1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

wather proofing wood with polyurethane

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Fentress, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Fentress

    Fentress Songster

    Mar 22, 2012
    Chesapeake, Va.
    I built a new coop this year, 10 by 16 on skids, no floor, that I move with the pickup. To protect the wood I painted the exterior with an oil based polyurethane. I know nothing about sealing wood, until just recently when I had a shed delivered and starting looking at the different types of treatments I could use on it. In retrospect, there are water based sealers that are probably less toxic, than the poly. Does anyone think that I have a potential problem health problem with the chickens. The vapors are long gone, at this point it would be a concern regarding flakes coming off the coop and the chickens eating it.



  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I don't think it's a problem now that it is cured. Chickens sometimes have access to worse things.
  3. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    Modern finishes are safe once cured. Normally, this takes less than 24 hours. Unless the finish flakes off the wood, the chickens won't be peeling the finish. And it's true, they eat worse things than flakes of modern paint.

  4. WISKER4570

    WISKER4570 Hatching

    Oct 13, 2013
    McClure, PA

    As a former woodworker I never recommend a polyurethane finish for exterior surfaces. It just doesn't hold up under the adverse weather that mother nature dishes out. It'll be fine for now but it will start peeling and cracking under the hot sun. Nothing you can do about it now except let it do it's thing. Once most of it has peeled you can the sand and refinish with an exterior based product like Sikens, Thompsons, or Flood UV. I like the latter as it is easy to put on and is good for 5 years before re-coating is required. Sikens is the best of the three but is $$$, Thompsons is good but I don't like their exterior with UV.

    Not criticizing, just putting my knowledge out there.

  5. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Songster

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana

    Polyurethane brings out nice wood color but it is not good at all for exterior wood. It will shrink and flake off within a short time. After if flakes and you sand off the rest then you can use one of the products that "J" mentioned or just a good exterior primer paint mix.
  6. OScarlet

    OScarlet Songster

    Jul 30, 2013
    Uh oh, I just got through varnishing some plywood with 450 varnish on the recommendation of a couple of rockier clerks. It is a water based polyurethane. Wait, no, it is a polyacrylic... Hope that is better!
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  7. Wrooster

    Wrooster Chirping

    Apr 13, 2013
    Northern Florida
    Waiting for it to flake and then sand the rest like is being suggested doesn't sound so good to me. First you have poly flakes everwhere, then you have wood getting more weathered by the day, and then you have to strip the rest of the finish and refinish a lot of weathered wood. Maybe you should have used something else but now that it's there, I'd try to maintain it. You have some time. Find a paint store you can trust and ask questions. Google something like "paint over exterior polyurethane". While the finish is still in decent shape you should be able to sand lightly (not take it off) and repaint with something that will weather better. You might have to prime first but maybe not. It should be OK.

  8. WISKER4570

    WISKER4570 Hatching

    Oct 13, 2013
    McClure, PA
    About the only thing I have seen last outdoors, that gets hard like poly/varnish is a product called spar varnish. It is used allot on wooden boats, but upkeep is time consuming and continuous.

    Not sure on how paint/primer would adhere to the poly, might have to sand it with 80 grit to roughen it up first. When I got things in the shop that where poly I stripped them all the way to bare wood and started over, but those projects weren't the size of a chicken coop either.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by