Finishing outdoor wood tops the list of home improvement problems that I help Canadians with online, and this is because of something surprising. Two things, actually. Unprepared wood—both old and new—is a poor candidate for accepting a finish and hanging on to it for a long time. The second reason for trouble is that a large proportion of outdoor finishing products simply don’t have what it takes to last more than a year or two. All this is why I started testing different outdoor wood finishing products and strategies back in 1990. I’m still at it. The four steps you’ll find here cover everything I’ve learned since

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