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Rob Perillo
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Feb 2017
42 posts

Cypress porch columns - finish question
I am removing the columns on my back porch and have elected to replace them with cypress. I got the columns cut down to size and sanded down, finished smooth with 220 grit sand paper. I was planning to stain the columns, but was unsure of if I should apply a sealer or varnish to them following the stain application.

I built a large porch planter last year and stained it with minwax "gun stock", I did apply the minwax varnish to it, but it hasnt seemed to hold up all that well where it gets alot of sunlight.

Any thoughts on if the sealer is necessary?


tigereye58
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2007
2356 posts

re: Cypress porch columns - finish question
I just did 10 of these. Local paint guy that I really trust said to stain them and do no varnish. He said when they fade, lightly sand again and restain them. If you varnish you’ll have to sand them down all the way next time. He said I’ll probably need to restain them every 3-5 years versus every year with varnish. Its only been about 6 months but all I did was stain them. About half of mine are in the afternoon sun.


turkish
Member since Aug 2016
342 posts

re: Cypress porch columns - finish question
I don’t have first hand experience but I have this same project on my to-do list. I’ve got the same questions. I’ve heard good things about TWP for this job, from several folks. BUT... I have tested TWP out on some cypress I used to build a patio cooler and was disappointed in the appearance. It does NOT make the grain pop the way other topcoats, like poly or oil do. The TWP was more like a dye, if that makes sense. The knots weren’t accentuated and didn’t get that “wet” look that my trusty spar varnish gives. TWP is well thought of as a preservative, though.


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10
GooseCreekMafia
Louisiana Tech Fan
Member since Jun 2017
209 posts

re: Cypress porch columns - finish question
What color stain did you use and do you have any pics? I have 8 I need to do in the next month
This post was edited on 2/6 at 1:05 pm


Rob Perillo
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Feb 2017
42 posts

re: Cypress porch columns - finish question
I think i'm leaning this way as well. Going to stain them and put them up, if I have to go back and seal after they are installed it won't be a big deal.


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wickowick
LSU Fan
Head of Island
Member since Dec 2006
43762 posts

re: Cypress porch columns - finish question
You could always use a marine varnish, which will hold up a lot better to the Uv light


Scoutjr21
Member since Dec 2020
44 posts

re: Cypress porch columns - finish question
It is next to impossible to stain cypress column without them looking really cheap and bad... they will fade, they will look like plastic, just really not a good look. I know it’s the fad and people think it’s the it thing to do but I promise you will be much happier and it will look soooooo much better if you paint them


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45
BasilFawlty
Southeastern LA Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Dec 2014
857 posts

re: Cypress porch columns - finish question
quote:

stained it with minwax "gun stock", 

Do not use Minwax stain or poly outside. It is strictly an interior product. It says so on the can.


Rob Perillo
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Feb 2017
42 posts

re: Cypress porch columns - finish question
I dont know how I missed that.... but its a little late now, already stained them this afternoon. No wonder the planter box isnt in the best of shape

Any experience on using a UV resistant sealant of some type? I could sand out the stain and restart, but would rather not have to do the extra few hours of sanding. Also, they are under a bit of a overhang and dont get a ton of direct sunlight, so maybe it wont be a huge issue?
This post was edited on 2/6 at 6:56 pm


BasilFawlty
Southeastern LA Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Dec 2014
857 posts

re: Cypress porch columns - finish question
If you don't want to sand/restrain, your best option is to topcoat with a spar urethane. You'll probably have to recoat every 18-24 months.
What you're going to run into is the stain fading. The parts that receive sunlight will basically bleach out. My personal choice would be a solid stain, paint, or just a clear exterior wood sealer.


turkish
Member since Aug 2016
342 posts

re: Cypress porch columns - finish question
quote:

clear exterior wood sealer

Like what?


BasilFawlty
Southeastern LA Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Dec 2014
857 posts

re: Cypress porch columns - finish question
Valspar, Sherwin, Ben Moore, Cabot all have viable clear sealers. They usually don't build a gloss, which makes it easier when it comes time to recoat.
IMO, stay away from Thompson's. TWP is also a good choice.
I'm a little rusty on what's out there, I haven't sold that stuff in a while.
This post was edited on 2/7 at 9:50 am


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LSUTIGERTAILG8ER
LSU Fan
Chance of Rain....NEVER!!
Member since Nov 2007
1191 posts

re: Cypress porch columns - finish question
Sherwin Williams
Dark Oak
TWP

We just used this on our new outdoor kitchen for cypress bead board, cypress beams and columns.

It penetrates and protects and so far (few months later) the wood beads off the water like a thompson water sealer.
So far, very pleased with this product


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Dale3
LSU Fan
'Merica
Member since Aug 2014
160 posts

re: Cypress porch columns - finish question
Saw somebody ruin close to $20,000 worth of custom exterior doors from doing this. Doors were on a porch and under an overhang also, but didn't take long to start warping.


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Rob Perillo
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Feb 2017
42 posts

re: Cypress porch columns - finish question
I found a can of spar urethane in my paint box in the garage from doing some projects last year, and I do see that it claims to be a UV blocker, so I will probably add some of that if needed. Going to monitor how much sun theyre getting as warmer months approach.

I am really happy with the way they turned out, a huge upgrade over the turncraft style columns that were existing.


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tigereye58
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2007
2356 posts

re: Cypress porch columns - finish question
I used a product called Flood from my local paint store. Its made by PPG so whoever carries your PPG stuff will have it. I did a semi transparent stain so more of the wood will show. IMO the color I chose (Sierra i think) was a little too orange but they have evened out some now that the sun and rain has taken off that initial brightness. We have gotten tons of compliments on them. Next time I’ll do something a little more brown. That’s my 2 cents. I was told not to use Thompsons as other products are better now. I did sand them down very clean with a palm sander. I was trying to avoid the dull looking gray cypress color that comes when they just sit in the weather.

One negative I’ve found with all of these products is they don’t sell samples. You can get quart size at Sherwin Williams of some of the colors of a similar product.


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ElleEsEwe
Member since Sep 2018
198 posts

re: Cypress porch columns - finish question
Used marine varnish on my large front doors with great results


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