Hi Folks,

I want to restore my wife's rather dilapidated but dearly treasured genuine Californian Redwood outdoor table. I have no idea how she came by an outdoor setting made of such valuable and rare timber but there you are - a relic of the late '70s it seems. The table top is round, about 50mm thick and about 1.3m diameter. It's made of planks about 150mm wide. I recall trying to clean it up and refinish it about 15 years ago - I think I just sanded it and painted it with polyurethane at the time. That finish has by-and-large disappeared and there are a few new stains here and there - all very drab looking. I've just built a new pergola and deck and thought a proper restoration of the table was deserved!

So what I'd like some advice on is what I should now refinish it with. I supposed I'd like to avoid any sort of polyurethane or 'plastic' finish, simply because they don't seem to last particularly well on surfaces that get a lot of wear. Should I be looking at some sort of catalysing oil? Tung Oil maybe? One of the Sikkens 'bright work' finishes for boats?

The table will be under shelter but we live close to the beach in Adelaide & it will probably get lots of sun exposure. It is likely to have all sorts of general gardening stuff (pot plants etc) left on it occasionally when not in use for dining! I have some Feast Watson 'Woodshield' left over from oiling the new deck - would that do the trick?

All advice much appreciated!

ta, Sam.