Do I need a clear finish on my stained porch ceiling?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by sean79, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. sean79

    sean79 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,103
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Location:
    northcentral/western Pennsylvania
    I’m putting pine tongue and groove ceiling up on my back porch. We are planning on staining the boards before nailing them up. Will the stain protect them enough, or will I need to go over the stain with a polyurethane or some other clear finish? Does anyone have experience with something like this?
     
  2. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    10,884
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    That's a big maybe depending on the stain product you use. An oil stain is no protection at all.

    If it was mine, I'd definitely put on a decent coat of poly after it's nailed up. Probably last 100 years if you do.
     
    rich815 and sean79 like this.
  3. Quixotic

    Quixotic TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    8
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2020
    Location:
    Virginia
    Yeah, stain isn't inherently a wood finish material. You might get some water resistance from an oil stain, but that can wear away. I would either brush or spray on some Spar Urethane and that should seal up the wood real good. There's this other finish I put on a tele earlier this year, this Varathane stuff from rust-o-leum. I found it while looking for the most transparent finish once it cures. "Ultimate Polyurethane Water Based" is what it said on the tin. The blue cans are water-based. That stuff sure did dry clear. Looks like the wood went right back to being dry after it was done. That being said though, if you wanted to bring out the richness of the stain then I'd go with the Spar or the oil-based Varathane stuff personally. You might like it better.
     
    rich815 and sean79 like this.
  4. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,725
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    The underside of your porch is protected from rain and sun, the principal factors that weather exterior wood.

    We've got wide plank, rustic stained pine that has been in place for 27 years in exactly that location and has not degraded one bit.

    So I'd say, for the underside of a porch ceiling, it's not necessary. Of course if it is actually exposed and somehow gets a lot of water, snow, etc., then you'd want to treat it like any exterior wood door, decking, etc.
     
    sean79 likes this.
  5. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,843
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2019
    Location:
    Wyoming panhandle
    I would do it just like a wood floor is done, because it's super effective protection and it lasts. Ever bought wood flooring? It is often stained on only the top surface, and the hard poly finish is also applied only to the top. And it lasts for years under foot traffic.

    Your job is a porch ceiling, which will be protected from the rain and direct sun, so the best approach is to stain all your individual boards sitting on sawhorses (use a short-nap roller, apply the stain, let it sit for 15 minutes, and wipe it all dry with lint-free cloth). After the stain has completely dried, roll on gloss or satin polyurethane. The water-based stuff goes on milky but dries clear and hard. Take care to not leave blobs or puddles of poly on the surface or on the tongues.

    Let the poly cure for 24 hours, and then install it (cut it to length, fit the sticks in, taking care to stagger the joints in a random pattern, and use a pneumatic 2" finish nailer). Don't worry about the cut butt joints not being finished; it will not be a problem.

    Watch a few wood floor installation vids on YT. It's pretty much identical--except you shoot nails with a finish nailer (not a floor nailer) at a back angle through the tongues of the boards.
     
    Driver3 and sean79 like this.
  6. sean79

    sean79 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,103
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Location:
    northcentral/western Pennsylvania
    Thanks for the replies. I was hoping to get a unanimous “stain only” response, but I do want to do it right. I suppose it won’t hurt anything to clear coat it; that’s just going to take more time - especially multiple coats. I’m hoping to get most of the boards finished this weekend.
     
  7. noname_dragon

    noname_dragon Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    426
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Location:
    North east coast
    Yeah, whatever finishing you plan on, do it before installation. Overhead finishing like that is a miserable and messy job.
     
    flathd and sean79 like this.
  8. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    3,025
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Location:
    E. Tennessee, USA
    My MIL has pine tongue in groove on her front porch ceiling. They put some kind of poly over it. There is one spot that gets some spray in big wind storms...it has a little water spotting. The biggest issue we've had with it is humidity combined with end lengths that were not fastened correctly (the weight of the end length eventually allows a bit of sag)...putting in additional fasteners cured it.
     
    sean79 likes this.
  9. MarkieMark

    MarkieMark Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    1,754
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Location:
    Eastern USA
    Personally I'd use Spar marine/exterior grade poly. Satin or Semi-gloss depending on personal taste and other area finishes.
    Two coats unless the wood was really absorbant, if so maybe a third, noting that additional coats will increase gloss.
     
    sean79 and stormsedge like this.
  10. MarkieMark

    MarkieMark Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    1,754
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Location:
    Eastern USA
    And I'll add that knotty pine is notorious for not being fully dried wood, and that the knots have a habit of slowly bleeding sap into/through most finishes as well as often resulting in boards that tend to warp and twist a bit over time.
    At minimum I'd consider securing it with extra fasteners when installing. Ideally I might consider extra drying time in a controlled environment, but thats a lot of effort.
     
    sean79 likes this.
  11. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    12,629
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    Netherlands
    you could use a tinted polyurethane, which would add color and a protective layer.

    I am no longer familiar with USA products, so I will not recommend anything by name.

    Usually I advise using the best quality product you can afford. However, on a ceiling as described you could use something less expensive. Since there is no foot traffic or other wear, polyurethane actually offers little benefit over other less-expensive varnishes. (Polyurethane excels at abrasion and impact resistance)

    The important thing is to get it done quickly before blue stain or other fungal staining can begin.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
    sean79 likes this.
  12. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    12,200
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    In that location I would NOT. It sees no weather, and when varnish fails it's a mess to re-do. . The stain should last a long long time. For shingle siding I used Olympic oil based transparent stain. It's called the "3 year" variety. I got lucky when I did it 20 years ago. I've touched it up a couple times, not much. Man it looks like new. The same stain outside on a flat surface lasted only one season though.

    Vertical surfaces stay stained well, overhead? Should last decades!
     
    TeleTucson, sean79 and glenlivet like this.
  13. glenlivet

    glenlivet Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    907
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2018
    Location:
    Marco.......Polo......
    Yea...we are doing the same. Tonge and grove is already installed. Because it's on the underside of the porch, and protected from direct wind/rain/snow/sun, I'm just going to use a water based tinted poly/stain to give it a little depth, and some basic protection.
    Our big decision now...is the tint.....I like a more golden/yellow...where my wife is liking something a little darker....
     
    sean79 likes this.
  14. Nightclub Dwight

    Nightclub Dwight Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,445
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2016
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    I would use a high quality stain formulated for outdoor use. Go to a paint store, not a big box retailer. I prefer Sherwin Williams, but I have also used Ben Moore products with a lot of success in the past. I don't have firsthand knowledge, but I hear PPG makes a quality product as well.

    I would go to a Sherwin Williams store and tell them what you are doing. They will recommend a suitable product. You will pay more than you would at one of the big box retailers, but you will be getting a better product and access to advice and problem solving help if anything goes wrong. If there are two products that they recommend, go with the higher tiered one. The top tier paints and stains really are better. They are easier to work with and last longer.
     
    sean79 likes this.
  15. 61fury

    61fury Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,594
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    knoxville, TN
    Yes , we pre polyed our bead board porch ceiling and then decided to finish the job over head after it was installed. Poly pouring down all over our arms and heads. Worth it though.
     
    sean79 likes this.
  16. 61fury

    61fury Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,594
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    knoxville, TN

    Our boards yellowed nicely with just the poly. Kind of a mellow orangish golden hue.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
    glenlivet and sean79 like this.
  17. sean79

    sean79 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,103
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Location:
    northcentral/western Pennsylvania
    That’s exactly where we were. I stained a little sample piece in a “golden oak” for her. It’s a lot lighter than what we have on the front porch, but she agrees that it’s the way to go. Someday, I’ll replace our front porch ceiling. I’m sure we’ll try to match them at that point.
     
    glenlivet likes this.
  18. MarkieMark

    MarkieMark Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    1,754
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Location:
    Eastern USA
    Coincidence, but I am midway through refinishing 50yr old white oak floors as I remodel/refresh this house, with the intention of making it nice for us now, and present well for resale in a few years when we retire out of here.
    The original finish was a medium tint, but we are on a shady lot and the house is situated/designed in a way that it doesnt get as much natural light as we might wish.
    We both agreed a lighter, more contemporary look suits our taste, so after sanding (grinding is more descriptuve, this stuff is hard as rock!) The old finish off, smoothing and blending, scraping and a lot if hard work-
    No stain. Just poly.
    I applied two coats, lightly sanded. Two more coats, very light sanding. Dusted, wiped and one final coat.
    Gorgeous! Furniture grade finish.

    Did I mention my back and knees hurt?
     
    sean79 and glenlivet like this.
  19. glenlivet

    glenlivet Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    907
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2018
    Location:
    Marco.......Polo......
    upload_2020-9-26_13-57-53.png

    OK...so the next question ....what to do with the lower skirting....(the vertical cedar planks)...I'm thinking just a few rattle cans of spray on poly, and just leave them as is...

    upload_2020-9-26_14-0-43.png

    eventually the pressure treated stuff will be painted....rails etc....and we're thinking a darker stain/paint for the deck....
    I'm thinking it might be nice to have a little natural wood contrast....probably going to have flowers and such in front of it anyway....
     
  20. MarkieMark

    MarkieMark Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    1,754
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Location:
    Eastern USA
    Just for contrast and interest, I think I would consider CWF treatment on the skirting. Natural cedar look with a bit of additional protection.
    Warning though, that stuff might soak it right up....
     
    Nightclub Dwight and glenlivet like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.