Weather permitting cedar siding stain?

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Old 10-13-14, 04:32 AM
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Question Weather permitting cedar siding stain?

I just purchased this house with neglected cedar siding. There is not much stain left, so you almost see bare wood. There are some areas with mildew. The boards are still sound, though. Since it's getting colder each day here in MN, should I get it power washed and stained immediately, or wait till next year to do it? It's going to be dry for the next 10 days according to the weather forecast, but temperature will be low 50s during the day (only a few hours) and high 30s at night. I guess this week will be the last window to get it done this year, if at all possible. But is it worth it to push it? Will the snow get the wood in even worse shape if I don't do something immediately? Or I'll end up with a bad job anyway since it's too cold if I try this year? Thanks!
 
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Old 10-13-14, 04:44 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

You could use an oil stain this week but I wouldn't apply latex any more this year.
 
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Old 10-13-14, 04:53 AM
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Thanks mitch17. Does it mean oil stain can be applied with lower temp then latex? So solid stain will not work?
 
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Old 10-13-14, 05:10 AM
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Yes, oil based products have lower minimum temperatures than latex - latex freezes at 32 F since it's water based.

You can use a solid stain but I would wait till spring if you want to use a latex stain of any kind.
 
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Old 10-13-14, 05:43 AM
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To elaborate, if wet latex coatings freeze - they will loose their bond with the substrate Freezing temps will slow or even stop the curing process of oil base coatings but it will start back up when the temperature rises. Frost will suck the sheen out of uncured oil base paint but shouldn't be an issue with oil stain. You can use a solid oil stain if you want.

Use a bleach/water solution to remove the mildew and clean the wood prior to using a pressure washer.
 
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Old 10-13-14, 08:29 AM
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When you say "stain" are you referring to a one-coat stain and protector finish? Stain alone isn't going to protect your house so I'm assuming you do mean tinted finish.

Twenty years ago I stained a new cedar deck the first weekend of October, then left. Came home Sunday night to a sticky mess with dirt and bugs trapped in it. The temp fell below 50 and the finish didn't cure--and it was also a penetrating oil (Flood CWF). It did not cure when the weather warmed up and had to be stripped.

The finish I chose to use on my cedar house siding is Sikkens SRD, which is a translucent tinted penetrating oil. The label cautions not to apply if the temperature is expected to go below 50F in 24 hours. I wanted to coat my siding once it was installed Labor Day 2013 but because of my previous bad experience with the deck I waited til spring.

I'm not endorsing the products--just endorsing reading the label ;-)
 
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Old 10-13-14, 10:19 AM
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It's always wise to read the label!!
Exterior stains aren't like interior stains and do not need a top coat to protect it. There are 2 types of CWF, the old oil base version and the newer waterborne or oil modified version. The oil base CFW can be applied in cool weather - it just slows down the curing process BUT the waterborne CWF can't withstand temps below freezing until cured.

Cedar is fairly resilient so the biggest downsides to waiting until spring would be the looks and it might require extra cleaning to ready it for stain.
 
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Old 10-15-14, 05:27 AM
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If the only down side for waiting till next year is the look, I might be better off just wait, and I'll have more options? It's deep in the woods and nobody sees it from the street. Is it true that the heavy snow won't damage the siding further? I am talking about probably the bottom 3 ft will be buried in the snow for 6 months. That's MN.
 
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Old 10-15-14, 06:27 AM
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Cedar is one of the woods that has a lot of natural ability to weather the elements. Since we don't get that much snow for that long - I don't know if that changes things any.
 
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Old 10-15-14, 06:38 AM
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I was in the same boat last year when many delays and slow progress meant my siding wasn't finished til Labor Day weekend. By then temps at night were always under 50* so I had to wait til spring. Then we had that record-breaking winter and it was below zero on Thanksgiving and the snow on the ground then stayed till spring and got pretty deep--laying against the unprotected cedar. When the snow melted and everything dried out I could see water marks on the wood and it was bleached a bit compared to the wood that was exposed to the sun all winter. To deal with the slight variation in color I opted to apply my oil stain in a darker tint than my original choice. It came out fine.

Also--when researching my finish options I found many recommended NOT applying to new wood fresh from the mill but instead to wait a bit for it to weather. So don't worry about having finish problems due to the weathering--it's actually a good thing because it opens up the pores in the wood so the finish will penetrate deeper.
 
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Old 10-15-14, 06:42 AM
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Kiln dried wood can be painted/stained immediately but air dried lumber needs time to dry out before a coating can successfully be applied ..... but that doesn't apply to the OP's house as it has old neglected siding. As long as any moisture from rain/dew is dried up and the temps permit - it can be stained.
 
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Old 10-15-14, 07:08 AM
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I don't see waiting till spring causing any problem other than you might need to spend a few more minutes cleaning it first.
 
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