Reply by LesB

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Posted on Outdoor Table Stain and Clearcoat

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2154 posts in 3899 days

#1 posted 09-28-2018 04:11 PM

I would use an exterior grade polyurethane or spar varnish for the top coat (actually 3 coats sanding lightly between them).

Almost any stain will work under the finish except that I have noted that Danish oil looses it’s color quickly when exposed to sun. Also you are working with Pine which is notoriously difficult to stain evenly so you need to put some sort of pre-stain finish on to control the absorption of the stain. One of two coats of de-waxed clear shellac diluted to a 1# cut (dilute with denatured alcohol) should do it. Zinssers makes one called Sealcoat. It is a 2# cut out of the can. It drys very quickly depending on ambient temperature ….I’m talking less than 30 seconds at 70 degrees and an hour to add a second coat. I find it easiest to wipe it on with a cloth (and latex gloves); sand lightly between coats with 320 sand paper.

If it is continuously exposed to a lot of sunlight and or other elements it will need to be refinished every couple of years. Protect it between uses with a cover if you can. If you let it deteriorate to long you will end up stripping it for refinishing so put a new top coat on every couple of years. I see you are in Calif. so sun is you enemy there.

-- Les B, Oregon

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