Finish for cypress

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Forum topic by Robert posted 05-19-2022 02:22 PM 342 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Robert's profile


5008 posts in 2974 days

05-19-2022 02:22 PM

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?

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

6 replies so far

View bilyo's profile


1563 posts in 2596 days

#1 posted 05-19-2022 02:34 PM

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.

View sawdust66's profile


103 posts in 243 days

#2 posted 05-20-2022 05:42 AM

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.

-- Chris, Pennsylvania

View Watercolor's profile


121 posts in 3227 days

#3 posted 05-20-2022 10:33 AM

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.

-- Its not what they call you, its what you answer to.

View Lazyman's profile


9779 posts in 2881 days

#4 posted 05-20-2022 12:13 PM

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.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View LesB's profile


3503 posts in 4937 days

#5 posted 05-20-2022 11:47 PM

+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.

-- Les B, Oregon

View 1thumb's profile


725 posts in 3650 days

#6 posted 05-21-2022 12:05 AM


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


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