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I have a small balcony on which air conditioning units are placed. My wife would like me to build a table over the air units, where she can grow flowers, herbs and veggies.

Using what I have available, I'll build a frame out of solid wood and metal legs. On top of that, I plan to put a piece of plywood. This plywood will be exposed to tropical rain storms and equatorial sun (I live in Thailand) and will thus be taking quite a beating.

What would you recommend as the right way of protecting this wood?

In reading on the web, I've learned that I need to apply a wood stain and then a finish. Going through the different options, spar varnish seems to be the most sensible choice. But I'm not sure about this and would appreciate opinions.

  • Why not use a naturally resistant tropical wood like teak instead of plywood? – bib Feb 27 '17 at 14:23
  • A marine grade finish would be best. Some boats are made out of plywood and they hold up. I hope you have left enough space between the exhaust of the AC unit or it can cause problems including compressor failure due to excessive heat buildup. – Ed Beal Feb 27 '17 at 14:40
  • @bib: cost, for one. – Rob de Jonge Feb 27 '17 at 15:16
  • @Ed Beal: Thanks for the comment. The plywood is on top of the units, which are closed off sides of the outside unit. I've left a few inches so vibration doesn't get passed on to the table. Air gets blown out the side, which will remain unobstructed. Appreciate the thought though. – Rob de Jonge Feb 27 '17 at 15:21

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