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Finish for cypress

642 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  1thumb
Making some deck chairs that will be on a porch and never get wet or be exposed to direct sun.

I've tried Waterlox and it looks ok.

What have you used or recommend? Is Cypress any different than other woods?
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Cypress is a very weather resistant wood and should hold up well outdoors. Even though they will not be exposed to sun or rain, I would be inclined to use an exterior finish of some sort. If you want the grain to show then you can use a stain and a good spar varnish. You could also use an exterior oil or a deck stain.
If they really won't be exposed to the elements at all, then almost anything will be fine. I made a set of Adirondack chairs last year out of cypress, and used Total Boat Halcyon. But mine are outside all year long. Great results, but it may be more than you need.
I built a cypress chair about 15 years ago that has been exposed to the elements. All of the chair except for the seat and back had a black stain applied and then i sprayed 3-5 mil coat of acid catalyzed conversion varnish on the whole thing. It has held up really well. Its still one of the most used chairs on our porch.
I have not tried Waterlox but film (resin) finishes are generally not a great idea outdoors because the film inevitably cracks letting moisture underneath and trapping it there causing mildew. Once that happens, the only way to refinish usually requires stripping off the old finish. Being out of the sun and rain will help extend the life and reduce the chances of water infiltration and mildew but since the wood moves, cracking will eventually happen. Often it cracks at the joints first. The best option. IMO, is a simple penetrating oil finish that can be easily refreshed without stripping when it starts to look a little drab. They are often called things like Teak oil or penetrating oil finish but there are others as well.
+1 for Lazyman's method.

Teak oil is a combination of oils and dryers so it cures faster than linseed or tung oil. One coat should do it unless is really soaks in but wipe down after with a cloth after a second coat to avoid surface build. There are numerous types of oils combinations out there that would also work. Should it start to look bad after a few years you can clean it with a teak cleaner or oxalic acid and apply more oil.

Evidently you're supposed to let Cypress breath, leave some wood raw
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