View Full Version : Exterior finish

Randy Schuitema
02-03-2014, 12:09 AM
I recently made an outdoor bench out of 3" solid cherry. I finished it with boiled linseed oil but within 1 month I can see it is obviously fading. Did I use the wrong product? What can I do to restore the luster it once had and keep it there longer?

Nike Nihiser
02-03-2014, 7:50 AM
Try spar urethane

Nike Nihiser
02-03-2014, 7:55 AM
Just had another thought, not sure the urethane is compatible with the BLO. you might have to remove the BLO first.

Rich Enders
02-03-2014, 9:13 AM

What you have undertaken is a lifetime of work. No clear finish will last very well outdoors. The combination of UV, temperature cycle, and moisture cycle will degrade any clear finish. Perhaps fortunately you started with an oil finish, and whenever you are unhappy with the appearance of your cherry, all you have to do is refresh it with more oil. For you that may be monthly.

Spar varnish will last longer, but in a year or two or three you will have to strip it and then refinish.

Jason Roehl
02-03-2014, 10:54 AM
Unfortunately, your wood choice didn't help matters much, either. Cherry is not a very good wood outdoors--it rots easily. White oak, cypress, red cedar, black locust are some known to do well outdoors.

As Rich said, clear finishes do not do well outdoors--UV protection typically comes with pigment--the more opacity to the finish, the more protection it will have against the elements. But, even solid-color stains, which look almost like paint, might only last 5-8 years.