Outdoor bench needs special care



By Mary Beth Breckenridge

Akron Beacon Journal

Q: I have a park bench on my front porch that stays outside year round. It is cast iron with oak slats on the seat and back. What should I coat the wood with in the spring to renew and preserve it?

A: Refinishing expert Jeff Jewitt, an author and owner of Homestead Finishing Products in Cleveland, said paint holds up best to the degrading effects of the sun.

If you go that route, sand and either pressure-wash or thoroughly clean the bench before you paint. Oil-based paint will hold up best, he said.

If you want a clear finish, Jewitt recommended buying marine varnish from a boat store. It’s meant to go on thick — six to eight coats — and will need to be applied every two to three years.

You could opt for a penetrating finish instead. He recommended a product called Penofin.

If it’s not at the local hardware or home-improvement store, you could order it online at www.stainswood.com, www.woodnewengland.com or www.designsinouterspace.com.

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