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Thread: Looking for a weather-proof clear top coat.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Cleveland, O.
    Posts
    15

    Looking for a weather-proof clear top coat.

    Hi everyone,
    I'm building a kids' wagon from plywood and need a clear top coat. Is a shellac enough for this? Or should I look at something like boat varnish? I plan to first apply a sanding sealer to make sure I have a smooth surface before the final top coat. I'd prefer to use something that can be brushed on and soaks in a bit since the top surfaces will probably get scratched over time and I don't want that to be a path for water to soak in if it gets caught in the rain.

  2. #2
    I use marine varnish on wood furniture that will sit outside.

    Im curious. What kind of plywood did you use for the build - exterior grade, marine grade or what?

    Fred
    Last edited by Frederick Skelly; 11-25-2019 at 7:49 AM.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    50,693
    Use the clear finish as your "sanding sealer". Shellac is not in any way appropriate for this. Use an exterior varnish.

    More importantly, understand that there is no long-term solution for something like this. Moisture IS going to penetrate and the item will weather.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    6,271
    Shellac would not provide much protection against weather, it will turn white wherever water gets and lays on it for very long, and water will get under it in no time. Also, don't bother with sanding sealer, especially any that are not exterior rated.

    About the best thing you can put on it that goes on with a brush is an epoxy sealer and then marine varnsih.

    John

  5. #5
    I know you're asking about a clear top coat, but if durability and weather resistance is a concern, you should really consider paint.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Borshov View Post
    Hi everyone,
    I'm building a kids' wagon from plywood and need a clear top coat. Is a shellac enough for this? Or should I look at something like boat varnish? I plan to first apply a sanding sealer to make sure I have a smooth surface before the final top coat. I'd prefer to use something that can be brushed on and soaks in a bit since the top surfaces will probably get scratched over time and I don't want that to be a path for water to soak in if it gets caught in the rain.
    Shellac is considered an interior finish so I wouldn't use that. If you are looking for a boat varnish you might consider Epifanes spar varnish. It literally is formulated to use for the deck of a boat. Still if the plywood you used is an interior plywood you will have to touch it up often. Any place where the finish is damaged down tot he wood water will quickly get under the veneer.

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