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I bought and assembled 5 new cypress hives this year waiting for nucs. Hope anyday now. I decided to clear coat the hives with exterior polyurthane just because I thought I would be different. I actually wish I would have used some stain prior to sealing as they did not darken up as much as I would have liked. Just wondering (as I wait for my nucs to arrive) what opinions are out there as paint versus stain and or polyurthane. The poly has a very strong odor after 2 coats 2 weeks apart compared to kilz primer and exterior paint I have used the past 2 years. Anyone had experience with this before? I certainly hope I'm not screwing up here with the poly. Nucs may be a couple of weeks out hope the vapor is gone by then.

James R.
 

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I, too, have been using cypress hives. I'm a backyard beekeeper so I've tried to coat them with something that showcases and preserves the beautiful natural wood. I've done two coats of a clear stain followed by two coats of poly (In time the poly flakes off, perhaps because of the underlying stain.) and I've just tried a couple coats of stain, which seems to work fine. I've heard good things about a stain made by Sikkens, which I intend to try. A friend who put three coats of poly on his (cutting the first coat with thinner) hives has been happy with the results.
 

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I have been using Sikkens SRD "Siding Roofing Deck") combination stain and finish on both cypress and pine hives. It comes in several colors, I like Teak and Cedar. Second year they look brand new coming through Pennsylvania winter. I live on a lake and have used the same finish on my dock for years and it holds up well over the water. It does take a couple of days to dry thoroughly. Brush it in well for a thin coat. Don't roll it on.
 

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For a resistant finish that will last I would look at some of the two part marine products such as:

http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/show_product.do?pid=869

http://www.boatersland.com/intyva853.html

But if you were going to use this sort of product you would want to do some fine sanding. The end grain would need several coats. It would look really nice, but it would be $$$ and a lot of work. I have some cypress nucs from Rossman's and I hated to paint them.

Oh! The isocyanates aren't good for you.
 

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My experience with these marine products is that they will peel in a year or two, then are a pain to refinish. The Sikkens products penetrate and benefit from recoating every 2 or 3 years. Pricey though.
 

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I also used exterior deck, & fence stain. Just made one with Thompson water seal last week, We'll see how that goes.
 

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I saw Tom Silva on "This Old House" mix deck stain with some Polyurethane. About a quart to a gallon if I remember right. The deck looked great, I think that those cedar boxes would look great too. Some day I will try that. Take care and have fun
 

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I've used the Sikken for several years on my deck and it's worked really well. I've had to apply it about every 4 - 5 years. The horizontal surfaces tend to wash-out/fade, due to sun light. The Sikken wears really well and holds up under heavy foot traffic. It's far far better than most common stains/sealers.
 
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