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Thread: Outdoor Oil

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
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    Sothern Coastal Maine
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    63

    Outdoor Oil

    General Finishes makes a product called Outdoor Oil. It looks, spreads and smells like many other oil-based finishes. Is there anything specific in it that makes it an outdoor product? Like many of us, I blend linseed oil, tung oil & varnish to make a finish for interior use. Can I do the same for exterior use?

    Thanks - Bob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
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    8,263
    I think GF claims they add UV protectors to their outdoor oil. Maybe a mildewcide, too, can't remember. FWIW, I've never found an outdoor oil product that lasts very long.

    Your home brewed oil/varnish mix is not likely to fair well outside.

    I would look at something like One Time. 100% solids, cures by sunlight exposure. It's the first stuff that I've put on my deck that has lasted more than a year and not been a feeding ground for black mold. Or there's always Epifanes Marine Varnish but it requires continual maintenance to work over the long term.

    John

  3. #3
    In this spirit, I've tried thinning Epifanes down to a wiping varnish consistency, as I do whimsical things like this occasionally. Only did a couple coats, and tested next to a super-cheap Flood brand outdoor oil from home center on a scrap of Ipe. In about 6 months of midwestern weather, including a bit of winter, there was no evidence of a finish application at all where the Epifanes had been applied. The Flood brand was only 50% deteriorated.

    So, even when the proper resins are in the product, there's no way to get around it - a thick layering of heavy varnish is the only thing that has some longevity outdoors, albeit brief.

    FWIW

    jeff

  4. #4
    I've found teak to be just about the only wood that holds oil or any finish for any decent amount of time (outdoors). Meaning, consider the substrate. Even when you use the right stuff, exposure to the elements will always work against you. Haven't tried the general product.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Location
    Sothern Coastal Maine
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    63
    I should have been clear, I wasn't expecting to use the same homemade recipe outside. I was hoping that there was a different mix of ingredients to make finish for outside.

    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    I think GF claims they add UV protectors to their outdoor oil. Maybe a mildewcide, too, can't remember. FWIW, I've never found an outdoor oil product that lasts very long.

    Your home brewed oil/varnish mix is not likely to fair well outside.

    I would look at something like One Time. 100% solids, cures by sunlight exposure. It's the first stuff that I've put on my deck that has lasted more than a year and not been a feeding ground for black mold. Or there's always Epifanes Marine Varnish but it requires continual maintenance to work over the long term.

    John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Location
    Sothern Coastal Maine
    Posts
    63
    My local hardware store had Watco Teak Oil for a reasonable price so I picked up some.

    I live in coastal Maine, and I know the piece will live outside year round, so no expectations that it will last very long. It is a gift to a friend & I am certain that it will get zero maintenance.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Fairbanks AK
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    1,384
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    Not clear on what the item is. Up here I have a squarepoint shovel that I use year round, and a wheelbarrow I can't fit into my tool shed, so those three Ash handles are out in the weather 24/7/365. When I start with bare Ash wood and modern BLO with the heavy metal dryers in it my routine is twice daily for seven coats, then once every two weeks over my short precious summer, and then twice annually, right before the freeze and right after the thaw. In general I can expect Ash handles to outlast the metal shovel blade and wheelbarrow parts here.

    For small pieces of red oak I have decent results immersing in 50-50 mix of modern BLO with paint thinner mineral spirits. Think knife handles in a mason jar. Fill the jar up to the rim with the wood pieces already in, apply the cap, leave the wood immersed x48 hours after it sinks. Those pieces are still in service after five years, but the surface is rough enough I wouldn't want to sit down on it.

    I am looking for old school BLO without the dryers added, am finding a fair bit of "Can't be shipped to this zip code." My thinking is without the dryers I will get longer cure time, but should be able to benefit from better depth of penetration.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Winners View Post
    Not clear on what the item is. Up here I have a squarepoint shovel that I use year round, and a wheelbarrow I can't fit into my tool shed, so those three Ash handles are out in the weather 24/7/365. When I start with bare Ash wood and modern BLO with the heavy metal dryers in it my routine is twice daily for seven coats, then once every two weeks over my short precious summer, and then twice annually, right before the freeze and right after the thaw. In general I can expect Ash handles to outlast the metal shovel blade and wheelbarrow parts here.

    For small pieces of red oak I have decent results immersing in 50-50 mix of modern BLO with paint thinner mineral spirits. Think knife handles in a mason jar. Fill the jar up to the rim with the wood pieces already in, apply the cap, leave the wood immersed x48 hours after it sinks. Those pieces are still in service after five years, but the surface is rough enough I wouldn't want to sit down on it.

    I am looking for old school BLO without the dryers added, am finding a fair bit of "Can't be shipped to this zip code." My thinking is without the dryers I will get longer cure time, but should be able to benefit from better depth of penetration.
    Lee Valley sells something called Polymerized Tung Oil in both a finish and sealer. The description says heat treatment polymerization is what encourages drying, so I assume they did this in lieu of the kinds of metal driers you're trying to avoid. Maybe this product would meet your needs? The Tried and True products come to mind also.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Clarks Summit PA
    Posts
    1,375
    There are no finishes that protect outdoor wood furniture to our satisfaction. Some say don't bother, leave it weather to a silver grey. I use General Finishes on my heartwood cherry garden chairs. I applied the finish twice last season, and fight mold/mildew with a bleach spray on occasion. I am in summer #2. I will report again in summer #3.

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