Mold Resistance for outdoor table

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Forum topic by BoomerBuilt posted 06-22-2021 02:17 PM 337 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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27 posts in 702 days

06-22-2021 02:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: mold finishes sealing outdoor

Hi there,
I am hoping to find an answer to my mold growth question. I grew up in a desert and now have a cabin in a rainforest so I am totally out of my element. I am receiving a free wood table from a neighbour and wanted to keep it on my covered patio. It’s pretty damp up in my cabin and we use solar power so a humidifier is not in the question. Either way this table will be outside under a roof. Is there anything I can do to protect this table from getting mold? We had received a highchair and kept it in said location and it grew mold all over it. Is there anything I can do for this table or am I shit outta luck?
Im also doing an outdoor kitchen counter/cabinet and was thinking of painting/staining/sealing all the parts of the cabinet to hopefully help it also not mold (note I cannot bring these inside in the winter). Im in Canada.
Thanks so much.
The internet isn’t giving me much preventative ideas, and Im sure there are some Floridians here that know this all too well.

-- You never know what you don’t know.

16 replies so far

View Jeff's profile


552 posts in 4353 days

#1 posted 06-22-2021 02:44 PM

In my experience (living in humid North Carolina) mold will grow on anything. It’s a matter of cleaning, scrubbing and cleaning again. A never ending process. Your neighbors might be a better source of tips than someone from Florida. Assuming if it’s the rain forest you’re in BC.

View SMP's profile


4437 posts in 1064 days

#2 posted 06-22-2021 02:52 PM

Maybe sanding it all down using a grain filler and a spar varnish on it, that way at least the top will be somewhat mold resistant and easier to clean. (The less pores and crevices the better as that is where mold likes to grow) Which is where you will eat/drink set things down on. Mold/mildew sprays with bleach will clean things and keep it from growing back a short while.

View BoomerBuilt's profile


27 posts in 702 days

#3 posted 06-22-2021 02:59 PM

Hey thanks.
I should say there is not mold on it yet. I was also thinking a spar urethane coat ontop, but realize that will mold as well. My neighbours have not cracked this code yet either… it’s sorta a random spot in the interior or BC. Mostly its just hot and dry and pine trees around here, so we are all inexperienced in this new setting. It’s interesting there isn’t really a solution to this. But i hear you about the crevices. I was gonna do the cedar on the outside of my kitchen counter with linseed oil, but found out mold eats that stuff up, so that was good to learn!

-- You never know what you don’t know.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2982 posts in 1321 days

#4 posted 06-22-2021 09:00 PM

in the boating world, we made decks and seats out of wood and through the years, we found that mold and mildew loves the organic coatings: such as tung oil, linseed, oil etc.
so when using an oil based coating, such as Marine Spar Varnish, we started using Pure Gum Turpentine as the thinner as it is a natural inhibitor for fungal growth.
just something to consider.

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View Madmark2's profile


2958 posts in 1747 days

#5 posted 06-22-2021 09:08 PM

Mold and mildew is less a property of the material and more an issue of environment. Mold grows in damp, shady-to-dark environments. You want to stop mold? Move it to somewhere brighter and drier.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View BoomerBuilt's profile


27 posts in 702 days

#6 posted 06-22-2021 09:52 PM

John I will look into that. Very interesting. We don’t have much sun on our cabin (hill to the south) so no better place for this kitchen but down at the beach. Oh i so wish it was sunnier.

-- You never know what you don’t know.

View Madmark2's profile


2958 posts in 1747 days

#7 posted 06-22-2021 10:18 PM

The beach wetness will overpower the sun. Move it to a dryer location (like on a sealed concrete slab) away from the water.

I’m not sure I’d be eating off a table heavily treated with anything!

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Aj2's profile


3946 posts in 2956 days

#8 posted 06-23-2021 02:25 AM

I say it’s a losing battle.
It’s the never ending saga Humans vs Mother Nature.

Who will win
Good Luck

-- Aj

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


2835 posts in 706 days

#9 posted 06-23-2021 08:43 AM

You could have it tinted to whatever colour you want, I suppose.

-- WWBBJ: It is better to be interesting and wrong, than boring and right.

View CaptainKlutz's profile


4667 posts in 2653 days

#10 posted 06-23-2021 09:09 AM

+1 above suggestions:

- Keep it dry.

- Cut down a couple trees and let some sunshine reach the table.

- Seal up wood grain using finish with low moisture permeability – spar varnish or marine poly

- Don’t use wood table, use metal or plastic table.

- Apply mold prevention compound, or biocide to surfaces when being stored in damp conditions.
: didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride, DDAC, sold as Britewood XL in some places. Caution: corrosive to skin.
: chlorothalonil. Sostram Corporation sells a product named CLORTRAM.
Both of these are dangerous to aquatic life; keep away from ponds, streams, or lakes.
There are some mold prevention house paints with these compounds that slow mold growth too.
Always use a table cloth over top of any biocide product.

- Give up and enjoy the fungus among us. :)

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

View controlfreak's profile


2487 posts in 760 days

#11 posted 06-23-2021 09:44 AM

Maybe take a trip to some local hardware/paint stores and ask around for some ideas.

View BoomerBuilt's profile


27 posts in 702 days

#12 posted 06-23-2021 07:46 PM

Thanks for even more suggestions everybody, Aj2 that’s a wild photo.
That zinsser stuff looks good. I believe it has that compound in it that everybody is saying is good to add. I follow you on instagram Wildwoodsbybrianjohns!
Thanks for the list there captain klutz. I actually think you have helped me on past problems on here! And thanks everybody else!

-- You never know what you don’t know.

View Axis39's profile


518 posts in 755 days

#13 posted 06-24-2021 01:24 PM

I grew up in Virginia, swampy humidity was my constant companion…

Mold grows on just about anything if it doesn’t get hit with sun pretty regularly., and, even then….

I used a lot of the product Mold Armor (available about anywhere) to help clean and protect against future infestations. It works quite well. But, as stated, it is a constant battle.

The biggest killer of mold is sunlight. You could try an ultraviolet light, maybe run it at night, or when you aren’t sitting at the table, or effected by the light? I haven’t tried this, but it sounds good in my head.

As far as finish, I would look to the marine world. I’ve been using an epoxy sealer (System Three ClearCoat) with top coats of (Epiphanes) varnish for exterior projects recently. It seems to work to protect in the desert (where I live now… I was so tired of humidity) from the constant battering of sun, and seems to be rock hard, sealing the wood really well. I would wager that mold and mildew would not be able to find purchase, or be able to reach the organic matter…. At least if given a regular wipe down.

But, even with treatment and a good finish, it will still require constant effort.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View controlfreak's profile


2487 posts in 760 days

#14 posted 06-24-2021 01:40 PM

Also keep in mind that bleach only bleaches mold but does not remove it.

View BoomerBuilt's profile


27 posts in 702 days

#15 posted 07-05-2021 08:21 PM

Axis39, So neat you made the move to something more desert like. It’s a trip having this lake place in such moisture. 2 hours away but such a different climate. Thanks for you input. I will look into this UV light idea because I will not be able to move it to sunlight and that seems easy enough to do after a good finish.

controlfreak , thanks for the tidbit about the bleach

-- You never know what you don’t know.

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