Refinishing an Outdoor Walkway

We bought a house with a beautiful three-section wood entryway. All three parts need to be refinished on the outside. It’s under a walkway so it doesn’t get direct weather hits, but it does get the afternoon sun and the wood is looking worn and in need of a major refinishing. I like the shiny wood look, like the inside. How can I strip and refinish the outside to match the inside, using something that will look good and protect the wood from the afternoon sun?

Kevin Hancock: I would use a semi-paste stripper to remove the original finish. Brush it on generously, leave it for 10-15 minutes, and scrape it off onto layers of newspaper. A second application of remover might be necessary to get all the finish off. A washup with lacquer thinner and maroon Scotchbrite ® will leave the wood clean and ready for sanding and finishing. Sand the surface with 120 or 150 garnet paper. If you want to change the color, use a pigment-based stain. Topcoat with a marine varnish containing UV blockers. Three coats will give you good protection. Plan on a fresh topcoat annually. Don’t forget personal protection while you work, including good gloves and eye protection, and work in a well-ventilated area.

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