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Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #1 
This might be of interest to some others here as well. Any recommendations? 

Cost is not really a factor in terms of the finish. Suitability and durability are.

We've been asked if we could produce a small collection of exterior hardwood furniture that has a premium (vs. rustic) look. The wood/grain must be "classy." The species has not been defined but will likely include a few suitable ones. It will incorporate 3D carving. 

There are a few catches however...
- It must stand up to heavy usage incl. a lot of bumps and abrasion so the finish must also be spot repairable. That would include localized sanding and brush/rub-on repair by the owners and the repairs must blend in very well.
- A degree of sheen is wanted rather than a flat look, including after spot repair.
- The finish needs to be clear with minimal yellowing expected.
- The finish should not peel or crack.
- It needs to be UV resistant and could see both strong summer sun and likely also unprotected winter exposure.

I was thinking a high grade spar varnish but I'm reading that while spar varnish was initially developed for maximum "mechanical" toughness and crack resistance, that requirement is now largely ignored with priority very much on looks only. Are any of these more durable than others or perhaps something better?
Bryan Uittenbogaard

Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #2 
We have used a Chemcraft product called D-Dur. It is a catalyzed polyurethane formulated for exterior use. High solid content and the sealer sands up great. Available in flat, low gloss and satin.

Would think that it could be spot repaired with a regular poly from the big box stores.


Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #3 
Really appreciate the feedback so far and I DO appreciate the reality checks I'm getting here as well as on the Vectric and Shopbot forums where I've cross posted in case the topic is of interest to others. Thanks [biggrin] 

A bit more info. I called the potential client and explained the conflicting requirements and his response was kind of predictable... tell me what you "can" do. That got us to what the priorities were so it comes down to these.
- Must be repairable by client without special finishing skills
- Annual touchups okay but longer would be nice
- Doesn't have to be semi or high gloss but definitely not "flatish"
- Should bring out the beauty of the grain and create a rich look
- Added cost associated with long cycle times due to numerous coats with long drying times could not be absorbed
His final comment was: What do the guys that build high quality park and bus stop benches use? 

It turns out he wants to offer a narrow line of personalized (CNC carved) benches to museums, corporate & condo gardens, etc. I'm guessing that this could be an interesting niche for others as well considering the growth in corporate thinking gardens, premium condo rooftop gardens, etc. Heck, maybe even themed subway stations (chuckle).

Does this help us narrow down what might be the best compromise?

Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #4 

Based on the additional info the fellow provided, the votes from a number of the experienced guys were for Sikkens so Sikkens it will be.

Thanks much for the feedback Bryan, I'll be looking at D-Dur as well for future projects.

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