Finish recommendations for Sapele in exterior setting
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  1. #1
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    Default Finish recommendations for Sapele in exterior setting

    I made a tree swing seat 8.5” x 28” x 2” using Sapele. I’m an amateur woodworker and do not have much experience finishing. Digging around the interwebs I think I need to seal the wood, use an oil finish, then a urethane. Jon Peters used Teak Oil on an outdoor table and it turned out well. I’m going to try and buy quart sizes as gallons would be a lifetime supply. I want the most durable finish I can afford, it will be exposed to rain, snow, and UV. The location and size will make it easily available to refinish in the future.

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    Waterlox maybe? Its easy to use and to patch up later. Just pay attention to how you store the left over. You will need to remove all air from the can or it will harden in storage.

    Waterlox Marine Finishes seal finish and protect wood boats, decks and outdoor furniture from UV rays, sunlight, moisture, harsh weather conditions

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    Paint is the most durable. But if you want a clear finish, The longest lasting one I found was Man-of War spar varnish.

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    Follow Up:

    I used CrabCoat exterior marine finish using the manufacturer's recommendations. Application was straight forward, a foam brush to apply 6 coats, sanding between

    coats 2 and 3 with 320 grit sandpaper. We will see how it holds up, please wait for next follow up in 3 years.




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    My recommendation is to put a coat on every six months. If you wait a year it will need sanding all the varnish off then applying several coats. A single coat every six months will last. The tree will help shield it from UV but I don't think there is a clear wood finish that does not need regular maintenance in outdoor applications.

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    Once I started to use Tung Oil I stopped searching for "the finish". Homer Formby is something I used and is not too bad.
    I also bought Tung Oil in a bottle and mixed it in combination with other things, like the way Sam Maloof explains in his book.


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