EXTERIOR Finish

Leo Voisine

Member
Messages
4,325
Location
East Freeetown, Massachusetts
I have a customer that want an outside sign made out of white oak. Reason for "wood" is that he wants something attractive for his business in a nautical area.

He wants the sign "V" grooved with painted letters. The background wood needs to have some protective coating on it.

I am old school and worked in boat yards back in the 70's so, there may be new stuff out there. I will visit a few marine supply stores around here to inquire. We have LOTS of those stores.

This IS a coastal area and we DO get salt air and ocean storms.

Anyway - Do you guys have any thoughts?

My first thought is something like Epiphanes Spar Varnish.
 

Bill Arnold

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
8,171
Location
Thomasville, GA
Teak might be a better choice than white oak and is used in a wide variety of marine applications.

In either case, spar varnish is the way to go.
 

Rennie Heuer

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Messages
10,285
Location
Constantine, MI
Any film finish will break down, degrade, and peel with time. It's the UV that kills a film finish, not the water and salt. I've read up on this lately and I'm trying out Osmo oil finish. It is an oil and soaks into the wood. It does not form a film. Tests I've seen show it to be superior to spar varnish in that regard.
 

Leo Voisine

Member
Messages
4,325
Location
East Freeetown, Massachusetts
There is a marine supply store in Rhode Island called Jamestown Distributers.

They sell a brand - "Total Boat" It is a Marine Spar Varnish. Label claims UV protection. I just looked on my shelf of finishes and sure enough, The "other" Leo that used to be here bought a can and gave it to me. It's brandy new and unopened. I know that Total Boat is good stuff. What a nice guy.

I watch this guy a bit. Reminds me of my days working in the boat yards. He does a pile of videos for boat building and finishing. He is a local guy. Right here in New England. I could go meet him if I wanted to.

 

Mike Stafford

Member
Messages
966
Location
Coastal plain of North Carolina
I have never made any signs but I do make full-sized turned birdhouses. I finish them with many coats of Waterlox. I keep applying it until it no longer soaks in and is forming a film finish. It has lasted on my birdhouses for 15-20 years. The wood gets dirty from exposure but can be washed with soap and water then hosed off which I do each fall. Waterlox is not cheap but it is a very good and long lasting finish.

The birds must like it because they move in every year.

IMG_0815 6X4 (1000 x 667).jpg
 

Leo Voisine

Member
Messages
4,325
Location
East Freeetown, Massachusetts
White Oak is generally used in framing in boats. Planking was generally Cedar and Mahogany. Teak would be used on Decking, sometimes in cabinets. Spanish Cedar is also used in boat cabinets.

I am OLD school and my information is 1970's info. What new technologies are there today, mmmm - I dunno. For instance, back in my day fiberglassing was done with HIGHLY flammable resins and one needed a gas mask to use it. NOW - West systems has a non flammable 2 part epoxy resin that you can use indoors. I used it - works great.
 

Ryan Mooney

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Messages
6,655
Location
The Gorge Area, Oregon
That Waterlox may be worth a look.

It is pretty tough, I use it on brewery taster trays and it's lasted 6 years at one and only started to look a smidge shabby after 8 years at another. Those get used really hard with nasty cleaners and sanitizers on them not to mention the customers.. and staff.

I'm not sure how much UV protection it has, my experience has been 90% indoors and it does yellow more than some other finishes (most of the spar varnishes do as well though).
 
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