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External wood Spa panels - paint or vinyl wrap? What would you suggest?

Morning all,

Have an old Spa that we are refurbishing. Is a fiber glass outer shell and TP members have advised solutions on that, many thanks to them … got materials and just about to start work.

It has 8 wooden side panels that have seen better days so I cut new ones out of a decent external grade ply, rounded the edges and corners, primed them twice in Rubbol plus grey and then Gras a Laquer ready to sand flat.

I’ve had in mind to use a vinyl wrap as these panels get a lot of weather hammer and over spill from the spa when it’s in use (not for a good while).

Anyone have any experience to use vinyl wraps in external applications? I thought it might keep weather out better?

Or should I do what I know and build a rock solid paint finish up? And if so what products to use that will give me something iron clad for the future?

Used Otek and one of the Tikkurila products (which I forget just now) for a huge amount of external wood earlier this year and the finish was impressive. Thanks Howzz for that.

Interested in options how to go. of course cosmetically it needs be great finish but also long life as well. Starting get lazy and want start reducing repetitive work. New stuff ok :slight_smile:

Few photo’s here of the panels and unit to give an idea what I’m trying to do. Just realising what the wife been saying for months, that our Kitchen has become a workshop! Next project :slight_smile:

Many thanks in advance


Left field thought, assuming that Rubbol Plus is spirit based, how about car spray paint?

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Bloody hell, never even gave it a thought. Yes is two coats Rubbol Plus oil based and now two coats Gras de Laquer now Howzz on all edges.

I thought about rollering on and laying off? Had some good experiences last time I tried this and the shape is nice and easy. But yes It would not hurt have a go at car spray.

Do you think it would be hard wearing enough?

I had idea to use these wraps. No.1 Son did one on his laptop lid and it looks surprisingly good. I wandered if it might be hard wearing.

All three ideas have merit but struggling to decide which way to go.

I’m fairly sure I’ve seen a wrap around a wheelie-bin. I mention that because I’m thinking durability first and fun experimentation second

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Oh bugger and now you given me another idea! Stop man :slight_smile:

Yeah and is what I was wandering about the panels. It’s not so much money wise but not cheaper than decent paint.

But there is the experiment aspect as well. Not sure, really not sure. I’ve focused on getting the surfaces perfect flat and rounded edges so should take the wrap well. Equally it would roller and lay off well I’m thinking with a couple of coats plus.

Really struggling assess the relative merits. Mind I like the bin idea … metallic green or purple or matt black … maybe not :slight_smile:

Have some fun. We did a garage conversion years ago and turned it into an inverted beach hut. Screwed ply panels to the wall, which my son routed to make it look like tongue and grove planks. I’m thinking of that Swedish look, but the panels painted in a charcoal

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Yes colour and texture think you 100% right Howzz … struggling with that just now but you may have a point with charcoal. There are some textured effects I’ve seen.

Rest of garden is in light Oak Millbord decking, chestnut brown fence panels with a lot of high growing green and flowers around perimeter and a large fig tree in the center by the spa and fully developed grape vines across a pergola. You right, it’s a key eye line puller.

A flick through catalogs is order. Will let you know how I get on. You talked me into it I think.

@lee_b is Traditional Painter’s joinery guy. This is his input.

Fair play… he’s certainly gone around the hot tub spa in a very comprehensive manner. paint wise, I suppose he’s probably closer to painting a boat than decorating the hot tub!

Specification wise I think he’s done a great job using plywood treating the edges but personally I wouldn’t go with the paint finish or certainly couldn’t recommend one.

Plywood, like anything, especially in the higher grades, is water resistant, not 100% waterproof. inevitably even marine ply et cetera has a fibreglass coating over it or some sort of fibreglass matting and a epoxy.

Probably the way I would go would either be use a vinyl roofing product, such as Sarna, though the DIY sheds actually do a cheaper version.

The other easier, and more decorative option would be to clad the exterior with panels designed for bathrooms. These polyprop panels are tongue n groove, stickable or removable, and come in a myriad of colors. They are 100% waterproof and you could jet wash them as and inevitable when the mould arrives in the dark areas or when the wee beasties try to walk around it’s perimeter.

So, couple of totally practical solutions there, another final (Probably not gonna happen ) alternative would to redo the entire space in Tricoya - a totally waterproof MDF type board which comes in a variety of colors and can also be painted like wood. Many shop fronts are made with it these days.

Hope that helps, any other queries I’m More than happy to help !

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Hi Andy and many thanks to Lee for those suggestions. I have to confess the Tricoya option (dependant upon finish) looks very compelling. I guess you can get edges to match? Just looking at their site now … this pic is a sort of similar application…

As Lee says, we are a few quid and a lot of hours into prep’ing the wood so fairly committed to something there, even if as it says it fails later. Is a risk. But one with a solution so I’m less worried by that.

And strangely as Howzz mentioned in his last post, a T&G Scandi type finish actually brings us full circle. This was indeed thinking on what originally came back with it in 97 or so. Trouble being as some insane point in time I decided to paint them all with the same vile chesthut brown varnish that I also did the decking on. Things have moved on rest assured :slight_smile: The decking we have replaced with some superb composite decking in Oak manufactured by Millboard … very very good stuff. Also very ££££ but very good. I’m putting a link in in case useful to anyone … it’s nothing like those shiny wood grain ones you see out there…

I think at this point we are half way across the desert with the preped ply.

I’m going to order some of the wrap samples … on screen the wood ones look ‘ok …ish’ … they have maybe 30 different qood grain types. I guess worst case I can lift them and choose another finish. I have a doubt but lets roll the dice. If it comes up 6’s then will post pictures. If it does not then I think the Tricoya is the answer. And indeed I’m going to have a read of that now (there’s a morning gone). And that said, if the samples don’t live up to expectation then I think I know where we are heading. It has to be practical and hard wearing.

Would have been wise ask before doing in reality but solid solutions from Lee, many thanks

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