With regard to finishing, a good wood sealer such as Thompson's Wood Sealer is useful by blocking the pores of the wood. This inhibits the grain from becoming raised yet allowing the natural fading to a gentle light yellow color and then over time to a silver grey. All woods no matter what the species should be coated with some sort of finish. This blocks the pores of the wood from absorbing moisture which is the biggest enemy to all woods causing cracking, checking and potential failure.
Cypress accepts a wide range of stains in your choice of tinted transparent finishes for a natural effect, or lightly pigmented semi-transparent finishes. The latter are available in a spectrum of colors. Every 2nd year you might re-apply a coat of stain to freshen the finish. Little or no sanding, preparation or primer is needed when you use a stain. Look for a stain that offers good fungicide and ultraviolet shielding properties as well as additional preservatives to protect your cypress furniture's youthful complexion. Varnishes and other film-forming coatings which can crack and peel are not recommended for use on Cypress.
Oil finishes like boiled linseed oil have been used for years on outdoor furniture and would work fine, but, dust particles in the air will stick to the finish over time and the furniture would have to be washed and scrubbed occasionally to remove this. For those who wish to use linseed oil, mix one part Boiled Linseed Oil (BLO) with two parts Gum Turpentine (GT), (example: one quart BLO mixed with two quarts GT). Mix well and apply two coats waiting for the previous coat to dry before applying the next.
Paint will work fine but like on any exterior surface, over time will begin to flake and will eventually need scraping and refinishing. Stain, however, is "breathable" and will not trap moisture, therefore - no blistering, no peeling and less maintenance.
Please Note: If the chairs are left untreated or damaged due to neglect or abuse I will repair for a charge of $25/hr shop time plus parts. All other situations will be considered on an individual basis but must be returned/brought to the shop for evaluation.
Safety Note: Never leave an oily cloth rolled up. As the oil oxidizes it generates heat and it is not unusual for the cloth to spontaneously combust. Even if you intend to throw the used cloths away, you must first allow them to dry, unrolled, outside.
Below are some products that are recommended:
Series: Translucent (326)
Cabot Australian Timber Oil
Series: Blue Label Penofin®
Series: Penofin® Marine Oil Finish
Contact your local dealers for more information.
Paul A. Jones WoodWorks
6 Echo Cove Road
South Hamilton, MA 01982