stain or paint ?

Old 09-28-06, 09:32 PM
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stain or paint ?

I am scraping off years of lead based paint and shellac off of the exterior of my cabin in Maine with my heat gun, "Peel Away 6", and steel wool and soapy water. I am getting down to the bare wood now, and am about to sand. The cabin gets a LOT of weather- strong winds, lots of sun, rain, etc. After priming, what's better- stain (with color )or paint ? And if it's stain , does the primer in any way inhibit the stain ? The wood itself appears to be in pretty good shape- it's pine. The cabin was built in the 1920's. I am drawn to stain because it seems I can get it in any color I want and my local hardware guy told me it wouldn't peel or flake. I am drawn to paint because it's what I am used to working with. Thanks for your help !
Old 09-29-06, 06:31 AM
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You would not apply primer to the wood if you intend on using stain. I'm not sure what I would recommend- paint offers better protection from the elements since it's a thicker film, but paint can also have adhesion problems and peel whereas stain will not. You can also choose from transparent, semi-transparent, or solid color stain. Solid color is the most like paint- you cannot see any wood grain through the coating.

IMO, stain holds up the best on surfaces that are somewhat rough (like rough cedar or wood sanded with 100 grit sandpaper). But if you have had problems with peeling, stain is the way to go. However you need to get a good quality stain- cheap stain will fade or chalk and slowly erode. With a good quality stain, you can get at least 5 years or more out of it. You can go longer, but expect it to show some wear. Like the man at the store pointed out, the nice thing is it won't peel.
Old 09-29-06, 06:41 AM
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As you already know there are a lot of benifits with stain. The only draw backs are it doesn't usually last as long [but less prep needed for recoat] and it may not give you the constant color and sheen you are used to.

Some stains may require a primer but most do not. Buy your materials at a paint store where they can help you decide what coatings will work best for you.

Usually the best informed sales people [for painting] will be found at paint stores, the least knowledgeable at big box stores. Hardware stores are usually somewhere it the middle.

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