Lets start with the easy one. The newer feeder.
Although this is the simplest means of renewal, you will have to do it more often, approximately
every twelve months or so. If you wish to have some fun and take this all the way. Follow me.
To truly refinish this feeder, it will take a little more elbow grease and more time.
First, remove whatever attachments possible. In this case, we removed the small pole mount from the
feeder's base and refinished it also. There are four screws attaching the roof to the vertical uprights and
we recommend taking the roof off. Carefully remove the screws. They may be brass and a bit soft and
we ask you to use a good screwdriver with good bite to take the screws out.
Once the roof is off, clean and wash everything. Allow it to completely dry before starting the next step.
Once the feeder is dry, scrape any remaining loose material that is fixed to the base.
Now for the elbow grease, sanding. The more you sand and the closer you get to sound wood, the
better the finished product looks. In the case of this feeder, the vertical uprights, underside of the roof and underside of the base still had a great deal of the original finish in good shape. Any area with finish still
intact only needs a light scuffing with sandpaper. We use a 150 grit sandpaper on the whole project
which can be acquired at any good hardware store. A 150 grit paper does a good job without leaving
scratch marks. As best you can, sand the feeder's graying areas down to fresh wood.
The rails are always worn since the birds talons continually tear away at
them removing the finish quickly. Sand these out very well.
Now comes the more difficult part, sanding the roof. It's a big area and receives the full
effects from the sun all day long. You will find it is probably uniformly gray or it may even be
blackish from airborne pollutants being driven into it from the rains. We recommend you put a lot of
effort in sanding out the roof. Remove as much of the old wood and strive to get down to fresh lumber.
Don't forget to also sand the edges of the boards since they too are well worn from your birds hanging
off the edges. Fresh wood on top of the roof and its edges deeply penetrated with finish here will go
a long way in keeping the boards from prematurely cracking over the upcoming years.
Once you are satisfied with the sanded feeder, it's time to apply the finish. The better the quality of finish,
the longer it will last. We recommend you visit a high quality paint store and ask them for the following:
Fully Transparent Penetrating Oil Finish or Deck Stain.
ONLY use fully transparent finishes. Anything else will leave a topical residue on the feeder
which will flake off and your wildlife will consume the finish. This goes for polyurethanes and the like. Furthermore, as the finish flakes off, it looks horrible. We've all seen old outdoor furniture that
has received 10 coats of paint in its life. Even with a fresh coat of paint, it looks rough and ugly.
penetrating oil finish. Keep in mind, these finishes do come with color tints. A clear finish is
our recommendation but you can buy a tinted finish if you wish to darken the feeder anywhere
from light golds to extremely dark brown. They all look beautiful and it's a personal choice but
remember, refinished wood ALWAYS comes out a LOT darker than the sample in the store.
To apply the finish, follow the manufacture's guidelines, wear protective clothing and POSITIVELY apply
the finish in a well ventilated area. Here at Hurley-Byrd we have a whole room designed specifically for submersing our products into the finish. The room stands alone, is power ventilated and all electrical components in and around the room are explosion proof pieces of equipment. Some finishes are extremely volatile and all are positively harmful to your health. TAKE ALL PRECAUTIONS TO PROTECT YOURSELF, OTHERS, PETS AND YOUR BELONINGS. Follow the manufacture's instructions exactly.
Revisited 14 Months Later - How's it doing?
I was raised on a VERY large Agricultural/Dairy operation in upstate New York and one of the first
lessons my father taught me had something to do with "the proof being in the pudding", as dad said.
His saying was, "Be like an old farmer son, prove it me and I'll believe." Dad was right (don't tell him I said that) and I've adhered to that saying most of my life. Here at Hurley-Byrd we do things one way.
We prove it to ourselves first and then offer it to our customers. We test feeders, we test materials, etc...
a few years, the pores in the wood open due to the natural aging process and when the refinish coat of penetrating oil is applied, it penetrates much deeper than new lumber can possibly allow.
This feeder does not need another coat of finish yet. I expect next year or the year after it will receive
a quick coat of new finish, especially on the roof. At that time it will have its screws tightened, etc... If this feeder is maintained in this fashion, there is no reason it will not last 15 to 20 years and yours will too.