Mailport: January 2011
DIY Wood Finish Test
I just downloaded the December 2009 Exterior Wood Finish Exposure Test results. My special interest is in the single-part varnishes comparisons.
I’m doing my own testing on panels of white oak and cedar, which includes a comparison of McCloskey’s Man O War varnish (budget) with Epifanes Clear High Gloss (top quality), over different undercoatings. Unlike your test, I’ve applied the same number of varnish coats. I have started exposing my limited test panels to the weather here in Portland, Ore., and I’m updating the progress monthly online at www.riparia.org/ketch/testpanelsoregon.html.
My impressions so far (the panels have been exposed since Sept. 24, 2010) on the coatings on the white oak: I can tell no differences between the two varnishes. The Cetol finish looks stable. The straight tung oil also seems stable, though it’s a more matte finish. There is no black staining.
On the Port Orford cedar: The tung oil is definitely the best after 2½ months. The linseed oil is showing dry spots. The Thompsons’ Water Seal looks dry; however, water still beads on the TWS area and sheets more on the oil areas.
My plan is to let it go through the winter and then scrub the panels with a Scotch Brite pad and then re-coat.
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