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Thread: pine outdoor furniture finishing

  1. #1
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    pine outdoor furniture finishing

    Hi, I want to build a bunch of outdoor deck furniture out of pine but I want to have a darker tone in the color (similar to cedar). Any suggestions on what to use? I was thinking a dark toned laquer?

  2. #2
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    Hi Michael, Pine would not be my choice for outdoor furniture. Some folks use Pressure treated wood I would choose a hard wood my first choice would be white OAK. I know that pine is cheaper but will not hold up out doors.

    BTW Welcome
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    As Don said, in most parts of the U.S. pine furniture is almost temporary. Not a good choice. If you are determined to build it, use deck stain for colorant. Much better choice would be cedar or treated pine.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  4. #4
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    Agree with Don on the wood choice.

    White (NOT RED!) oak and true mahogany (not Luaun) are both good outdoor woods, but are definitely pricier than pine.

    Pine doesn't weather well. Pressure treated pine works well, but is usually pretty rough, and it's usually wet, and needs to dry out for several months before you can stain or paint it.

    I wouldn't use lacquer for a finish, either. It wont hold up, on wood, outdoors. It'll craze and crack - and probably just peel off - after only a short while. A good quality Marine-Grade varnish is what you'll need. Epifanes is probably one of the best, but it sure is pricey! Minwax "Helmsman" spar urethane is readily available at Home Depot, etc., and will work well.

    Oh yeah, I see now that this was your first posting, so WELCOME ABOARD! We're a pretty helpful group overall, although you might not like all the advice we give...
    Jim D.
    Adapt...Improvise...Overcome!

    It seems to me that the whole premise of "Political Correctness," however well-intentioned it may be, runs the danger of uniform mediocrity becoming the norm.

  5. #5
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    If you are focusing on pine, I bet you haven't found a good lumber yard yet, and have been looking at one of the big box homes for unwanted, poorly dried, twisty wood. (Yes, I have a bias, based on years of trying).

    I suggest that you look for better wood. If you insist on using a borg, at least upgrade to cedar fencing and decking for your raw material. From a real lumber yard, my recommendation would be white oak (not red oak). Old growth cypress is great, but the new growth is not as good, but far better than pine. Or redwood. Or if you want 50 year furniture, and are ready to spend a lot of time building, try ipe. But not pine.

    Painted or stained outdoor furniture will need to be finished frequently - perhaps every year. Therefore you might want to focus on a wood that doesn't need to be finished at all - something that ages nicely without finish like cedar, redwood, teak, etc. The wood costs a little more up front, but when it lasts 10 times as long you will be glad.

    And Lacquer is an indoor finish. If you insist on finishing, use an exterior deck paint or a spar varnish, to have the flexibility to move with the weather.


    And Welcome to the forum
    Last edited by Charlie Plesums; 03-22-2012 at 10:24 PM.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  6. #6
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    Welcome to the Family, Michael.

    You've already gotten some good advice. My first thought, based on what you said, was that if you want it to look like cedar, then build with cedar.
    Bill Arnold - Website - ShopCam
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    Ignorance is only skin deep, but stupid goes all the way to the marrow!
    Live every day like it's your last, but don't forget to stop and smell the roses.

  7. #7
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    I built my first Muskoka chairs out of pine, finished with Behr deck stain, and they are still solid after five years or so. Subsequently I have used cedar, as it's not prohibitively expensive, and looks and holds up well.

  8. #8
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    Okay! Thanks everyone. You've all giving me some good advice before I go wood shopping. And thamks for welcoming me to the group!!

  9. #9
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    Not Pine of Noty Pine LOL
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

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