Good exterior varnish?

geoff_ncMay 19, 2008

I've got a Pella fiberglass clad exterior front door that I stained, with Minwax gel stain, when installed two and a half years ago. Then I coated it with three coats of Minwax outdoor satin ClearShield "weather resistant coating for wood" varnish with "advanced ultraviolet absorber" as advised by local hardware store. The door faces south/southeast and is fully exposed to morning to mid-afternoon sun and rain as there is no porch roof.

Repeated with two more coats of the same varnish about 12 months later as directed, plus it was starting to show some cloudiness and fading. That restored it. But I had to repeat again six months ago with three more coats of varnish as it was again showing some cloudy areas. Restored it fine for a while.

But now, just six months since last treatment it is worse than before. Almost looks like it is peeling but there are no tactile indications that it is actually peeling at all. I'm seeking your advice about a better product. I know this is a woodwork forum and my door is fiberglass but your expertise is appreciated.

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rockhead515

Hi Geoff,

I've found that a 'spar varnish' is best for these types of conditions. It's the type used on boats and ships. I've used it to seal outdoor signs and such and it has worked very well over the years. It will still need a little maintenance now and then, but far less than with other sealers.

The brands I've used are "Minwax Helsman" and "McCloskey's Man O'War Spar Marine Varnish". I couldn't recommend one over the other as they both work great. I usually pick up what my hardware store has in stock and/or is on sale.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 2:02PM
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