Need Finishing Advise (Exterior)

  • April 01, 2017 10:41 AM
    Message # 4706076
    James Russell (Administrator)

    Friends of mine, who live in Virginia, have some air dried, live edge 5/4 to 6/4 Walnut that was harvested from a tree on their property. It has been drying for a little over a year. They want to use the live edge walnut to make a table top / work top next to their BBQ. The top will be 6’ to 8’ long and about 20” wide. It will be exposed to the Virginia weather year round.

    I don’t work with exterior finishes much. Can you provide me some recommendations about how to finish the walnut? The owners want to take advantage of the color and figure of the Walnut. Will periodic re-finishing be necessary for your recommended approach?

    Jim Russell

    Last modified: April 01, 2017 10:44 AM | James Russell (Administrator)
  • April 02, 2017 7:52 AM
    Reply # 4707407 on 4706076

    general finishes outdoor oil works well, has the uv inhibitors and some protective qualities.  it doesnt not give the same level of protection as say spar varnish but it can be recoated much easier.  I just used it last week for the first time, super easy to apply.  flood the surface, wait 15 wipe off, repeat 3-4 times.  

    I dont know how that finish would interact with the bark. I have a feeling they would loose the bark after a few seasons. Even with uv protection the walnut will become much more tan colored with sun exposure. 

  • April 02, 2017 10:28 AM
    Reply # 4707487 on 4706076
    Deleted user

    I took a class with Tim Celeski (Seattle WA) who builds Greene and Greene outdoor furniture and he swears by Penofin penetrating oils. They need to be replenished every couple of years with a light sanding, but no heavy, plastic build up. They make a number of formulations, so you'll have to find the right one for the application.


  • April 02, 2017 5:59 PM
    Reply # 4708011 on 4706076
    Tim Holiner (Administrator)

    I have seen several outdoor projects on YouTube and the general consensus seems to be that Penetrating Epoxy Sealer ( followed by General Finishes EnduroVar ( provides the best, longest lasting outdoor finish. Most of the YouTubers do the initial coats of EnduroVar with gloss and finish with semi-gloss.

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