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Best Finish for Exterior Sign?

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  • Best Finish for Exterior Sign?

    Looking for the best finish for a sign that I am doing for a client. The sign will be made of pine. I will be staining it and would like to know what the best finish to use that will last outside against the elements and not tint the wood like a spar varnish. Live in the North East (USA), so it will be exposed to cold and humidity. The client would like it semi-gloss or gloss. Any thoughts?

  • #2
    If you are staining the wood why would you be concerned about spar urethane tinting the wood. I would use spar urethane, it is used for marine grade projects. BTW it is different I believe than spar varnish.
    "Still Montana Mike"

    "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
    Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC


    • #3
      My son made a couple of outdoor benches and a couple of signs that he finished with "Cabot Australian Timber Oil for Decks, Siding, Railings & Outdoor Furniture" (Info and Instructions pdf). One thing about using it is that you can't get in a big hurry - let it cure until good and dry before applying the next coat - and bright hot dry days work wonders to cure it. John put on a good coat and really worked it into the wood, let it soak in over night before the 2nd coat - let it sit in the sun for a day then flipped over to give the other side a day to "bake" - took a week to get 3 or 4 coats on. After sitting out in the rain and weather for a couple of years (and that includes our recent spell of 69 days at 100F+) they still look the way they did when they were first finished.

      The bench with the back is pine (before and after finish) and the other bench is white oak. The 4th picture is the 2nd bench right after being finished and the last pic is after 2 years sitting out in the Texas weather.

      The signs he did are just as rugged and have weathered just as well - I just can't find any pictures of them right now.
      Attached Files
      Harbor Freight (Central Machinery) 65406 - 26"


      • #4
        Thanks for the suggestions. I used the spar urethane, turned out to be a great choice. Put a nice finish on the sign. Just hope it last in elements.


        • #5
          Spa urethane is what they use to finish the decks on yachts so I think it will hold up.. As with all finishes for outdoor projects you may have to do some maintenance periodically.

          Share a picture of your completed project. We have a saying around here.

          NPDH...No picture didn't happen.
          "Still Montana Mike"

          "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
          Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC


          • #6
            I would like to share the sign with everyone but I have not ask the client if I could use it on blog. Don't think address and name that is displayed on sign would go good on blog. Will post some other projects when they are completed in future. Once again thank you for advice.


            • #7
              Thanks nmcccloud for asking this question. I just recieved a request to make a out-door sign & I was also wondering what finish would work welll with extreme heat, cold & humidity.


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