miketeve

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    Beginner-level outdoor furniture

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  1. Hi, entirely new to this forum and woodworking / furniture building. Based on talking to a live edge vendor and consulting the internet, I've devised the following plan for an outdoor live edge bench I'm making. Would appreciate people's feedback! Details: Maple live edge Will sit under the eaves of our house, so will be somewhat protected from water, but may get damp Will not get a ton of direct sunlight Planning on Epifanes clear varnish for first 3 coats, then Epifanes matte varnish for last 2 coats, as I'd like as much of a matte finish as possible Planning on doing this in a garage at about 60 degrees Plan: Prep wood to 220 grit using my random orbital sander Apply water or mineral spirits to raise grain Add varnish - starting with 1:1 varnish:mineral spirits ratio with a foam brush Let sit for 1 day Hand sand with 220 grit Add 2nd coat, 1:1 ratio, foam brush Repeat for 3rd coat, but move to 2:1 ratio For 4th and 5th coat, use the matte varnish with 2:1 ratio and with fine bristled brush Questions: Do I sand after raising the grain before varnish? Does this even matter? Does the foam vs. bristled brush matter? Could I just use the matte varnish for the whole thing? I'm assuming people use the clear as it protects better? Seems varnish is a much better solution than oil, unless I want to re-apply oil at least once or twice a year. However, a natural wood look is my goal. Given the conditions, maybe an oil finish is the better option? Thanks again!