Outdoor plant labels

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akirk

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I am making some plant labels from maple for a Christmas present - engraved with the detail on the label…

What is the best protection finish I can use? I have spray lacquer which easy as there are 40+ of them, or I could use yacht varnish?
 
I was guessing that might be the answer - the lacquer would be much easier as I can spray them all together, but probably worth doing properly!
 
Will they be stuck in the ground? If so lacquer won't last 5 minutes, varnish might last 10 minutes but don't count on it. They'll make a nice present and a quick coat of spray lacquer will add to their attractiveness. With or without a coating the giftee will probably get several years use out of them.
Brian
 
yes, vegetable names for the vegetable garden - so will be popped partly in the earth...
if the two finishes won't be all that different then I might as well take the easier route...
 
a test will tell you if I'm right, but I would say applying anything (ie yacht varnish) with a brush would risk blurring the writing in a way that thin layers of spray would not. You are physically pushing a medium across a surface so any loosened pigment will be spread
 
Just a thought but perhaps you could modify your design so that it has a stainless steel spike into the ground so the wood is not in direct contact. something like these wall ties Sabrefix 225mm Wall Ties 50 Pack - Screwfix (or perhaps bbq skewers) cut in half and hot glue/epoxy to the back of the label.

If you did do that be sure to put a loop at the top incase anyone was to fall on it though.

I'd be tempted to use danish oil or linseed then as it can be reapplied each year and won't flake bits of varnish into the veg garden.
 
Take a look at 2k lacquer spray. Waterproof and hardwearing. Although primarily for cars I have used it on outdoor furniture and it has lasted for years
 
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Just a thought but perhaps you could modify your design so that it has a stainless steel spike into the ground so the wood is not in direct contact. something like these wall ties Sabrefix 225mm Wall Ties 50 Pack - Screwfix (or perhaps bbq skewers) cut in half and hot glue/epoxy to the back of the label.

If you did do that be sure to put a loop at the top incase anyone was to fall on it though.

I'd be tempted to use danish oil or linseed then as it can be reapplied each year and won't flake bits of varnish into the veg garden.
This what I’d do
I use tags like this in the garden- swapping the black piece for you maple would feel them out of the dirt and the angle makes them easy to read without bending down.


IMG_7748.png
 
I am making some plant labels from maple for a Christmas present - engraved with the detail on the label…

What is the best protection finish I can use? I have spray lacquer which easy as there are 40+ of them, or I could use yacht varnish?
Maple and exterior use is not a good combination. Maples are non-durable* and quickly develop black staining and mould on the surface. A finish will help but once the protective qualities fail and water gets to the wood discoloration happens quickly. I'm not saying you shouldn't use maple for your label presents, but I am making you aware of a potential risk. Much depends on what you mean by "outdoor" in your thread title. Slainte.

* Durability in terms of timber technology relates specifically to a wood species' ability to resist decay in soil contact and maples fall into the non-durable category.
 
These are oak, left untreated, after three years of use. The next set will be liberally oiled but they are not long lasting even in a tough wood like this.
17012667665782653322493476078005.jpg
 
thank you all for the thoughts and ideas...
the labels are already produced - and are the traditional shape as per the photo above (and yes - we include all three of those vegetables!)
maple - simply because it is an extra present requested by my mother and I had some conveniently to hand - possibly doesn't matter if they don't last more than a year or two - I think that I might then move to lasering slate ones as an alternative...
 
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