Wood Finish for a Hot Tub Surround

      Finishers offer coating suggestions for woodwork next to a hot tub, where steam and hot water are constant stress factors. March 9, 2010

I've been asked to build some woodwork right next to a hot tub. I need a clear coat that will hold up to being splashed with water and exposed to steam. Initially I thought of using spar urethane, but my results with that product on exterior doors has been less than satisfactory. Are there any suggestions for a clear coat on mahogany that will stand up to water splash?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor P:
Nothing is bulletproof in that environment, but Epifanes varnish is rated the best. If it's indoors, at least you won't have the same UV and weather issues to deal with.

From contributor R:
You could use west systems epoxy to completely seal everything like you were building a boat or else I have had excellent results using Epifanes PP varnish (very pricey though).

From contributor J:
I would opt for automotive urethane. It's not cheap, but it is very durable. You'll have to spray it and probably more than once to get a good finish. The auto paint stores sells it in quarts along with the activator, you can get some flattening agent if you don't want the high gloss.

From contributor S:
Timbertect Interior is said to be an excellent finish for wood sinks. Conservation Chemicals sells it.

From contributor G:
One part tung oil, one part beeswax, shredded, and one part mineral spirits. Warm gently until wax is dissolved. Apply warm and sand in the first coat or two. Dry 24 hours between coats. Cover all surfaces. Paste wax after a month. Itís not fast, not expensive, and very effective.

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