Exterior Finishes

by Patrick Harper - Blood, Sweat, and Sawdust

I’m always reluctant to finish exterior projects that go out to customers. The reason being that nothing lasts for ever in the harsh light of the sun. The amount of maintenance required is often far greater than the customer is willing to endure. Even the best marine varnishes might only last a year or two in direct sunlight.

In light of that, a recent customer requested that I finish a pair of Adirondack chairs. I did my homework and determined that Epifanes Marine Varnish was my best bet. Although expensive, It was easy to apply and includes some of the best UV inhibitors on the market. The results were excellent. The chairs look great and the customer was happy. Only time will tell how long the finish holds up. Fortunately for the customer, the chairs are mostly shaded throughout the day. Here are the results:

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I thinned the finish with normal mineral spirits, and thinned per the directions. I got better results with a foam brush, due to the thick nature of the finish. I ended up applying about 7 coats, lightly sanding between each.