Outdoor Finishes

TYPE

DURABILITY

DRYING TIME

SURFACE SHEEN

COST

Paint

Durable

Varies: Latex, 1-2 hours; alkyd, 3-4 hours. Recoat after 24 hours

Flat to gloss with range of opaque colours

Inexpensive

Spar varnish

Durable

4 to 6 hours, cures overnight

Satin to gloss; clear

Moderately expensive

Opaque stain

Resists fading, but does not protect wood from abrasion

4 to 6 hours

Flat to semi-gloss, many opaque colours

Moderately expensive

Polyurethane

Very durable; especially resistant to fungus

24 hours

Flat to gloss; clear, but yellows with age

Expensive

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