherwin-Williams store once and would have bought some to try on a speaker project if they had gloss in stock, but they didn't.
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http://community.woodmagazine.com/t5...ects/ba-p/1657
@PassingInterest is this what you where thinking of?
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post #26 of 28 Old 01-15-2015, 10:43 AM
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That's it! Thank you for finding it and sharing it here for everyone to learn from it. Where's the thumbs-up icon? I guess I'll just go cool dude, instead.
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post #27 of 28 Old 01-15-2015, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PassingInterest View Post
The best affordable exterior grade clear coat may very well be--paint base.

I happened across a web page years ago, where a guy experimented with untinted exterior house paint base as a clear coat for outdoor projects.

I didn't find it just now in a quick web search, so I'll go by memory as best I am able.
PI - I believe you saw that suggestion in Wood magazine. A link to the article (with some follow-up) is here:
http://community.woodmagazine.com/t5...ects/ba-p/1657

Edit - well, that will teach me to press refresh before posting a response... :embarrassed:

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post #28 of 28 Old 01-15-2015, 04:23 PM
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BeerParty--Great to see you around still! And I'm the one that's embarrassed, because I couldn't even find the site I was looking for. You and manuetdeo showed me up!
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