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Hello all!

I've been making Adirondack chairs for a while but have never painted them. I now have a couple of people that want some chairs painted in bright colors. Fine. But can you put a spar varnish over latex paint? These will be subjected to harsh mountain sun/snow in NM.

Thoughts?
 

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What are you trying to achieve? Urethane varnishes are really bad in high UV environments, and there are better coatings for chairs than latex paints (if you refer to wall paint type products). I would use a good exterior 100% acrylic paint, probably over a good oil based primer. That will be about as durable as anything you can apply. These are sometimes referred to as "latex" paint, so look for the 100% acrylic part.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. So, just use a good exterior paint and call it good? And, yes, I was referring to exterior paints.

I've used Helmsman Spar Varnish on outdoor furniture before without any issues. Is it not a good idea to apply something like that over an "exterior" paint?
 

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If you've used Helmsman outside without issues, you ma be one of 2-3 folks that have had success doing so. But there's no real reason to top coat an exterior paint with anything else, by definition it's made for that purpose. There is a real reason not to coat it with an oil based varnish (besides the varnish ultimately failing by peeling/flaking/cracking). It will yellow fairly quickly, and may have an immediate impact on the bright colors your customers want. So….yes, use the exterior paint and call it good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'll sure heed the advice and it's greatly appreciated!

Regarding the Helmsman, I've used it on a number of pieces without issues. Granted they have all been either natural or stained but other than reapplying every two years or so it has been great. What would you recommend using to seal natural or stained wood for outdoor applications?
 

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For an outdoor finish - NO clear coats beat exterior latex of outdoor acrylic paint.

For Varnished wood - you are refinishing every other year.

Think of how often you have to repaint your house. FWW tested outdoor finishes, and paint is #1 by HUGE margin. The pigment blocks all of the uv from the wood. So the UV blocker in the paint merely keeps the finish looking good.

Clearcoat will always be inferior for protection. Best they had in FWW #205 was Epifanes +epoxy basecoat.
 
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