LumberJocks

Redwood garden beds... tung oil or semi-transparent stain or ...?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by SoCalBonnie posted 07-17-2019 10:25 PM 222 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View SoCalBonnie's profile

SoCalBonnie

25 posts in 156 days


07-17-2019 10:25 PM

The Short Version: I want to extend the life of these redwood garden beds and keep them from turning gray. Would tung oil be a good choice? I’ve been reading here that most posters seem to like tung oil for outdoor furniture over urethanes, but what about semi-transparent stains, or teak oil?

The Long Version: My previous garden beds were cedar planks but after a couple of months they turned gray and in only six years they rotted completely. I just built these raised garden beds out of redwood and galvanized steel metal sheets in the hope they’ll last longer.

I also want to prevent the redwood from turning gray, either to keep the natural redwood color or darken it to a reddish brown.

My prior outdoor wood finish experience is 1 out of 3:

  • marine spar varnish on pallet wood table (one year and it began to peel)
  • water-based poly on pallet wood table after removing previous finish (no peeling after a year but the wood cracked)
  • second-hand teak patio furniture that was gray and mildewy after 20 years of neglect… after washing and sanding to a nice blonde color, I wiped it down with Watco teak oil. This turned it dark brown—but as it is now extremely water-resistant I think it’s worth the extreme color change—and way better than gray! But as I only did it last month I have no idea how well it will do in constant sun.

5 replies so far

View SMP's profile

SMP

1302 posts in 353 days


#1 posted 07-17-2019 11:49 PM

A lot of options out there. I have found that whatever i use the main thing is you have to redo it once a year or two. Have had good luck with penofin products as well as behr semi transparent wood stain. Lately i just buy whatever is cheaper as i need to redo it regularly anyways. If you go to Home Depot and get the behr semi transparent they carry a stock color Redwood Natural tone, that when applied regularly will keep a nice reddish orange tone on redwood.

View SoCalBonnie's profile

SoCalBonnie

25 posts in 156 days


#2 posted 07-18-2019 01:38 PM

Thanks, SMP… I actually looked at that redwood color Behr semi transparent wood stain.

Which is the least work in reapplying yearly? I mean, do you have to remove or sand the semi-transparent wood stain before reapplying? (I read that you only have to brush on the oil without removing/sanding first, just washing it down.)

And for your money/efforts, do you think the semi-transparent stain offers the same kind of moisture protection that an oil does?

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

10207 posts in 1586 days


#3 posted 07-18-2019 01:56 PM

I used General Finishes 450 on these Walnut tables:

They were on my in-laws deck all year last year and this spring, I cleaned them and quick sanded with some 220 and put another couple of coats on. So far I see no signs of damage to the wood and it still retains it’s natural color. Or close to it anyway. The finish may darker some woods to some degree and sun will always take a toll. But, I wouldn’t hesitate to use this same finish on anything else I build to go outdoors.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View SMP's profile

SMP

1302 posts in 353 days


#4 posted 07-18-2019 03:29 PM


Which is the least work in reapplying yearly? I mean, do you have to remove or sand the semi-transparent wood stain before reapplying? (I read that you only have to brush on the oil without removing/sanding first, just washing it down.)

And for your money/efforts, do you think the semi-transparent stain offers the same kind of moisture protection that an oil does?

- SoCalBonnie

That’s kind of why I like the cheap semi transparent stain. I just buy a disposable 1/2” nap roller cover (3/4” nap if using rough/resawn), and slap a new coat on real quick and toss the roller. If there is piled up dirt/mud I will spray it down first with a hose and let dry, but if its just normal dirty I just roll right over and let the new stain “wash” it. Of course if it was nicer furniture, I would do something like Ken posted, but I wouldn’t waste the time on something structural/utilitarian.

View SoCalBonnie's profile

SoCalBonnie

25 posts in 156 days


#5 posted 07-18-2019 04:26 PM

HokieKen, those tables are way nicer than my garden beds and deserve the best quality finish… unlike my garden beds… which I consider to be more like, shop furniture!

SMP, that’s exactly what I’m looking for. Something quick and easy and cheap that will keep these beds presentable with the least amount of effort.

Thanks to both of you!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com