Clear exterior finish option.

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Clear exterior finish option.

Postby bobsmyuncle » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:55 pm

I cringe when I have read here that people are applying Minwax Helmsman urethane to the exteriors of their T&TTT. The urethane component makes it especially vulnerable to UV damage.

While there are "real" marine varnish, Epifanes, Pettit, etc., these run about $45 a quart, available only at boat specialty shops, and still require regular (read: yearly) maintenance to keep them in top shape.

There is an alternative that's as near as your local paint store. Here is an article on it written by a friend of mine:
http://hardwoodlumberandmore.com/Articl ... inish.aspx
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Postby jonw » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:49 pm

The Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane has UV inhibitors in it, which is why it is rated for exterior use.
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Postby nevadatear » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:55 pm

Read the article. As a person struggling with upkeep with spar varnish on my wood, I found it very interesting. may just have to buy a pint of tint base and try it out myself.
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Postby IndyTom » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:59 pm

As a builder in progress who is contemplating a woodie finish, I certainly find this interesting. I think I may have to also pick up a quart and give it a try.

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Postby wagondude » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:12 pm

Thanks for posting this. I have to refinish my front door this year.

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Postby Larry C » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:01 pm

I learned a long time ago that quality varnish comes with a price tag. Big box crap is not going to perform the same as a quality marine varnish.

But..this article has me thinking about trying the clear base, especially because there is a local dollar type store that always has a lot of oil based paint, stains and bases because of the high VOC's are being phased out everywhere. It will only cost me a buck to find out. :applause:
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Postby bobsmyuncle » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:59 am

FWIW, the "consumer spar varnish" mentioned in the article, the one that started failing in two weeks, was Helmsman.

Claiming it's for outdoor use and being suitable are two different things. Minwax also claims to have a tung oil finish. Give me $200 and I'll give you $20 for every ounce of real tung oil in a quart.

jonw wrote:The Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane has UV inhibitors in it, which is why it is rated for exterior use.
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Postby Woodbutcher » Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:56 pm

I am going to try this finish on my current build. Picked up a gallon today at my local paint store. When I told Jim my paint guy what I was doing he believed it would work fine. So I will be the Guinea Pig on the board.
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Postby Wolffarmer » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:17 am

I bought a gallon of base several months ago, have not yet gotten around to using it. Will someday soon. But I am not sure about the definition of "someday soon"

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Postby jonw » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:07 am

bobsmyuncle wrote:FWIW, the "consumer spar varnish" mentioned in the article, the one that started failing in two weeks, was Helmsman.

Claiming it's for outdoor use and being suitable are two different things. Minwax also claims to have a tung oil finish. Give me $200 and I'll give you $20 for every ounce of real tung oil in a quart.

jonw wrote:The Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane has UV inhibitors in it, which is why it is rated for exterior use.

Yeah, but I don't think it was intended for bird poop and dog pee...
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Postby StPatron » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:52 am

bobsmyuncle wrote:FWIW, the "consumer spar varnish" mentioned in the article, the one that started failing in two weeks, was Helmsman.


FWIW, I have used Minwax Helmsman on my sailboats since the mid 70's. Stored outdoors, good amount of UV exposure in OK. I give them a light sanding and re-application every two seasons. One of my sailing friends used a $$$ product from West Marine, convinced he'd be able to make it three seasons. He didn't and went back to Helmsman. We could tell no difference in how the two products weathered.

I've had my stripper kayak, coated in Helmsman, on the water and on the rooftop of my camper shell, in the high-UV climate of Utah/Arizona for months at a time. Scratches? Yes. But, I've yet to see any peeling, blistering or any other UV damage as described.

Failure after two weeks? Based on my experience, I find that extremely difficult to believe. I have no dog in this fight, I'm just reporting my experiences.

I'll be looking forward to Woodbutcher's review, I have faith he will provide an objective assessment.
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Postby VermonTear » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:06 pm

Woodbutcher...

You might want to check out this article if you haven't seen it yet:
http://hardwoodlumberandmore.com/Articles/ArticleViewPage/tabid/75/ArticleId/1/Marine-Varnish.aspx

I've used Z-SPAR Captain's Varnish on my wooden kayaks. Worked fine. They get a fair amount of sun, but the teardrop is likely to get more. I'm going to use the same stuff on the TD. Expesive? Yep. But what's another few bucks by the time I get to that point.

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Postby BillZ » Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:17 pm

Can the paint base product be done on top of a spar urethane finish?
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Re: Clear exterior finish option.

Postby DogStar » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:58 am

Thinking this will be my solution for my woody sides!
And for the utility trainer deck.

Cool,
Eric


bobsmyuncle wrote:There is an alternative that's as near as your local paint store. Here is an article on it written by a friend of mine:
http://hardwoodlumberandmore.com/Articl ... inish.aspx
Always with my thanks,
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Postby Wolffarmer » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:17 am

Billz

I don't know. But if I was to try it I would sand it pretty good with 80 grit, then maybe take most of the swirls out with 120/160 what ever it is. Try it on an inconspicuous place first, as they say.

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