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Staining and Finishing Cedar

Charcoal_AddictCharcoal_Addict Posts: 173
edited July 2012 in EGG Table Forum
This debate seems to rage all over the net. It's hard to tell who's right in any equation.

Woodworking.com Reccomends using a exopy wood conditioner followed by 7 thin coats of Epihanes or Z-Spar Spar Varnish.

Woodworkers Canada suggest using a Hellmens satin finish that is easier to care for and maintain vs high gloss finish spar. It will need to recoat sooner than Epihanes or Z-Spar but it's easier to care for.

The third suggestion is Sikkens Cedar Stain with a Matte finish for longevity.

Paint for the longest lasting protection but painting way the beauty of cedar seems like such a sin.

Medium and Dark greys will be used as the Stain color for a more modern look. The Natrual greying of the stain and the wood will be less noticeable vs a red/brown color.
2x Kamado Joe Big Joes + Cyber Q Wifi + Themapen - Pizza Steel + BGE Paella Pan + BGE Ash Tools + Woo2 + Open Bar Fire Ring
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Comments

  • I'm using the Epiphanes as we speak on Cypress. It's supposed to be the stuff for outdoor wood. It's pricey though, but I'm tired of redoing my table every year. I did 3 thinned coats and am putting on 6 full coats. I'm on #3 as we speak.

    Super high gloss, but that's the only way it comes. I noticed they do sell an additive for a satin finish on the very top coat if you want to take the gloss down. It's very good quality stuff but I really have nothing to compare it to. It looks great





  • Epiphanes seems to be highly recommended. Re-coats can be challenging from some opinions.
    2x Kamado Joe Big Joes + Cyber Q Wifi + Themapen - Pizza Steel + BGE Paella Pan + BGE Ash Tools + Woo2 + Open Bar Fire Ring
  • The high heat from the Egg doesn't hurt it?  I bought a LBGE with a table off Craigslist.  The table has obviously never been finished and I was thinking about what finish would stand up to the high heat radiating from the egg.

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

  • The high heat from the Egg doesn't hurt it?  I bought a LBGE with a table off Craigslist.  The table has obviously never been finished and I was thinking about what finish would stand up to the high heat radiating from the egg.
    Pavers should be used under the egg/ ceramic cooker. Epiphanes is a flexible coating which should hold well with extreme changes in temp. For cedar, I'm thinking of using a combination of Sikkens HLS and Epiphanes. I believe an epoxy filler needs to be used on any knots in the wood if your using spar varnish. Without he filler you end up with a lot of bubbling around the knots.
    2x Kamado Joe Big Joes + Cyber Q Wifi + Themapen - Pizza Steel + BGE Paella Pan + BGE Ash Tools + Woo2 + Open Bar Fire Ring
  • I'm using the Epiphanes as we speak on Cypress. It's supposed to be the stuff for outdoor wood. It's pricey though, but I'm tired of redoing my table every year. I did 3 thinned coats and am putting on 6 full coats. I'm on #3 as we speak.

    Super high gloss, but that's the only way it comes. I noticed they do sell an additive for a satin finish on the very top coat if you want to take the gloss down. It's very good quality stuff but I really have nothing to compare it to. It looks great




    Hey Tex, Did you use any epoxy filler on your project?
    2x Kamado Joe Big Joes + Cyber Q Wifi + Themapen - Pizza Steel + BGE Paella Pan + BGE Ash Tools + Woo2 + Open Bar Fire Ring
  • I'm using the Epiphanes as we speak on Cypress. It's supposed to be the stuff for outdoor wood. It's pricey though, but I'm tired of redoing my table every year. I did 3 thinned coats and am putting on 6 full coats. I'm on #3 as we speak.

    Super high gloss, but that's the only way it comes. I noticed they do sell an additive for a satin finish on the very top coat if you want to take the gloss down. It's very good quality stuff but I really have nothing to compare it to. It looks great




    Hey Tex, Did you use any epoxy filler on your project?

    Ha! Nope. My table is 8 years old and has been uncovered for the entire time. It actually completely fell apart last week when the support beams for the top rotted out. They were so weathered that I had to hit them with my angle grinder with sanding pad just to get down to the wood. No need for epoxy filler on this job ( A delicate job this was not).There are rotary sander marks all over it but it looks awesome from where it came from. I'll post some pics here in a few. the stuff is great and re-coats are a snap. no problems at all with that, but again, I'm coating 8 year old, heavily weathered cypress.



  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 1,986
    Sikkens is fantastic stuff.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 1,986
    JasonP said:

    Sikkens....../thread

    Huh?

    Mark Annville, PA
  • I knew about the pavers under the Egg, but I was wondering about the table top where the Egg comes through it.  The Egg is pretty close to the wood right there and while the wood itself is ok, I was curious about the finish and how it reacts to the higher temps.

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

  • XLBalcoXLBalco Posts: 555

    i bought a quart of hellmens and tested it on some of my spare wood... didnt care for it and bought the pettit flagship varnish....  glad i went that route.. here are some pics.  the marine zspar is the way to go

    http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1141709/table-is-done-finally-pics-inside#latest

     

  • I knew about the pavers under the Egg, but I was wondering about the table top where the Egg comes through it.  The Egg is pretty close to the wood right there and while the wood itself is ok, I was curious about the finish and how it reacts to the higher temps.

    I would make sure wood and your the hole is big enough that you have an 1 1/2 inches between the wood and your egg and you should be fine. I'd make that gap 2 1/2 inches for a counter depth.
    2x Kamado Joe Big Joes + Cyber Q Wifi + Themapen - Pizza Steel + BGE Paella Pan + BGE Ash Tools + Woo2 + Open Bar Fire Ring
  • Thanks Charcoal_Addict!  That makes a whole lot of sense to me.  I'll make sure of my clearance and start refinishing this weekend.  Epiphanes sounds like something I would like to try.  Thanks again!

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,341
    Being a hard core fine woodworker (as a hobby) for years, I've learned a few things about spar varnishes and outdoor furniture.

    Cedar, cypress, redwood, teak, IPE and a number of other species are naturally rot resistant.  But no wood can handle all the elements, unprotected, for long.  Spar paints were originally desisned to flex with the "spars" on sailboats, which flex and swell with moisture and temp changes.  They started out as as curing oils with non-polymerizing oils added to keep them elastic.  Newer formulations have high-tech polymer bases with oils and other additives to keep them flexible.  UV absorbing compounds like suntan oils are added.

    As a consequence, the paint is soft. They're designed for one primary purpose - being elastic.  No problem there, dents add character.  Real marine spar varnishes will weather by powdering on the outer surface.  The helmsman and other consumer brands will delaminate.  I always recommend covering whatever you finish with the best you can afford so you don't have to refinish every year or two.  (hint - use a cover)  Buy the real marine stuff if you can and if you expect to leave the table sitting in the open all year round.  It will last longer (but not nearly as long as a cheaper finish that's not left to the elements) and the real marine spar is less likely to suffer a catastrophic failure where you have to sand off the entire old finish to refinish.

    But there are other considerations if it gets wet - standing water will start a cancerous rot - try not to build with surfaces where water and debris (which holds water) collects.  You can do this by beveling horizontal surfaces, creating water shedding pathways.  Look at your typical house window stool - it's angled to wick the water away. 

    High performance deck paints are good at preserving the wood and preventing stains, but don't give you a "fine" finish (purdy) that you'll get with the marine paints.  Anyway, regurgitated a summary from my research.  If you really want something to last, encapsulate it in marine epoxy and spar paint.  That's how they make canoes out of balsa that last for a generation or longer.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • The top will be sheet grey solid stsined and water sealed fir plywood coated in Porcelian and glass file for the top. A 1 x 1 solid stained regulrar pine will be screwed around the edge and covered with porcielan tile. I will have to pay a third party to cut a prefect circle in the porcelain tile for the Big Joe with a water jet. This should make for a far more durable table top vs exposed cedar softwood.

    The table will be 34 inches wide and the top will be 36 inches wide to channel water away from the wood and drawers below.

    Tile cover fir plywood will also be used for the Shelf under the cooker. The shelf will also be extended by a inch to channel water away from the drawer below.

    I'm not sure about putting a drawer under the cooker yet. There may not be much space to justify one.

    Sikkens and Epiphanes will be the finishing choices.
    2x Kamado Joe Big Joes + Cyber Q Wifi + Themapen - Pizza Steel + BGE Paella Pan + BGE Ash Tools + Woo2 + Open Bar Fire Ring
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,341
    Good, the top takes most of the abuse.   Sounds like you're on the right track.  I spend about 1/4 of my time doing finish work, but I'm working with pecky and other reclaimed woods.  Did I mention I hate finish work?  Good thing is you're almost done....
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • The biggest mistake to avoid when laying outdoor tile is using treated pine plywood. The warping of a treated board as it dries out overtime will cause the tile/stone to crack. Douglas Fir, Brich, Cedar board, are better choices for laying tile. With a protective solid stain for longevity on a lower qaulity wood.

    Most sites seem to indicated transparent stains as a bad choice for plywood. No spar varnish on the tiled side of the board. (Hopefully that's an obvious.)
    2x Kamado Joe Big Joes + Cyber Q Wifi + Themapen - Pizza Steel + BGE Paella Pan + BGE Ash Tools + Woo2 + Open Bar Fire Ring
  • This has been a topic on my mind a bit.  Deciding on if I need a Spar varnish or not.
    I have used on the drawers I have made.  The top will be granite so no need to have an easy to wipe / clean surface there.  I will only have the lower shelf where the egg sits and its only a small portion anyway.
    I am thinking that the rest of the table could really be an semi-transparent or semi-solid exterior stain and not varnish it at all.  With the stain I should be able to clean and touch up more easily then sanding and re varnishing.
    I also will be looking at a cover to cover the cabinet when exposed for extended periods
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,341
    You can use fiber cement board as a substrate for tile.  If you want to go thick, use two pieces.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • You can use fiber cement board as a substrate for tile.  If you want to go thick, use two pieces.

    I was concerned how well that would hold up outside without a plywood backing. It would be too thick in combination with plywood.

    2x Kamado Joe Big Joes + Cyber Q Wifi + Themapen - Pizza Steel + BGE Paella Pan + BGE Ash Tools + Woo2 + Open Bar Fire Ring
  • This has been a topic on my mind a bit.  Deciding on if I need a Spar varnish or not.
    I have used on the drawers I have made.  The top will be granite so no need to have an easy to wipe / clean surface there.  I will only have the lower shelf where the egg sits and its only a small portion anyway.
    I am thinking that the rest of the table could really be an semi-transparent or semi-solid exterior stain and not varnish it at all.  With the stain I should be able to clean and touch up more easily then sanding and re varnishing.
    I also will be looking at a cover to cover the cabinet when exposed for extended periods

    If you stick to a quality product like Epiphanes, the refinishing is very easily done with minor sanding and recoats. (As long as you maintain the surface.)

    The only time you have to resurface spar Urethane off is when you use the cheap off the shelf garbage they sell at home stores that cracks.

    No argument Satin finishes are easier to re-apply.

    2x Kamado Joe Big Joes + Cyber Q Wifi + Themapen - Pizza Steel + BGE Paella Pan + BGE Ash Tools + Woo2 + Open Bar Fire Ring
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,341
    You can use fiber cement board as a substrate for tile.  If you want to go thick, use two pieces.
    I was concerned how well that would hold up outside without a plywood backing. It would be too thick in combination with plywood.
    You don't have to use plywood.  You can buy different thicknesses, 1/4" to 5/8" are common.  If you want thicker, you can use two cement boards stacked, glued together with adhesive.  They specifically list outdoor kitchen countertops as an application.  They should hold up better than plywood because they're made our of cement and fiber. 

    see http://www.nationalgypsum.com/products/Product.aspx?ProductID=2412
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Outlaw77Outlaw77 Posts: 71
    Be careful laying your tile directly to a wood substrate even with a thick mud bed. When your wood substrate expands and contracts your tile and/or grout will crack. You can minimize this by adding a 1/4 or 1/2 cement board and using grout chalk for your joints. However the cement board is not water proof just water resistant. It does not warp, delaminate, etc.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,341
    You can put a Kerdi membrane over just about anything if you want a waterproof moisture barrier between the tile and the substrate.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Outlaw77Outlaw77 Posts: 71
    Yep. Felt, Tar, water seal, liner pans also.
  • The cement board looks like it will work. The big thinng will be making sure edge is good enough to protect it from the rain. It appears stucco can be applied to protect any exposed areas. Cutting a 29 inch circle with a jig saw may require a special blade. I can't imagine trying to cut a circle with a utility knife being a lot of fun.
    2x Kamado Joe Big Joes + Cyber Q Wifi + Themapen - Pizza Steel + BGE Paella Pan + BGE Ash Tools + Woo2 + Open Bar Fire Ring
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,341
    You can purchase a special jig saw blade made specifically to cut fiber cement board.

    http://www.acetoolonline.com/product-p/bos-t341hm1.htm.

    You can put bull-nose, edge tile, etc. on the edges/corners, which is stronger than stucco.  Just an option.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 1,986
    edited August 2012

    You can purchiase a special jig saw blade made specifically to cut fiber cement board.

    http://www.acetoolonline.com/product-p/bos-t341hm1.htm.

    You can put bull-nose, edge tile, etc. on the edges/corners, which is stronger than stucco.  Just an option.

    +1 on bullnose edge tile. It will look the best.

    Mark Annville, PA
  • Outlaw77Outlaw77 Posts: 71
    @Charcoal_Addict In my experience, you will still need to use an exterior grade plywood base under your cement underlayment. HardieBacker and Durock are the name brands I use for my underlayment (I'm a residential and commercial builder). I rarely get asked to do a tile countertop these days (my area is all about granite slabs) but when I have done them i always use 3/4'' mdf for interior applications and 3/4 A/C exterior grade for exterior applications for the base. Depending on the thickness of your tile and thin set, figure about 1 1/2" - 2'' for the overall thickness of your counter top.

    +1 on the edge tile. would make for a cleaner look.
  • Outlaw77 said:

    @Charcoal_Addict In my experience, you will still need to use an exterior grade plywood base under your cement underlayment. HardieBacker and Durock are the name brands I use for my underlayment (I'm a residential and commercial builder). I rarely get asked to do a tile countertop these days (my area is all about granite slabs) but when I have done them i always use 3/4'' mdf for interior applications and 3/4 A/C exterior grade for exterior applications for the base. Depending on the thickness of your tile and thin set, figure about 1 1/2" - 2'' for the overall thickness of your counter top.


    +1 on the edge tile. would make for a cleaner look.
    I would love to do a concrete or granite slab, cost is the issue. If I decide to do a concrete/granite top, (keep in mind I live in Canada where they charge 20%. - 40 % more than the US for everything...AKA Canada Tax).

    I would be looking at having to spend about $1500 Canadian for anyone third party to create a top for me. This would delay the project until next year.

    Right now am at $2500 for the Big Joe and all the accessories. $1000 with the current table budget. It's too bad we don't have direct purchase outlets like the US where the cost can be cut down. Costco is the closest we have. The cost of the tops is more about labor than material. The granite top is about $800, the labour and taxes are the other $600 USD.

    I'm pretty sure if I lived in the US everything would be 30% less.

    I was thinking about pouring my own concrete counter top, I'm concerned I don't have the skill sets to pull that off.

    The other option is ceaser stone, which holds up better than granite outside. No discoloration and polishing required. It's used in tons of patio tables and other outdor furiture.

    2x Kamado Joe Big Joes + Cyber Q Wifi + Themapen - Pizza Steel + BGE Paella Pan + BGE Ash Tools + Woo2 + Open Bar Fire Ring
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