When selecting the finish for your outdoor project, we recommend you to consider the level of protection, the appearance of the product and the level of maintenance it requires on the long run.
The oil that is formulated for outdoor use is the easiest product to apply. The oil penetrates the wood and provides protection for the components. The finish won’t crack up or peel. However, this product requires close maintenance, as the oil will lose its shine and ability to protect against moisture in several months.
2. Spar Varnish
If you are looking for more protection against decay, while still preserving the natural beauty of the wood, spar varnish is the right choice. Make sure you select a product that has ultra-violet (UV) filers. These filters prevent the sun from damaging the finish. It is a lot more durable than the oil, but you have to apply the finish at least once a year for proper results.
Paint is the best choice if you want to obtain maximum protection against moisture and sunlight. You have a lot of color options and the coats of paint will last for several years.