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Ward Green

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Ward
My brother and I have talked about building some outdoor furniture for mother's day, and well... time is almost up. I know the basic design I would like to build, but I have some questions regarding the materials and finishing. The items will be designed to sit on their front porch, which will be sheltered from the elements above, but their porch opens up to the yard and still can get rain.

I know there are some species which will last longer outdoors or are more rot-resistant than other species. My question is, how much of a difference will it make if I use more rot-resistant wood if my mother chooses to paint the finished product? If I use cedar, for instance, and take the time to paint it and apply a clear coat, if requested, will it last longer than maybe construction grade pine with the same treatment? I imagine the furniture will have to be refinished after a couple years regardless, but I am certainly open to suggestions for finishing: I have seen mentions of marine grade finishes. Should I buy cedar just for the added rot-resistance?

In addition, I have seen a video of the Wood Whisperer putting what I remember was epoxy on his outdoor furniture feet. Has anyone added protection, such as this, to the feet of their outdoor furniture? If so, what has been your experience?

And out of curiosity, will anyone admit to building outdoor furniture using composite materials?
 

Jeff

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Jeff
And out of curiosity, will anyone admit to building outdoor furniture using composite materials?

I've never used composites but why not? They sure don't need periodic maintenance refinishing.

Have you brothers asked mom about what kind of comfortable porch furniture she would USE and would she want it painted? Sure, it spoils the surprise element for MD but you guys will make something that she'll find useful.

Outdoor woods: Cypress or Western Red Cedar is lightweight and pretty durable, eastern red cedar will work but it's fragile. White oak works nicely but it's heavy.
BORG SPF construction lumber can work too.

Outdoor finishes: A quality marine spar varnish (Epifanes) or Waterlox Marine Finish both work nicely and allow the wood to move in the changing weather. Several fellow members highly recommend Sikkens Cetol exterior finishes too.
 
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