Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/Bamboo Railing


Bamboo rails I've put up in the past have turned silvery white, which I presume is from the sun's UV rays.  I love the natural color of bamboo, so for a new railing I'm building, would like to find a finish that will stop, or at least slow down, turning whitish. If so, does it come in spray cans or small quantity cans of liquid?

I've used spray urethanes that have "UV" protectants or inhibitors.  From work done back in the 1990's I've always noticed that the UV doesn't cause a change, but the urethanes yellowed with age.  Don't go down the lacquer path.  I'm not a painter, but I've heard that marine varnishes have the protection you need against ultra violet radiation.  One builder told me he uses an automobile quality polycrylic finish which has a UV inhibitor.  I would also go to your local paint store like Miller Paints, Dunne and Edwards, or Sherwin Williams and explain your situation and see what they recommend.  I've been a carpenter for over 30 years and varnishes was secondary to me or left to someone more professional.

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Joseph G. Swallow


I can answer all staircase balustrade questions where handrails, newels posts, balusters (wood and metal), and stair treads are concerned. I cannot help with cabinetry and floor (outside of stair-related treads and risers), as well as stain and finish issues unless staircase related.


30 years in the stair industry. Founder of Hardwood Creations in Southern California and CEO of Westfire Manufacturing, Inc. I was a stair builder for 10 years, both in custom and production housing. Have estimated over 750,000 single family homes and provided materials to lumber yards and builders for 12 years. Was an expert witness in several staircase related law suits in Southern California. Stair codes, installation help, stair handrail and balustrade installation are what I know best.

NAHB of Portland, OR. Was a member of ICBO for 9 years.

Cal State Fullerton, Cypress College

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