Eric Anderson

Finish for outdoor soffit

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I'm getting ready to do a residing and deep energy retrofit on the back side of my house.  While I'm tearing everything off, I thought I would dress up the soffit in the alcove outside my sliding glass door.  The area is about 8' x 3'.  I was originally going to use WRC, but when I got to my wood supplier, the WRC was $1.75/bft more than Sapele, which I love working with anyway and should stand up well.  I've milled the lumber with tongue and grooves and will nail off with an 1/8" gap between boards (allowing for expansion of the tongues within the grooves).  My question is what finish to use.  It is outside, but very well protected.  The likelihood of the boards ever getting wet are pretty small (unless the rain is blowing up), and there is no sun due to overhang and heavy shade.  So there will be temperature and humidity issues, but Sapele is well suited for that anyway.  I was thinking of spraying dewaxed shellac, to bring out the color and grain of the Sapele.  Would be very easy to apply and to re-apply as necessary.  Don't really like a poly outside as will be very difficult to refurbish and a marine varnish may be overkill.  Could just leave natural, but want to show off the color and grain.  

Other ideas?

thank you all for your ideas.

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An oil finish would look good and be easy to renew. Shellac doesn't hold up well as an exterior finish.

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Not BLO, an outdoor oil finish. Watco, Penofin and General Finishes among many offer outdoor oil finishes. That's the way I would go. Test some on a scrap and put it out in the sun for awhile as a test, although a soffit won't get much direct sun. Mildew and UV protection would be features I would look for.

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I would also finish all six surfaces prior to installation - I do that for any exterior wood including mahogany decking.  Will really help with the movement and longevity of the finish.

 

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I have used Sikkens with good result. If at all possible prefinish before assembly/installation.

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31 minutes ago, shaneymack said:

Have a look at sikkens cetol. 

I looked ! Damn they are real proud of that stuff ! $35 a quart plus shipping ...

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3 minutes ago, wdwerker said:

I looked ! Damn they are real proud of that stuff ! $35 a quart plus shipping ...

I think I paid around 45/gal last year when I used it. 

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