Stain or paint wood siding?

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Old 04-21-08, 01:35 PM
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Stain or paint wood siding?

Hello,

My wood siding (which I believe is cedar) needs to be repainted/restained. I have had multiple contractors come over and give me some estimates. Some propose to repaint while other propose to stain.

I have a couple of questions:

1) How can I find if the siding is currently painted versus stained?

2) Besides the fact that stain can show more of the wood grain, which one is better: stain or paint (for durability as well as maintenance)

3) Can you stain over paint and paint over stain?

4) What difference in surface prep is there between paint and stain?

Thx.

Yves
 
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Old 04-21-08, 04:49 PM
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Welcome to the forums Yves!

#1 - maybe a little hard for a novice to tell. Paint has a thciker film, less of the wood texture/grain is visable.

#2 - Primer and paint will last longer than stain because there is a thicker film of protection over the wood. I prefer solid stain when feasable, while it doesn't last as long, it often doesn't require primer and it seldom peels.

#3 - Yes but it isn't a great idea to use a solid stain on a painted surface unless most of the paint is scraped off. Stain can almost always be painted over.

#4 - raw wood can be stained as long as it's clean but it must be primed before it can be painted. Stained wood can be restained with no special prep. Painted wood may need scraping and any raw areas should be primed.
 
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Old 04-21-08, 07:34 PM
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Thanks for the answers. Quick (hopefully) follow up questions.

From what you describe, it seems that solid stain is usually what people choose because it requires less surface prep and does peel like paint can (which I hope translate to less cost to restain than paint but more frequently). Did I get it right?

While it might be hard to tell precisely, if solid stain is used vs paint (I live in the mid atlantic region), how much difference are we talking about in term of years between repainting/restaining?

I know some of the trim/siding is painted (because I did paint some of it when it looks too bad). I can't even remember which is which. What the worse that can happen is stain get applied on top of it?

Finally, if solid stain is the choice, what is the best, longer lasting stain (the contractor tells me cabot)

Thx.

Yves
 
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Old 04-22-08, 03:31 AM
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Cabot is good stain. SWP and Ben Moore also have good coatings. Stay away from big box coatings as they tend to value price over quality.

Since all home aren't created equal it can be hard to say how long a given paint/stain job will last. Color can also make a difference. Darker colors with intense sun will fade sooner than a light color but a dark color won't show the effects of dirt/mildew as soon. A wore out paint job will have peeling paint while a wore out stain job will have the stain on the more exposed areas wear away. If I was to hazard a guess - paint probably lasts 25% longer.

The 2 main concerns with using a solid stain over paint are those areas will look more painted than stained and if the paint comes loose it will take the stain with it.
 
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