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varnish for treated lumber

Posted on 2010-01-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-08
hello there,
I am wondering what type of varnish do you guys recommend for my two month old outside table with treated lumber..
I went to lowes and purchased a varnish called (gloss spar varnish) by Cabot.. its transparent but the layer its really thin and im not really happy with the results, Im looking for something more heavy duty.. a quick search on google shows me this

http://www.rd.com/18081/article18081.html

http://www.insituconservation.com/catalog/product_info.php?name=ACRONAL%20500D&products_id=694

http://www.amcsupplies.com.au/catalogue/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=8_153

http://www.drillspot.com/products/324040/Krylon_K21121888-16_Vinyl_Acrylic_Latex_Paint

I dont know but Im looking to have a thicker layer.. like plastic/vinyl sorta on the surface so it can last many years.. what do you guys recommend? is there something economic that can do this?
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Question by:XK8ER
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 26207058
Sounds more like you want a polyurethane. Like a wood floor coating.
http://www.doityourself.com/stry/wfpolyurethane
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by:_
ID: 26207082
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by:XK8ER
ID: 26207121
I am also looking for something like that to paint the wooden floor of the back deck which is 8ft by 20ft but I would like to know if its resistant to scratches, like when you move the chairs or tables..
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 26207183
It's a little bit more resistant than a varnish or paint, since it is for flooring. But it is still a good idea not to drag anything heavy or ...ummmm... "sharp"... across it without some type of "footpad" on it. Rubber or leather pads work well, depending on whether you prefer items staying put or sliding easier. Strips of a small-pile carpet can be used, but they don't usually last as long.
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by:Tiras25
ID: 26212263
THickness does not...

correlate with protection. Most thicker finishes will blow right off because they tend to lay on the surface of the wood and only poorly penetrate. An oil finish would have been better, even though it would require renewing about yearly.

Since you've already varnished, you are basically stuck--can't really safely sand treated wood to get back to properly finish and there is little you can put on top of varnish that will do anything but screw up the varnish layer.

Figure on it getting ugly in a year or two and then re-finishing. You'll probably have to sand so get good protective equipment.

BTW, treated wood should have been used only on the ground contact surfaces, not the whole thing.
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by:aleghart
ID: 26212849
Varnishing a deck is a safety hazard.  If your guest doesn't die from a slip-and-fall...he/she will be more than a little angry.  A lawsuit waiting to happen in either case.

The table could have been made of cedar or redwood, which repels bugs, and does not contain the toxic chemicals used in treated lumber.  Also, if it's a "table", then you're not using full sections of lumber.  That means they're cut, and unprotected on the ends.  So, why bother with the treated lumber in the first place?

Tables, benches, and decks get the most abuse from sun and rain.  Varnish or polyurethane sealer won't work for mechanical and aesthetic reasons.  Accelerated weathering will physically destroy any film-forming finish (varnish, urethane, paint).  Warping, checking, and hot/cold changes will make the finish come off quickly.

A sealant is the recommended finish.  It should penetrate the wood and reject or retard water.  Reapplication _is_ necessary as part of maintenance.  But is sure beats sanding and scraping flaking paint.

If you only want the table to last for a few years (not worried about long-term maintenance), then you could have used a good primer and outdoor paint.  After the paint starts flaking 2-4 years from now...get a new table.

Problem with paint and varnish is toxic dust.  Also, in some jurisdictions, you can't throw the treated lumber in the trash or at the dump with regular trash.
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by:XK8ER
ID: 26212905
aleghart, what sealant do you recommend?
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aleghart earned 200 total points
ID: 26213027
I've used Thompson's Water Seal in the past.  Important to clean/prep the wood to get the best life out of anything.

In the case of an old deck, there was a prep stage that was basically a fancy way to bleach and clean the wood.  The sealant manufacturer will have prep products (kill mold or scrub wood, or combo product to do both).  Then you can use the sealer.
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