Just out of interest I’m testing some of the finishes I have collected for various projects over the years, including some light duty oil mixtures, linseed Oil, Tung Oil to marine grade varnishes and clear coats. Of course we already know that if you want a long lasting protective finish you just use exterior paint.
Here I’m just seeing how we can achieve the natural finish for the longest time without re-applying. I’ve also got a test piece with fiberglass resin, but that might be impractical for using on boxes due to expense and application.
I’ve divided up the cypress timber sample in to 10 with the far right section with no coating at all. I’ll place one piece of timber inside the shed out of the weather and one in the yard with full exposure to all the elements and see how well they last.
Exposed to full sun all day every day for five and half months
Above – comparison, top piece of wood kept indoors, lower piece exposed to sun.
Below – Products written on the side of the piece that was stored under cover.
Busy Bee Polish / Boiled Linseed Oil / Tung Oil / Shed Oil / Decking Oil / Ultra Deck / Clear Varnish / Ultra Clear Marine / Furniture Wax / None
- 1st left section – Busy Bee Wax Polish – didn’t last very long
- 2nd from the left – Linseed Oil, it didn’t last very well
- 3rd from the left – Tung Oil, I think that performed pretty well for an oil
- 4th from left – Shed Oil – lasts well, it can have a golden colour
- 5th from left – Decking Oil FeastWatson – lasts well
- 6th – Ultra Deck Intergrain – lasts well
- 7th – Clear Varnish Cabots Marine – didn’t last that well
- 8th – UltraClear Intergrain – lasted ok – I do like it because it is clear and doesn’t have a yellow colour
- 9th – Furniture Wax MasterTouch – Didn’t last well
- 10th section had no coating – to compare with
My picks from the above products would be Tung Oil and Ultradeck. While they perform well they’re not the ultimate answer and in reality, the weather and sun will kill everything.
The best long lasting coating for outdoor extreme situations is a good exterior paint.
If you want a coating that shows the qualities of the wood then most will be ok but you will have to keep the hive under cover to make the coating last or keep re-applying the coating.
Some of the oils and varnishes can have a golden tinge to them, I prefer a clear vanish that doesn’t change the colour of the wood.
If you know of a better product or have a suggestion send me an email and i’ll try it.