Refinishing an outdoor butcher block tabletop

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Old 12-07-16, 03:30 PM
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Refinishing an outdoor butcher block tabletop

I have a new outdoor table for my Big Green Egg and the tabletop for this table is made out of raw butcher block. I plan on using oil-based Minwax penetrating stain. My dilemma is what to do next to seal/finish the top. Obviously, I need to do whatever is best to protect it from the outdoor elements because it is completely exposed and will not be under any cover.

Any suggestions on how to seal/finish the top would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 12-07-16, 03:34 PM
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I don't recall ever having finished a butcher block top but would think you'd want to use a food grade oil to finish it with. If it's going to be exposed to the elements you'd likely need to re oil it every so often.

Not sure I'd use stain but if you do, a spar poly like Minwax's Helmsman would be the finish to use.
 
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Old 12-07-16, 04:20 PM
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Thanks for the reply! I won't be preparing food on it so I don't think I need food grade oil. I've read a little about the Helmsman and the reviews are a little mixed on how well it lasts. I'm really considering just staining it and then keeping an oil-based finish like Teak Oil or Tung Oil. I know I'd have to reapply it fairly often to keep the water from causing issues with the top.
 
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Old 12-07-16, 04:53 PM
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Whole idea is just a really bad plan but if I had to do it I'd be using Bristal Finish not Helms Mens.
It has 5 times the UV protection or Helmens.
Bristol Finish | High Performance Wood Coatings
 
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Old 12-07-16, 05:33 PM
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@joecaption... what's specifically do you think is a bad plan?
 
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Old 12-08-16, 03:55 AM
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A glued together wood top generally isn't a good idea when it can be exposed to the elements.
Helmsman does a decent job but like most spar polys it will need to be sanded and recoated as part of ongoing maintenance. This might be yearly [depends on exposure]

I've never used any Bristol Finish - it's not available locally.
 
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Old 12-08-16, 08:44 AM
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Joe's big on the Bristol but, like Mark, I've never used it. Spar urethane would be my choice but just keep in mind that any wood outside either needs to be naturally weather resistant, like cedar or redwood, or pressure treated or don't expect it to last very long.
 
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Old 12-08-16, 03:47 PM
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Thanks for all the comments! I've determined today that the wood is white oak and exterior glue was used to combine the strips. Would I be totally off base just using an oil-based exterior stain and then finish it with an application of Teak, Tung or Linseed oil? It wouldn't be difficult at all to just reapply the oil every 6 months or so as needed. Possibly an exterior deck stain would be a good choice?

I have attached pics of the wood. It's 1 1/4" thick and used to floor semi tractor trailers. The photo shows the rough, unsanded side. Really appreciate the advice!

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Old 12-08-16, 04:09 PM
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That wood isn't rated for outdoor use. Don't expect any covering on it to make it last forever.
 
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Old 12-08-16, 04:36 PM
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@stickshift... well I'm a little too far down the road at this point so I'll just have to make the best of it. Thanks for letting me know.
 
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Old 12-09-16, 01:20 AM
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Unlike the others, I think that could be made to last quite a while. I had one of those typical made in China, sold at HD, with cast iron legs, arms, and part of the back. The rest was rounded oak slats for the seat and backrest, finished with some sort of typical cheap spray on lacquer or poly. After one year the finish was pretty shot, but the wood was ok, since it hadn't been in contact with the ground and I made sure to clean any accumulated dirt from the crevices. After a good cleaning with a scrub brush and some deck cleaner, I put a coat of clear Flood deck finish on it. After about 3 or 4 years, I removed all the brass hardware, scrubbed (with bleach, water and soap solution), let dry, sanded and re-coated the wood with particular attention to the ends. 3-4 yrs later we gave it to a neighbor after we had sold the house. Still in decent shape, no rot or anything. This thing sat in the sun, rain, and snow that whole time.

I think the main thing is, keep it clean, don't leave anyplace for leaves and such to accumulate, make sure the bottom is also well coated, and watch for any critter infestations. That last is even more of an issue since you will have food around it.
 
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Old 12-09-16, 03:59 AM
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Vic, which Flood coating did you use? I really like the look of Flood's CWF but it doesn't last as long as I think it should - rain and sun are hard on it.
 
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Old 12-09-16, 03:06 PM
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IIRC it was when they still had the regular CWF and had just come out with CWF-UV and that's what I had switched to on the deck. Now they have CWF-UV5 which might be even better. If you could find someone who sells it of course.
 
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Old 12-09-16, 04:07 PM
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Thanks guys... I bought a gallon of the oil-based SuperDeck semi-transparent today. I'll be applying it Sunday to both sides of that top. I'll post up a picture once done.
 
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Old 12-09-16, 04:12 PM
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Hey Vic, I think all the CWF is the UV version today although I'm not certain about the number. The old CWF was oil base and really had a bad time battling the elements, The waterborne stuff they sell now does a LOT better but not as good as I think it should.

carillon, sorry if I hijacked your thread a little ....... Merry Christmas!
 
 

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