Staining Pine for a Kid's Sandbox

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Old 07-02-14, 10:05 PM
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Staining Pine for a Kid's Sandbox

Not sure if that thread is in the right category but if not feel free to reclassify it!!! I'm building a sandbox for my 2 year old. Planning on having an awning, side benches etc... it will be a decent looking sandbox. Anyways I was thinking cedar but right off the bat I'm having problems finding 2x12s (Lowe's, Home Depot have nothing like that) and same thing for 1x1s (for the posts) then the different type of cedar if I start with red the whole project has to be with the same type of wood!! So I was thinking of just using pine (SPF) sand it down then stain it so it does look like cedar. Is it a good idea? I know pine is a soft wood and dents easily but using pine would save me lots of time chasing lumberyards for cedar products. How good would it be to stain pine and what is the procedure?
 
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Old 07-02-14, 10:10 PM
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Any real lumberyard that is worth it's salt will have what you need. But I hope you mean 2x2's.... no one sells 1x1.
 
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Old 07-02-14, 10:18 PM
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2x12 for the sandbox walls (12" in height) and 1x1 for the 4 posts
 
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Old 07-03-14, 07:07 AM
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How long do you intend for it to be usable?

Pine outside is not going to last long - I'd be going cedar or PT just like building a deck.
 
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Old 07-03-14, 08:31 AM
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6 to 7 years The thing with PT is nobody has a straight answer if it's safe or not for kids to be exposed to. I was looking at the sienna wood also it looks good but most places don't have 2x12s. If I use pine I would have to protect it like crazy mostly at the base.
 
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Old 07-03-14, 08:39 AM
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Unless kids are chewing the wood or playing in the sawdust, I think the whole issue is overblown. Probably more health hazard will be found in the sand itself after the neighborhood cats find it.
 
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Old 07-03-14, 11:02 AM
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I don't know, 6-7 years for pine seems pretty optimistic.

Your call but I'd still be going cedar or PT.
 
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Old 07-04-14, 04:23 AM
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... and use a deck stain for your coating. Unless your kid is apt to chew on the wood I doubt there is any real risk from the chemicals. Definitely use PT pine or a weather/decay resistant wood like cedar, cypress or redwood. Pine doesn't hold up as well, even when painted.
 
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Old 07-04-14, 06:09 AM
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I found a place where they sell 2x12x12s of cedar.... $95 a piece I would need 2 just for the base and that would pretty much blow my budget with these 2 pieces!!
 
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Old 07-04-14, 06:20 AM
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That's why so many of us use PT lumber - it's a lot cheaper than the alternative
 
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Old 07-04-14, 06:30 AM
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The old CCA was bad for kids. Arsenic. New ACQ is different/fine.
 
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Old 07-04-14, 11:29 AM
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Do you plan on having a bottom, or just sitting the frame on the dirt? I've built some and you have to mortise in slats between the bottom boards to keep the sand from filtering through, but allowing water to seep past. Sort of tricky. I still am questioning 1x1 lumber for vertical supports? How do you plan on doing that? If it has a canopy, it will need substantial support, not only for gravity, but wind and raucous kids hitting it. No less than 2x2, and 2x4 preferred. Even better, a table umbrella embedded in the dirt that you can let out each time they want to play.
 
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Old 07-04-14, 10:42 PM
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Yes I meant 2x2!!!! Anyways I bought some white wood as a test (spruce) I bought the Olympic stain for decks and fences that's what the guy at Lowe's recommended. Even after sanding and applying the stain it's very blotchy and rough looking I asked the sales guy if I should put sealant before and he said no need when it's exterior wood but to be honest it looks pretty crappy it could be good as some sections of the wood is very smooth and the colour pops but overall it's pretty uneven. Would a sealant or a shellac improve the finish?
 
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Old 07-05-14, 05:21 AM
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You can't do much after the fact. A prestain would have been in order to prevent the blotching.
 
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Old 07-05-14, 05:30 AM
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I've never used a wood conditioner or prestain on exterior wood [excluding doors] Which Olympic stain did you use? How did you apply it? You may be able to sand it down and apply another coat.
 
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Old 07-05-14, 05:37 AM
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I only mentioned the prestain due to the fact he was using non pt lumber. I agree exterior wood should not need prestain.
 
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Old 07-05-14, 05:44 AM
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Deck and siding stains are a lot different than the type of stain you use on interior woodwork and shouldn't need a conditioner no matter what type of wood is used. No different that applying stain to smooth siding, fascia, etc. I suspect it's an issue with how the stain was applied. Possibly applied too slowly in hot sunlight or otherwise applied unevenly.
 
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Old 07-05-14, 09:55 AM
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I think sanding with 120 then a second coat really improved it I guess I could go up to 3 coats but at least now it's really close to the colour that I picked. It's Olympic 2 in 1 with a pre-stainer but I always thought that you need to really seal the wood before applying the stain!!!!
 
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Old 07-05-14, 10:04 AM
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Interior stains must be sealed over top of the stain [poly/varnish] and soft woods often benefit from a wood conditioner [pre stain sealer] Exterior stains are formulated differently, require no pre sealing and the stain itself is also a sealer so no clear coat is needed over top of it.
 
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