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New table finish

jonboyjonboy Posts: 163
edited 8:10AM in EggHead Forum
Good Morning,
I am working on finishing a redwood table,
I am applying marine varnish over the stain,
How many coats do i need to apply to make the table last as long as the egg?
I plan on leaving it outside yearround and exposed to the elements. Location, KY plenty of sun and snow...
Any suggestions,


  • Jon,

    Check the directions on the product, but I'd recommend applying 3 coats of the marine spar varnish. Let it dry between each coat according to the directions, then sand lightly with some steel wool between each coat. Don't forget to apply it to the parts you can't see, such as the underside of the table, the bottoms of the legs, etc. This will prevent warping by allowing consistent absorption of moisture, and will make the wood last longer.

    To make it last as long as the Egg, you're going to need to reapply the finish periodically. The UV rays in sunlight break down all finishes eventually, even a tough one like marine varnish. You won't have to do that more than once every few years, but don't expect it to last forever.

  • jonboyjonboy Posts: 163
    Is there any advantage to applying multiple coats of marine varnish?
    Someone posted they were going to apply 8 coats of finish. Im not sure what the product was.
    I have applied 2 coats and was unsure of how much to apply.
  • I put 3 coats of marine varnish on my table about 9 months ago and I'm happy with it. I suspect I'll have to tidy it up with a light sanding and additional coats every couple years. Putting more coats with scuffing between the coats certainly won't hurt. BTW - mine is also redwood and it stays outside without a cover.
  • Jon,

    I'm certainly not an expert on finishing by any means, but I am an amatuer woodworker who builds furniture for fun, and I do read a lot about these sorts of things...

    My understanding of the finishing process is that the best way to apply a finish is in thin layers. This lets the finish set up properly, avoids waves or streaks that can result in too thick a coat, and lets it dry in a reasonable amount of time to prevent dust, bugs, etc. from getting caught in it.

    That said, if you only put on one coat, you wouldn't get a lot of protection, either from direct contact or from the sun, which causes the wood to break down over time. By applying multiple layers you create more depth to the finish, which will make it look better, but you will also make it more durable, resistant to damage, and reduce the frequency of repairs. 8 coats may be a bit excessive, but I'd do at least three to get a sufficiently thick finish to protect your investment in your table.

  • FlaPoolmanFlaPoolman Posts: 11,670
    3 is recommended but I'm doing 8 while the egg is out. Hoping to buy a few extra years in the Florida weather.
  • jonboyjonboy Posts: 163
    do you have any idea how many years are added with each coat? Just curious how you decided to add 8 coats???
    I would guess with a finixh that deep that you will be able to see yourself.
  • FlaPoolmanFlaPoolman Posts: 11,670
    No Idea but it is getting thick. as far as seeing myself my mirror and I haven't been on speaking terms for a few years now :( :( :angry: . I'm not a wood person but doing everything to extend having to do it again for as long as possible. Also when I'm done this goes on top but the rest of the wood will be exposed.

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