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Outoor Planters (2005)

I consider this project a failure. But....

I recently completed a simple outdoor planter in cypress of my own design. This planter is fairly small, and is sized to hold a 12" diameter pot. The recycled lumber was originally used in a rhubarb garden for many years.

Once I got the weathered skin removed, the beautiful natural colors of the cypress emerged. I wanted to keep its color as long as possible, so I thought I'd try "clear paint" as discussed in previous outdoor finish threads. Here's where the screw-up comes in. I tried some of the paint on a few test boards, and it went on slightly milky in color, but ended up curing fairly clear. Unfortunately, when I brushed the paint onto the finished piece I didn't realize it was important to apply it very thin to keep it from drying milky (the test boards must have been thin enough), and the paint never really did dry clear. It stayed milky in the thicker areas, and almost looks like a light pickling finish. Lesson learned.

I could scrape the finish off the piece and start from scratch, but I decided to leave it as is. It's probably not all that evident to most observers, and I suspect after a year or two outside it won't matter much. I have 4 more of these to build before the spring, and I'll be using thinned clear paint (50/50 with MS) on them for sure.

I am happy with the woodworking results. I'm attempting to use SketchUp to design my projects in 3D on the PC, and I'm starting to like that process. The design sketch looks very similar to the finished project, and that gives me confidence in using SketchUp for future designs.

Enough talk - here is the finished planter and the design sketch:

I can't wait to see this when the flowers are blooming in the spring.

© Copyright 2006 Chris Billman