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I built some benches, they're pressure treated lumber currently finished with oil based stain and oil based satin finish spar urethane. Some of them have shellac between the stain and urethane because I didn't have time to let the stain dry.

They're public benches and one of the problems I'm seeing is when people set a cigarette on the bench it burns the spar urethane, which bubbles then flakes right off. The stain underneath seems to hold up fine though.

My question is: Is there a clear finish that can go on top of spar urethane, or instead of it, or something I can mix with it, that will prevent or reduce the damage from cigarette burns?

I'm not talking full on flame proofing these, just something to protect the spar urethane from high localized heat for short periods of time.

Ideally it would also hold up as long or longer than the urethane, it's outside with heavy exposure to the elements.

  • I'm going to see if I can find a matte or satin acrylic based finish, like the stuff that goes on cars. Car finishes seem to hold up well to all kinds of abuse. – Jason C Sep 25 '19 at 0:26
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    Brushable clear acrylic finish is a very different animal to the stuff used in automotive circles. But even if you used an actual automotive finish as tough as they are they wouldn't withstand this. I think you're SOL, I don't believe any clear finish that you can get your hands on can, the temps are simply too high. Not what you want to hear but I think the ideal solution if these selfish smokers are going to continue to do this (and of course they will) is not to use a film finish at all. – Graphus Sep 25 '19 at 7:27
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    Yeah ciggie burns are not a good look on anything. One obvious thought that might occur to someone is high-temp paints. Even assuming the paint could withstand the necessary temps — the coal on a smouldering cigarette can be shockingly hot (e.g. when fanned by even a light breeze) and some high-temp paints have been shown in the real world to be not nearly good as manufacturer's claims. But also, these rely on being applied to metal where the metal itself isn't damaged by the relevant temperature. And on wood, outdoors, there's no guarantee the paint would hold up without cracking anyway. – Graphus Sep 26 '19 at 7:05
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    Can you put in an ashtray, Or a cigarette holder that keeps the hot end off the wood? – ratchet freak Sep 26 '19 at 12:23
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    @ratchetfreak That's exactly what I was just about to do!! I feel validated now. Great minds... :D – Jason C Sep 26 '19 at 15:08

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