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Thompson's on Cypress Table?

coach bobcoach bob Posts: 28
edited 2:01AM in EGG Table Forum
For the base of my cypress table, I went to my hardware store and they gave me Thompson's water seal and marine varnish. I did the base with the water seal and the directions said to wait a week before applying the varnish which I plan to do this weekend.

The table top has not been delivered yet.

Is Thompson's the correct seal to use under a marine varnish?
If not, what brands do you recommend I do on the top?
I did not expect to wait a week before I could apply the top coats.


  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,020
    im not an expert in wood but thats one ive never heard of. usually they thin the varnish for the sealing coat or warm it up good for the first coat and on some boats apply epoxy then the varnish. never heard waterseal then varnish. is the varnish a spar version, straight varnish doesnt hold up to sunlight, spar varnish and spar urethane do hold up better to sunlight
  • Yea, I agree, that just doesn't "sound right". I'd use "one or the other" In any case I would DEFINITELY call the consumer questions phone number of one or both companies and ask them what they think about that idea.

    One rule of thumb when shopping at a hardware store or a big box store: Never, never, never ask them for any advice on any thing unless you personally have known them for years and know for a fact they're "experts".

    I've made a pretty handy part of my living correcting disasters that were advised by employees of these stores.

    I am curious though as to what the companies whose finish you're using have to say about it, can you get back with us on that if ya call them?
  • I also forgot to mention, I know folks who use Thompsons alone on their picnic tables anyway, and it seems to work just fine. Gotta reapply every year or two, but hey, it's an EASY finish to apply. In any case a quick wipe down with acetone will help break the surface oil down (Cypressine?)for better finish absorbtion. Just let the acetone evaporate and get the finish on within a few hours. Cypress varies pretty widely in amount of oil in it so some folks "get away" with skipping this step, but it's cheap, easy, and leaves less to chance.
  • Took your advice and called Thompson's customer service. He told me not to use any spar varnish on top of the Thompsons water seal. It can be painted after a month, but I wanted the natural wood to show. He did say that the Green label of Thompson's Clear Woodprotector would do a better job for my purpose, but I was using the red label water seal.

    So I may just paint the base in a month and use the spar marine varnish on the top... or I may just waterproof the entire table (over again each year)...
    I have to think it over, the top comes Monday.

    I have used this hardware store for over twenty years and the same guy has never let me down. Guess he was having a bad day.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,020
    thats what i would do, just use the waterseal, on my boat its just weathered grey mahogany, been scraping the spar off it for years, the varnish looks nice but doesnt hold up really well on my boat.
  • Glad you checked! Anyway, if your're gonna use the spar Varnish, I'd wipe it down just before you put the first coat on with some Acetone. Don't "really soak it down" but get the surface "damp" with the acetone. It helps break down the oil in the first few microns of the woods surface which will help with absorbsion/adherance of the all-important first coat. Like Fishlessbob said too, heating and/or thinning that first coat a bit will improve your results. And sand and meticulously as possible remove dust between every coat. On that first coat, a light buzz over with scotchbrite will help keep you from sanding through your stain coat. Good luck!
  • Sorry guys, I morphed "Fishlessman" and "Bob" into one entity . . .my bad!
  • Thanks for the help Woodcutterron and fishlessman
  • What is a decent price on a large compact table?
  • I recommend the following website where I got mine.
  • KitarkusKitarkus Posts: 151
    I bought a table from Mike Gehrke a couple weeks ago...Cypress extra long for my large egg. I actually found him on ebay...but the table and shipment were great. I stained with a minwax stain...then used spar urethane...sanded with 220 grit...repeated etc. I used 4 coats of spar urethane. It really looks great and the table is baby butt smooth. I looked at boat urethane, Thompsons, that EXTRA thick poly coating for bartops etc.etc. IMO there really isn't much choice for things that "work" for this application. Spar seems to be the way to go...stain or unstained...that is up to you.

    I also purchased the BGE table cover for this...what a joke. "Tailored Fit" my a$$....this thing looks like a fat girl at a wedding whose momma thinks she is a seamstress. I'll post a pic of the table cover on the main board when I get a minute.

  • Kitarkus--impressive pic. Wish I would have done the same. Looks like I am stuck with Thompsons water seal until it wares off in a year.
    The new top arrives today (broken in original shipment)
    Mike was great to deal with.
    Have a good Thanksgiving.
  • Capt FrankCapt Frank Posts: 2,578
    Pittsburgh Paints markets a clear sealer for wood that will last 5-6 yrs as opposed to 2-3 for Thompson's. I got mine at the local True Value Hdwe. This gives a very natural finish and only darkens the wood a little bit [see my post on "Wagon Wheel Table"]. It is a one-coat sealer that provide excellent UV protection.
    Urathane varnish will do an great job also, just thin the first coat with a SMALL amount of mineral spirits, then add at least two more coats. Minwax "Satin Finish" will give a softer look than Gloss and will provide just as much UV protection. It just depends on what you prefer.
    Capt Frank
  • Capt Frank -- What would you recommend I do since I already have Thompsons applied?
    Can I use anything on top of it to give it a better seal?
  • Capt FrankCapt Frank Posts: 2,578
    I can't answer that one for sure, but my guess is no. Other products are not likely to be compatible with the Thompson's. Check with someone in a paint store [not a big box outlet], they may be able to compare chemical make-up and tell you what will [or will not] work.
    Other than that, you may want to let the Thompson's weather out naturally, then sand and strip the whole thing and start over.
    Good Luck,
    Capt. Frank
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