Outdoor Bar-Top Epoxy

      Can any bar finish stand up to outdoor weather and rough treatment? April 16, 2010

I have a client who made a very large outdoor bar top out of cedar beams. It will see rain, sun, and abuse from large ice chests and hunting and cooking equipment during hunting season. He asked me to recommend a pour-on epoxy to use on it. I told him I don't know any that are exterior friendly and that he should use a marine varnish of some sort. He feels that damage to the softwood, without the protection of epoxy, would be worse than the damage to the epoxy from being outside. Any epoxy suggestions that would fit this application? What effects will the weather have on the epoxy finish? In his defense, this isn't something he expects to last forever - he's hoping for 3-5 years of life out of it before the weather and its intended use render it trash.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From Professor Gene Wengert, Sawing and Drying Forum Technical advisor:
There are epoxy adhesives that have a UV stabilizer added. I am not sure how long they will last. Is an acrylic coating not possible?

From contributor S:
Duratec Polyester Hi-Gloss Top Coat from Hawkeye Industries. Should outlast all the fun and sun he can throw at it. It can be built 50 mils thick if he wants so that he can sand out whatever damage happens over time and polish it back up again. I have only sprayed it but it can be brushed or rolled on.

From contributor A:
Epoxies with the UV are typically pigmented. I would use a marine 2K clear. Awlgrip Brand is the best. They have a standard clear coat, as well as a 3 part high UV varnish. We have also used Imron (2k acrylic car paint) on teak toerails on our racing sailboat for years. It takes an incredible amount of abuse from kicking and line chaff/abrasion. Even after the film gets nicked, the local film does not start to peel like all other varnishes. I would throw my dart at the Awlbrite. The Awlgrip line of paints has been the marine industry standard for over 30 years. The stuff is bombproof.

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