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Protecting a Teak Sign from the elements

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Forum topic by woodshaver Tony C posted 02-17-2020 03:40 AM 749 views 0 times favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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woodshaver Tony C

7365 posts in 4033 days


02-17-2020 03:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: teak finish question teak

My son has an oval Teak sign that was lettered on a CNC machine and we need to know the best finish to protect it from the elements.

Also any suggestions on how to enhance the letters would be appreciated.

I made the oval plaque using a elliptical jig that I made. I sent the plaque to our son in NC so his friend could do the CNC lettering.

The sign is 3/4” X 19 3/4” W X 14 3/4”H In the center is a graphic of a fire pit with logs. Some flame colors would look good there I’m thinking.

Any help would be appreciated.
.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!


41 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

118016 posts in 4257 days


#1 posted 02-17-2020 03:53 AM

Hi Tony
The best finish for outdoors is teak oil it’s the best solution because you can renew it periodically instead of trying a poly that won’t hold up for more than 6 months-year that has to be sanded off. Even Charles Neil found this out when he put what was suppose to be a new long term outdoor poly on 30 adirondack mahogany chairs that ended up having to be taken to a striper less than a year later and then having Teak oil applied to them.

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

3894 posts in 1500 days


#2 posted 02-17-2020 04:04 AM

The finish, I’ll leave to the “experts” as far too many suggestions have been made to me in the past and all have flaked more than me on cheap vino.

To enhance the letters, I use Timbermate wood filler (ebony)... now I’m not by any way suggesting you come to Australia and buy some, however, there imust be some Yankee-Land equivalent…

I fill it in and sand, more filling and sanding till it’s level with the timber surface…


watch sanding as a soft sander pad will depress the lettering leaving shadows… and there’s nothing worse than a dark shadow (if you use ebony).
Then use whatever someone convinces you is the best outside element protection... then a few months later go to the next suggestion… then the next…. etc. (you get my drift)!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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woodshaver Tony C

7365 posts in 4033 days


#3 posted 02-17-2020 04:21 AM

Jim, I used some poly on some outdoor furniture once and the finish didn’t take long to peel off. No way I would do that again.

So I guess Teak oil is the best way to go. I would like to paint the letters and the fire pit also. Maybe someone will chime in on the steps to take for that. John Smith on another forum mentioned teak oil first and then do the painting that makes sense; so everything would be sealed before any letter paining is done. I’m not sure about the paint type though.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

3388 posts in 2328 days


#4 posted 02-17-2020 04:21 AM

SeaFin Teak Oil, Can’t beat it.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://www.geraldlhunsucker.com/

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7365 posts in 4033 days


#5 posted 02-17-2020 04:26 AM

LBD, Are you filling the letter depressions totally with ebony wood filler? I think my son wants the letters to show depth!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7365 posts in 4033 days


#6 posted 02-17-2020 04:28 AM

Thanks Jerry! I’ll check it out!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

118016 posts in 4257 days


#7 posted 02-17-2020 04:31 AM

Tony
I would guess an oil base paint would be best if you are going to apply it after you use the teak oil,I would guess the paint will protect the wood fine for a quite a while without applying the teak oil first, but if you wish to apply the oil first I would suggest you do a test with some oil-based paint on a scrap of teak. John is/was a painter so I feel his opinion is of great value.

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

3894 posts in 1500 days


#8 posted 02-17-2020 04:34 AM


LBD, Are you filling the letter depressions totally with ebony wood filler? I think my son wants the letters to show depth!
- woodshaver Tony C

One thing T, the type of Timbermate I use is waterbased so it’s not for external use, however, there are external variants.

I do fill all the way so there is no depth… to get depth you’d probably need to paint/stain… which could result in leeching into the surrounding wood… I have avoided that like the corona and i don’t mean the beer.

To get depth the only suggestion I can make (have done in the past) is dual layered inlays out of contrasting timber… should not be an issue with a CNC (or laser)... though issue/hassles for the desigder.

For max depth… put the sign on the floor :-)....

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7365 posts in 4033 days


#9 posted 02-17-2020 04:36 AM

Jim,
Yes John is a painter and I mentioned to him what I was up to and he said to start a new post about my project.
so here I am! I hope he chimes in because I to value his opinion!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

118016 posts in 4257 days


#10 posted 02-17-2020 04:39 AM

You could send him a PM tony?

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

2701 posts in 2174 days


#11 posted 02-17-2020 04:41 AM

+1 renewable teak oil.

Colored lettering is easy. Enamel spray paint color(s) of your choice, sand off the over spray from top surface. Much easier than brushing each letter.

Enamel can tolerate full sun for many years. As long as sign is oiled regularly, water can not penetrate under the color and lift it out grooves.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7365 posts in 4033 days


#12 posted 02-17-2020 04:47 AM

LBD,
Whatever I do all must be approved by the sign owner so as I gather all this very useful info I’ll be letting our elder son make the call! But I appreciate all the input!

Jim, Thanks! I’ll PM him tomorrow I’m headed to hunker down for the night! It’s later here almost midnight!

CaptainKlutz Thanks for that info I was thinking of something like that! But wasn’t sure if sanding would work well.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2757 posts in 1743 days


#13 posted 02-17-2020 05:06 AM

Boats all over the world are replete with Teak. Epoxy resin protects it. Same goes for bar tops.

-- Mark

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

9212 posts in 2723 days


#14 posted 02-17-2020 05:51 AM

Hi Tony. I used the Seafin teak oil on a table we kept out on the pier year around. I would recoat it once a year to keep it looking its best. The table lasted around 10 years plus. Finally it just gave out one year but it wasn’t from the finish not doing its job. I used the teak oil on some teak in my old boat and that lasted until I sold it. Didn’t get as much exposure as the table.Always looked good.
Another suggestion but not proven yet still outside being tested is to seal it with clear epoxy resin. The table I made last August with the resin is being kept out all year to see how it holds up. So far it looks as good as new even with the extreme temperatures, rain and snow. I’ll get a pic tomorrow before I leave.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6051 posts in 3173 days


#15 posted 02-17-2020 11:56 AM

I’m going against the grain here (which can draw some wrath), but check out Flexner's article on teak oil.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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