What polyurethane to use on exterior wood shutters

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Old 02-22-15, 04:58 PM
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What polyurethane to use on exterior wood shutters

Im building some exterior board and batten shutters and was wondering what is the best polyurethane to use on them that will hold up the best in exterior weather. Im building them out of some old repurposed treated wood picket fence. Im staining them with the minwax red mohogany. I bought and used a quart of the minwax simi gloss polyurethane. Is there any thing better that will hold up and seal the wood? Also what is the best product to use to anchor them so I can pull them off every couple years to recoat them?
 
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Old 02-22-15, 05:04 PM
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Spar Varnish is readily available and will last a few years, but will probably still require constant attention, sanding and recoating... a marine grade polyurethane will probably give you better results, though also requiring touchups and maintenance as the wood weathers. but is not something you will readily find in stores, unless you have a boat repair shop nearby. Probably something you could shop for online, though.

Do NOT use any finishes that are meant for indoor use, (like Minwax poly) which is the vast majority of them.

Don't know what your house is built out of, so it's hard to recommend an anchor.
 
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Old 02-22-15, 05:26 PM
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Just a totally extremely bad plan.
No way would I be using pressure treated!!!
That Minwax poly if your lucky may last a year.
Just no reason to use poly on shutters, marine grade or not.
Even Bristol Finish at $17.00a qt. would not hold up on pressure treated.
 
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Old 02-22-15, 05:43 PM
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so what should I build the shutters out of? How will cedar hold up? I can buy and use new cedar fence pickets and get the same look. I would still need to stain them. How would stained cedar hold up? The exterior of the home is Brick and mortar.
 
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Old 02-22-15, 05:56 PM
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Cedar, cypress would hold up better, with just stain on it.
Vinyl that looks like wood, would last far longer.
 
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Old 02-22-15, 05:57 PM
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Old 02-22-15, 06:02 PM
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can I use the marine urethane over cedar? Or better to just stain? I would rather not do shutters at all before using vinyl.
 
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Old 02-22-15, 07:51 PM
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Since you mentioned it is "old repurposed" treated wood, it will probably have dried out to a low moisture content, which is important in getting any sort of finish to stick. So if you are just looking for a low cost project, you can certainly go for it, provided you pick a quality exterior coating, but it will still not be a low maintenance item.

Cedar can be a low moisture wood as well, so if you get dry cedar, it would work... but problem is most cedar in stores is recently cut, thus still wet. Just like treated wood, the cedar (or any other wood) would have to have a VERY low moisture content in order to hold a finish.

The difficulty you have is that ANY wood- even if it is dry when you finish it- will absorb moisture from the air. The changing humidity of the wood eventually causes the finish to fail- even if it is kept completely out of the elements.

Most people will use a solid color or semi-transparent stain on any wood that is going to be exterior. (fences, decks, etc.) Stains generally do not peel if applied correctly... unlike paints, polys on exterior wood. (Not a Minwax wood finish, which is meant for interior use only.)

Expose the wood to rain and sun, and it increases the likelihood the finish will fail sooner. For instance... a fiberglass door is not real wood, it can be finished similar to your shutters, but temperature changes and the sun will eventually get to the finish and it will need maintenance. It just happens to wood faster.

Coating all 6 sides of the wood, even portions that may overlap one another, and constant maintenance will be needed no matter what wood you choose. Cypress is rot resistant, so that is one of it's benefits. Cedar is too, but to a far lesser degree.
 

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Old 02-23-15, 04:14 AM
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As stated above a spar urethane is the only type of poly that should be used on the exterior but even so it's not a good choice for the shutters. How long it lasts depends a lot on the weather it's exposed to. A lot of sun/rain could cause the coating to fail in as little as 6 months The more it's protected from the elements, the longer it will last.

I'd recommend using an exterior wood stain [no poly] A translucent or toner stain would probably give you the look you want.
 
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Old 02-23-15, 08:33 AM
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Deck stain would be my first thought.
 
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