Once I finally scraped all the paint off the oak porch trim, it was time to figure out what to put on it to protect it from Chicago’s squalls. Since it was nearly century-old wood that had been subjected to various treatments and mistreatments over the years, it took some study to pick the final coating. I pondered oils, varnishes and even repainting (shudder) before settling on a marine coating. I’d heard several people say they’d had good results with Sikkens products. But finding the right one took some test swabs, which I thought I’d show here for reference. The expert at our local Epco paint store suggested Cetol Door & Window, but it’s tinted. The test on new oak showed it would be too dark for our weathered wood. In both shots below, the light oak formula is on the left and the dark oak on the right. In the first shot you see one coat of each; but the basic application is three coats, as seen in the second shot—much too dark for my tastes.
Next we considered what’s available at a boat supply house in the burbs: Armada, a clear marine coating; or Cetol Marine Light, the alternative to regular Cetol, which is reputed to have a distinct orange hue. After discussing the project with the salesman at the boat place, we decided to go with the Cetol Marine Light, and we’re quite pleased with it. It was easy to apply, and the hue it added actually helps even out the variations in the wood that are due to it being overexposed to the elements in some spots. Pics of the final product will be up soon. For now I can offer this shot that shows the stripped casings, with one coat of Cetol Marine Light in some spots; the effect after three coats wasn’t much different from this.