I have some new outdoor furniture made out of cedar that I want to put a white finish on. I am thinking of using either a urethane or enamel based finish. Do you have any recommendations as to which of these finishes would be best in regards to ease of application, durability, mildew-resistance, etc.? I plan on using a sprayer to apply the finish, so are there any special considerations for spraying either of these? Can you provide a recommendation regarding manufacturer?
Also, although my current use of the furniture calls for it to be painted white, in the future I may want a natural finish. As such, it was suggested that prior to putting the white finish on that I use a clear finish underneath to prevent the white pigment from soaking into the wood grain so that if I later wanted to strip the white finish and apply a clear finish my job would be made easier. Is this a reasonable approach? If so, are there any compatible clear/white finishes that I could use to do the job?
My desire would be to spray the clear finish and then follow with the white without having to do any (much) prep (i.e. sanding) between finishes. Can you recommend any products that I can use to achieve this objective? Any help would be greatly appreciated.