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Woods and Stains

Redwood and cedar are typical woods used for exterior trim and siding. These woods when they are first cut are extremely porous and will take stain very well, allowing deep penetration and an even appearance. A semi-transparent stain is a wonderful choice for new wood allowing the natural beauty of the wood to be enhanced. After a few years of exposure to the elements wood becomes distorted.

To reduce cost and maintenance you may choose to go with a opaque solid paint or stain.

After a few years wood discoloration from wood tannin bleeding, damage from the elements, water or rust will begin to occur. To maintain the original quality of the exterior of a home much surface preparation will need to be applied.

Wood Condition

Pressure washing is the first step to loosen and remove old oxidized stain. Of course, some of the stain will remain under the surface. After the pressure washing is concluded you can then evaluate the wood surface to then determine which stain or paint product to use. A solid color stain or paint is the only product that can cover up preexisting stain and offer an even look.

If sheen remains on the surface of where the stain is going to be applied, to avoid "flashing" or inconsistencies, only the same type of exterior wood stain should be used. The sheen or shine is typical of oil base stains. It is best to use oil based paint or stains should be used over oil based stains or paint that has a sheen. Acrylic stains or paints should be used over acrylic stains. Each home has specific requirements and the evaluation of the existing paint or stain product is important to determine which wood stain and colors can be chosen.

The right wood stain, many times, is determined by the condition of the wood or surface that the product is being applied to.

Stains are available in many colors and can be tinted to custom colors. Solid color stains can be tinted to just about every color imaginable. Many manufactures have an array of colors and multiple different base colors allowing for deeper or more elaborate colors. The most popular color stains are generally browns and reds.

Many well known stain manufacturers are Pratt and Lambert, Wolmans, Armstrong, Behr and Olympic.

Wood Protection

Wood preservatives and mildewcides can be added to a stain to help protect from rot and mildew.

Graying or fading because of ultra-violet light from the sun can be quickened by the color of the stain or paint. Brown colors are the best at UV resistance.

Wood protection is the most important part of why your home is being stained. Repelling water prevents the warping, rotting, splitting and cracking of the exterior wood of your home. The exterior of the wood should be fully saturated in the stain for full protection. Oil based stains penetrate deepest into the woods surface. On the other hand, an acrylic or oil acrylic stain allows water that may have gotten into the wood to escape.
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