Stain for T-111 Siding


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Old 04-27-18, 01:53 PM
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Stain for T-111 Siding

We have T-111 siding on our house. Yes, I know it isn't the best but it is what we have. When it was installed 9 years ago, it was coated with Clear Thompson's Waterseal. I suspect that the Thompson's is pretty much gone by now; it seemed lose its coating fairly quickly, especially on one section that gets water splattered on it from a basement roof that is connected just below it. Overall however, the siding still looks pretty good thanks to the 3' overhang we have on 2 sides and 8' porches on the other 2 sides. We realize we need to coat the siding with something and I am struggling to make a decision on what to use.

I prefer a clear or light color stain. I've read that oil-based stains can give the best protection. I've also read that using oil-based stains on T-111 plywood can cause it to delaminate. (Our T-111 is plywood and not the OSB version of T-111.) That being said, I've read numerous posts from people who say they've used an oil-based stain on T-111 with no mention of delaminating of the surface. So my first question is, just how common is it for oil-based stains to delaminate T-111 plywood. Has anyone here had any experience with this?

I have also considered using a semi-transparent acrylic stain. I've researched two brands, Cabot and Olympic but in looking at the reviews for both there are a number of customers who have used their products and had the stain start peeling in 6 mos or less later. They post pictures and the result looks terrible. Given that my husband doesn't want to do a great deal of prep for our stain job, I am worried that putting a color on the wood that might start peeling would look a lot worse than what we are starting with. Hence, I'd rather go with a transparent coating that would let the natural wood (albeit plywood) show through. (I realize that many people don't like the natural wood of T-111 but “to each his own.”)

So if anyone has a suggestion for a transparent/clear or lightly tinted stain that will work on T-111 I'm open to suggestions. If there is a water-based clear wood sealant, I haven't found it. Please share if you know of one.
 
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Old 04-27-18, 02:27 PM
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using oil-based stains on T-111 plywood can cause it to delaminate
Never heard such a thing. If any type of 303 plywood siding delaminates it is the fault of the plywood itself, not the coating that was put on it. Delaminating usually starts at a cut edge that has not been protected.

And peeling when using any kind of stain, whether oil or latex would be the result of putting it on too thick... or when it is in direct sunlight... or when it is too hot, or a combination of any of those. Stain is not paint so if you put it on thick (as if you need to "cover" the wood more or better) then it is an application error in most cases. Always try to work when it is cool and shady for best results. On the sunny sides, work in early morning only for best results.

There is also product error. Some people get one product and think they can use it everywhere. But stains will often be specifically meant for vertical surfaces only... not for horizontal surfaces, like decks or the tops of handrails.

In my experience, oils are the way to go... they stick and penetrate better, last longer, are less likely to peel. Latex coatings tend to sit on the top, dry too quick and can be applied too heavy, which can lead to peeling. Applying any sort of clear sealant over your stain will only lead to problems, imo... so I would suggest you drop that idea.

I am partial to Sherwin Williams products and avoid box store products. I also have nothing good to say about T.W.S, it seems to last about 6 months tops, so I will leave it at that.

I think I did use BEHR PREMIUM® Semi-Transparent Waterproofing Stain & Sealer once, and it was okay.

Most any product you use should be refreshed every 5-7 years or so. Problem with a transparent product (IMO) is that people usually wait WAY too long to do anything about the finish and the UV damages the wood fibers, shortening the life of the product and affecting the adhesion of the subsequent coats.
 
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Old 04-27-18, 02:36 PM
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I have also never heard of oil base stain causing T-111 to delaminate. Some of the T-111 manufactures used to require oil base coatings, not sure if any still do. You need to check the unweathered areas to see if the TWS is still intact as it can affect adhesion of any stain applied over it.

I'd also recommend going to your local paint store. Paint depts in the big box stores usually stock coatings based on low price rather than quality.
 
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Old 04-28-18, 05:46 AM
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I've always used solid color oil stain on my garage, T1-11 5/8" plywood, and in 30 years it has never peeled or delaminates. I always use a roller with a long handle, very easy. The not so easy part is doing the grooves with a small brush.

Like X said, repeat every 5 years or so and it'll be fine.
 
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Old 04-28-18, 05:52 AM
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The not so easy part is doing the grooves with a small brush.
Especially when the grooves are 4" on center!
 
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Old 04-28-18, 06:08 AM
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I would also vouch for using a sold color stain, Every house I have built I've used solid stains on the fascia boards and it has held up perfectly.

But you have to use some caution, some "sold stains" are nothing more than latex paints and will not hold up.

The one I can recommend from personal experience is Coronado Acrylic stain.

You will not find in box stores and it will be years till you have to re apply!

Solid Acrylic Latex Color Siding Stain B2000,
 
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Old 04-28-18, 08:04 AM
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Thank you for the informed response XSleeper and others. I feel much better about the options. This helped a lot. I'm leaning toward a transparent oil stain because I really don't like the darker colors.
Marc your suggestion to check for TWS is a good one. If there is evidence of it being presence, what would be the best product to use instead of the oil stain? (I really don't want to paint it.)
 
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Old 04-28-18, 08:17 AM
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check for TWS... If there is evidence of it
I would think a good power washing would take care of that. With a transparent stain you have to be careful power washing that you don't rough up the wood and leave wand marks from getting too close. Those marks will show.
 
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Old 04-28-18, 10:28 AM
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I always use a roller with a long handle, very easy. The not so easy part is doing the grooves with a small brush
I very seldom use a brush on the grooves. I slop the coating on heavy enough that it 'runs' into all the grooves/crevices. Then when my roller is almost dry I'll reroll that section dressing it up and wiping out any runs.
 
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Old 04-28-18, 12:24 PM
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or 3/4 - 1" nap and have a 2nd person back brush the grooves.
 
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Old 04-29-18, 03:06 AM
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I wouldn't consider rolling T-111 with anything less than 3/4" nap.
 
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Old 04-29-18, 05:10 AM
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I've always had good luck with Cabot oil based stains, both solid and semi-transparent. Steve
 
 

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