Q: What’s a strong finish sealer to use on outdoor furniture?
A: For an exceptionally weather-protective finish, use a multi-phase process that’s commonly used in the boat business. Prep the surface by sanding with 220-grit abrasive and wiping with a tack cloth. Apply a tinted oil-based stain, if desired. Once dry, apply a primer coat of two-part resin epoxy with a synthetic-bristle brush, which impregnates the grain of the wood to protect from water and fungi. Wipe off the excess using a rag with lacquer thinner. Allow to cure for two days. Scuff with very fine sandpaper and apply a second coat of epoxy. Allow the epoxy to partially cure for 8 to 12 hours, and then apply a coat of marine varnish according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The semi-cured epoxy will create a strong chemical bond with the varnish, which helps protect the wood from sun damage.