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RyanC's picture
Sealing wood for outdoor benchs
I’m in the process of making quite a number of live edge benches, these will be left outdoors What type of sealers, stains etc do you guys use or can recommend to increase longevity, inhibit mold, etc Thanks in advance!
RW Moore
RW Moore's picture
Ryan, I have used a variety of finishes including urethane, linseed oil, wood sealer/preservative on exterior benches and chainsaw carvings. The carvings get a lot of weather. My preference is MinWax Helmsman spar urethane satin finish. I am located in the Ottawa Valley where temperatures vary from -30c to +35c. I have found the product stands up well to to temperature, sunlight exposure, humidity and moisture. I usually apply three coats, sanding with 220 grit between the 2nd and 3rd coats. The product lasts 2 to 3 years before needing reapplication. There is also a product sold by Canadian Tire Armor Coat Spar Finish which is intended for application on boats and a number of marine varnishes available in both the US and Canada such as Epifanes which I am told is a very good product for exterior exposure. Epifanes is a bit more expensive.
RyanC's picture
Thanks RW, I have used the helmsman on some outdoor signs and it didn’t even cross my mind! I used to live down in that area briefly it’s a beautiful place, especially this time of year. I’ll take a look at the armour coat as well. Cheers!
r.garrison1's picture
I don't know if it is better or worse than any other finish, but I like linseed oil/turpentine to soak into the wood first, then if I really want to protect it, I use a urethane or spar varnish on top as a sealer. My thoughts are that the wood lasts better if it has some oil in it, but the surface coat protects best against weather.
Bill's picture
I wouldn't but anything on a bench that sits out side that could peel. The best finish I've used on bench's so far was a gal. of semi clear oil based stain I bought for $8 a discount store so far I've only put a second coat once in 5 or 6 years.
RyanC's picture
Thanks everyone. Sounds like I have some experimenting to do this weekend
DrakeHeyman's picture

I also usually use linseed oil and then varnish it. The bench has been standing for several years and looks great. I made it with my own hands and used simple tools. Now a friend asked me to make him such a bench, too, but I had little time, besides, I have long wanted to buy a router for woodworking. I really liked it, but since I am a small professional in this, I decided to read more about it on the forum and on the Internet and found a good article. I was able to make a bench for a friend much faster and save time on processing the material.
If suddenly someone needs it, then here is that article:

RyanC's picture

Thanks for the suggestions everyone I ended up trying half with some Thompsons i had left over and half with Linseed/varnish The benches worked great for the seating for our backyard wedding and so far through the winter are holding up well. Time will tell


Ps having some family helpers makes much quicker work!

Bill's picture
That's a lot of benches Ryan good job .
zenabartell's picture

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MORTICE's picture

I use for such purposes. You can try it. This product is suitable for all surfaces, mainly works efficiently with wood, and seals any texture well.
I work with different materials, and I use this putty if I need to seal or adjust something somewhere.
In the home, this product can also be helpful. It works similar to super glue, so you can apply it if necessary.
Has anyone besides me tried this?