Exterior Wood Finishes


Can you give me some guidance on wood for my bar? For framing, I'll use treated lumber, but for the exterior visible surfaces, I wanted to use something a little nicer. Can I use regular untreated wood (pine board, pieces of molding, etc.) if I seal/stain/treat it? What should I use to treat it from weather damage? I would like to put something on it (some sort of varnish to make it glossy). Can you give me some help with this?


Pressure Treated Wood is treated for bugs with a pesticide and not for rain or weather exposure. You don't really need PTW on top of a deck. If you live in a very wet climate, it may be a good idea to have the bottom plate with PTW. This may prevent rot between a wet deck board and the bottom plate. Common framing material is good for the frame, such as spruce, pine or fir. For the exterior finish, cedar is the best with its natural oils to preserve the wood.

Try to avoid moldings made out of finger joint materials. With the temperature extremes and the moisture, these will fail over time. Moldings come in cedar, too. My second choice for finish wood after cedar is pine. Teak is very good, as well, but expensive, used alot on boat decks.

I recommend 2 coats of Cetol, 1 on raw wood then 1 coat of Cetol 23 for the final finish. These come in colors or clear, so color match the number 1 with the 23. Cetol 1 penetrates, seals and stains the wood where 23 provides a sheen as a finish, but not glossy. Follow the directions on the can and see the color samples at your dealer's.


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