Vic

Finish for TREX?

18 posts in this topic

Attached is a couch I've been building for our patio. I've used TREX for all the used horizontal surfaces. I found that boiled linseed works well to homogenize the color of the TREX (saddle), but I find it shows water stains quite well. I've also used an elastomeric (yes, real word) caulk on it. I'm thinking of putting a couple layers of shellac on top. The caulk is paintable. Should this work? Any other suggestions? I do realize that because it's an outdoor piece, I will have to perform maintenance.post-8-005049200 1281221604_thumb.jpg

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Attached is a couch I've been building for our patio. I've used TREX for all the used horizontal surfaces. I found that boiled linseed works well to homogenize the color of the TREX (saddle), but I find it shows water stains quite well. I've also used an elastomeric (yes, real word) caulk on it. I'm thinking of putting a couple layers of shellac on top. The caulk is paintable. Should this work? Any other suggestions? I do realize that because it's an outdoor piece, I will have to perform maintenance.post-8-005049200 1281221604_thumb.jpg

I would probably treat this piece like any other piece of outdoor furniture, with the same options and considerations. If you want something that's relatively light duty, look at maybe Watco Exterior or General Finishes Outdoor Oil. A coat or two should give you a great deal of durability and it will look pretty nice too.

Want to step it up a notch, look at a marine varnish. You probably know my favorite is Epifanes.

Want to step it up another notch? Try CPES (Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer) followed by a couple coats of Epifanes. This is super protective, but puts a significant layer of finish on the material, so I am not sure you want to take it that far.

Nice-looking piece though!

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I would probably treat this piece like any other piece of outdoor furniture, with the same options and considerations. If you want something that's relatively light duty, look at maybe Watco Exterior or General Finishes Outdoor Oil. A coat or two should give you a great deal of durability and it will look pretty nice too.

Want to step it up a notch, look at a marine varnish. You probably know my favorite is Epifanes.

Want to step it up another notch? Try CPES (Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer) followed by a couple coats of Epifanes. This is super protective, but puts a significant layer of finish on the material, so I am not sure you want to take it that far.

Nice-looking piece though!

I'll check those out to see if they'll be compatible with the plastic portion of the TREX. Thanks Marc.

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I'll check those out to see if they'll be compatible with the plastic portion of the TREX. Thanks Marc.

Highly doubtful that CPES will be compatible with -anything- plastic. I've labeled the box for the two parts with a Sharpie "Don't use plastic"; when I have used a plastic mixing bowl, it completely eats through the bottom within 20 minutes (your open time is 60-90 depending on ambient temperature and warm or cold formula CPES). It also eats through neoprene gloves in minutes. The scrap brush I used last night to coat a worktop with CPES lost most of the bristles since the CPES started to dissolve the resins in the ferule. I have a spreader made for epoxy and it got chewed up as well. Cotton rag is the best unless you need to paint into tiny areas like I did.

Doesn't mean it won't work, but ABSOLUTELY apply it to scrap TREX to full cure. Even if it looks decent, check the strength as you might have kicked the, uhm, lookin for a word, uhm snot out of the structural integrity.

That said, though, I love the stuff and you can get a fantastic finish off it; you'll need to hit it with P400 after cure since you'll get puddles that look like runs/drips; nature of the product. One coat of varnish after the P400 and it's great.

This vanity top was waterproofed with CPES then a couple coats of Arm-R-Seal Satin just to set the sheen; it isn't needed to protect the wood.

post-50-008619900 1281244319_thumb.jpg

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Highly doubtful that CPES will be compatible with -anything- plastic. I've labeled the box for the two parts with a Sharpie "Don't use plastic"; when I have used a plastic mixing bowl, it completely eats through the bottom within 20 minutes (your open time is 60-90 depending on ambient temperature and warm or cold formula CPES). It also eats through neoprene gloves in minutes. The scrap brush I used last night to coat a worktop with CPES lost most of the bristles since the CPES started to dissolve the resins in the ferule. I have a spreader made for epoxy and it got chewed up as well. Cotton rag is the best unless you need to paint into tiny areas like I did.

Doesn't mean it won't work, but ABSOLUTELY apply it to scrap TREX to full cure. Even if it looks decent, check the strength as you might have kicked the, uhm, lookin for a word, uhm snot out of the structural integrity.

That said, though, I love the stuff and you can get a fantastic finish off it; you'll need to hit it with P400 after cure since you'll get puddles that look like runs/drips; nature of the product. One coat of varnish after the P400 and it's great.

This vanity top was waterproofed with CPES then a couple coats of Arm-R-Seal Satin just to set the sheen; it isn't needed to protect the wood.

post-50-008619900 1281244319_thumb.jpg

I always enjoy seeing your work, Paul. You're right on that finish...looks FANTASTIC!!! As you know, I used Behr solid stain for most of the couch, except the TREX. I'm thinking I'm just gonna try shellac. I think it will be the easiest to touch up and reapply. Since, this is an permanent outdoor piece, I'll have to re-stain/re-paint every year or two anyway. All our sun just beats the heck outta stuff.

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Thanks for the kind words, Vic :rolleyes:

From what I've read, Trex moves a lot through the seasons. Shellac isn't terribly flexible. Push on an M&M and you'll see fracture lines through the surface. Mebe veneer it with Ipé :o

Not sure what the solution is; what do they suggest for Trex finishing? I know it comes in a variety of prefinished stain colors especially for decking. I'm wondering if any oil-based finish will really adhere to it; a little like applying varnish to a plastic cutting board...

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Thanks for the kind words, Vic :rolleyes:

From what I've read, Trex moves a lot through the seasons. Shellac isn't terribly flexible. Push on an M&M and you'll see fracture lines through the surface. Mebe veneer it with Ipé :o

Not sure what the solution is; what do they suggest for Trex finishing? I know it comes in a variety of prefinished stain colors especially for decking. I'm wondering if any oil-based finish will really adhere to it; a little like applying varnish to a plastic cutting board...

Well, so far, I've only put BLO on it. I tried to wax it, but it needed to be flooded. The BLO works good as far as the looks right off, and it may be all I can do. I don't want to do the epoxy because, I assume, it would have to be stripped prior to refinishing and I don't want THAT much maintenance. I was actually surprise that the water stain DID wipe off. So, maybe just doing the BLO will suffice.

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Vic, nice looking bench. I am more jealous of the reflected landscape in the windows though - wow. I always thought TREX didn't require finishes, that was a key selling point. Nice that it can take something though.

I will agree with Marc's Epifanes suggestion. I just finished a new front door for our house. I used CPES on the raw fir, though this didn't really add any build depth - it is more of a pore sealant like Marc is always saying for his cutting board varnish finish. I followed with 5 coats of thinned epifanes and wow what a protection. 4 coats of gloss epifanes had me a little worried that I was getting too much build & would look like plastic. For the last coat I switched to their matte finish version, and all my concerns went away about the thickness of build. If you didn't know there were 5 coats you could never tell - it's got a nice touchable surface. With all the UV protectants in Epifanes, this should last a good long time.

Skip the CPES - it does melt plastic as Paul said.

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Aaron the biggest reason why I applied BLO was to homogenize the color. When you cut TREX, the interior color is quite a bit lighter than the factory surface. The BLO brought everything together. Two of my big concerns with putting any kind of build type of surface protection are: 1) TREX moves A LOT, so anything I'd use would have to be extremely flexible; 2) As far as I know, all build type of finishes require some sort of stripping to reapply in a year or two. The BLO and the solid stain I use can be simply put over the top with no real surface prep. Plus, because I live in the very dusty desert, I wouldn't want anything with any kind of sheen. If I can't see the dust, it really doesn't exist. ;)

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I didn't realize how much plastic is actually in the recycled mix. But I would imagine because it does have a wood component and it is porous, it will take drying oils and oil-based finishes just fine. Their site doesn't mention much about clear coats but it does say it can be stained and painted for aesthetic reasons if desired.

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I didn't realize how much plastic is actually in the recycled mix. But I would imagine because it does have a wood component and it is porous, it will take drying oils and oil-based finishes just fine. Their site doesn't mention much about clear coats but it does say it can be stained and painted for aesthetic reasons if desired.

LOL!!! Yea, I guess I could always go look at the site and get some info... :huh:

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LOL!!! Yea, I guess I could always go look at the site and get some info... :huh:

Nah, that's overrated. :)

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OK, I have to ask, what is TREX?

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OK, I have to ask, what is TREX?

Well, let me see if I can explain it.

Trex is the leading brand of alternative decking, railing, fencing, and trim products designed to maximize your outdoor living experience. Trex Company created the composite decking category and revolutionalized the industry. Since then, Trex has inspired many imitators, but they still can't match the enduring quality and beauty of Trex. In the end, there is only one genuine Trex. Be sure to ask for it by name.

Or you might just say is a composite material made from recycled plastic and wood. :)

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Well, let me see if I can explain it.

Trex is the leading brand of alternative decking, railing, fencing, and trim products designed to maximize your outdoor living experience. Trex Company created the composite decking category and revolutionalized the industry. Since then, Trex has inspired many imitators, but they still can't match the enduring quality and beauty of Trex. In the end, there is only one genuine Trex. Be sure to ask for it by name.

Or you might just say is a composite material made from recycled plastic and wood. :)

It's a great material for a lot of outdoor applications. I've found the saddle color has the least color shift of their products. It has little structural integrity, so on decking you have to go no less than 16"OC. It's also quite spendy. I paid $54 for a 1"x12"x12' board. Because I was using this as a top and joining several pieces, I had to sacrifice 1 1/4" from each side of that board. The forming process crimps the edges. If you get the decking boards, they are produced with a pronounced crown to facilitate run off and need to be flattened prior to use.

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Thanks... Marc, did you copy that from an ad or from a commercial?

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Thanks... Marc, did you copy that from an ad or from a commercial?

lol its right from their website. :)

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I know what your saying about the color differance when trex is cut. That being said, save yourself the work of putting a finish on trex, that is the point of the product low matenance. Ive built a few decks out of the stuff and after a year or so the color will match again. sun, weather, i dont know why but it will. trex color runs clean through the product

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