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Outdoor hardwood floor

I have oak hardwood flooring that extends onto my outdoor covered front porch. I have finally stripped of the multiple layers of paint and sanded it down. I want to lightly stain it and then finish it to show off the natural wood. It was suggested that I use marine spar varnish vs. regular flooring polyurethane. If this is the best finish, should I use a toner or conditioner before the varnish? If not, what else should I use?

Re: Outdoor hardwood floor

I would concurr with the advice to use the Spar varnish, rather than regular flooring urethanes. Spar urethanes are much more flexible than conventional urethanes, able to expand and contract with the wide variations of heat and humidity found outdoors.

Oak normally takes stain very well without use of a pre-stain conditioner. An oil stain sets the grain fairly well, so you normally just use the urethane itself as the first coat. I am a firm believer in following the manufacturers directions. Urethanes are somewhat finicky about adhereing to themselves. If you wait too long to re-coat, a scuff sanding is usually adviseable. Most urethanes say re-coat not sooner than 4 hours, nor later than 12 hours.

Re: Outdoor hardwood floor

If your exterior oak floor sees any sunlight or weather, you must realize you're committing yourself to a yearly maintenance regimen by going with a clear finish. If the finish breaks down anywhere, the oak will rapidly turn gray, and once it's discolored in spots, the whole area has to be sanded to restore the appearance.
Clear finished, unsheltered exterior woodwork of any kind is too much of a hassle IMO.

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