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Food safe outdoor finish???

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  • Food safe outdoor finish???

    It is my understanding that MOST finishes are relatively food safe once they dry. Solvents that keep these solutions liquid are super toxic but I also understand that the actual thing that makes a finish tough once it dries isn't.

    I am no expert on the subject OBVIOUSLY but I wouldn't mind talking about OUTDOOR finished in particular. Most people paint or stain outdoor furniture. Standard practice is to use a oil based or acrylic based finish on outdoor wood but which are actually safe for a picnic table for example???
    DanGreenLeipciger likes this.
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  • #2

    Re: Food safe outdoor finish???

    I wouldn't worry about most any finish on a picnic table if it is well cured. When I hear "food safe" I think of cutting boards and especially salad bowls, etc. where the food is in direct, extended contact. Then acidity, oils or whatever "might" extract something out of the coating. Contact with utensils etc. on the table I don't see as a problem.

    Just my opinion of course.
    Frank D. and bogmer like this.

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    • #3

      Re: Food safe outdoor finish???

      If food safe, as well as just being environmentally conscious is of concern, I would recommend Hemp oil, available from Hempola Farms (https://www.hempola.com/) just outside Barrie Ontario. I have used it extensively on indoor furniture, bowls and cutting boards as well as on my deck and patio chairs. Goes on quickly, no VOC and soaks deep into the wood and dries/polymerizes-they do a heat treatment to the oil to speed up the drying time. Plus, if I drop a bit on the ground it does not harm anything. I have been very happy with the product and the folks at Hempola are great to work with and I know I am supporting a small Canadian business.
      bogmer and Les Groeller like this.

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      • #4

        Re: Food safe outdoor finish???

        Thank you... I have sent them an e-mail asking more about this. I am interested in knowing more.

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        • #5

          Re: Food safe outdoor finish???

          What about polymerized tung oil from LV?


          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
          bogmer likes this.

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          • #6

            Re: Food safe outdoor finish???

            I don't trust tung oil in general... What is advertised as Tung oil a lot of times is a mixture of Tung Oil and Boiled lindseed oil which is toxic. Not sure about the polymerized tung oil at LeeValey but in general terms I stay away from stuff that people advertise as something and is actually something completely different and is known by most people.



            I am not saying that the Lee Valley stuff is like this in general I trust Lee Valley so I am not putting them in this generalization but it is what I believe when i see tung oil.

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            • #7

              Re: Food safe outdoor finish???

              The Lee Valley stuff is tung oil that has been heated and then thinned with mineral spirits. I wouldnt use it on a cutting board, but I use it all the time for indoor stuff. As Tung oil used to be used for sealing boats - might work.

              If you want something rugged, why not try minwax spar urethane?


              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
              bogmer likes this.

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              • #8

                Re: Food safe outdoor finish???

                I am asking about outdoor furniture.... The stuff I build is made out of cedar so I don't know if rugged will actually last as a finish. Probably will peal right off as soon as there's a dent on it.

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                • #9

                  Re: Food safe outdoor finish???

                  The most food-safe finish is nothing. Cedar turns a nice gray. I'd be curious to see the difference in how long the wood lasts between ecological finishes and no finish. I'd bet there's not much.

                  I've used Life Time, it's not bad. Any clear finish will not last, especially if you're going natural. If it does last it's got anti-fungal agents and UV blockers that are not natural. Unless you go with marine varnish or similar, stain is your best bet. There are excellent water-based stains like Sansin which are low/no VOC.
                  bogmer likes this.
                  Frank
                  SPCHT

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                  • #10

                    Re: Food safe outdoor finish???

                    I know that cedar will turn gray. I let people know that I don't even finish my furniture so they really can put what they like. There's people that ask me questions like this one and I try to answer how I can.

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                    • #11

                      Re: Food safe outdoor finish???

                      It is possible to prepare raw linseed oil for finishing by various natural means (vs. addition of metal salts a.k.a. "boiling")

                      http://www.fullchisel.com/blog/?s=linseed&paged=2

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