I recently purchased a Weatherking barn, and I would like to put on a sealer to protect it. I have a chance to purchase four 5-gallon buckets of UNAXOL Clear Sealer and am wondering if this sealer can be used for outdoor protection? – Maryann Sims
Chris Marshall: I have not used UNAXOL, but their website suggests the clear sealer is actually a water-based wood lacquer. Lacquer, regardless of its chemistry, typically isn’t a go-to for an exterior wood finish. I would choose a penetrating deck sealer, a solid- or semitransparent exterior stain or even good old exterior latex paint instead of lacquer, for an outdoor structure like your barn. These products are formulated specifically for the demands of outdoor wood — high rates of wood expansion and contraction, regular dousing with water, temperature extremes and UV degradation. Apply a product intended for the purpose, even if it costs a little more. To me, that puts your best foot forward toward a successful and long-lasting finish.
Tim Inman: Read the label. However, unless the product is formulated as an exterior product, it will rapidly degrade. Exterior products include what is called a “UV filtering package” in the chemistry. Unless your sealer has a UV package, it will not last very long out in the sun.