Staining/Finishing Beadboard Porch Ceiling

Sarah asked 5 years ago

We are about to stain a plywood beadboard ceiling on our new 14×20 screened porch. The ceiling is vaulted and has painted white beams/coffer so we are looking to get a dramatic look by staining the beadboard with a cedar-like stain with a polished finish. There will be minimal to no UV exposure or direct moisture exposure, but do we live in humid NC.

We have been testing different stains on the beadboard samples and Cabot’s Australian Timber Oil Mahogany Flame with a top coat of Spar Varnish looks awesome, but I saw several postings online where some people were saying not to put a poly or varnish on exterior stains (is this specific to Cabot?) because it won’t hold up due to the oils. What is the best way to achieve this look? Should I use an interior stain with a Spar Varnish top coat or will that cause mold/mildew issues? Cabot’s site does mention something about staining outdoor teak furniture with Australian Timber Oil followed by Varnish so maybe it is OK to combine the two? Thank you for any help!

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