All Replies on Outdoor Table Stain and Clearcoat

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Outdoor Table Stain and Clearcoat

by WoodMag
posted 09-28-2018 02:56 PM

5 replies so far

View LesB's profile


2201 posts in 3951 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

View WoodMag's profile


25 posts in 386 days

#2 posted 09-28-2018 05:15 PM

Thank you for the information.

It will not be in direct sunlight for 95% of the time. It’s going to be under a covered solid roof patio awning. However the late evening sun may beat down on it for about an hour.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2014 posts in 670 days

#3 posted 09-28-2018 06:09 PM

UV protection, eating surfaces, easy cleanup for outdoor table tops?

use the “search” feature as it is a topic that comes up regularly
with a hundred different answers. you just have to weed through them
and find what will work best for you in your climate.
avoid anything that says MINWAX on it – and you will be better off.
my favorite is Marine Spar Varnish for outside wood furniture items.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2014 posts in 670 days

#4 posted 09-28-2018 08:47 PM


-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View bilyo's profile


849 posts in 1610 days

#5 posted 09-29-2018 01:41 AM

I have a wood bench on my deck that is protected from the sun most of the time. I think it was 4-5 years ago I finished it with an exterior stain like you would put on your house or fence. This particular brand (Olympic) also had a clear coating much like Tompson’s Waterseal. I put two coats of that over the stain. It has held up very well so far. The finish is not glossy, but would probably be suitable for a table. If and when re-finish becomes necessary, it should be easy to re-do.

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