Stain prep for Cedar/Yellow Pine siding ?

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Old 07-29-17, 09:33 AM
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Stain prep for Cedar/Yellow Pine siding ?

Hello all. I'm finally getting around to my exterior wood siding staining project. The previous owner had used Flood CWF-UV Cedar Tone on this house. Yesterday I pressure washed the old stain off after brushing on a TSP solution to clean with. The old stain was pretty far gone -- it came off pretty easily.

My concern is the few areas of darker wood, especially at the bottom of the boards (from splash back, I assume) and around some of the window trim. (I hope I've attached the picture correctly.) I'm not quite convinced this is mold, because I tried a very small area with straight bleach and the black didn't fade out completely. Could it be tannin bleed toward the bottom of the board?

At any rate, if I wait for the moisture content to be right and apply a new coat of stain as it sits now, what will it look like? This will be my first attempt at re-staining wood siding. I picked the wall that's the most hidden from public on my house, but I'd like to get this one right and feel good about going on to the walls that everyone sees from the road

Any helpful thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!

P.S. Don't mind the "wet" looking wood to the right of the picture. That was me trying a oxiclean solution near the bottom of the boards to see if that helped the "splash back" areas any...
 
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Old 07-29-17, 10:04 AM
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That just looks wet to me, if it is indeed a discoloration of the wood either a bleach/water solution [rinsed well] or wood brightener should get it closer to the coloring of the rest of the wood. While a translucent stain or toner will even colors out a little, it will allow most of what is in the wood to show thru.
 
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Old 07-29-17, 10:18 AM
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That would be good, I guess, if' it's just wet. It looks like some sort of staining to me. I had a friend that's done this stuff some that recommended a mildewicide/fungicide siding cleaner, like Jomax from Lowe's.

What should the moisture content be before putting new stain on? 12% or less? I'm thinking about buying a moisture gauge to tell what it is...

I've thought about switching away from Flood CWF-UV cedar tone, but I'm scared of not matching anything that's left after my cleaning process, or matching other walls. I'm thinking about doing 3 out of 4 sides this year, but the 4th side doesn't need it yet.

Thanks for the thoughts marksr.
 
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Old 07-29-17, 10:27 AM
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I've never owned or used a moisture meter but generally a half day or so after everything looks dry is sufficient. Usually switching to another brand of toner about the same color or slightly darker doesn't pose any problem. Going to a semi-transparent stain is also a viable option.

I normally use a bleach/water solution for cleaning siding/decks as it's cheap and effective. If needed I'll add TSP. The commercially prepared cleaners generally work and are more user and environmentally friendly.
 
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Old 07-30-17, 05:12 PM
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I've stripped half the house. The pressure washer did most of the work pretty easily, but there were a few areas of stain still hanging on from the old coat. I ended up buying some Jomax Stripper from Lowe's.

Applying the stripper turned the wood very dark, almost black! I washed and washed and washed, to no avail. Did the stripper just pull more tannin or actually turn the wood black? Will a brightener fix this?

I have some oxalic acid being delivered tomorrow to use as a brightener (ordered it before I had this black siding ordeal). Will the oxalic acid fix this?

A little bummed after all the prep work so far and I go and turn a part of my wall blackish.... thoughts/encouraging words?

Thanks
 
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Old 07-31-17, 03:34 AM
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I have very little experience with oxalic acid as I normally use a bleach/water solution to clean which also acts like a wood brightener but the oxalic acid should lighten the color of the wood.
 
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Old 07-31-17, 06:41 PM
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So after the wood dried today the black appearance after the stripper is basically gone, which I'm beyond excited about! You could still tell where I put the stripper on the wood by brush, and I coated that whole area with oxalic acid this evening and rinsed thoroughly. We'll see what it looks like tomorrow after work once dry.

I'm pretty much ready to stain I think, but I would like someone's opinion on a few pictures. For the most part, my prep of pressure washing has got things looking pretty good. But there are a few areas where the old stain is hanging on and not coming off. I'm not real convinced the Jomax stripper would bring it off either, by the way it worked yesterday. So by looking at the pictures, if I use Cabot Semi-transparent wood stain in something like "redwood" color (slightly lighter than existing?), will it look OK or hideous? I've ruled out transparent stains and most likely CWF because it would show even more, but I'd rather not go to the opacity level of semi-solid from Cabot...I'd like to see a little of the wood grain and knots. I'm still having thoughts about Flood CWF to try to match existing, but honestly I'm not sure that's what it is. It looks more like a solid stain sitting on top of the wood, not a penetrating stain like flood. And I'd like to go with oil based, thinking it will last longer.

That's about my only hesitation at this point. As you can see from the 3rd picture, overall and from afar, it looks pretty good. But up close, and unfortunately in highly visible areas, it looks like the two close up pics in places.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts/opinions.
 
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Old 08-01-17, 04:04 AM
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Have you applied the brightener to the areas shown in the bottom 2 pics?
Overall the siding looks like a good candidate for any toner/translucent stain including CWF. Here in the south waterborne and latex stains tend to hold up better than oil base. Oil base will generally fade quicker. Might want to get some local input as to what stains work best in your locale.
 
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Old 08-01-17, 09:45 AM
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You're never going to get it all uniform, as wood is not uniform.

I think you're ready to stain.
 
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Old 08-01-17, 09:53 AM
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If ready for stain do you think a transparent stain will look ok, or should I go semi transparent for a better hide? Also, what's your thoughts on water vs oil based.
 
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Old 08-01-17, 09:57 AM
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I hadn't applied brightener to any of those 3 picks marksr. That's the first I've heard a recommendation for water based over oIL based stain. The only guy I know that's done a lot around here was a diehard Sikkens man.
 
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Old 08-01-17, 10:11 AM
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I know very little about which exterior coatings work best further north, just what works best in the southeast. That is why it's always good to get local input.

Sikkens makes both oil base and waterborne stains. I don't know if they have latex.

As SS said, you'll never get stained wood to be completely uniform .... and once the stain is applied the odds are you won't even notice the minor differences.
 
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Old 08-01-17, 11:18 AM
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I'm with Mark in that the further north, the more I'm going to lean toward oil based and the further south the more toward latex.

As to transparent or semi, I think you should make that call based on what color you would like to have.
 
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Old 08-02-17, 07:20 AM
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I've been told the darker tints do a better job of UV filtering, which extends the life of the stain. I intended to do my cottage in clear but the advice scared me into using Sikkens Cetol SRD in "Teak" translucent. I like the color--it's not the typical orange-ish cedar stain--but after 2-3 years my cedar already looks "thirsty".
 
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Old 08-02-17, 07:54 AM
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Assuming the quality of the coating is the same, the more tint a stain has the longer it will last. Clear stains have the shortest life while a solid stain will have the longest, semi-transparent falls in the middle. The more weather the siding see, the shorter the stain's life is expected to be.
 
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Old 08-02-17, 08:24 AM
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But there are a few areas where the old stain is hanging on and not coming off.
I'm confused. I've always thought stain soaked in and isn't supposed to come off, never has on my garage. Or is it different on cedar, something I've never worked with?
 
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Old 08-02-17, 09:54 AM
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Given enough time, stain will wear away. Deck strippers will often remove most of the stain. A lot depends on the stain's condition prior to cleaning. It's not uncommon to see stain almost gone on the parts of the siding that get full sun and rain while the stain might still look great in protected areas.
 
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Old 08-09-17, 07:03 PM
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Thanks to all for the thoughts and comments. I've completed half of the house, the half that was really bad to start with. The stripper that turned "black" actually dried out almost to where you couldn't tell it was there. I did find out that a longer soak time for the stripper, as long as keeping it wet, would allow it to work better. I found 30 minutes of application time was better than the suggested 10-15 minutes. After the stripper I applied the brightener while the wood was still damp. Wala! It brightened up pretty good.

I ended up going with Cabot Australian Timber Oil in Natural finish, mostly because my wife loved the siding when it was in it's bare form the most. I tried a small section of the "honey teak" color, but it was too dark for her taste. But I should note that our wood turned out looking like the honey teak color sample after applying the natural toner.

The wood was very thirsty. My arms wore out from using the 4" brush, but I feel like I got a lot better job than trying to spray it and back brush, especially as rough as the texture currently is.

I'll be heading to the other 2 sides of the house after I rework a deck. Overall, it looks pretty good. You can definitely see the inconsistencies within the wood and weathering, etc., but it gives it some nice character, and the wife is happy, so I'm happy

If I can get some decent pictures at some point I'll attach them here.
 
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Old 08-10-17, 03:10 AM
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Doing it all with a brush is ok although a lot more work I like to spray, back brush and spray again. That takes more stain but should last a little longer. Keeping a wet edge with a brush can be a challenge so you might need to just brush a few boards [from top to bottom] at a time, especially if working in the sun!

A happy wife is always a bonus!
 
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