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Suggestions for Iroko finish (outside)

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morgansk

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Hello,

After many, many years of my wife asking for one I've finally built her an Adirondack chair as a surprise anniversary present. Now however I need to finish it and would like some suggestions as to what to use. The chair will most likely spend all of it's life (which I'd like to be a long one) outside. I've used Iroko as that's what I had available to me, and I love the grain so would like the finish to be fairly clear (i.e. not a Walnut style stain). I'm leaning towards an oiled finish of some sort, but I'm sure you folks will be able to give me inspiration.

Thanks in advance,

Morgan
 

RogerM

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Morgan - I'm making some exterior doors and windows from iroko. If you want to filter out the UV that will turn the wood grey then you must have some sort of stain as to use a clear oil is a bit like using clear glass in sunglasses. After a lot of research I've settled on using one coat of Sikkens Cetol HLS Plus light oak stain, followed by 2 or 3 coats of Sikkens Cetol Filter 7 Plus (also light oak). This is the colour you end up with if using reasonably pale iroko - it's not a bad match for pale mahogany.



However, you could just use teak oil if you're happy with a silver/grey finish. It's purely down to aesthetics as the wood will last long enough to see you out even if you do nothing to it!

HTH.
 

Hudson Carpentry

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I use teak oil on most Iroko and african woods for the outside. With Iroko it makes it a lovely glowing colour (see my bench on website). I haven't seen anything I have teaked after a few years so can't comment on the silver/gray thing.
 

morgansk

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Thanks for the suggestion Roger & HC. This will have to wait a few days now as, rather stupidly, I did a partial "Paul Daniels" yesterday afternoon and am now sporting a slot in my index finger where one shouldn't be, courtesy of my table saw. Oops! Luckily it's not too bad so I should be back in action at the weekend, being even more careful from now on!
 

paulm

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Whatever finish or oil you apply will need sanding down and renewing regularly, with that in mind I would leave it natural. Iroko doesn't need a finish as it's naturally very durable outdoors, so it's only necessary if you have a strong preference for the aesthetics and are prepared for the ongoing workload if you do treat it. We had iroko garden gates put up a few years ago and they have weathered to a nice silver grey, which is fine by me :)

Cheers, Paul
 

morgansk

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I must say I'm not a fan of silvered wood outside - to me it seems a shame to let the beauty of the wood drain away over time. But hey, each to their own.

I've ordered 1L of the Sikkens product as that looks like it'll do the job nicely. Thanks for the help chaps!

Morgan
 

Woodfinish Man

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Impressive finish Roger, I'll keep a note of your recommendation, iroko is such a difficult product to coat due to its high oil content.
 
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