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What finish should I choose next time?
Sweetlake Interior Design LLC
February 21, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Hi, I need input on the wood pavers seal finish: Should I leave them in a flat finish or keep them in the gloss finish on my next install?
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PRO
ASVInteriors
I would leave them in flat...
February 21, 2013 at 2:49pm     
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Creations Nadia Interior Design
i love them in gloss fihish - looks very clean :)))
February 21, 2013 at 5:24pm     
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charleee
I would use a marine varnish to make them weatherproof.
February 21, 2013 at 5:25pm     
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cyn222
GLOSS for sure! The other looks flat and lifeless!
February 21, 2013 at 5:27pm   
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Terri Symington, ASID
My concern if they are actually being used as pavers is that the gloss will make them more slippery when damp or wet. They are really great looking...!
February 21, 2013 at 5:28pm     
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Jayme H.
I like the gloss look too
February 21, 2013 at 5:41pm   
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Terri
Have you considered a combination of the two? It would add dimension and even more visual interest.
February 21, 2013 at 5:42pm     
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laikalee
They're great. How did you ever get someone to cut them? How thick are they? a chain saw seems to cut slanted. I like any cover that seals them (no termites hopefully) and exposes the grain.
February 21, 2013 at 7:35pm     
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PRO
studio 87
agree with terri ! a combination of the two would look interesting.
February 21, 2013 at 9:14pm     
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kphone
Definitely gloss
February 21, 2013 at 9:20pm   
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Specht Harpman Architects
leave them natural. you never want to make wood look like plastic. use a lighter colored infill gravel for more contrast and to help highlight the character of the wood.
February 21, 2013 at 9:24pm     
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Steven Alvarez General Contractor
Nice idea and design of the log cuts. The log cuts are a natural product and should look as natural as possible. The wet look of the gloss finish seems a little strong for an organic material. Unfortunatly finishes on wood products do not last well out doors. There is a product made by Sikens that comes in a variety of sheens. All finishes exposed to the elements do not last long however. Just the nature of wood and the elements. Good luck.

steve
February 22, 2013 at 12:03am     
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ASVInteriors
Do you have to stain them at all? I have used this design in a garden with gravel in between and wild thyme - over time they go a beautiful silvery grey. Perhaps this would be the most authentic. Also, with your plants and river rock, you could extend the drama over using dark grey gravel which would complement the silver grey of the wood patina
February 22, 2013 at 1:00am     
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creeser
Those look fabulous! What type of wood?
February 22, 2013 at 4:12am     
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Artistico
I would test it sometimes water spots show more on a gloss finish making them look dirty all the time. If this is the case I would go to matte. I do like the idea of a combo finish as well.
February 22, 2013 at 6:47am   
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R J Hoppe Inc
Keep them a gloss finish. Maintenance is maintenance.
February 22, 2013 at 6:57am   
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ritevibe
Ohhh yeah, I prefer the gloss look!
February 22, 2013 at 7:01am   
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lefty47
HI -- This reminds me of when I was a little girl in Mara Lake BC Canada. My Parents looked after a resort during the winter and everyone had steps and walkways and patios etc. done this way . They were ceder tree slices about 4 to 5 inches thick, which were easy to get because of the saw mills around . I loved the smell when they got wet in the rain because they had no finish on them and they lasted for years . So depending on what wood you use , I think leaving them natural is the best look. If you have to seal them then I would keep them matt .
February 22, 2013 at 9:12am     
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Sweetlake Interior Design LLC
They are oak, I had a large tree that was very sick, I had to cut it down. My landscaper cut them with chain saw 4" thick. It was a lot of work...Thanks for all the comments!
February 22, 2013 at 9:23am     
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creeser
Great repurposing! I actually saw a 'green project' show where they used something similar for an interior floor. It was far more work than I would ever want to engage in, but it made a very unique floor.
February 22, 2013 at 9:27am   
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Specht Harpman Architects
most standard finishes will not prevent rot, that being said, there is no practical reason for finishing them. it's best to keep wood looking natural, otherwise you've defeated the purpose of using wood.
(if you're worried about rot, putting wood on the ground is a lost cause; it's best to use a wood that is rot-resistant like cedars, cypress, some oaks, redwoods, etc...)
February 22, 2013 at 9:28am     
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nasmijati
I grew up with slices of Ponderosa Pine cut about five inches thick used as an outdoor trail. They were soaked in creosote (illegal these days). They lasted 15 years.
If I was going to replicate a walkway such as yours, I would use some kind of penetrating oil on the wood as a way to delay rotting. The oil won't stay shiny for more than a few months. By then the wood will be matte and slowly start to turn gray. As I recall, the bark will fall off after a year or two.
February 22, 2013 at 10:27am     
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nasmijati
P.S. The pine slices were about the same diameter as your large ones - eight to fifteen inches across.
February 22, 2013 at 10:28am   
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kkelliemac
They look just wonderful. The gloss finishes the look and marine varnish is a great suggestion.
February 22, 2013 at 11:36am     
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laikalee
I don't see anyone mention the problem of slipping as you walk on wet wood pavers like that. I have!
February 22, 2013 at 11:55am     
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The Color People
I agree, glossy means slippery in icy or wet conditions, Also the wood won't breath. I would use a transparent stain on them. It will deepen the wood grain and look more natural. Benjamin Moore makes a great one. Many of the others tend to get orangy. I'm really not sure what would be best for the bottom as they will sit in moisture. Maybe soaking them in the the stain so it really gets absorbed. You can't take them out and re do them like the tops. You will need to restain them yearly for longest lasting results. Poly Urethane or spar varnish won't be successful for either side. I like the look though, may steal it for my own cabin.
February 22, 2013 at 1:54pm     
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PRO
B&B Landscapes
Great for termite.
February 22, 2013 at 5:58pm   
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PRO
Dynamic Interiors and Events
Flat--more natural
February 22, 2013 at 6:17pm     
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rosiew
While I've always like this look, wouldn't consider as I live in the South. The termites would be feasting on them.
February 24, 2013 at 2:23am     
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ASVInteriors
rosiew - yes, sadly termites would think this was the lunch all-you-can-eat buffet! ;-(
February 24, 2013 at 3:00am   
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amyalexander60
If you're going to use a wood paver outside, aren't you looking for the more natural element? It's your choice but I've never seen a shiny tree. I'd go with the flat marine varnish (for waterproofing) and leave the shiny look for the cleaner inside of the house flooring.
February 24, 2013 at 3:36am     
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marthlk
Rubio makes a product called Monocoat (it's matte) That would look lovely on those rounds. It would leave them looking very natural while protecting them.
February 24, 2013 at 3:54am     
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Yagoona Design
I hate to use varnishes and sealers but the wood pavers are fantastic.
My roof garden has them
February 24, 2013 at 4:11am     
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PRO
CANTILEVER STUDIO
They will get slippery when wet. If you lay down clear/white sand found at hobby shop, then seal with marine grade sealer, it will lock in sand and provide traction. Seal all sides, 3 times. Sand should be under one coat of sealer only.
February 24, 2013 at 5:45am     
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hr01
I did this idea 20+ years ago and you inspired me to get out the old chain saw.- Gloss baby !
February 24, 2013 at 7:10am     
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Jayme H.
@hr01...don't u have enough going on???LOL!!! :)
February 24, 2013 at 7:17am   
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hr01
lol U got Me there but I"m always thinking about a new project
February 24, 2013 at 9:57am     
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denisecp2
Flat - it's a rustic look and the high shine is too much of a contrast with the nature-scape you've got going on. Which is gorgeous by the way!
February 24, 2013 at 10:14am   
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Lizabeth
Let us know how they hold up. I used them in a colder wet climate and had to scrape slime/moss off of them. Looked nice but not practical at all. You have more sun and if you bed them with good drainage you will have fewer issues. I would not seal as I think you will trap moisture and cause seal to crack from sun.
February 24, 2013 at 10:23am   
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palamino1
spar marine varnish. we have a log home that is 80 yrs old . restained it and put on the spar varnish has lasted 8yrs so far.
February 24, 2013 at 1:38pm     
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laikalee
Termites in CA too --no known acceptable way to avoid them. Beware. If no coverage, pine wood will also crack
February 24, 2013 at 2:20pm   
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semihugger1
Just wanted to say georgeous!
February 24, 2013 at 2:25pm     
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Lizabeth
Coverage on vertical surfaces of a log home cannot compare to protection on a horizontal surface with ground contact. Sorry you are talking apples and kiwis.
If you want to compare then please remove your log from the wall and throw it on the ground and see what happens to your spar varnish at that point.
February 24, 2013 at 2:35pm     
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palamino1
Spar varnnish is used on wood boats that are in constant contact with water. It works well. Have used it on boats also.
February 24, 2013 at 2:44pm     
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Lizabeth
Yes I do know that as I worked with a high end wooden boat builder. It is dangerous on pavers. Keep your homeowners insurance premium paid.
February 24, 2013 at 2:47pm   
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Sweetlake Interior Design LLC
Yes, we are using the marine vanish next go around...This is the second time in a year 1/2 I used a sealer on them.... I just want them to last.... has anyone used this stuff?
http://www.surfacehero.com/index.php?AffID=461001&OfferID=240176&SID=455386535

I had no idea so many people would respond...LOL
February 24, 2013 at 3:25pm     
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Lizabeth
Your rot will come from the backside. Did you seal the back/underside of them? all this topcoat is really a moot question as the rot will come from the damp and dark underside. What you do to the top is simply cosmetic. The old most illegal stuff like penta would preserve the wood. Can't buy it now and it is super toxic.
February 24, 2013 at 3:48pm   
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Amber Knorr
Have you looked into cedarcide? Many people recommend it for deck preservation...
February 24, 2013 at 4:35pm   
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barnrazn6
I like the gloss because it gives a newer and cleaner look, it will leave everyone wanting them as well!
February 24, 2013 at 5:20pm   
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Khatereh
Nice idea ...
For entry luxury villas, residential and commercial centers
I will definitely use it in my design.
Thank you ...: - )
February 24, 2013 at 9:45pm   
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shobimirza
i like ur idea i m shobi mirza interior designer frm pak
February 24, 2013 at 11:07pm   
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yvesun
Like any wood, it needs to be pertected or it tends to weather to a grey. An environmentally safe marine varnish would be the best bet.
February 24, 2013 at 11:20pm   
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
OMG! Do you have enough answers?? I like the idea of enhancing the wood, but I think instead of having the narrow little bed along the fence I would leave the bed meander out into the walkway in around and back towards the fence and back out again in a natural way. And do natural plantings, just like nature would have done it.
February 24, 2013 at 11:25pm     
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Maureen Neill
This is a wonderful idea. I agree with yvesun , Marine varnish would probably work the best.
February 25, 2013 at 4:11am     
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coocoocouture
There is no clear coating that will protect the wood from the elements. The wood will rot from the bottom up and any coating put on the top surface will fail anyway due to moisture coming up from the underside. There are resin products that will impregnate the wood all the way through before you set them and that may keep them well for a good while. I can't say if it will work from the top down only since these are already set, but I doubt that it can impregnate through 4" through while it is in contact with the earth. Take a look at products used for wood sinks and such.

You could look into using a coating of something like Gilsonite (asphaltum) on the backside which should delay rot for some time due to its waterproofing and I wonder if it may help with termite prevention too. Sherwin Williams makes Gilsonite but I'm sure there are other brands making an asphaltum product too.
February 25, 2013 at 11:00am     
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coocoocouture
BTW, I use Gilsonite all the time as a furniture stain and glaze. It can be left on top in any thickness opacity from very light to very dark and looks beautiful on oak. There are some coatings (shellac for one) that aren't compatible with it so if you are going to coat over it do a sample first, but you may find that you don't need to coat them at all. Gilsonite is naturally glossy but it would depend on how much you leave on top as to your final sheen.
February 25, 2013 at 11:11am   
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tgrdnr
Gloss
February 26, 2013 at 5:45am   
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turnage01
gloss, no question
February 26, 2013 at 5:50am   
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ruthieq
You should have taken off any bark first, that will flake off within months. try using a wood preservtive
first before you place them in the ground and use gravel under them for better drainage., that way they will last longer as they won't sit in any water or moist soil and rot faster. I think if you are going for a natural look leave them matt, if you want a modern look go gloss. Both are beautiful. Like the side planting and as with the natural look let the planters meander in and out of the pathway. Modern look stright and glossy. I had the same idea for the walk way to my house from the driveway..not done yet.still have most of the California black oak laying on the ground, cut in large thick rounds. Base measured 39"across. we are burning the rest in the fire place.
March 2, 2013 at 11:31am     
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ruthieq
laikalee--whatever you like the Oak will silver over time and looks really nice , or stain them dark walnut . what is the rest of the garden or house look like? go with what you like.
March 2, 2013 at 10:50pm   
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Dream Fixtures
Gloss and Flat blended is Satin Finish - and if you are worried about them being slippery there is a floor sealer additive that can be sprinkled on top after they are half dry that is like fine "sand" and sold in the fllooring department. These look great :)
March 9, 2013 at 4:51pm   
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